The Goddess Sovereignty
While contemplating the third fragrance for the ritual box series, I was reminded to dig into the legends and mythos found within my lineage, which contains roots in Northern England and Ireland.
In that contemplation, on June 8th of 2022, an incident occurred that rattled me to the core and had me recall the Goddess Sovereignty and the importance of being true to oneself, one's inner knowing and lies.
The concept of a goddess called Sovereignty, like most elder tales featuring a strong feminine archetype, is a bit illusive and shrouded. I first came across Sovereignty in the same landscape as the Green Knight, during the mid nineties. I was an initiate in a group practicing the path of presence with Kaitryne Durham in Los Angeles. (Read about it at the journal)
A goddess of Sovereignty is most often portrayed and known in Celtic stories but also finds parallels in other traditions. I have even perceived her as representing the symbolic union of opposites in the alchemical tradition. The thematic element of union implies the existence of a dualistic nature uniting in ritual. She is also seen as a conglomerate archetypal symbol embodied in many other goddesses and legendary queens described in the folklore and mythologies of other cultures.
During ancient Celtic times, male monarchs ruled with the support of the Sovereign Goddess. The Goddess and the land were seen as one and the same, if the king became greedy or created an unbalance in the land it would result in the loss of his kingdom. The health of the land and well being of her people is directly linked to the Goddess; she is the one who bestows rulership to the king by choosing those who are deemed most worthy as her champion.
The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle
Five years ago I heard tell the tale of The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle, the story comes from a 15th-century English poem in the Arthurian Grail Legend. I will summarize the tale here for you...
During a hunt in the Ingelwood forest King Arthur encounters a mystical knight by the name of Sir Gromer Somer Joure, who threatens his life with a challenge. The knight tells the king, that in one year's time he must return to the same spot in the forest and answer a question or risk his head being cut off. The question is this: what is it that women most desire?
Upon King Arthurs return to the castle, his nephew Sir Gawain learns of the challenge and suggests they both ride out into the kingdom to seek answers to the proposed question. Distraught, and feeling hopeless, the king heads into the Ingelwood forest for inspiration. While there he encounters a hag on a horse, who tells him that she will provide him with the answer to his query if Sir Gawain marries her. King Arthur then returns to the castle and shares the dilenma with Sir Gawain, who agrees to the marriage. Arthur once again returns to the forest, where he meets the both the mystical knight and his sister the hag. Upon hearing that Sir Gawain has accepted her terms, she reveals that what women desire most is sovereynté, the ability to make their own decisions. The story ends with the hag revealing that she has been under a spell until a good knight married her and that now her maidenhood has been restored, but for only half of a 24 hour day. She then presents Gawain with a choice, would he rather have her beauty restored in the evening or during the day? Instead of choosing one over the other, he answers by giving her the sovereynté to make the choice herself. The answer breaks the curse and her beauty returns permanently.
In this tale, we once again meet Sir Gawain, in this encounter he is obviously much wiser and mature than in the story of the Green Knight. We also witness the testing of the King by a dualistic female figure. In order for him to avoid having his head cut off, and continue as the King of the land, he must pass the test.
The Ritual Box
This box set includes:
- The Goddess Sovereignty fragrance: solid, spray or (ideally) both
- A cranberry red, lined, Cahier pocket journal, measuring 3.5 x 5.5 with a custom sticker.
- Two ounce package of wine infused bath salts.
- AND, Robin Coale, a local shaman here in Santa Fe, has agreed to honor us once more with a recorded Zoom session to meet the Goddess Sovereignty. The live session will take place on January 20, 2023 at 2pm.
I am using two images for Sovereignty, both created by Greg Spalenka. The first is an image of my hand with a rose that was created using a painting he did while we were in Austria at a Visionary Art workshop. The second is an image he created recently titled The Alchemical Egg, which felt like our journey to in-body the aspects of the Goddess Sovereignty.
Addendum: Water, Sharon Blackie & Veda Austin
Since launching the Sovereignty fragrance and ritual box I have come across more details to help us in remembering what powerful and magical creatures we are.
When I was instructed to add the packet of infused wine salts, I wasn’t completely clear on why, then different threads started to become visible. One of those threads has been the author Sharon Blackie who was recommended to me by a student and I was then able to meet at a local signing. Sharon carries forward the brilliant work started by Joseph Campbell, but focuses on the stories of powerful women. If you have not read her book If Women Rose Rooted I highly recommend it. I am currently listening to it as an audio book from my local library.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
"If women remember that once upon a time we sang with the tongues of seals and flew with the wings of swans, that we forged our own paths through the dark forest while creating a community of its many inhabitants, then we will rise up rooted, like trees."
There is also this wonderful presentation Sharon gave in Northern California->
and here is her website
Getting back to the infused wine salts, I am now seeing that the intention is to get doing more ritual with water, as part of healing the “wasteland”, bringing back the maidens of the sacred wells. I have also recently come across the work of Veda Austin in New Zealand, whose pioneering work with water is similar to Dr. Emoto from Japan -> https://www.vedaaustin.com/
Perfume photos & collages ©Roxana Villa, Hand & The Alchemical Egg ©Greg Spalenka, please respect our copyright.