I managed to get a preview of the 2009 programme and it all looks very exciting – this is the fourteenth conference and one of the things I like best is that it seems new each year; there are always fresh ideas and amazing new ceremonies but there are regular favourites too. I also enjoy meeting up with old friends and making new ones.
Having done the job, I know that the ceremonial group works all year around to bring us stunning ceremonies, and a whole team of Melissas – conference helpers - work throughout the conference week – for although the conference officially opens on Wednesday 29th July there are fringe events and ceremonies from Sunday 26th.
Currently in the second year of a nine-year cycle, the conference honours Britannia’s Wheel of the Year and this year it’s Grainné, the Sunfire Goddess, who’ll be experienced as a fiery young woman, springing forth into life and filled with courage, an inspiring image for me, and I would imagine for many of us.
There are opportunities to take part in so many events – from belly dancing to singing, preparations and cleansings for the ceremonies, circle dancing, a day spa – so much to pack into the time. And that’s only the first day! During the rest of the week there are also workshops, spiral dance, talks and presentations, a concert and, of course, ceremonies – not to mention the Firewalk on Friday evening and the famous Goddess Procession through the streets of Glastonbury to Chalice Well and then to Glastonbury Tor.
Of course, there’s a long list of fascinating contributors, including Anique Radiant Heart, Carolyn Hillyer, Julie Felix, Lady Olivia Durdin Robertson, Lydia Ruyle, Starhawk, to mention just a few of the most well-known.
Running alongside the conference, as always, are Goddess art and craft exhibitions and a marketplace. We’ll be there, selling Goddess Pages! For exhibitions this year, Thalia Brown is exhibiting her life-size paintings of Isis, Nut and Hathor and there will also be works by Foosiya (Freddie) Miller and Hannah Willis. Caroline Gully Lir will be calling in the Goddesses of the Wheel of Britannia daily in a temple adorned with her beautiful paintings.
On the Fringe are a guided walk into and out of the famous Tor Labyrinth, a Sweatlodge and a whole host of workshops, including one for teenagers (with a sleepover), plus day-long workshops covering such topics as dance, earth-based magic, awakening our fire and dealing with anger, singing and speaking out in public - not to mention the Temple Lammas Ceremony on the evening of 28th July.
For more information, go to http://www.goddessconference.com/ – don’t miss the videos on the multimedia page, they give a far better idea of the colour and wonder of the conference than any number of words can!