by Merlin Emrys
Britain has always been a place of potent cosmic forces, where the wellsprings of the Spirit run deep and clear. As part of Atlantis, then as a primary center of the Goddess religions and Earth Magic, it was also the place where Christianity emerged in the West. Its monuments, stone circles, cathedrals, and landscapes still hold the ancient power, and these islands beckon to the pilgrim and seeker.
Glastonbury is one of the major centers of spiritual power within this land. A sacred Celtic and Christian site, Avalon of the days of Merlin and Arthur, it is now a crossroads for many paths. It has always been regarded as a place of great transformative energies, where Ageless Wisdom and the Mystery Tradition abide, and where the veils between the worlds are thin and penetrable. Deeply transforming experiences on both inner and outer planes await those who have prepared for the journey. Glastonbury continues to be a vibrant matrix from which new consciousness arises, offering inspiration and upliftment to all who visit this blessed shrine.
Surrounded by an ancient zodiac carved into the landscape, Ynis Witrin (the Isle of Glass) was once mostly under water, inhabited by marsh people who dwelt in thatched huts in the raised land areas. The Tor, a hill built as a temple of initiation, towered above. Here lived the Lady of the Lake, and Merlin. Here Arthur was given Excalibur, his mighty sword, and here he came to die, and to ultimately be re-born.
Nearby is Cadbury Castle. Earthenwork ruins that were excavated some time ago revealed the stronghold of a British chieftain of the sixth century. Undoubtedly, this was Camelot.
Even earlier, Joseph of Arimathea, the uncle of Jesus, made his way to this place. He was a tin merchant living in Palestine, and regularly docked his ships along the coast of Cornwall near what is now known as St. Michael’s Mount. At low tide, the cobblestone causeway between the small island and the mainland was dry, and the tin was carried aboard. Jesus surely accompanied his uncle on several voyages — many sensitives claim to have “seen” him in several places in Britain, including Glastonbury.
After the crucifixion, Joseph journeyed to Cornwall, and thence to Glastonbury, carrying with him the Holy Grail, a chalice containing drops of the blood of Jesus. The Druid priests gave him land upon which he built the first above-ground Christian church in the West. His hawthorn staff planted in the earth on Wearyall Hill sprung to life, and bloomed each year at Christmas. Although the original tree is gone, there are offspring in several places, including the Abbey grounds. A bough from these trees is sent to the Queen each year at holiday-time.
Before his death, Joseph buried the Holy Grail beneath the Tor. At Chalice Hill, down the slopes in the town, the water coming from under the hill runs red, rich with iron oxide, the “Blood of the Christ.” The well is covered by a black, wrought-iron lid, embossed with the Vesica Piscis pierced by a lance, a symbol of the transformative powers of love. Interestingly, there is a small chamber just inside the well, but nothing is known of what it might have contained.
A huge abbey was erected here, replacing the original Celtic monastery. One of the largest in England, it was a mystery school and revered place of learning during the Middle Ages. Ultimately it fell prey to the usual misuse of power and treachery, and was destroyed by decree of Henry VIII. Its massive ruins still embody strong energies. It is easy to feel the etheric web of the Abbey while walking down the central aisle toward the High Altar, and the images and emotions aroused are potent indeed.
A small chapel, partially restored, is situated below and off to one side. Although it is called the Lady Chapel, experience tells it is on a site where Joseph meditated and prayed. The presence of Spirit here is immense.
A medieval church was built atop the Tor, and many a dark deed transpired therein. All that remains is part of the tower. Sheep and cows graze upon the slopes, but the maze and seven-spiralled path may yet be discerned. Site of many festivals and gatherings, Glastonbury still draws the faithful. The sleepy town nestled amidst the sacred places seems out-of-time here, where the ancient mysteries abound at every step, and Merlin, Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table and their ladies, and the undying quest for the Holy Grail make their presence known in the morning mists.
And here, as in all places of spiritual power, the flaming sword of Love and Truth is offered to all who are ready to claim it.
© 1993-2015 by Merlin Emrys. All Rights Reserved.