April 1st 2016
I am in Mexico this week on Isla Mujeres. I can't deny that apart from the aqua-coloured sea, it was the name of this island, Island of Women, that attracted me.
Iona in Scotland means island of the Yews, already a potent pagan invocation, but it used to be called Eilen nam Druidnach, island of the druids. When Western history looks back on any kind of priestly role, it automatically assumes the role was filled by a male person. However, the evidence is that druidesses were the keepers of the ancient wisdom: the earth itself was a symbol of fertility, as was the goddess - her supplicants were female. We are so far removed from any veneration of the female in the West (except the Virgin Mary - but, note, she is only venerable if she has been circumcised. She is not allowed her sexuality, to the point that the Catholic Church is willing to contradict scripture to assert that Mary had no other children apart from Jesus.)
I posted a tweet last week referencing the Picts' matrilineal line and the wall of male scholarship moved in - no hard evidence, they say. Except there is as much evidence for that as for many other "assumptions" made in the history books: we have surviving lists of Pictish kings that clearly do not follow the paternal line. The infamous Bede also noted in the 8th C that the Picts were matrilineal.
So I am ging to sweep away the male historians and the patriarchal glasses they look through, and assert that in no uncertain terms, it was druidesses living on the Scottish island of Iona, just as it was women living on Isla Mujeres. This latter is better documented, because the island was so named by Spanish "discoverers" (good thing these explorers discovered the "new" world, otherwise the indiginent people would never have known they were already living there(another instance of history and its patriarchal lenses.)
Isla Mujeres was given over to the worship of the goddess Ixchel. When the Spaniards walked onto its shores, they saw the monuments to this goddess and they noted the female devotees and named it Isla Mujeres. Iona in my book is the island of the druidesses until the Monks came ashore and declared it for the male population. Their Saint Columba, and I do not deviate here from the historical record, forbade any female flesh on the island, whether human or otherwise. In the third book in my series, the island is restored to the goddess and her female priests - Jung might call this a restoration to sanity. I hope this foreshadows a redress of balance for the human race as a whole. We may not have any future if it is not.