The Sisters of the Silver Branch is a women’s Neo-pagan study and ritual group that meets in the Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. area. We help each other find her own best path to the Divine by combining scholarly book discussions, ritual creation, guided and semi-guided meditation work and the arts. We honor all aspects and manifestations of the Divine and are not exclusively Goddess-oriented.
Sisters of the Silver Branch was founded in January, 1995 by Doreen Taylor and Susan Reed. If, after having read our site thoroughly, you are interested in joining us, please read our introduction for prospective members and membership policy and then e-mail Susan using the feedback form.
New as of 30 June 2009
We have added new book reviews to our recommended reading section.
The Silver Branch
… Bran mac Febal, who while sitting in his hall with all his followers around him, saw a beautiful woman enter, carrying a silver branch. With this she summons him forth to visit the Otherworldly Land of Women, an invitation which sent him forth on an adventure which resulted in many different kinds of revelation.
In various Irish textual sources, the Silver Branch was a symbol of the poet or bard as well as being a symbol of entry into the Otherworld, a sort of passport. As key to the Land of Women, it is associated with the Queen of the Otherworld or her ladies.
A variant of the Silver Branch is the Silver Branch which bears golden (or silver) apples, and as such connects it with Ynys Afallon (the Island of Avalon) which is “ruled” over by nine women. Avalon may be considered a British equivalent of Tir-na-Bhean, the Irish “Land of Women,” as well as of Emain Ablach. In the Immrana of Bran mac Febal, the Lady who summons him says she is bearing a branch of the apple trees of Emain Ablach.
Yet another variant is a tree that bears blossoms, fruit, and nuts simultaneously. In all cases, the branch is a symbol of those who pass (or seek to pass) between Worlds and to seek it’s inspiration and connection to the Divine.