Glastonbury Encounters – “England’s mountain(s) green”

Going up the Tor

I’ve climbed Glastonbury Tor a fair few times over the decades, either as an ad hoc detour on the journey to or from my folks who lived not far from there (see this post), or as an outing from Bristol with family and friends, the weather often changing from sunshine on the climb up to showers or freezing cold winds that generated much complaint from the kids, but the vistas and exhilarating atmosphere at the summit usually won the day. The contact strip in the photo above is possibly from my first visit to Glastonbury in 1975. Continue reading

Glastonbury Encounters – Springs and Wells

On the way back to the car after our Glastonbury Tor climb (previous post) we passed the entrance to the Chalice Well Gardens, source of the Red Spring where Joseph of Arimathea is said to have placed the chalice of the Last Supper that also collected the drops of Christ’s blood at the crucifixion – the Holy Grail. I’d taken some German dowsers there in 1988 who were fascinated by the iron oxide-rich water and the powerful responses from their dowsing implements. It’s a lovely space, not just for the well and the water that threads through the site, but for the plants, the Continue reading

Glastonbury Encounters – Brigid, Bridie, Brigantia

The site of St Brigid’s chapel with a glimpse of Glastonbury Tor at the top right of the photo.

Following my two “sightings” of Brigid –  first on the west face of St Michael’s tower at the top of the Tor (see here) and then almost under the ground at the White Spring below the hill (and here) – I did learn more about her over the next few days via the internet and books at home, and what emerged through information, from the esoteric to the mundane, was what an enduring phenomena she was – or is.

A Celtic triple goddess, honoured at Imbolc (the point in the year between the winter solstice and the spring equinox), guardian of sacred springs, keeper of the hearth fire, and a much venerated Christian saint.  Continue reading