Avalon, The Island of Apples

by AynCates on August 24, 2016

in Media

FullSizeRender26The symbolism behind the golden apple is profound and can be found in all mythologies. In Greek mythology, the eleventh labor of Herakles is to find the Gardens of the Hesperides and take a golden apple from a tree protected by a dragon. In Norse mythologies the golden apples keep the gods young. Judeo-Christian mystics say that the earth looks like an apple when viewed by angels. We all know the story of the serpent tempting Eve with the apple. In Chinese mythology we find similar tales, only golden apples are replaced with peaches of immortality.

In ancient times, Glastonbury was called the Isle of Avalon, or Ynys Afallach in Welsh (meaning the Island of Apples) and the fruit grew on the green slopes of Avalon in great abundance. Avalon was surrounded by marshland and mist, and was the home of Lady of the Lake. There are several reports of visitors to Avalon being offered a golden apple. The apples would link the taster to their innate wisdom. After eating it the visitor’s clairvoyant sight would open and they would perceive the astral plane and know they stood on the back of a dragon. This new perception would change their life forever, for they would have full knowledge of all of their lives (past, present and future) and be connected to cosmic intelligence.

In Arthurian myth the Holy Grail was hidden in or near the Chalice Well, near the Avalon orchards. There were regular apple trees and golden apple trees growing in Avalon. They all looked the same with normal sight, but once clairvoyance was opened in a person, they could perceive the difference between regular and magical apples. Seekers could place golden apples in the Grail cup, which would melt them, and then drink the resulting elixir. The promise was that a sip from the cup could bring wholeness, wisdom and immortality. In other words, the initiate would become God/Goddess-Realized.

IMG_9085 (1)A Story of Becoming came to me while I was resting by an apple tree in the Chalice Well Gardens. Perhaps it was a golden apple tree that I slept beneath, because she offered me a beautiful gift to share with the world. I believe she is a wishing tree, because I return to her each year I am able and thank her for all the wisdom and blessings that have been bestowed upon me.

Except from A Story of Becoming: “If you ever find yourself at the base of the miracle tree say, ‘Thank you,’ aloud, for she likes those words. Then give gratitude to the sun, the moon, the water, the soil, all the stars and to the wind. If you lay down under her branches, a dream might visit you with whispers from otherworldly places, where trees speak with silver faces. And if you are very lucky, a golden apple might roll off the highest branches that have been kissed every morning by the sun and the chorus of birds…”



Legends of the Grail is off to press!

by AynCates on August 22, 2016

in Uncategorized

5316cd452dd505427a97fdb9What a wonderful feeling! I have just handed in 469 typed pages to my editor who will then pass the book on to the designer. Legends of the Grail is scheduled to launch in early January 2017. I first began walking the sacred sites of Britain and Ireland in 1986. That was thirty years ago, and so this book has been a long time in the making. I am so excited to share these stories of Celtic Goddesses and those they love with you.

Newgrange and the Sidhe

9f284137048e484fbf35f709f5f06948Early this year we visited Newgrange (Irish: Sí an Bhrú) a 5,000 year old prehistoric monument just north of Dublin. It is referred to as a passage tomb, a burial site for ancient kings and heroes. As a mythologist I like to read what academics and scientists say about a place, but I also like to feel a place. The landscape is alive and the history is written in stones and the energetic patterns of those who have walked that way before. I have never felt Ireland as alive with mystery and magic as it is now. Perhaps the ancient wise ones known as the Sidhe know that humanity is in trouble, because their messages are being whispered more loudly than ever before.

My friend Amber and I happened to be the last two people to leave the central chamber of Newgrange on that blustery February afternoon. It was quiet, so I asked the tour guide if she minded if I just “tuned in” to the energy of the place. She smiled and said that many people had ideas about Newgrange, but she was open and willing to let us play. The energy changed just then and Amber began to spin as if dancing with the ancient ones who were allowing themselves to be known. When you “tune in” to a place you use your own guidance like radio waves and shift frequencies until you find the channel you are looking for. I wasn’t sure what it would be, but my attention was drawn to the etching of spirals on the stones. The ancient symbols acted as keys to the dimension I was seeking and I could feel my own auric field responding. I did not see anyone, but I felt a presence that was powerful enough to push my body. I realized I was being given a type of chiropractic adjustment and went with it, shifting my hips and stretching in response. I smiled at the tour guide who was beaming and said, “They can be very welcoming.”

The Sidhe were with us, as loving presences. They are very alive, very quiet and also concerned about the earth. For a moment I could feel the cells in my body being filled with light and then a spinning disk around my entire form. I wondered if we were getting ready to enter a different time, space and dimension. For a moment I felt that this could be the time when I would make the shift from 3rd or 4th dimension to 5th dimensional reality or beyond. As if in response the energy calmed. Perhaps – like starting a car that has been sitting in a garage for a long time – I just needed to have my battery recharged. I felt good. Amber was still spinning and the tour guide was smiling.

I could hear my husband yelling that the last bus back to town was leaving. I thanked the tour guide and the spirits of the place, then took Amber’s arm and skipped back down to the bus. We were giggling like little girls, delighted in the play of the universe.

This earth is such a magnificent place. If we just take a bit of time to understand her we could create a new earth, one of harmony and peace more like the 3,000 year reign of the wise Tuatha De Dannan. They have a lot to teach us. We are at a pivotal time right now. Are we going to continue to choose war, violence, domination, destruction and disease? Or are we going to collectively make a shift toward peace, harmony, abundance and healing? It’s really our choice. We can said, “Enough is enough!” and allow the ancient ones to show us how to step into a new reality that is aligned with light, abundance and live into a new world.

Healing with Fire

c76740ec47a54a1380b011d40d3ccdcbIt is time to make friends with the fire. On the west coast from Canada to Mexico fires are burning. Looking out of my window I can see smoke from the Rey Fire that is currently burning 19,000 acres. We wonder if our place will burn again and feel the sorrow of people who have lost their homes and loved ones. It is time to heal with fire. After our home was destroyed by the Jesusita fire, we travelled for a while. Friends looked after our animals, hotels offered us rooms and we just wandered for about eighteen months. I was used to having a home and a routine, but life was demanding something different of us. I had terrible asthma which would send me to the emergency room. I spent nights in a hot shower just trying to keep breathing and suffered from periodic blindness. But I stayed curious. I know we are eternal beings, so despite the health and financial issues I just stayed interested in what was happening. Luckily my husband is a mystic yogi, so we meditated, practiced inquiry and yoga. We stayed centered and aligned with the light even during a disaster. Sometimes I would worry about never recovering from the fire, but it didn’t help. There were days when all I wanted to do was run away as far as I could, but there wasn’t really any place to go. The practice was and continues to be to stay with life. Healing takes place when we stay in the present moment.

The truth is that so many trees have died because of the drought that the forests need to burn. The earth heals herself this way, and we can see it as a way she has of smudging herself to clear off the negative energies so new life can emerge. We can help by understanding that the fires are healing, and we can assist the earth when we engage in prayers and rituals that help clear the old structures that no longer serve us.

I decided the best way to heal my relationship with fire was to do a fire walk, so I went to New Mexico and prepared to walk on fire. I meditated by the flames and released my old life into the glowing embers. You have to enter an altered state of consciousness to walk on fire, otherwise you can burn yourself. It isn’t an activity to try for fun, it is something you do with a shaman. My husband and I prepared and walked with Chris Griscom, who holds an amazing light for planet earth.

When I was ready I walked across the glowing embers, which felt like popcorn beneath my feet. My heart was pounding and my mind couldn’t believe what I was doing. But I didn’t disassociate. I didn’t check out. I held hands with my husband and we walked through holding hands, thanking the fire for showing us the way to liberation. Then we walked a third time, laughing and skipping.

You see, nature doesn’t care about banking systems, mortgages, insurance payments, food storage places, jobs or school schedules. Those are all man made structures, and they mostly keep us enslaved to a false sense of time. When you release all of those things to a fire, then the mysteries begin to open up. People might think you have gone insane, but it might be that you actually find sanity in an insane world.

Those structures that no longer serve us need to go. And we can let them go without feeling frightened. First we need to learn to “tune in” and find our inner guidance. We need to practice and learn to trust the messages we are receiving. It isn’t that easy at first because the ego/personality will send messages as well as the Higher or Essential Self. Usually the guidance from the ego/personality is critical and based on survival. It isn’t necessarily bad because we need to live safely in a body. The issue is that this level of guidance tends to keep us fearful, ready to fight or run, and basically enslaved.

Guidance from our Essential Self is aligned with the part of us that is eternal. We have not yet started operating out of this place on a collective level. For five thousand years or so only mystics and poets have had access to these places. We have needed to learn and evolve like little children and so we have bumped around and messed up our playground. But now it is time to grow up and take responsibility for the messes we have created and learn to live in alignment with a greater intelligence. The days of the individual fighting for their own sovereignty and freedom have come to an end. Now we need to open our hearts to all sentient beings and the pulse of the earth herself. We need to realize that the landscape is alive and that there are beautiful cosmic intelligences that want to help us collectively live and thrive.

We need to change. I remember being in the early stages of childbirth thinking that I’d rather not do it. But it was too late. The contractions were coming, the baby was coming and my consciousness was altering whether I liked it or not. I chose to stand up and give birth to my son on my feet without drugs or much assistance. I wanted to listen to my inner guidance and how my son needed to come into this world. I stood up and said yes to birth, to new life. My son is now sixteen, and attuned to nature is a way that is admirable. He is sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of others. Men and women who have the Goddess awake in them are beautiful people.

So I encourage all people on the west coast to smudge with Mother Earth. In Irish Mythology the Mother Goddess is known as Danu. She is a living presence that is aligned with us still. She is loving, patient and compassionate. An even more ancient deity is known as the Cailleach. The picture at the top of the page is of me emerging from her passage womb/tomb in Ireland. The Christian version is Mother Mary. Most of us know her as the Greek Goddess Gaia. Shake off the age of materialism, and get with the story. The earth is alive and if we want to live and thrive, we need to embrace her. Light a candle in her honor today. Send prayers and blessings her way. Bow to the light of the sun. It is time to collectively welcome in the new world.


Review by Sherri Rosen

November 25, 2015 Uncategorized

Review by Sherri Rosen of “A Story Of Becoming” by Ayn Cates Sullivan I’ve read and reread this book many times. Each time I read I receive another gift. The book is for children and adults. The artist, Belle Crow Du Cray, brings each page alive with her illustrations. The messages in the book are […]

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Living Into The Feminine

July 28, 2014 Uncategorized

Hi Imagine that you are in a great forest. It is a magical and safe place in which you immediately feel nourished. It seems that every breath fills you with more life. Every movement causes the branches of the trees and leaves to respond to you. Perhaps you even hear the subtle melody that issues […]

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The World Would Be Bereft Without You

June 28, 2014 Uncategorized

Once we experience what it is to melt into the absolute bliss of being, our next job is to return and share this wisdom with others. After we empty ourselves of stories that no longer serve us, it becomes crystal clear that each one of carries a unique light and that the world would be […]

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Dreaming The Impossible Dream

May 1, 2014 Uncategorized

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The Wise Ladies Of The Lake

March 23, 2014 Uncategorized

Hi, It is Spring and time to honor and celebrate the Goddess. I am surfacing from a two month vigil with feminine archetypes, not so much because I choose to as because it was simply biologically time to turn within and listen. I have been going through menopause, which some women pass through without notice. […]

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Three Days In The Light

March 23, 2014 Uncategorized

Hi ,       When we lived in more mystical times, humankind knew to honor the feminine principle by honoring the earth and water. We went into nature and communed with wells, springs and rivers. Women knew that unless they communed with wells that the world would become a spiritual wasteland.       I […]

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Invocation for World Peace

December 18, 2013 Spiritual Inspiration

During this time of increased light on the planet we need practices that protect us and anchor us in loving awareness. When used correctly, prayer and ritual can melt our suffering, increase consciousness and invite in bliss. The Archangels wish to guard and protect us.They will answer our requests when we choose to call upon […]

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New review of Sparkle & The Light

December 3, 2013 Media

New review of Sparkle & The Light in Whole Life Magazine on page 30:

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