The Avalon of Marion Zimmer Bradley, place of King Arthurs adventures, entry to the fairy kingdom, holy wells, ruines of the Glastonbury Abbey, legends around a hawthorn bush. I am truely delighted to spend time here. It feels like a happy place to me, friendly and enchanting. I started writing this post earlier, but here I am on my last day, only now ready to share some of what I experienced in and around Glastonbury. 9 days of glorious sunshine, though quite cold for the last few days. I learnt to keep myself warm while spending most of the daytime outside walking and wandering. My base was a lovely airbnb room not far from the center of Glastonbury. Here I spent the evenings reading up on the stories around King Arthur, the history of the Abbey and mostly on ley lines in the internet. So much information to digest.
On my first day I was drawn to the remains of the Glastonbury Abbey, and the surrounding gardens. The story goes that here one of the very first Christian Churches was built by St. Joseph of Arimathea, the uncle of Jesus. The church emanated such a holyness that it attracted people from near and far. It was built from wood and was destroyed in a fire in 1184 along with the Abbey buildings. Today there are remains of the Chapel St. Mary that was built on the foundations of the old church. The holyness is still there. I saw young people sit on the bench and take their shoes off to connect to the grass, I copied them and it felt like being connected to a flow of energy, refueling on joy and wellbeing. It feels timeless, joy and wellbeing must have always bubbled up there, even before any churches were built.
I spent a few hours in the garden around the ruins of the old Abbey, walked beneath the many different kinds of trees and rested in a lovely orchard. A few days later I spent another afternoon in the garden near the ruins. In the meantime I had read about the ley lines or better maybe to call them lines of earth energy that run through the Abbey garden. These particular energy lines start in Cornwall and flow in a more or less straight line through to Hopton-on-Sea on the Norfolk coast. Dowsers have detected two distinct energies, one fairly strong and the other softer and calmer. On the current of the stronger energy line churches named after St. Michael can be found, often set on hills. On the current of the softer energy line the churches are more often dedicated to St. Mary. So the energy lines are called St. Michael and St. Mary respectively. Knowledge about this is assumed to have been around for thousands of years. In the Abbey garden the St. Michael and St. Mary line are supposed to cross each other. Starting in Cornwall they kind of dance with each other and cross at certain points. I tried to sense where they are flowing and did not get very far. I spent some time on a bench where I could feel the strongest flow of the joy and wellbeing energy. Dowsing might be the next skill I want to learn.
On my second day I walked up the Tor, Tor is an old word for hill. This hill would be the old Isle of Avalon I assume. A few thousand years ago the land around the Tor was mostly under water and only through drainage the land has dried over many many years. On the Tor a tower, part of a church call after St. Michael, is standing. Today I walked up to the Tor again, however could only stay briefly with strong and cold (-2 degrees) winds.
At the foot of the hill, the Challice Gardens with a sacred well with healing waters can be visited. According to legend Joseph of Arimathea burried the holy grail here, the grail which was used in the last supper and in which he collected Jesus’ blood. One can decide if the coloring of the stones over which the water runs comes from Jesus’ blood or from the high iron content of the water.
And beside many more, another meaning place in Glastonbury is the Wearyall Hill, where the same Joseph planted his walking staff and it started to grow into a Hawthorn tree, the sacred Glastonbury thorn tree. This particular thorn tree used to bloom twice a year, around Easter and Christmas. I was wondering if the legends hold some truth and yes, maybe they do. And maybe the more important part is that through the legends a connection is made between the Middle East or more specifically Jerusalem and this part of the Earth. This is a special place, not because of the legends, but beyond the legends.
When looking out from the Tor enjoying the excellent views over Somerset and the surrounding fields and small towns something caught my attention. The street to one side of Wearyall hill, which is situated opposite of the Tor with some of the town of Glastonbury in between. I wandered along the street a few times since I discovered it and found the most beautiful energy there. It is called Roman Way, so most probably built back in those times, it crosses the hill on the southern side so that the houses get the full warmth and power of the sun. It felt like an area of richness and clarity, the soil, the plants, the houses. I would want to live here if I chose to live in Glastonbury. And I started to be poetic up there. And marvelling how the people in the older time knew so well to built in partnership with the landscape which benefited both, the people living there and the landscape.