Glastonbury

Ah, Glastonbury. It reminded me a bit of Eugene, actually – if Eugene had a 7th century monastery and world-renowned holy well and other neat stuff like that. But it was the first place I went in England where there were dreadlocked white people and Tibetan clothing shops, and that made me feel at home. It’s got that cheesy pagan veneer like Salem, Mass., but more hippy and less witchy.

case in point

case in point

this is guy is busking with a HARP - seriously awesome

this is guy is busking with a HARP – seriously awesome

pretty impressive mural down a side alley

pretty impressive mural down a side alley

In addition to the many shops filled with mass-produced pagan-ish trinkets, there were some halfway decent bookstores, and also a hell of a lot of taxidermy, which was a pleasant surprise.

This is a great shelf of merchandise

This is a great shelf of merchandise

so jealous - you can't have any of these in the U.S.

so jealous – you can’t have any of these in the U.S.

The store pictured above turned out to be a jackpot for me – I procured a dried crow’s foot (which I can legally possess because it is a carrion crow rather than American crow, and not on the prohibited species list), and a flute made from a sheep’s bone (which is going immediately in my spirit-work kit, but also may serve as a model if I want to try making my own).

Then of course, there’s the ruined abbey, which is beautiful:

note: another beautiful day

note: another beautiful day

the tour guides dress in medieval garb, I was kind of embarrassed for them

the tour guides dress in medieval garb, I was kind of embarrassed for them

And the Chalice Well – one of those places (like the Tor) where I don’t really care what the origin of it was, it’s been imbued with so much power over the centuries from believers, it has mojo either way. I took a small bottle of water back with me.

water with high iron content stains everything red

water with high iron content stains everything red

the well itself is surprisingly modestly tucked into a pleasant garden setting

the well itself is surprisingly modestly tucked into a pleasant garden setting

And finally, the Tor. Of all the legends associated with this place, part of what drew me was that it was said to be a gateway to the realm of Gwyn ap Nudd. But admittedly, surrounded by tourists on the very windy peak, I mostly just found it beautiful.

the tower of a church might seem like an annoying encroachment on an earlier pagan site, but it does add some drama to the landscape

the tower of a church might seem like an annoying encroachment on an earlier pagan site, but it does add some drama to the landscape

looking out from the tower

looking out from the tower

Interesting to be in a place that has such deep spiritual meaning for so many people, but not really for myself. Everywhere you looked there were circles of folks meditating together earnestly. I admit I can be snarky at times about stuff like that, but at least it’s a hell of a lot better than most ways modern people spend their time.

~ by Dver on May 9, 2013.

4 Responses to “Glastonbury”

  1. […] things she saw there; my favorites are Dionysos at the British Museum, May Morning in Oxford and Glastonbury, though they’re all worth a read) came across […]

  2. We took a trip there (the Oxford Arthurian Society, that is) when I was in Oxford in ’97; we went to the Tor, then the Abbey, then Chalice Well, and finally Wearyall Hill before heading back. (The day before, we were in Bath.) I would have loved to have spent more time, and to have gone to the other well, too…

    I think I liked Chalice Well the best (and the water is so damn good…but I drank too much of it and got a bit queasy as a result); the Tor was cool, but way too windy to be much more than a bother. One in our group tried to see if the wind would just pick him up and sweep him away…it didn’t work, alas. ;)

    • The Tor was very windy when we were there too, to the point where I would only stand on one side of the tower, because on the other side I was seriously being pushed over – not a good thing on the edge of a steep drop. I also got a bit sunburned that day on the climb up – not a concern I’d thought about, going to England!

      I wish I could have had time for Bath, it was on my preliminary list but had to be eliminated. Hopefully next time.

      • Since it is so high up, I think on all but the most calm days, it is windy up top. That alone makes one wish for otherworldly help when one is there! ;)

        Bath is very much worth it–almost as amazing as the site itself is the way they’ve built the museum around it. Most impressive! And, the golden head of Sulis-Minerva is pretty cool, too, as are some of the other statues and relief sculptures there.

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