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Introduction

Paganism is a title for many differing people worshipping in the Old Ways before organised religion swept across Europe; some are Druids, some are Heathens, and others are Witches or Shamans. They are nature based and mostly they worship the Goddess and the God together, but in most instances the Goddess takes precedence.  

In the Old Ways, society was matriarchal; woman was the bearer of children, the carer, and the nurturer. Naturally the Goddess became the focal point for worship.

 

People depended on the land, for crops, for building material, and for food. It was natural that they needed to pray for the abundance of the land, and natural therefore that they prayed to Mother Nature, the Mother Goddess.  The strongest animal in the land was the Stag, so again it was natural that people likened their God to it and covered the God in greenery to bring ever green throughout the year; He was the protector.  All life was dependant on Nature.

The Romans, Greeks and the Scandinavian peoples had their panoply of Gods and Goddesses with their myths and legends; here too in Britain we had our own myths and legends and therefore our own Gods and Goddesses, although the Scandinavian deities did become popular here before the Romans came.  This panoply of Goddesses and Gods are known as Celtic, or Anglo Celtic.

 

What is important to remember is that many Temples throughout the world were dedicated to the Goddess, although it is very difficult to find their remains or ruins. It is understood that Museums hold many statues to Goddesses in their archives, hidden from view, so it becomes difficult to establish worshipping Goddess and Priestess temples as a historical fact, and not a whim of feminism. 

 

Paganism uses the elements and the changing Wheel of the Year that is divided into eight parts, roughly 6 to 7 weeks apart.  They are known as the Sabbats; the Winter and Summer Solstice, the Spring and Autumn Equinox are known as the minor Sabbats and cross the year into four quarters. At the cross quarters are the major Sabbats, thus creating the eight.  This is the Wheel of the Year; it is never ending and continually turning and begins at the end of October/beginning of November each year. The Pagan new year is 1st November.

The Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of Andraste has been created by Priestesses of the East Anglia Goddess Temple, who meditated and visualised as they walked Her land to find the Goddesses and their totem animals, gifts and attributes.  

 

The Wheel is rooted in East Anglia. This area of Britannia is largely agricultural with a long coastline on the North Sea.  Fens and broads are found here as well as ancient woodlands; evidence of early settlements from 800,000 years and the magnificent Seahenge have been discovered.            

                                             

East Anglia has its own myths and legends and is rich in history, famous amongst whom is Boudicca the warrior queen who inspired an army of tribes, including her own the Iceni, who fought the Romans in Colchester, London and St. Albans in 60 AD. Her armies camped as far south as Epping and Waltham Abbey.

After she was defeated, it was believed that she took Belladonna. No one knows where her body was taken after her death.

A little bit of history

Amongst East Anglia's spiritual history, we find one of the famous and important Christian Mystics, Mother Julian(a) of Norwich, an Anchoress whose cell was built into the wall of the church of St. Julian in Norwich.  She lived from 1342 to 1416 and at the age of 30, whilst suffering a severe illness, she had a series of visions of Jesus Christ that ended when she recovered. Julian wrote about her visions in a book 'Revelations of Divine Love’, which is believed to be the earliest surviving book written by a woman in English.  

 

The small unassuming town of Hopton is on the end of the Beltane or St Michael’s Ley Line.  This ley line begins at St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall and runs through Glastonbury and Avebury to Royston in Hertfordshire, on to Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk and ending at Hopton on the Norfolk coast, which is almost the furthest town east in the country, and therefore amongst the first to welcome the new sun at Beltane.  Joined to this ley line, is the Apollo Line that runs from ancient Turkey, through ancient sites in Greece, such as Delphi and Dodona (a site of the oracle older than Delphi), through Assisi, to Lyon, and on to Mont St Michel, crossing the English Channel to St Michael’s Mount.

 

There are also historic connections to Scandinavia and the ‘North Folk’; 10,000 years ago, Britain was attached to mainland Europe where you could have walked from Essex to Scandinavia.  Therefore, some of the Goddesses on our Wheel have been chosen from Norse legends as well as from Anglo Celtic myths.

Now you have some background information, we shall begin our journey to meet the Goddesses of the Wheel of Andraste. 

Copyright © EAGT 2022

 

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