I am in Glastonbury for my annual visit. I have been visiting every year, sometimes three or four times a year, for the past 14 years.
It is a multi-faith town of religions and spirituality. It was here where the first Temple for the Goddess opened in 2002 and it was possibly the first in over 1500 years to be registered as a British Indigenous Temple in 2003.
I trained here with the Glastonbury Goddess Temple for three years, dedicating as a Priestess of Avalon in 2013. So you can see Glastonbury has a special place in my heart. It’s where my tribe is and it’s home to me, especially because I stay in the same cottage in the heart of the town.
For those of you who have visited and still do visit, you will know and for those of you who haven’t visited, it is a remarkable, weird, funny, glorious place. The energies can lift you, you can cry one minute and be happy the next. Not for nothing do people call the town centre the cauldron - it stirs up something within you.
As you approach Glastonbury, the magnificent Tor comes into view, rising high. Even then you know it is different, that it is special. Every time I catch the first glimpse of the Tor as we arrive, I have a feeling of entering an otherworld place, a place of magic and mystery.
My first visit was 18 years before I came to train. I had the opportunity to be in Somerset for a weekend, so I drove to Glastonbury to have a look.
I lost all track of time, I visited the ruined Abbey and cried. I don’t know why, I just cried. I walked around the town, looking at the weird and colourful shops. I know I ate lunch somewhere, and before I knew it the shops were closing, so I hurried back to our hotel.
When I returned 18 years later, I was astonished to see that the Tor has a tower on it. I swore that when I saw it 18 years before it had standing stones upon it, some lying flat, others standing proud. I can still see it in my mind. I was told later that I had gone through the mists of Avalon.
This is the magic and mystery, the Mists of Avalon, the Sacred Isle of Avalon, steeped in Arthurian mythology and ancient history. There is something much deeper here in this land. It is a place that hasn’t forgotten the ancient ways. Glastonbury has something intangible, that you can’t quite put your finger on.
Just sitting outside one of the cafes people watching is my favourite pastime. All life passes by. People in colourful clothes, people barefooted, a person with a lamb on a lead, a blue wizard. I once saw a storm trooper strolling casually along the High Street. I swear you could walk naked in the High Street and no one would look twice, well, perhaps the tourists would!
The tourists are another sight. You can tell when a coach party arrives and people enter the Market Place, blinking and open mouthed. Then they want to take your photo, or they take a sneaky photo hoping you hadn’t noticed. Now, I’m not special, but possibly I do look like a native or an old hippie left behind after the early Glastonbury Festivals.
That’s another thing! Glastonbury Festival isn’t in Glastonbury. It’s in Pilton, ten miles away and the town itself is empty when it’s on.
So here I am sitting in the courtyard of the holiday cottages where we gather in the evening with others staying here, people we have got to know over the years. We sit passing around the Viking Horn of Mead, or the wine bottle, or cups of tea, or just simply chatting and sharing stories.
This is the essence of Glastonbury, sharing time with others, often complete strangers. You make eye contact with a busker and you share a joke, someone asks for directions and you find out about each other. You stop for a coffee and strike up a conversation with the people on the next table.
This is also where my Goddess spirituality developed, in a town where the people don’t criticise or judge, where you can walk barefoot and absolutely be yourself.
The Goddess is alive and well and radiates Her love from the Sacred Isle of Avalon, known as Glastonbury.
Copyright © Christine Watts 2022