Less than 3 hours drive from London lies an ‘otherworld’. Glastonbury, the fabled Isle of Avalon, is a truly magical place and has long been considered 'the Holiest Earthe in England.' This is the setting for Marion Zimmer Bradley’s trilogy “The Mists of Avalon”.
As you approach the town the first thing you see is the dramatic outline of the Tor rising dramatically from the surrounding flatness of the Somerset Levels. This natural hill, surmounted by St. Michael’s tower has been a beacon of spirituality since Pagan times and still acts as a magnet for people of all beliefs. The stories and legends bring the place to life as well as the powerful energy and atmosphere of this sacred site. Terracing around the hill forms a spiral walkway to the top that many see as a pilrimage labyrith. The Tor is traditionally home to Gwyn Ap Nudd, Lord of the Underworld, those who venture to this otherworld are welcomed as honoured guests but beware, if you eat the food offered each day there will be seven years of our time and your life will soon be lost.
The White Spring rises from beneath the Tor, water that is high in calcite and seen as embodying 'masculine' or yang energy, a complement to the waters of Chalice Well just paces away. The Mary & Michael earth energy currents weave the most remarkable intertwining paths as they head up to the top of the hill where a 'point of potential' is created between them. An energetic node point of the Michael and Mary energy currents exists on a side slope of the hill.
The views from the top of the Tor are spectacular; on a good day you can see the south coast of Wales some forty miles distant, and Cadbury Castle (King Arthur’s Camelot) is visible just twenty miles away. You can see easily how this was an isle before the waters receded and often a visit up the Tor around dusk allows you to see the mists of Avalon closing in around you.
At the foot of the Tor lies Chalice Well; here we have one of the true healing places in this land. Gently nestled in tranquil gardens the wellhead and its 'feminine' or yin potentised waters have a constant temperature and rate of flow every day of the year. These chalybeate waters are high in iron and stain the rocks over which they flow with a red 'rusty' coating. Many people believe this is primary water that has been created deep within the Earth and is rising to the surface for the first time. This water, that is freely available to you, has healing properties and is used by many.
The trust that cares so lovingly for this World Peace Garden recognises the traditional seasonal festivals of these lands and honors all traditions through its 'Many Paths, One Source' philosophy. Across the road is the White Spring with it's very different but equally beneficial waters. Using both waters, this is a place to do some healing and bring our male and female aspects into balance.
Just outside of town sits Wearyall Hill, the site of a quay or dock at which international travellers would arrive before the waters receeded over a thousand years ago. Until a thousand years ago this was a major port and trading centre. If Jesus’s feet did walk upon England’s pastures green (as William Blake's anthem 'Jerusalem' implies) then it was almost certainly here that he first arrived with his uncle Joseph of Arimathea and where, until recently vandalized, the Holy Thorn tree marked the spot. It looks like a sleeping dragon in the landscape - that sometimes has smoke coming from its mouth!
In town Glastonbury Abbey, once the largest and most powerful abbey in all of England, now stands in an atmospheric ruined state since Henry VIII ransacked it in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Abbeys, when every one of England's six hundred abbeys were disbanded and the Church of England took over from the Catholic Church.
Founded by Joseph of Arimathea as the first Christian church in Britain it was originally a wattle and daub (wooden lathes and mud) round building surrounded by twelve satellite huts. The sacred geometry, called the 'New Jerusalem' pattern by John Michell, is present in its layout of the Lady Chapel and the energy still courses through the site. Powerful water still rises here in St Joseph's well. There is a node (crossing) point of the powerful Michael & Mary Earth energy currents on the High Altar before they make their way to Chalice Well and the Tor. Just off to one side of the altar there is a fascinating pattern of energy spirals in the corner of a ruined chapel. The reputed tomb of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere lies in the middle of the abbey; the casket containing their bones having been removed to a still secret location just before Henry VIII's commmissioners arrived.
Glastonbury boasts the greatest concentration of New Age shops anywhere in England - a haven for unusual gifts or that crystal you have been looking for. Many different healers and therapists offer their services and a plethora of cafes and restaurants cater for all dietary choices. If you can't find it in Glastonbury it probably doesn't exist!
by Glenn Broughton