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Women’s Herbal Conference, Glastonbury Goddess Conference, West Kentucky Hoodoo Rootworker Heritage Festival, and other gatherings.

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By the Waters of Avalon

As you may remember from an earlier post, I have come to the Glastonbury Goddess Conference to present my workshop on Deep Grounding. It's a fun workshop and has all that stuff that modern Pagans seem to love--some learning, some technique, some meditation, some toning and some dance. Frosted with a short ritual.

Bazinga, as they say.

I checked out the space this afternoon and it is a pretty little room that doubles as a gallery in a place called the Glastonbury Experience. It's the Miracles Room.

Everything here has names like that. The Psychic Piglet and Man, Myth and Magick (both are shops in town) and Happy Glastonbury (another shop). There is a Sufi charity shop, as well as one for the Cancer Society. There's even a small Boots the Chemist.

The Opening Ceremony was this morning and was bright and lively and full of thank yous and don't-forget-tos, with lots of clapping and waving and such. The room was decorated with silk hangings from Lydia Rule and also decorated with folks adorned in their Goddess-y best.

We broke into smaller groups--as one does at this sort of thing--and I put myself into the Cave group. (The groups were sorted by different aspects of the landscape here.) I could have gone into any of the groups, really--and was tempted by Volcano, because I love them.

And then...I disappeared. There is this place here that I love so much--more than the Tor or the Chalice Wells or Wearyall Hill.  It's pictured above.

I call it the Magdalene Chapel but its proper name is something like St. Margaret's Hospital and Almshouses.  Parts of the site are 14th century or maybe earlier and the little chapel may be the holiest place I know here.

You can feel it when you walk down the tiny passageway called Magdalene Close. Modest, simple, powerful. The centuries of prayer--earnest, fearful, joyous--have built up a patina of sanctity around the place. I plan to spend part of each day there--resting, reflecting.

And praying. Yes. On my knees.

As one does.




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H. Byron Ballard is a ritualist, teacher, speaker and writer. She has taught at Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Unity Festival, Southeast Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including “Birthed from Scorched Hearts“ (Fulcrum Press), “Christmas Presence“ (Catawba Press), “Women’s Voices in Magic” (Megalithica Books), “Into the Great Below” and “Skalded Apples” (both from Asphodel Press.) Her book Staubs and Ditchwater: an Introduction to Hillfolks Hoodoo (Silver Rings Press) debuted in June 2012. Byron is currently at work on Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet. Contact her at,


  • Jamie
    Jamie Tuesday, 30 July 2013

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard Wednesday, 31 July 2013

    You're welcome.

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