Sunday, 6 November 2016

Remember Remember the 5th of November

5th November is an important date for me. Nothing at all to do with plots involving the houses of parliament, but because it was on Saturday 5th November 1988 that I went to Glastonbury for the very first time. That is half my lifetime ago now. I was going to go down for the day yesterday but due to engineering work on the railway my journey would have been a lot longer than usual so I decided it wasn't feasible.

On that November day 28 years ago I had no idea that I would go back to Glastonbury again and again. Although I didn't know it at the time, what I felt there was the Spirit of Place. It was the Tor. I had gone down to Somerset for the weekend to stay with a friend I met on holiday in 1997, Linda, and she suggested taking me to Glastonbury as she thought I would like it. Understatement of course as I fell under the spell of the place.

It was the Tor. We climbed it on a murky cold November afternoon with fabulous autumn colours and the smell of wood smoke in the air. As we drove away from Glastonbury in the direction of Butleigh, I had to look at it until I could not see it any more. Over the years it has become that whole sacred valley which is important to me. Chalice Well, the White Spring, the Tor and Modron's Mound (Chalice Hill).

My pagan dawn began that day, Glastonbury awoke a sense of mystery which had always been there, and I started reading about earth mysteries and Druidry.

1988 was the turning point in my life. I used to have a very large nose, the result of falling down some stone steps when I was 6. I got teased about it all through school, and beyond, people saying nasty things as I walked past, cruel taunts and jests, being told constantly that I was ugly. It affected my self esteem, and was the root cause of the depression and anxiety I have battled since my late teams. But in April 1988 I had plastic surgery, on the NHS on psychological grounds, referred by a psychologist I had been seeing for cognitive therapy, Helen.  When the plaster came off two weeks after the op, and I was saw my nose for the first time my response was "I've got a normal nose". So that was a really major turning point earlier in the year, then I discovered Glastonbury. It took me a long time and a more therapy to get where I am today, a strong and independant woman. But the journey was worth it. And on that very first trip to Glastonbury one of my thoughts was.. so this is where other mystical hippy people like me go!

Have some photos of the Tor through the years (all taken by me)

My iconic photo of the Tor at sunset in Oct 2007, which is included in the photo supplement of the second edition of "Avalon Within" by Jhenah Telyndru
Taken in Sept 2016

This photo is my banner here and on Facebook

Climbing the Tor on a misty morning on my most recent visit in September 2016
Climbing the tor on that very first visit in 1988

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Friday 10th/Saturday 11th June 2016, visit 88!!

My friend Cathy and I both took a days holiday on the Friday and had a lovely overnight stay in Glastonbury. We drove down the pretty way via Marlborough and Devizes. We stopped in Marlborough for refreshments and I bought some amazing wide legged trousers in the Made in India shop there. I love that first glimpse you get of the Tor after leaving Shepton Mallet. As the road winds into Glastonbury, you keep seeing the Tor from different angles.

We parked the car on arrival, and then had some lunch in the Mocha Berry. Then we had a lovely afternoon wandering round town and doing a bit (ok a lot!) of shopping, with an afternoon tea break.

We went and checked into our hotel about 5.30. My room had a view of Wearyall Hill, but Cathy's looked out onto a car park and industrial estate which wasn't so pretty! We had cuppas and then went and had a meal in the Hawthornes. Then we were going to go up the Tor (our hotel was a bit far to walk as it was out on the way to Street), but we couldn't get parked anywhere nearby. So instead we went and had drinks in the wonderful George and Pilgrims.

In the morning we left the hotel about 9, and had breakfast in town as it wasn't included at the hotel.
We visited the beautiful Goddess House too, my first visit there and I found it so beautiful and peaceful and inspiring. Each room dedicated to a different Goddess with lovely art and decorations, just the most amazing place.

After a bit more shopping, we went to the Chalice Well and had a lovely long wander there. There was a very heavy shower and all the blooms looked so pretty with raindrops all over them. It was also the healing weekend so there was a marquee, and refreshments on sale so we had afternoon tea and cakes there. My spiritual focus is so much on the Well and White Spring and the Tor and Chalice Hill, I just love that area and often try to visualise what the white spring must have been like before the reservoir was built in Victorian times.

We went home the same lovely cross country way with a refreshment stop in Marlborough. It was a lovely weekend and we plan one next year too hopefully staying at the Well as I do love to stay there most of all.

Photos of course. My pictures express more than my words can. All photos copyright Jackie Jae Fae Hewitt as usual, as I only use my own photos (or ones taken by friends with their permission) here.

Cat who joined us for dinner at the Hawthornes

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Sat/Sun 30th April/1st May 2016, visit 87.

My friend Sue and I had a magical Beltaine weekend in Glastonbury. Sue has a lovely little blue camper van, it was such fun to drive down in that. We went the pretty cross country way via Marlborough, where we stopped for coffee, Devizes, Frome, Shepton Mallet. As you approach Shepton Mallet you get the first view of the Tor, I always have to look out for that first view of the tor.

We had a lovely afternoon shopping with refreshment breaks. The town had a Beltaine feel to it, getting ready for the following days festivities. We even saw the red and white dragons having the finishing touches put to them ready for the parade. We had some lovely chance meetings too including with two people in one of the shops who recognised me from Pinterest.

We stayed in a lovely, fairly new B&B on the Wells Road, a few minutes walk from the top of the High Street and about 15 mins walk to the gardens. It was really really nice.

On Saturday evening we climbed the Tor to watch the sun set. There were lots and lots of people there. There was a group doing a guided meditation in the tower and they didn't mind at all that we quietly joined in, in fact we got hugs afterwards. The sunset was really lovely, a magical Beltaine eve. We went for a drink in the George and Pilgrims before turning in.

On Sunday the gardens had opened early, and admission was free. We missed the main celebrations but the maypole and Beltaine fire were there, and lots of lovely people were wandering round. We both got chatting to a couple of men, who were friends who hadn't seen each other in a while. I did a releasing ceremony in the fire, I was the victim of sexual abuse in my late teens but only realised recently that it was abuse, in the light of recent public cases. So I wrote a release note and burned it in the fire. It felt good.

We came home a slightly different way via Midsomer Norton as there were road closures due to a road race. We stopped for coffee in Devizes and also briefly called in at Silbury Hill. It was a really really lovely weekend.

Beltaine Eve on the Tor

Beltaine Morning at the Chalice Well