At fall equinox I co-led my first English retreat. Janey Francis, a sister of the international Yogini circle, had invited me to co-create a weekend seminar on Mary Magdalene at Glastonbury which is believed to be the place of former Avalon. What an honor and pleasure!
But things went differently than expected. The retreat itself was outperformed by a very intense inner process that started as soon as I touched British ground: The first sign was a strong cold. As part of our preparations for the retreat, Janey and I went to Chalice Well. There I met a demon who spit me into the face: “YOU DON’T BELONG HERE.” I recognized this demon as a guardian – as did Mary Magdalene in her Gospel of the Beloved Companion. In the next moment I knew: “Of course I do belong.” How could I ever manage to drop out of this vast mystery called life?
Only a few hours later my moon time started … intensively and way too early. Then I knew that there were some deep processes happening on an energetic level without my mind being able to grasp it. Of course I had to co-hold the space and the frame for the participants of our retreat. And for Saturday evening we had booked the Mary Magdalene Chapel at Glastonbury for our exclusive ceremony.
Janey and I had a lot of time before we were to welcome the women into the chapel. So we sat down for a shared silent meditation to immerse with Mary Magdalene before the actual ceremony. I asked her for information on this intense process that I was going through … and promptly strong feelings arose: reactions to defamation, humiliation, despisement, and expulsion from community: You don’t belong here.
I felt pain, I felt shock … and at the same time a very clear sentence was there causing my body to straighten again: “Look who I am today.” I knew Mary Magdalene was with me.
The ceremony started – Janey and I had prepared and planned everything carefully – we had Mary Magdalene’s blessing. And the holy ceremony really became a memorable experience: We evoked Mary Magdalene’s presence in our circle with our feminine practice. Each one of us had the opportunity to be with Her … on her own … but not alone as we sat in our women’s circle.
During this meditation I asked Mary Magdalene: “Who am I?” Her immediate answer was clear: “You are my priestess and thus Sophia’s priestess.” Oh, how touched I was. A symphony of honor, humility, devotion, and joy overwhelmed me.
Note: Sophia is the name of the creative feminine field,
the dark ground of all being in Mary Magdalene’s tradition.
Oh, yes, and I stood there with my sister priestess of ancient times, in Her chapel, honoring Her, co-leading a ceremony for our circle. “Look who I am today.” And then each woman stepped forward, one by one, speaking her words of dedication at the altar.
That very evening my symptoms eased. Yet I had a retreat to finish! Only in the airplane I had the time for reflexion and integration. I journaled, I drew. And suddenly it wrote through me a few lines that made me shiver and made me understand the initiation I had gone through:
Priestess of Avalon I have once been.
This has ended. I am not bound to this tradition anymore.
I am a free priestess.
I follow my heart and my body
Aligned to Mary Magdalene and Ma Dark Vastness.
Note: Ma Dark Vastness is “my” name for the dark ground of all being
which Mary Magdalene calls Sophia.