“If we do not raise our arms and will the mists to rise we will stumble forever in the fog.”
I first read The Mists of Avalon, written by Sci-fi Fantasy author Marion Zimmer Bradley, close to thirty years ago. It was a Christmas gift from my sister. No doubt she saw a connection; for this is a book about sisters.
An epic narrated by women, it unravels the story of how the new Christian religion eclipsed magic in Britain. Viviane, Ingraine, and Morgause are the three sisters who birth the kingdom of Arthur. Great granddaughters of Taliesien, the Merlin of Britain, magic is in their genes. Viviane, the eldest, becomes priestess of Avalon and Lady of the Lake; while Ingraine conceives Arthur and then marries her lover, Uther Pendragon, with the magical aid of Merlin.
Ingraine, feeling her heart pounding in her breast, knew it was true, and felt confusion and despair. In spite of the fact that she had seen Uther only four times, and dreamed twice of him, she knew that they had loved each other and spoken to each other as if they had been lovers for many years, knowing all and more than all about each other, body and mind and heart. She recalled her dream, where it seemed that they had been bound for many years by a tie which, if it was not marriage, might as well have been so. Lovers, partners, priest to priestess–whatever it was called. How could she tell Gorlois that she had known Uther only in a dream, but that she had begun to think of him as the man she had loved so long ago that Ingraine herself was not yet born, was a shadow; that the essence within her was one and the same with that woman who had loved that strange man who bore the serpents on his arms in gold…How could she say this to Gorlois, who knew, and wished to know, nothing of the Mysteries? (64).