February 26, 2009

Glastonbury legends

The Glastonbury Legend - An Introduction
In summary, the legend alluded to is this: Joseph of Arimatheia was a rich man, a relative of Jesus (and one of his covert disciples), who after the Crucifixion claimed the body of Jesus from Pilate. He came to Britain with other disciples and founded the first British church at Glastonbury, where he planted his staff, which flowered into a tree, The Glastonbury Thorn, whose offshoots may still be seen today, flowering every Christmas. (A sprig or cutting is sent to Buckingham Palace every year from this tree, which analysis has shown is a Palestinian variety.) Joseph also brought and kept there certain sacred relics, perhaps the Chalice Cup or Grail. He knew Britain from his trips as a tin merchant, and in fact, on one of his trips he had brought his nephew, the boy Jesus. Joseph, and some say the Virgin Mary, is said to be buried there, along with the Grail featured in legends of Arthur – whose grave is still to be seen there.
Glastonbury Tor, Chalice Hill, King Arthur, Giants - Crystalinks
Glastonbury, a small town about 125 miles or 220 km west of London, is full of myth and legend. In ancient times, Glastonbury lay in a triangle with the enormous stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury - between them they formed a world energy-point. Great circle lines go from Glastonbury to many sacred centres worldwide.

Saint Michaels Tower
The earliest knowledge we have of the Tor come to us from legends. In prehistoric times the island peak was believed to be the home of Gwyn ap Nudd, the Lord of the spirit world of Annwn. Immortalized in folklore, Gwyn ap Nudd became a Fairy King and his realm of Annwn the mystic isle and sacred mount of Avalon. Long a holy place of pagan spirituality, the 170 meter tall hill shows extensive signs of being contoured by human hands in Neolithic times. These contours, indistinct after the passage of thousands of years, mark the course of a spiraling labyrinth, which encircles the hill from base to peak. Ancient myths and folk legends suggest that pilgrims to the sacred island would moor their boats upon the shore and, entering the great landscape labyrinth, begin their long ascent to the hilltop shrine. By following the intricate and winding route of the labyrinth, rather than ascending by a more direct line, a deep attunement with the Tor's concentrated terrestrial and celestial energies was achieved.

Glastonbury Tor - Glastonbury, England
One major mysterious aspect of Glastonbury Tor are the seven levels of terraces that encircle the hill. It is not certain that they were man-made or purposeful, but they have been dated by Philip Rahtz to Neolithic times. Many believe they are an ancient ritual labyrinth or maze that correspond to a magical diagram.

Glastonbury Tor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Glastonbury Tor is a hill at Glastonbury, Somerset, England, which features the roofless St. Michael's Tower. The site is managed by the National Trust.

Tor is a local word of Celtic origin meaning 'conical hill'. The Tor has a striking location in the middle of a plain called the Summerland Meadows, part of the Somerset Levels. The plain is actually reclaimed fenland out of which the Tor rose like an island, but now, with the surrounding flats, is a peninsula washed on three sides by the River Brue. The remains of Glastonbury Lake Village were identified in 1892, showing that there was an Iron Age settlement about 300–200 BC on what was an easily defended island in the fens.[1][2] Earthworks and Roman remains prove later occupation. The spot seems to have been called Ynys yr Afalon by the Britons, and it is believed to be the Avalon of Arthurian legend.

Glastonbury Tor | Magical Mystery Tor
Legends say that the top once sported a stone circle like Stonehenge. In the 1970s a West Country seer, who prefers not to be named, described her vision of how it might have been: "The Tor is not the same now as it was then. It has had a portion taken off the top, and there was a temple built on the top, like a Greek temple, but circular. Within it was the most beautiful mosaic type of floor, and it was set out like a zodiac. There were twelve columns around it, whitish in colour. Under the flooring there was a hidden vault. The top was domed. There were seven guardians there in pale blue robes. The white temple was on top of the Tor with trees and rushes and water all the way round. There was a very fragrant scent there. Just being on that islet was restorative in itself."

Since writing this, an exciting development has taken place. On 22.2.2002, archaeologists Nancy and Charlie Hollinrake of the Glastonbury Antiquarian Society announced that they have unearthed on top of the Tor the foundations of what looks very much like an ancient circular temple!

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