Welcome to the Goddess Study Centre

The Goddess Study Centre has been set up to celebrate the return of the Goddess to human consciousness at the beginning of the 3rd millennium.

The Goddess takes many forms and is known as 'Goddess of Ten Thousand Names'. Most importantly She represents the wholeness of life, the connections between all life forms, and the legitimacy and value of all beings. Understanding and acknowledging the Goddess in our lives today enables us to build the foundation of a joyous culture for future generations.

The Goddess Study Centre is an educational resource dedicated to women’s culture. It has material on: indigenous cultures, Goddess traditions, women’s art, Feminism, issue based material, women writers, women’s history, and women’s language. If you have any books or other publications on these topics that you would like to donate to the Goddess Study Centre, then please contact me.

At the moment the Centre offers a small range of courses, day & weekend workshops,  and events.

The Hearth of  the Goddess Study Centre is dedicated to Sulis & Nemetona. It is the focus of daily devotional work, meditation, and seasonal rites. In Heide Goettner-Abendroth's book, Matriarchal Societies, the Hearth is tended by the Priestess, or by the Hearthwoman. It is the sacred centre where women meet - and for the Goddess Study Centre, it is a Creative Hearth, inspiring the Arts.

 

Situation

Ground waters rise around Silbury Hill, Wiltshire, UK.  Sheila Broun & Chesca Potter. Photo taken by Monica Sjoo.

The Goddess Study Centre is situated in the Bath area. Bath is the centre of a 40 mile radius containing major British sacred sites, including :

The only hot mineral springs in Britain – three in Bath, and Hotwells in Bristol.

A number of sacred wells, springs and rivers, too numerous to mention here, but including Chalice Well and the White Well in Glastonbury, Swallowhead Spring and the river Cunnit/Kennet in Avebury.

Sacred sites dating from the Iron Age - Uffington White Horse, Glastonbury Lake Village, the Sweet Track (oldest trackway in Britain), numerous round barrows etc.

The most complete Neolithic ritual site in Europe, comprising of Avebury Henge, Silbury Harvest Hill, East and West Kennet Long Barrows. Also from the Neolithic - Stoney Littleton Long Barrow, and Stonehenge.

About the tutor

NUIT.  Photomontage by Sheila Broun. 1972.

Sheila Broun is an Artist, Poet, and Priestess of the British Goddess Sulis. 

I have a MA in Communication Studies (Sheffield, UK) and have taught Art & Symbolism since 1975, and Goddess & Sacred Landscape since 1987,  in Further, Higher, and Community Education.

A visionary artist and writer, I create work about my experiences of the Goddess and the Wheel of the Year. My artwork is published in the We'Moon Diaries and Anthology. 

Now living in Bath, UK, I have reached the point of stripping back all traditions and work directly with the land, relating very closely to trees, to the turn of the seasons, elemental forces and weather. My aim is to re-connect to the healing power of Nature, and to participate in re-building the foundations of a joyous culture.

SAMHAIN

Known as Summer's End or Winter's Eve, Samhain is a time of endings and new beginnings. Fruits and leaves fall and compost down, exposing the seeds of next year's cycle and harvest. At this time of year we are closest to death, and traditionally this is the time when we honour our Ancestresses and Ancestors. We can clean their graves, and adorn them with food, flowers, and photos - keeping a night vigil. Alternatively we can create a similar shrine in our home, lighting candles and taking quiet space to meditate - to meet up with them in vision. This is a very special time of year when we can have the joy of making contact with them again.

Wheel of the Year

SAMHAIN – marks the beginning of winter and the Native British New Year. A time of death for rebirth – the fruit has decayed and the seed is left, holding the pattern of next year’s cycle.

WINTER SOLSTICE – celebrates the turning point of the sun at midwinter. From this time the light increases. Frost spreads across the land, and everything is strengthened through rest.

IMBOLC – here are the first stirrings of life. Shoots of the first flowers come through the earth. Daylight has increased, the early lambs are born, and the dawn chorus begins once more.

SPRING EQUINOX – day and night are of equal length. A time to celebrate the beauty of dawn. The earth is awake and seeds germinate and burst into life. The mating season begins.

BELTANE – marks the beginning of summer. This is the merry month of May when everything blossoms. It is a time of fertility and rapid growth.

SUMMER SOLSTICE – a time of maximum light and the longest day of the year. A time to enjoy golden summer days. From this time onwards the light decreases.

LAMMAS – first fruits of harvest. A time of abundance and celebration. A time of giving thanks to the earth for our food, and of working together.

AUTUMN EQUINOX – day and night are of equal length again. The harvest is finally gathered in with thanksgiving. A time to celebrate the beauty of dusk. 

Sacred Sites from Prehistory

Since 1996 I have been working with Bath as the centre of the wheel, focussing on the Goddess Sulis in Her animist forms. In vision I have seen these as a bear, white horse, red deer, owl and snake. In Bath She appears as the Healing Bear, and the Little Owl. which mirror the Great Bear and Owl Nebula within our Galaxy.

Sulis & Nemetona

The Goddess Sulis has been revered in Bath since time immemorial, and has many aspects. Elementally, She is both Fire and Water, and an inscription by the Roman writer, Solinus,  reads:  ‘To Sulis, Who’s Fire Never Whitens Into Ash’. By extension Sulis is also the British Sun Goddess, and in this aspect is represented by the White Horse. For interesting and extensive research on Sun Goddesses read Janet McCrickard and Patricia Monaghan.

Sulis also takes another form as Silina, the Moon Goddess, after whom the Scilly Isles and Silbury Hill are named. Silina rules water, including all the cold springs in and around Bath, and the tides. The Moon Goddess is also represented by a White Horse.

The triple form of Sulis, known as the Suleviae, were the Matron Goddesses of the hill dwelling Horse Tribes living within a 40 mile radius of Bath. In 'Warrior Women' by Jeannine Davis-Kimball, Ph.D. there is an account of present day Horse Tribes in Kazakstan, as well as an analysis of burials of their ancestresses, which provides a fascinating insight into these egalitarian, nomadic societies.

Nemetona, the Goddess of The Sacred Grove has also been revered in Bath since time immemorial. According to Patricia Monaghan She is depicted as a young Queen, crowned and veiled, with the orb and sceptre in Her hands.

Standing behind Her are The Fates. She is linked to Nemesis, who is shown holding the Wheel of Life, and the Ash Wand.

Charge of The Goddess

I am the Gracious Goddess who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of all. Upon earth I give knowledge of the Eternal Spirit; and beyond death I give peace, freedom and reunion with those who have gone before; for behold, I am the Mother of All Living, and my love is poured out upon the earth.

I, who am the beauty of the Green Earth, and the White Moon amongst the stars, and mystery of the Waters, and the desire of the heart, call unto thy soul. Arise and come unto me. For I am the Soul of Nature, who gives life to the universe. From me all things proceed, and unto me all things must return; and before my face let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the Infinite.

Let my worship be within the heart that rejoices; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. Therefore, let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you.

And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou knowest the mystery. If that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. For behold, I have been with thee from the beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

from Doreen Valiente

ORACLE

Sacred Springs of Sulis at Bath UK

'The whole body gives support to the song resounding out of the earth. Thunder and rain bring a rhythm to the circulation of consciousness. Awaken! The Muses of Inspiration are here!'

From Rowena Pattee. Moviing With Change.