Monday, January 11, 2016

Glastonbury: Gateway to Fairy and Avalon


Glastonbury’s Unexpected Dark Magic

Glastonbury has been described as the ”Gateway to the Celtic Otherworld.” A sacred pagan, Christian, and Goddess site, Glastonbury in Somerset, England, beckons modern-day pilgrims. Some seek Fairy, hidden beneath the conical Glastonbury Tor. Others seek Avalon, the mist-shrouded island realm where Morgan Le Fay brought the dying King Arthur after the Battle of Camlann.

Glastonbury Tor, Somerset, England
Source: Morguefile Photos

Glastonbury, Avalon, and Arthurian legends play pivotal roles in The Beltane Escape, Book One: The Two Realms Trilogy, my upcoming Young Adult adventure fantasy novel. As an author and shaman, I journeyed to Glastonbury to learn more about its mystical energy. I discovered Glastonbury is rife with unexpected dark, and often hostile, magic.
The Vesica Pool at the Chalice Well & Gardens.
Photo be Ariella Moon

Appearances are Deceiving
Glastonbury Tor and the Chalice Well and Gardens at its base, appear serene. The latter is considered a place of healing and peace, its therapeutic pools fed by the Red Spring. Visitors hang prayer or tribute ribbons on the trees in the gardens. By day, the grounds are a place for reflection and meditation. By night, especially when the moon is full, apparitions streak above the Chalice arbor. One night, a towering menacing energy loomed at the top of the Little Saint Michael’s (one of two guesthouses in the sanctuary) stairs. The next morning, an elderly female ghost woke me.

The White Spring also flows near the Tor’s base, separated from the Chalice Well by a fence and Well House Lane. In 1872, The Water Board built a reservoir over the beautiful fairy valley. The spring remains, hidden, a gateway to the otherworld. By day, chaotic energy appears like a flash mob near the spigot marking the White Spring. I can only imagine what happens at night.

Past the White Spring, entrances to Fairy can be seen low on the tree trunks. The Tor rises beyond them. Like most pilgrims, I ascended the hill via the steep concrete path. Given to vertigo, I was concerned about the lack of railing. Focused on safely reaching the top, I barely noticed the narrow terraces half-hidden among the wild grasses. Inescapable, however, was the strong energetic force that repeatedly tried to knock me off the path.
Concrete Path and Stairs leading up Glastonbury Tor.
Photo by: Adrian Pingstone


The Magical Lesson
Shamanic training involves facing and overcoming one’s fears. Shamans must “die the little death” so they can move past their fears to help others. At the time, I perceived the force attempting to knock me off the Tor as hostile. Only later did I realize it was trying to redirect me onto the narrow terraces, which form a vertical spiral labyrinth—the correct path for a shaman. The spirits of the place, like a GPS recalculating, must have given me points for taking the path that forced me to face my fear. After my first day on the Tor, my acrophobia disappeared.

The heroine in The Beltane Escape learns to be careful what she wishes for. My quest to learn more about the mystical energies of Glastonbury provided a similar lesson.

Copyright 2016 Ariella Moon

Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman to create magical Young Adult fiction. 
Coming soon: The Beltane Escape, Book One, The Two Realms Trilogy, a medieval fantasy adventure series. 
Out now: The Teen Wytche Saga, a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances.



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