Text provided by Avalonia.co.uk
Avalonia.co.uk was founded by the author and priestess Sorita d’Este in 1997 as a resource for everyone interested in the magickal, with a particular emphasis on subjects related to the Wiccan Tradition. In the ten years since first going online the website has grown and undergone many changes and today there are around 200 pages of information available on subjects ranging from Astral Projection, Ceremonial Magick, Crystals, Heka (Egyptian Magick) through to the Gods and Goddesses of the ancient Celts, Greeks, Romans and Egyptians and their mythologies. Avalonia has featured as a recommended resource in both press and other media coverage of Witchcraft and Wicca in the UK over the years, including The Guardian, The Times, Time Out, BBC (Radio & TV) and Channel IV to name but a few.
The website was named after the mythical island of “Avalon” which many today believe to be Glastonbury, Somerset, a small town with a plethora of new age, pagan and crystal shops in its high street, overlooked by the mystical “Tor” with the healing waters of the “Chalice Well” and gardens at its base. Some people actually refer to Glastonbury as “Avalon” in the belief that it was the final resting place of the legendary King Arthur after a grave, which supposedly bore the inscription “Here Lies Arthur, King” was found there in the late 12th century. A reference to Arthur’s final burial place at Avalon can be found in the Mabinogion:
“…After witnessing the destruction of his army in that fatal conflict, Arthur, finding himself mortally wounded, delivered his sword to Caliburn one of his knights, with a request that he would cast it into a certain lake. The knight, thus commissioned, proceeded to the appointed spot, and, standing upon the bank, flung the sword forward with all his might. As it was descending, a hand and arm came out of the lake, and seizing it by the hilt brandished it three times, and disappeared with it in the water. Arthur was afterwards conducted by the Knight to the border of the lake, where he found a little bark moored, in which were Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, and Morgan le Fay, and other ladies, who carried him off to the Island of Avalon, in Fairy-laud, where it was affirmed that he was healed of his wounds, and continued to live in all the splendour of that luxurious country, waiting for the time when he should return once more to take possession of his ancient dominions..”
(Lady Charlotte Guest, 1877)
In fact the grave which was supposedly found at the Abbey in Glastonbury has long been shown to have been an extensive hoax which was intended to encourage pilgrims and raise funds. All the same, today the town is a haven for spiritual seekers of all traditions and paths. Here the enduring legends of Avalon, Morgan Le Fay, Viviane of the Lake and King Arthur lives on, as it does in the many places in the UK and Europe which has been suggested as the “real” Avalon over the years!
Since 2000, Sorita and her partner, the author David Rankine, have also been facilitating a number of events through Avalonia. These have included everything from a very successful pub moot (London, 2001-2004) and the Lapis Companions Open Circle (London, 2003-2006); to a number of picnics in the park, social events and workshops. These events in turn have launched many friendships and successful partnerships over the years! Since swapping their London home for the green rolling hills of the Brecon Beacons in Wales in the summer of 2006 they were unable to continue facilitating the public events in London, but still support serious seekers through the various groups they help facilitate. Information on these can be found at www.avalonia.co.uk/covens_groups
Likewise Avalonia has hosted a lively and intelligent online community for many years, and continues to do so today. Here you will find people from a assortment of magickal and spiritual backgrounds, many levels of experience and from all parts of the world. For more information on the Community Discussion Forums visit: www.avalonia.co.uk/forums. It is an ideal place to network with other likeminded people, whilst exchanging ideas on an extensive variety of subjects.
In early 2001 the “Free 101 Wicca Lessons” was made available on Avalonia, through popular demand for more in depth material Sorita and David embarked on writing a Wicca Homestudy course based on the training program they used within their own Coven at the time. Today introductory correspondence courses on both the Wiccan Tradition and The Tree of Life (Qabalah) are available to students from around the world who wishes to undertake structured training in these subjects. The courses are offered with full support from a mentor and at the lowest possible cost to students. More information on Avalonia Homestudy Courses visit: www.avalonia.co.uk/homestudy.
The section on Wicca remains one of the most popular on Avalonia and is visited by thousands of people every month. Probably not a surprise when considering that one of the reasons the website came into being was to make accurate information available on the tradition, which Sorita and David describe as: “an experiential spiritual system of magick and ceremony that works with the divine as both Goddess and God, and emphasises growth through balance and discipline. This balance, be it of light and dark, feminine and masculine, or active and passive, acts as a dynamic tension to create harmony and enable the individual to progress in their development through understanding their relationship with themselves and the world around them…” in their book “Circle of Fire”. Some articles from this section, such as “Finding a Coven” and “Self-Dedication” has been reproduced dozens of times on other websites over the years, but as articles on Avalonia are revised and updated on a regular basis you will find the latest version in the “Wiccan Tradition” section, so its worth a visit if you enjoyed these articles elsewhere.
Amongst the many pages of information on Avalonia the visitor will also find information on many of the books written by Sorita and David, including extracts from “The Guises of the Morrígan”; “Artemis – Virgin Goddess of the Sun & Moon”; “Climbing the Tree of Life” and “The Isles of the Many Gods” to name but a few. For the very curious you will also find a full listing of their books, as well as books they have contributed to over the years by looking at their biographies. Copies of some of these titles are available through the “Avalonia Bookshop” which can be found at www.avalonia.co.uk/shop
Monthly newsletters, with news and reviews, are available free to subscribers and sent out on a more or less monthly basis. Information on events and new books are also included. If you would like to receive the Avalonia newsletter you will find subscription information at www.avalonia.co.uk/newsletter
Amongst the many resources available on Avalonia you will also find interviews with a number of well known authors, including Kate West, Kala Trobe, Janet Farrar, Stephen Skinner and the lovely Christopher Penczak. Additionally there is also a growing “Book Review” section with books covering a wide range of magickal and spiritual related books every month. The reviewers are all magickal practitioners and they are encouraged to express their opinions and experiences of the books they review with unequivocal honesty.
In 2005 Sorita also launched her own small publishing company, which not surprisingly she named “Avalonia Books”. More information on current titles available from Avalonia, forthcoming titles, as well as submission guidelines for budding authors, can be found at www.avaloniabooks.co.uk
Spirituality and Magick are intertwined, life is a mystery and all of life a ceremony to enjoy and cherish everyday. There is no one “right” path and the diversity on Avalonia.co.uk reflects this vision, there are many paths through the labyrinth and it is up to each of us to find our own way(s) through the mysteries.