Saturday, October 11, 2008

Arianrhod A Journey to Spiral Castle (review)

Arianrhod A Journey to Spiral Castle
By Levannah Morgan (review)

obtainable from Levannah Morgan (Arianrhod), PO Box 314, Exeter EX4 6YR. It costs £3.95, including UK postage; cheques should be made payable to "J. Higginbottom".

This booklet explores the complex evolution of the Welsh goddess Arianrhod, from the earliest references to her in Welsh literature through to modern visions of her as a powerful stellar goddess of inspiration and magick. It traces the author's own experiential journey as a priestess of Arianrhod and suggests some ways of working with this goddess."

I’ve heard Levannah Morgan speak on a number of occasions, and I’ve always enjoyed what she had to say, how she said it and by and large have come away enriched by the experience.

She has also, in my eyes been one of the few woman whom I have heard talk of the Goddess forms in experiential, no holds barred, and dare I say I ‘real’ terms, and I’ve a lot of respect for what she has to say.

Thus I was more than willing to read and review this booklet, at that point sight unseen and subject relatively unknown.

A section of one of my bookcase holds some of my most valued magical literature. Not a hard cover amongst them, they are all magazines or all self-published booklets, oft printed in small numbers but containing more information that many of my glossy and expensive tomes do.

Bearing the above in mind it is really no surprise I find it as easy to write a review for ‘Arianrhod- A Journey to Spiral Castle’ as I would for a more traditionally formatted book.

‘Arianrhod’ is a great booklet; it is nicely written and in a relatively few pages (which includes a bibliography and all online sources used) she explores the roots of the Welsh Goddess Arianrhod in historical terms, as well as looking at the process in which Robert Graves fleshed out a very rudimentary amount of information to animate the Arianrhod who became so well known amongst the contemporary Pagan community.

Then Levannah goes back to source, so to speak, and presents her own research, and historical and experientially realised interpretations and perceptions of Arianrhod.

This results in an easy to read balance of the proverbial art and science that could be seen as being the backbone of true magic.

I think this booklet will be enjoyed and appreciated by practitioners of many diverse paths as well as being appreciated in general by those of both an academic and a creative bent.

‘Arianrhod- The Spiral Castle’ is of interest not just for the process, both academic and creative, of giving life, substance and character to a god/dess form but also for Levannah’s relating of more personal aspects of her journey, which creates an accessibility that endears the reader further.

Her suggested practical work is well done too; written in intensely ocular and evocative language, the visualisation is near automatic as one reads the text.

Call me a shallow, but aesthetics are of great importance to me, and the pleasing presentation only adds to something that at three pounds is more than a bargain.

Julian Vayne (author of Now That's What I Call Chaos Magick) writes:
So we all know Arianrhod right? Goddess of the Silver Wheel and Spiral Castle. Sister (or reflection) of Ariadne, the spider queen; haughty lady of the strange legend of Llew Llaw Gyffes and Blodeuwedd. Well yes and no. These things are part of the story but the tale of Arianrhod is much subtler as Levannah Morgan shows. This slim, well-produced volume traces the evolution (or creation) of this goddess from the earliest Welsh legends into contemporary paganism and directly into Levannah’s own story. As a Welsh speaker Levannah is able to shed light on the first traces of the goddess in both text and the Welsh landscape. She shows how the modern perception of her myth was woven according to the ‘poetic truth’ of Robert Graves and later stitched into the fabric of twentieth century Wicca. But this book is far from a hatchet job on an esteemed member of the modern pagan pantheon. Instead Levannah demonstrates how the goddess herself has been woven, and celebrates the creativity of this process. Levannah provides some evocative glimpses into how she has contributed to this divine fabric herself through her work in 1970s goddess feminism, witchcraft and the Fellowship of Isis. An excellent marriage of well researched cold hard facts and poetic, inspired magick, this book is a essential reading for anyone who wishes to walk the spiral road to the castle of the Otherworld. Highly Recommended.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to find a place to purchase this. Can you please tell me where I can buy a copy?
Thank you

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Lilly
I spoke to Levannah but she doesn't want me to post her email on the internet (too much spam) - orders have to go via the address given - but i will contact you privately to forward an email in case you need paypal or something... mogg

2:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today is 10.11.07 . . . one year exactly since you posted this blog. I found it on an intentional search for more Arianrhod information. One more example of synchronicity in my life. I'm in the USA, what is the best way to purchase this booklet.


3:01 AM  
Blogger Mogg Morgan said...

Dear Dru

You will probably need to get that direct from the author - think the emai, address is there but i will ask her to contact you with details.


3:41 AM  

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