In matriarchal cultures all over the world, She was worshipped in many different festivals: the Great Goddess, creatrix of the world. The multitude of her appearances was celebrated. The new Matriarchal Mystery Festivals® are a revival of these ancient traditions of the veneration of the Goddess and of life.
In mystery festivals, the general “mysteries” or miracles of life are celebrated: birth, love, death, transformation and rebirth, and the cyclic transformation of nature who gives life to us.
In matriarchies, the cycle of the year was celebrated in big public festivals which lasted several days. In dance and ritual art the people presented their worldview and way of life. The festivals took place at important astronomical dates of the seasons: they were determined by the position of the sun, the phases of the moon, and the different appearances of vegetation. Therefore, the pattern of eight festivals, the “wheel of the year”, can be found all over the world.
In later patriarchal states and empires, the matriarchal festivals were repressed and violently destroyed. Sometimes they were celebrated in secret, or they were absorbed (for ex. Christian Mystery plays or fiestas), or they were forbidden und the priestesses persecuted (for ex. the killing of the Wise Women in Europe).
The new Matriarchal Mystery Festivals® were created since 1983 and, since 1986, they are celebrated at the Academy HAGIA. They revive the destroyed matriarchal ritual traditions of women in Europe. They connect us with the traditions of ancient and contemporary matriarchal peoples across the globe, with whom we feel an international and intercultural alliance.
Since 1983 and in co-operation with hundreds of women from the German-speaking countries, Heide Goettner-Abendroth has become the founding mother of the new Matriarchal Mystery Festivals. Based on her research work, modern Matriarchal Studies, she has re-discovered the treasure of ceremonies and symbols of matriarchal cultures.
Since 2007, Cécile Keller is guiding the Matriarchal Mystery Festivals.
In the festivals is space for happiness and laughter, for silence and meditation. The important ceremonies and symbols of matriarchal traditions are enacted with music and dance, in imaginative robes in the colors of the seasons, at beautiful places in nature. The participants can discover and develop their personal spiritual gifts.
International Academy HAGIA offers the training to become Priestess of the Matriarchal Mystery Festivals.