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Glastonbury - Ancient Isle of Avalon


Article and Photos by William Lee Rand

This article appears in the Fall 2007 issue of the Reiki News Magazine.


Glastonbury from Chalice Hill - click for larger image

Glastonbury has a mystical history going back into the mists of time. Sacred sites and power spots surround this small town in Somerset, England, and their spiritual energies weave together to create a nurturing ambiance of peacefulness and joy that permeates the entire area. Considered to be the heart chakra of the world and an entrance point into higher dimensions, its special features draw healers and other spiritual pilgrims from all over the earth.

The town is built over important ley lines that cross beneath it. These ley lines channel the life energies of the earth—energies recognized by dowsers and clairvoyants to be especially conducive to meditation, healing and other spiritual practices. Two springs flow from nearby hills; both are purported to have healing properties. The mysterious Tor, a hill with a cave at the bottom, a labyrinth around its sides, and an ancient stone tower at the top, is Glastonbury’s most pronounced topographical feature.

Many myths and legends are associated with the area; some based on fact and others more difficult to verify. Residents are aware of these features and choose to live here out of a desire to be close to spirit and to live in harmony with each other in a supportive and loving community where shared values and goodwill abound.

In ancient times Glastonbury (Glass-town-borough) and the surrounding hills were islands in a swampy inland sea called the Sea of Glass. According to author Nicholas Man, Glastonbury was variously called the Isle of Avalon, Apple Orchard, and the Isle of Glass. Shrouded in the mists which rose from the Sea, the Tor was often all that could be seen of the island.

Over time, the sea, fed by fresh water from the surrounding hills, began to fill with silt. Reeds began to grow in the shallower waters and slowly the sea filled in, creating swamps and later dry land. Further drainage took place when channels were built to drain the remaining water away until today there is no sign of the ancient sea.

This small town can be easily walked from one end to the other in 30 minutes or so. The streets are lined with crystal stores, metaphysical bookshops and vegetarian restaurants. A mix of New Age tourists, European hippies, counterculture types and seemingly “normal” locals fill the streets with friendly activity. Glastonbury is unlike any other English town in its openness to everything holistic, spiritual and metaphysical.

The spiritual sites are within walking distance of the town and lend themselves to meditation, healing and other spiritual practices. The following is a description of the most important sites.


Glastonbury town center - click for larger image

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This article appears in the Fall 2007 issue of the Reiki News Magazine.

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