Great Places To Be

by | Jul 23, 2002 | Archives

One night last week we hiked to the top of Glastonbury Tor for sunset! We saw a panorama unfold for miles in every direction. Camelot lay below, the ancient Isle of Avalon, set amidst the Somerset levels and a horizon stretching to the sea, the Salisbury plain and beyond that faded into the mists. The salmon sun played hide and seek in lavender clouds and painted orange and purple spectacles across the sky. We laid in sun-warmed grass, felt the cool breeze and watched the night being born in flashes of violet and inky blue.

Merri and I just returned from this trip to England for our daughter Eleanor's university graduation. During the journey we stayed most of the week in Glastonbury, a seat of many ancient and mystical legends. Three of our daughters and my mom joined us and I think the girls, especially had a spiritual awakening there and at Stonehenge.

This land is full of lore and legends of the right kind; tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and Merlin. Glastonbury was where Joseph of Arimathea came to begin his Christian teachings and some historians feel that Jesus was here as well. The Chalice from the last supper is said to be buried beneath Glastonbury Tor, which is a huge mound with a large temple on top.

We also stopped in at Stonehenge and ambled through a brand new crop circle right above those holy stones.

The river Avalon runs through the valley and according to legend there was one time a lake with a lady in it who carried off King Arthur's body. The King's sword which he had pulled from the anvil is still there, so they say. The setting could not have been better, perfect weather, green fields and an air of excitement in the small ancient town. We arrive just a couple weeks after 12,000 pilgrims had been there for the solstice so everything was geared.

There are few things that compare with a sunny English country day on a hill with a fresh breeze and cream tea of scones, tea and the compulsive clotted cream. We did our best to reduce the Common Market's over supply of dairy products that are best accompanied by fresh strawberries.

Glastonbury, the ancient Isle of Avalon, is set amidst the Somerset levels and as you approach it from several miles away Glastonbury Tor rises up out of the landscape atop of which is St. Michael's Tower. It is the only remaining part of what was once a church which, it is said, was destroyed by an earthquake approximately 500 years ago. At that time Avalon was an island just a few miles from the sea. Today Glastonbury and Avalon are said to be the heart Chakra of the planet drawing pilgrims from many cultures all over the world.

We stayed at Tordown – see – a delightful B&B and Healing Center nestled below the woods on the southern slopes of the Tor. This Victorian House has magnificent views over the Vale of Avalon which according to the proprietors, Cheryl and Michael Penn, was a couple of years ago nearly an island again when all the fields were once more flooded this time by an unusually heavy rain fall.

Glastonbury has much to offer the traveller including the Tor, where the Michael and Mary Ley lines cross (you can read more about Ley Lines in my novel, “The 65th Octave” – see

The Tor itself is in fact a labyrinth where, if you wish to tread the magical path one of the local guides will be pleased to assist. (You can learn more about labyrinths at

This labyrinth was of special interest as it helped reconfirm the unity of humanity because this is a simple pathway of terraces that winds back and forth seven times on its way up the Tor.

Entering the Tor it is said there are two more psychic levels, one representing the “Underworld” and the other the “Otherworld”. The other seven levels is is said represent the seven energy charkas which relate to the major seven charkas of the human body (and the nine levels also are linked to the nine planets).

This relates exactly to the Jyotish astrology taught recently at our farm by Dr. Devashankar Dixit – see – in which there are seven visible planets and two invisible (Ketu and Rahu). Even 5,000 years ago the ancient Rishis were somehow able to figure out that there were nine planets and relate them to seven elements of the human being.

This fits with the shamanic knowledge of the Andes and Amazon of seven energy centers that carry cosmic energy through the spine to our seven major organs. I wrote about this in a recent message – see – which described the book “Shaman, Healer, Sage” by Alberto Villoldo Ph.D. that describes seven energy centres called, the Rivers of Light and two invisible centres, one relating to the soul and the other the infinite spirit.

This also relates to Chinese acupuncture and Indian Marma healing therapies, which also use these energy patterns.

Here is knowledge that was formed thousands of years ago from South America, India, China and England and they all say the same thing, nine energy centers, seven visible, two invisible from knowledge born at a time when the last two planets in our solar system would have been invisible.

In addition to the Tor, there are several other sites to see in Glastonbury including the Chalice Well Gardens, which has two springs, the Red Spring and the White spring where you can freely fill your water bottles where they come out just 20 feet aparton the slopes of Chalice Hill. It is thought that the Holy Grail is hidden nearby. The Hill itself overlooks Glastonbury Abbey where Arthur and Guinevere reigned.

Close by is Wearyall Hill, where tradition has it, the Holy Thorn “sprouted” from a staff planted by Joseph of Arimathea. It was here on one of his visits to this sacred spot with his nephew Jesus of Nazareth that the first Christian church was founded on the site, which later became Glastonbury Abbey.

Other items of local interest include Gog and Magog the ancient oaks of Avalon which are amongst the oldest Oak trees in Britain. For those who like old churches and cathedrals, Wells, the smallest city in England, lies just a few miles to the north with a wonderful old cathedral complete with the Bishop's palace surrounded by its own moat. A couple of miles south of Glastonbury there is great shopping at the Street factory shop village, which has many luxury and everyday items at extremely competitive prices. Several shops specialize in leather and sheepskin coats and we saw some excellent bargains.

Glastonbury is also a healing place and the owners of Tordown, Cheryl and Michael Penn offer a range of therapies. They are both fully qualified Chartered Accountants (the English equivalent of CPA's) but are also Reiki Masters a healing discipline that produces deep healing and balancing. Michael also offers Higher Self readings in person or by telephone.

If you are planning a trip to England, why not make it a relaxing and spiritual one? I recommend that you visit Glastonbury. All six of us loved the Penn's Tordown Spa (the greatest breakfasts in the UK) and felt that the time together was a beautiful, peaceful one. This is certainly a great place to be!

Until next message may wherever you are, be great.