Albion, ancient sites

Back to Glastonbury

The Holy Thorn and the Tor, Glastonbury, painted by Tony Steele

“Are they supposed to be that way up?”

We had called in briefly to do a few things for Nick as usual before we left. One look at the huge sturgeons floating, belly up in my son’s pond was enough to tell me that Stuart and I would not be leaving for Glastonbury as early as we had planned. Indeed, it was about three hours late that we finally pointed the car southwards, after dealing with clogged pumps and blanket weed, in a desperate combined effort to get oxygen to the gasping fish. We couldn’t have done anything else… the fish would have died, but it did mean we weren’t going to have time now to do anything else on the way. We were meeting the third of our triad mid-afternoon and we had work to do in preparation for the evening’s Silent Eye talk on the Enneagram, a symbol at the heart of our School.

We had arranged to meet at the 15th century George and Pilgrim, of course, where we could be sure of refreshments… and where I could be sure of a nicely chilled Stowford’s. Just a half, of course, as I would have to drive later, as we were staying with Morgana that night. And anyway, we had a talk to give.

When Morgana joined us we repaired to the newly opened Sanctuary. It has long been part of a dream for which Morgana and the Glastonbury Reception Centre have worked, to create a space devoid of religious symbolism or affiliation to which those of all faiths, paths and spiritual calling could come and find a clear, calm and welcoming place of peace.

They have succeeded.

The space is furnished in the warm tones of earth and light, with comfortable seating arranged round a small round table upon which burns the Unity Candle, a symbol of the growing tolerance and understanding between the many faiths, paths and beliefs to which Glastonbury is home, and which is a light of hope kindled to spread that message of unity to a wider world. Gentle colour, soft music and the fall of water are added to the flickering light to create a sensory atmosphere of welcoming peace.

It was a perfect interlude, a space to run through the meditations we would be using later, but most of all, a place to simply soak up the warm, peaceful gentleness. We laid our pebble amongst the many others, each painted with the names of those who have helped bring a vision into being. There was something very beautiful about feeling a small part of that… just one small pebble amongst the many… and more are needed, of course.

Steve and Stuart at the Glastonbury Sanctuary
Steve and Stuart at the Glastonbury Sanctuary

But then, that is how things are built, little by little, one mite at a time added to the pile, cemented by unity of purpose and a common cause. Which, of course, is how we are building our School… little by little, one step at a time, learning as we go and working together, the three of us, Steve, Stuart and I, to make our vision not only real, but practical, useful and, we hope, beautiful. And that was why we were in Glastonbury together, to work for the School and share knowledge and ideas with those who joined us that night, both during the talk and afterwards, once more around the table at the George and Pilgrim, where the Stowford’s took second place to the conversation before the drive back to our hostess’ home.

Morgana and the Unity Candle
Morgana and the Unity Candle

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