On the Mysteries of Avalon – my Pilgrimage to Glastonbury – on Dancing with Druids, Waking-up in the Middle of a Pagan Ritual and a Tribute to My English Family.
In the South West of England, after a long journey across the British Isles,
you may find yourself arriving at Glastonbury, an area in ancient times known simply as
~ Avalon – the Isle of Glass ~
A holy place.
Not only has the Glastonbury Tor – a huge hill standing proudly amidst the Somerset Levels – been a pilgrimage site for thousands of years, but it’s also known as the heart chakra of the world – the very centre of love on our earth. Among its brothers stand – Mount Kailas, Tibet – the Great Pyramid and Sphinx, Egypt – Ayer’s Rock, Australia – the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem – the Four Mountains of Bali – Mt. Sinai – Lake Titicaca, and many more points of geographical importance.
All these sites are sacred to various indigenous and non-indigenous peoples – have been points of pilgrimage for millennia – each govern one of the chakra points on the Earth’s ‘body’ – and are thought to be connected, like our own human bodies, by invisible but very powerful energy lines.
The Glastonbury Tor in England has been found holy by many religious peoples,
whether it be Pagan, Christian, Buddhist or non-secular.
Me and my English family take a pilgrimage here every year.
Regardless of widely accepted beliefs about this (undeniably special) place,
for me Glastonbury is somewhere to simply be – to let go of the past – the worries of the future.
Free my mind, body, my spirit.
S-I-M-P-L-Y B-E – with the ones I love most of all.
The town itself lies around the base of the hilly complex surrounding the majestic Tor. It’s a place for everybody, where the worlds of Christianity and Paganism do not clash, but coexist. The beauty of the medieval town centre, combined with the plethora of spiritual and artisan shops, along with a contingency of colourful and eccentric locals, and of course pilgrims, creates a lovely environment – to wander, muse and discover…
But the real treasures of Glastonbury are its holy sites.
Take yourself first to the Chalice Gardens, which lie at the base of the Chalice hill.
As the feet of the Chalice hill and the Glastonbury Tor meet, two springs come rushing out of the earth – one red, one white.
These springs are seen as the blood and spirit of Christ by Glastonbury’s many Christian visitors.
To the Pagans they represent the masculine and feminine – blood and semen.
To me they represent the Waters of Life. White of spirit and red of heart.
The two main driving forces in my life.
These World Peace Gardens are the perfect place to stop, pray, and connect with the beautiful nature around you. Reflect on your life, your journey – drink and heal in the quickly running waters.
Me and my family each walked through the waters of the sacred spring in turn…
Afterwards I stuck my head into one of the main waterfalls on the site – the freezing(!) waters gushing over my whole head, invigorating my body.
The feeling of life awakening my every sense.
The White Spring lies across the way from the gardens, kept in an old reservoir built around natural springs at the base of the mountain, which nowadays acts as a temple – a dark hall, with candles, running water and rock pools – a place to worship these special waters of life. I had the pleasure of singing in the temple with my brothers last time I entered.
(My camera went totally bonkers when I tried to take a couple of pictures inside the temple! Firing off all over the place, turning itself on and off. The spirit of the mountain was clearly pissed…)
Last time I climbed up the Tor with my family we all got caught in a sudden rain storm, that swept across the Somerset Levels and up over the Tor. As the wind howled all around violently we took shelter in the ruined church tower at the top… not before I took a moment to catch a little breeze…
The power of the wind was phenomenal. A moment I’ll never forget.
One year I decided to sleep up on top of the Tor in nothing but a sleeping bag. I bedded down inside the ruined church tower, once the sun had set and everybody had left the site.
Suddenly I woke up to a strange sound. It was still dark, and I couldn’t really see, but I could hear a very loud crashing sound moving somewhere around me.
As my eyes eventually adjusted I could see a man in a long cloak running round the church tower with a huge gong, bashing it loudly as he went.
There were other people too, following him round – with other instruments, crystals, feathers, odd clothing – one of them even had a dead falcon!
As the sun started to slowly rise, they began chanting and dancing on the spot all together.
…so I got out of my sleeping bag, left the safety of the church tower and began to watch them, still from afar.
Next, one of them is enthusiastically ushering me over to join… so I did.
Before I knew it I too was bouncing around on the spot, chanting along with them, as the sun rose higher and higher in the misty sky.
The view was incredible, as the sun rose up majestically through the Mists of Avalon, lighting up the whole world around us.
So, yes, I may be a Christian, but that doesn’t mean I won’t dance with druids from time to time!
Anything is possible in this life.
Take yourself on a journey to the ancient isle of Avalon.
Free your mind.
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