Some places seem to attract people who are spiritually and mystically inclined. It is like the energy of such places contains its own element of transformation, as if being there is enough to catalyze the spiritual journey. There is one place in England that really makes my heart ignite, more than anywhere else. Glastonbury Tor is a living, breathing, spiritual centre.
Glastonbury town itself is quite quirky, and is a pleasant place to be, if only for the mix of people who can be seen pottering around, and the sense of community spirit which exists there. The area is also stooped in myth and legend, and locals and visitors alike take a keen interest in the stories of King Arthur, the Holy Grail, and visits from Jesus and Mary Magdalene, as well as in magick, ritual, and Goddess worship.
The hill of Tor is also known as the Isle of Avalon; another name which tickles the weird myth taste pallets. Some describe Avalon as an alternate dimension which can be entered as an altered state of consciousness, with the veil being particularly thin at Tor. Avalon is also thought to have existed as an island of deep spiritual significance, with the surrounding lands once submerged, entirely underwater.
The strange spiral contours running around and up the hill of Tor, are believed to be a sort of 3D labyrinth; a meditation device, and symbol for the journey of life, dating back to pre-druid times. Tor has also been linked with Hades and the underworld, faeries, UFOs, and is said to have cave and tunnel networks underneath, which are also, surprise surprise, stooped in mystery.
As if the masses of myth already mentioned are not enough, the area is also known as the heart chakra of the planet, and the Tor is said to lie on the crossing of masculine and feminine dragon lines. I do not have a full enough understanding of geomancy and ley lines to explain well, but ley lines are thought to be lines of energy that run around the Earth, like those which are worked on in our body during acupuncture. Chakra points, like in our body, are places where many lines cross, making for potent and specific energy centers.
The hill itself is even thought by some people to be a man-made pyramid structure, made of quartz, aligning with several others in the area, which creates a sort of amplification effect on consciousness; I can say that I definitely experienced a psychic amp effect there.
Druid worship is also alive and breathing in the area, and the Tor is a place to worship the Goddess; the feminine energy of Earth.
Being in a place of high energy on the planet, helps us to raise our own energy within ourselves. It is my view that being around Tor is a way to come to understand the energy of the heart, both within us and in the world. Of course, that is only one view, of which we have seen, there are many.
Whatever is going on, even those with but a slight spiritual inclination must be more than a little curious by now? This is place is worth a visit, and a meditation, you can be sure of that much.
Living The Myth
What is incredible about Tor, and other spiritually vibrant areas of the world, is that it is possible to explore the myths and legends, simply by being there. The active worship, and the hundreds of creative and spiritual ideas floating around the place, become something of a workshop, or playground for the soul. Simply meditating, speaking to people, and just being receptive, is enough to initiate the mystery.
Everyone has different ideas about what the energy of Glastonbury represents, or what it “means.” Of course, these are simply conceptual ideas about something which is more subtle and vibrational in its nature. Most people however, would agree that the place is somewhat “weird” and “different.” The only way to see what it means to you, is to spend some time there.
My own experiences began a few years ago with a day visit to the town, the abbey, and Tor. Unknowingly, and coincidentally some may say, we had arrived on Beltane, May Day, a day for worship of the Goddess, summer, and fertility. We were treated to some sacred singing and chanting in the Abbey, and a hand-fasting up at Tor; a ritual which celebrates love, much like a wedding. Quite an interesting introduction to the place!
This year I worked at Glastonbury Festival for a while (quite a magickal story itself!), and so was treated to many sunsets up at the Tor. After the work there finished, I took a trip to Devon to walk on the coasts. I was quickly drawn back to Glastonbury, as if I wasn’t ready to leave, and ended up sleeping in the Avalon orchard at the base of Tor for a few nights.
The orchard will always be one of my favorite ever spots to sleep; slightly off the main path up to Tor, a flat platform on the terrace bearing tens of apple trees, which must contain the sweetest of love-containing fruits, slopes off to give way to a view of the misty flatlands, cast in light by the morning sun.
The first night back, I was greeted by a lighting storm of epic proportions. Thunder, deep and dark as the night itself, rumbled endlessly through the clouded sky. Like an earthquake it caused a tremor through the land. My 2-man pop up tent with a broken pole and a door that wouldn’t close was also quaking. I lay in fear for a while. Then, I did the only thing a wise man can do in that situation; I prayed to the Tor, to the Goddess, to Jesus, and to the Higher within and throughout. I safety- pinned the door shut.
Somehow, I woke up dry.
There is, in my opinion, no better place in the country to watch a sunset, than Glastonbury Tor. One foot at a time you pace up the steep incline, feeling more and more the energy of Tor as your breathing becomes rhythmic from the exertion.
Rabbits, tamer than any wild rabbit I’ve seen before, frolic in the grass just meters away from the path, and crows swoop around the heights of the hill, catching the powerful gusts of unbroken wind, with the blackness of their wings glistening in the evening sun; the symbols of death and life are all around. Tor is, after all, part of the Aquarian Phoenix in the Glastonbury zodiac.
At the top, couples, friends, and happy lonesome types gather, in hushed and loving tones of chat and laughter, sitting and lying in the grass, and leaning against the remains of St Michael’s church. No one is alone at Tor.
A shared experience ensues. Visitors from many nationalities gather, alongside men in long woven earth-colored tunics, tourists and teens, children and parents, and regulars from the town. Dogs run around and children remind us to play, and all the while the sound of a drum beats lightly from within the tower, casting a subtle altered state with its hypnotic beat.
The sun meanwhile, spends its last hours shining, lining up with the Tor, and with the Eye of all those who have them open. The light fades, and the subtle tones of color change, each ray of the sun adding another layer to the ever evolving atmosphere. The hushed tones become a quite whisper, the quite whisper a silent din, the only sounds the equally peaceful moments of joy between lovers.
Silence continues and drum beats rise. The sun touches the horizon, and we thank Him. We thank Her. Whatever people’s beliefs in that moment, whatever and whoever they think they are, it all fades. Knowingly, or unknowingly, collective worship has taken place; communion. We are all sunset. We are all One.
After the setting of the sun, many people make their way down from the Tor; satisfied that their daily ritual is complete, and that they have thanked the Heavens and the Earth for another cycle. The magick does not stop with sunset; at night, bodies cascade around the base of the tower, taking refuge from the wind, and meditating; exploring the energy of Tor.
I have seen Shaman gather there, and once stepped into the middle of the structure, to be greeted by drums and maracas and a gust of purifying wind, as if the spirits had blown away my impurities. People come to light candles and incense, to cleanse and to be cleansed. To give and receive with the planet. Aum. You hear it, and you chant it, and it feels right.
The stars shine so brightly, and the peace, almost strangely intense in its imposing nature, adds to an almost involuntary openness of heart and mind. I found myself spilling my heart out on several occasions, talking openly about my childhood, snuggled in blankets in the somehow warm and cold winds.
More than anything else, I enjoy the people that seem to be attracted to places like Tor. When I slept in the orchard I awoke to find someone had left a small box on my rucksack, containing a pan o chocolat and some freshly picked plums. What a great place it is where people are more likely to give than to take! On several other occasions I awoke to find myself sharing the space with friendly, open, and compassionate people, who would often engage in deep conversation, as if we had known each other for years.
Glastonbury is a place which requires balance, and therefore I often found myself connecting with the feminine, both in myself, my interactions with strangers, with energies of the Earth, and with friends there.
Whatever the heaven is going on at Tor, my heart would always be on fire there.
Why is it important to find a spiritual place?
The smiles and knowing glances of a hundred souls a day is what greets a receptive human when they visit a spiritual place.
I know that spirituality is not something which requires a particular environment. It doesn’t hurt however, to find a place which resonates with you; a place where you can be yourself easily, and where life just feels right. It is most joyous to find a place where you feel inclined to practice, where you can be around other people who share an interest in spirit and the mystical experience. It is good for the soul to see that such places and people exist; that spirituality can be the norm, and that it is the norm on some pockets of condensed culture.
Some places seem to resonate with me. It is the same as London resonating with someone who is looking to advance their career. We all need to find places where we feel we can advance, in which ever way we choose. We all want to feel community, shared purpose, and love.
Tor is a special place for all those who seek a spiritual place, to learn, love and grow. When you bond with Tor you bond with your heart; you open up your heart, you think with your heart, you make choices with your heart. You feel the magnetic center of your being pulsing, and reaching out to touch those around you. I feel myself there. I feel love.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be touched; they must be felt by your heart.” – unknown.