Beliefs, Rites & Practices
Glastonbury Goddess Temple
We believe in Goddess.
Goddess is the creative, nurturing energy at the heart of the Universe.
We believe that everything and everyone is part of Goddess and that She is everywhere and in all things. She is the air we breathe, the fires that warm us, the waters that flow in and around us and the earth beneath our feet. She is the space between all things. She is the Source and the inspiration for everything in our lives.
Bringing Goddess into our lives is a process of Returning to Her loving embrace, Re-Membering our ancestral heritage.
For too long Goddess has been forgotten in our mainstream Western culture. Prior to the coming of patriarchal religions, Goddess was honoured and worshipped all over the world. Archaeological evidence from around the globe continues to bring this fact to light (see our reading list for more information and sources).
Throughout written history Goddess was slowly forgotten, Her powers derided and degraded, just as the awesome life-giving abilities of women have also been forgotten. The dishonouring of Goddess in mainstream society is mirrored in the oppression of women and men within patriarchy.
The core of our work as Goddess-loving women and men is to re-imagine Goddess at the centre of our lives, with all the transformation that must take place as a result.
Photo: Ann Cook
Goddess is everywhere, and we can connect with Her at any time, in any place. There are certain sacred places in the world where the upwelling of Goddess energy can be felt strongly. One of these places is Glastonbury, which is a gateway to the mythical Isle of Avalon.
Many of the Priestesses and Priests serving in the Temple today were called to Glastonbury in visions and dreams, often of past service in earlier Goddess Temples on this land.
The landscape of Glastonbury is associated with Goddess worship in myth and legend. Composed of rolling hills and valleys, the most prominent being Glastonbury Tor, the landscape of the Isle of Avalon is the abundant and undulating body of the Goddess. Here She is visible as Swan maiden, Lover, Mother and Crone. In the present day, we in the Temple community are re-imagining Goddess mythology and Herstory.
When Goddess has been forgotten we find out about Her again, as did our ancestors, by observing the ways in which She expresses Herself through the cycles and seasons of Her nature. Here in Glastonbury we work with the Avalonian Goddess Wheel of the Year, in which a different face of our indigenous British Goddess is honoured at each of the eight seasonal points of the year.
The colours and decoration of the Goddess Temple and Goddess Hall are changed to reflect these different faces of Goddess in each season, and our Priestesses and Priests hold public, seasonal celebrations to connect others with the energy of Goddess. Much of this knowledge has been recalled into being by Kathy Jones, Priestess of Avalon and co-founder of the Goddess Temple and the international Glastonbury Goddess Conference. It is documented in her many books on Goddess spirituality, including ‘The Ancient British Goddess’; ‘Priestess of Avalon, Priestess of the Goddess’ and ‘In the Nature of Avalon’.
The Goddess Temple does not have any set liturgy but ceremonies and celebrations develop through individual inspiration and connection to Goddess. Our ceremonies are always unscripted while held within a containing framework. We believe that the path to Goddess is one of personal empowerment and it is for the individual to express in words and forms their love for Her.
Photo: Avalon sunrise by Katie Player
“Lady of Avalon you have opened our hearts with your love … we thank you and we honour you, you are my beloved Lady, beloved of my Heart…”
~ Kathy Jones, “Praise Song for the Lady of Avalon”, 2019
As the Goddess People of Avalon we believe in the Goddess, who is Lady of Avalon as She expresses Herself through the landscape, mythology and culture of the Isle of Avalon and in Glastonbury.
Our spirituality is firmly rooted in the land around us, in our connection to Her landscape, especially as we journey through the continuing cycles of Her seasons. Our Temple is dedicated primarily to the Lady of Avalon, Goddess of this land. In the landscape of Glastonbury Avalon. She reveals Herself in the rolling hills of Her abundant body, in the rivers and sacred springs that bless the land with Her waters, in the fertile scent of the apple blossom in the orchards that surround the Isle, in the sound of the crows flying high above Her hills.
Every person’s journey of connection to the Lady, and how they experience Her, is unique. Our path is a devotional one of individual and collective expression of love for Goddess and the Lady of Avalon.
“Maiden, Lover, Mother, Crone, Lady of Avalon carry us home…”
We learn about Goddess through observing the different faces She shows to us through the seasons of the year through the whole of Brigit’s Isles.
For example, in Springtime as sunlight increases Goddess is imaged as a young woman, dancing like a flame across the land, greening the land after the grey days of winter. In autumn as sunlight decreases, Her nature turns orange and brown, and later we welcome in the Crone Goddess. Through the cycle of Her seasons we can see different faces of Goddess, spiralling on from Maiden to Lover to Mother to Crone to Maiden again.
In the Goddess Temple we work with the Sacred Wheel of Bridannia/ Britannia/Brigit Ana where the seasons of the year are associated with 8 directions –eight compass points on the land , as well as the centre. Each direction is also connected to a particular indigenous British Goddess and Her associations, including Her colours, element, animals, trees and symbols.
This Wheel is particularly used for the invocation of Goddess in Brigit’s Isles. The four elements are placed in the following directions: Air is in the North, Fire in the East, Water in the South and Earth in the West. This Wheel is different to the Wiccan Wheel, which places Earth in the North, Air in East, Fire in the South and Water in the West.
To find out more about how we worship Goddess in Avalon, visit the information pages below, where our Priestesses and Priests share their experiences.