An extract giving part of a fictionalised account based on the Walk & Talk event at Glastonbury taken from Giants Dance:Rhyme and Reason.
The decision to run a Silent Eye event in Glastonbury was not taken lightly and although for a long time it looked like it was not going to happen things worked themselves out as things that are inevitably bound to happen have a knack of doing and before we knew too much about it, Wen and I found ourselves contemplating the magnificence of the Tor on the run up to the Isle of Glass. Now having spent the best part of one whole chapter of our last outing explaining in great depth and detail the peculiar properties of Our Sacred Hills and their uncanny abilities in the arena of children’s games, especially ‘Hide and Seek’, the Tor on this particular occasion decided it was having none of that and after a brief flirtation with ‘Peek-a-Boo’ exposed itself to a rather intense scrutiny on our approach.
“It looks different every time I see it.”
“I know, when they’re not hiding, they morph!”
“Great, I mean what chance do we stand, really.”
“Relax; the pure in heart see it for what it actually is.”
“Oh that’s reassuring!”
This being a largely out-door event the weather forecast has done us few favours. A hurricane and rain-storm are a distinct possibility and a distinct enough possibility to exactly halve our expected numbers.
Not that we are overly concerned about numbers, except perhaps in terms of numerology … in which case starting with an eight which through unforeseen circumstances soon becomes seven is… shall we say… suggestive…
…Except for seven, none returned from that steep sided citadel…
The Tor, as most people are aware is terraced and whilst the debate still rages about the functions and provenance of the terraces there is little dispute about the precise number of their turnings if we were thus wont to phrase it.
There are seven.
To walk the labyrinth of the Tor, apparently, can take between two and five hours and is not recommended in wet conditions. Not that we were ever contemplating doing that, at least not on this visit. No, our original conception was to undertake throughout the course of a day three circular walks of about an hour’s duration with pub breaks in between.
…‘Three times our circuit full…’
As a ‘walk your talk’ event the theme is ‘Being Human’ and readings at the three visited sites are to follow roughly the concepts of Life, Light and Love…Now, I may be extemporising a tad here but that is pretty much the way I see things… and I have chosen my texts accordingly.
…Except for seven, none returned from that four-cornered citadel…
Unfortunately, as readers of our previous books will already know, things seldom, if ever turn out precisely as planned and today is no exception. But ‘hey’, we do not complain about what we are given, on the contrary, we happily get down to working with it wearing a distant, if also somewhat knowing smile.
Again, although unfortunate, it is not going to be possible to give the readings at our chosen sites because of copyright reasons. However, in some ways that is as it should be, the event turned out to be a deeply personal one conducted in plain view of the massing hordes that ordinarily populate ‘England’s holiest earth,’ on a busy Saturday afternoon, only of course today is not ordinary as no day is actually ordinary, especially in Glastonbury and today is especially not ordinary because at five-pee-em there is a ‘Zombie Walk’ and following that is the ‘Fairy Ball’.
On the day The Silent Eye decides to investigate what it means to be human, we are surrounded by people dressed as Fairies and Zombies…
…Except for seven, none returned from that strong buttressed citadel…
What we can do though is give you the meditations that we performed at each of the sites which will be readily apparent throughout the rest of the chapter and point out that although we did not manage three circles we did walk out a Tau cross and Mu symbol… which I have to say is not at all bad going… for a first outing.
… Except for seven none returned from that many faceted citadel…
We find ourselves in the George and Pilgrim for lunch and the proprietors have entered into the spirit of the season by decking the place out with grotesques which grin and leer from every nook and cranny.
Wen busies herself photographing severed heads while we collar a table under a body bag whose occupant appears destined to escape before the meal is up.
Luncheon with the Dead!
Or should that be… the Living Dead?
I am particularly struck though by the arras opposite our table which shows three Knights Templar on a windswept plain. I am hopeful that this was a part of the original decor, for if it is then I will be able to return and look at it in more detail when there is less ‘going on’.
“I suppose what we have had our attention drawn to is the Star of Consciousness. It is this that remains when all else has been subsumed.”
“I am not so sure…I think there are two worlds at play. The Waking and the Dreaming worlds. I think the Dreaming Self watches us Awake whilst the Waking Self watches us Dream yet the two selves, ultimately, are the same.”
“The real self is sort of betwixt and between, then?”
“Maybe this is the inevitable wound before the wonder?”
“Maybe this ‘cleavage’ is what we have to heal?”
Not all the conversations are this deep.
…“Before they built the Well-House, the waters just streamed from fissures in the rock-face and there were passages leading to what used to be hermit cells within the hill…”
“I am reminded of the Russian Doll in an inverse sort of way. The colours and details increase with every step upward and outward.”
“Or the Egyptian Statutory with small and large God-Forms. The earth form in height reaches only to the knee of the heaven form yet nevertheless it still forms the invaluable link between the two spheres.”
“…There are also stories of ovoid crystals, or stones, liberally littered about the chambers. They were traditionally known as Dragon, or Serpent, Eggs.”
…Except for seven none returned from the citadel of windings…
“The story you told about the Church atop the Tor, Morgana, is not dissimilar to the story of Vortigern’s Tower.”
“Yes, and there are similar stories told about other hill tops, ‘Sanctuaries’ shall we call them.”
“We have found that with the Saints too,” says Wen.
“The clan or tribal wisdoms are expressed locally, and when the community expands which it inevitably does, the same stories are recast but on a more epic scale.”
“…and sometimes, more corporate.”
Ben mock grimaces and then smiles and chuckles benevolently.
“Even so, to have White and Red Dragons beneath a hill and to have a Red and a White spring emerging from the same hill seems a little too coincidental.”
“The Cruets of water and blood that Joseph of Arimathea brought from Calvary also points to the same source story wouldn’t you say?”
“Is that why they sought to separate them? Because they conceived them as warring like the Dragons which razed Vortigern’s tower.”
“It almost assumes an Old Testament cast when put like that does it not?”
“The figure depicted in the ‘Joseph of Arimathea’ window of the Baptist Church resembles Christ.”
“Of course it is assumed that the tower of Babel was struck down from above but it is not explicitly stated that such was in fact the case.”
“And the miraculous child who stops the warring energies.”
“Perfect, the supposed dead Man-God appears to us holding the red and white elixirs.”
“I dreamt of Merlin when I first came to Glastonbury.”
“It’s probably more accurate to regard the miraculous child as the product of the harmonised energies.”
“Orchestration… product? It probably amounts to the same conception.”
“It’s all terribly alchemical, don’t you think?”
“Of course, it’s really an inner story expressed in the landscape, or given form there so that it can be better understood.”
“The tragedy is when it is misunderstood and attributed to only one particular dogma to the exclusion of all others.”
…Except for seven none returned from the citadel of the mound…
We all raise our glasses and drink to that. A circle of seven chinks… or links in a chain.
And as Ben and Wen commence to lay their plans with Morgana for a series of talks to be held in the town over the next twelve months we are left to reflect in some satisfaction on our mini pilgrimage around the sacred centre of the Heart of Avalon.
It is amazing how much one can get through in a single day. In half a day if we are being strictly honest and we were not even pushing it particularly.
When our companions have fled the precincts of the Blue-Green Chain, leaving Wen and I in situ… well, really, there is only one thing left to do, so…we eat, drink, and are merry… relatively speaking, which in this case means, away from the ‘Fairies’ not with them!