April 23, 2014
Hidden amongst Britain’s rolling hills and green landscape there are pockets of magic.
Some of these are easy to find, and others well-hidden, but there’s no denying that when you do stumble across them, either planned or purely by accident, you feel something.
It doesn’t matter what or who you believe in, this is a magic that speaks of the ancient energies of the old world: of forests, rivers, rocks and wind. It’s the magic of nature.
The small village of Glastonbury in the south-western county of Somerset is one of these magic places. Famous for it’s music festival, vegan cafés and shops selling incense, this hippie spot is a place wrapped in colour, lightness and wonder.
But what is it that makes this place so magical?
A short walk away, just outside the town, there is tower on a hill. A sacred site for both the spiritual and the visiting curious, climbing Glastonbury Tor presents the perfect challenge for a cold misty morning or a warm and sunny afternoon.
The word “tor” refers to the hill itself, rather than the roofless tower perched on top, but together the pair are said to have a chequered and colourful past.
Whether it’s the execution of the last Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, an spiralling maze leading down into the underworld, home of the King of the Fairies, final resting place of Arthur and Guinevere, a leyline crossroads, a centre for goddess fertility rituals or even a convergence point for UFOs, the site can claim every speculation over the years, and many more.
Reaching the top of the Tor, especially if you’re lucky to manage it on a clear, warm day, is an undeniably spiritual experience. I’ve climbed it three or four times and every time I do I’m knocked back by the magic feeling floating in the air. As you often find when you climb a hill or a mountain there is a fleeting community waiting for you at the top: a handful of intrepid souls that have made the pilgrimage too.
Glastonbury Tor is no different, except that instead of walkers pulling off boots to rest their aching feet or lying back to gasp for lungfuls of air you’ll find dancing, yoga and praying.
And there’s the view. I believe it’s one of the most beautiful in the country, but I won’t spoil it for you by trying to justify it in words. You’ll have to go and see it for yourself.