Years ago, this is when I still went to school, I was fascinated by all the legends and stories surrounding Avalon, King Arthur, Lady Morgana, Merlin, the “Holy Grail“; devouring books like “The Mists of Avalon“ by Marion Zimmer Bradley or “The Seapriestess“ by Dion Fortune. And the area around Glastonbury is said to be that mystical Avalon. Walking along the main road, one can feel it could be true: some people are dressed like druids and fairies, only tourists seem to turn their heads, when they walk by. And, even to those amongst us, who are not familiar with Ley Lines and other energetic occurences, it is palpable that this is a special place, a place where strong spiritual energy is at home. Supposedly this energy is Archangel Michaels, it feels like a pleasant heaviness that you intuitively soak up by just being there.
A good place to start an exploration of mystic Glastonbury is the hill on which -according to legends- Joseph of Arimathea, a close relative of Jesus of Nazareth is said to have gone ashore. Joseph and his adventures inspired many novelists and researchers in relation to the search for the “Holy Grail“. Upon Arrival in Glastonbury, Joseph is said to have set his staff into the earth, it developed roots and leaves sprang from it. The tree that grew from it is named “Glastonbury Thorn“, and unfortunately was hacked apart only a few years ago. Nevertheless pilgrims continue to come to this holy tree, as they did ever since its existence, tying pieces of cloth to the remaining branches and saying their prayers. Thanks to the many offshoots this tree made, one can still discover some of its descendants in town, but the original tree stands on a hill in one line with the Glastonbury Tor.
After visiting the tree, it is time to have a look at Glastonbury Abbey in downtown Glastonbury. The abbey is shrouded in legends. Famous King Arthurs tomb is said to be here and it once was the largest and oldest monastery in Europe- that is until the dissolution of monastries under King Henry XIII. Up to today, healers, clairvoyants and -sentients sense the pain that must have taken place here, when thousands of monks were executed- but also the infinite energy that emanates from this sacred place, where people have prayed for thousands of years- even before the birth of Christ. The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey give us a glimpse on how impressive this large complex once must have been, more than 10000 monks and nuns lived here before they were dispersed. Located next to the Abbey, is one of the main roads of Glastonbury, full of cafes and all sorts of shops that make the esoteric heart beat a little faster. Clairvoyants and fortunetellers offer their services, one crystal- and bookshop follows the other, comparable to Sedona in Arizona, only in rainy and green England. Time for a break before heading to the next site to see: Glastonbury Tor.
The trail to Glastonbury Tor, starts at the junction next to “Challice Well Gardens”. It is a round-trip, so if you stick to the main road (turmac), there are two springs that are said to have healing properties: a red spring on the lefthand side of the road, and opposite to it, on the right side, a white spring. Behind the white spring is a room, where druids created a beautiful temple. Entering this place is magical- and a “must do” in case the doors are open. The room is lit by candlelight, has lovingly decorated altars, and the rustling flow of healing water splashing happily into a large pool lets you dive into a different world. Legend says, Joseph of Arimathea buried the Holy Grail here, after which the source sprang, other stories report he washed the Grail in the source water and this changed its color to red. In any case, one can taste that the red water is very ferrous. Photos may not be made here since it is a sacred place .
Continuing on the road, you will pass by the house of Dion Fortune, the English Mystic and Psychologist, a close friend of Carl Gustav Jung, who founded her own Mystic Order (Society of Inner Light) and wrote many books, dealing with themes like mysticism and self discovery. At the end of the road is an entrance to the pilgrimage path up Glastonbury Tor, sheep graze in the lush green fields of the hill. Climbing to the top of the Tor is worthwhile, from there, standing next to the impressive tower, you have an incredible view over the countryside and out to sea. Directly in front of you, you can see the hill with the famous Glastonbury Thorn, the Abbey is located to the right and also the Challice Wells Gardens can be seen, a place perfect to end this journey through mystical Glastonbury. Going down the other path will bring your round-trip to full closure, as it brings you back to the junction at “Challice Well Gardens”.
The Challice Well Gardens are dedicated to world peace. You wil find altars, symbols and memorial places of all religions, have the opportunity to refresh yourself with the healing waters of Challice Wells that flow through the beautiful park and enjoy the meditative atmosphere. Of course, there also is a little souvenir shop selling all sorts of spiritual books, incense, crystals and all kinds of utensils you may take back home.
Whether mystic, spiritual, religious or simply just a fan of England – Glastonbury is definitely worth a trip. And for those coming from London: take the A303- this road leads to Glastonbury via Stonehenge. At summer solstice, druids gather from all over England to hold their ceremonies here. And those that are enthusiastic about music, can connect their trip with a visit to the famous Glastonbury Festival, the “Woodstock of England” which takes place once a year, but even without these highlights Glastonbury has a lot to offer.
In case you need a guide or would like to know more about mystical Glastonbury, contact Sabrina Dearborn or get in touch with me.