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Monday, 27 May 2019

The Legend That Is Glastonbury

[Glastonberry Grove]: Glastonbury is famous for being one of the most mystical sites in the world. It has connections with King Arthur (the Arthurian legend), Joseph of Arimathea, Glastonbury Tor, The Abbey, the Glastonbury Giants or Zodiac, the intersection of Ley Lines and Earth Energy Lines. Glastonbury is also believed to be the mythical place known in Arthurian Lore as 'The Isle of Avalon'.

The ancient Celtic name for the Tor was Ynys Witrin, 'Island of Glass.' Another Celtic name was Caer Wydyr, 'Fort of Glass,' which is also the third name for the Celtic Otherworld. Surrounded mostly by water, a defensive wall known as Ponter's Ball was erected to the East and protected Glastonbury from the mainland. A bridge, known as the Pomparles or as Perilous Bridge, was the only dry access point to the south. Pomparles is thought to be the place where Bedwyr, from the Arthurian legend, returned the sword Excalibur to the Lady Of The Lake after the Battle of Camlann.

The word 'tor' means a hill or rocky peak. Atop the Tor stands a tower, the remains of a church. The tower's true purpose as either part of a church or of a fortification is not known but in the Middle Ages most of the structure, except the tower, was destroyed by an earthquake and landslide in 1275CE. For the Celtics, the Tor was believed to be the entrance to Annwfn, the Celtic Otherworld, and to the Palace of Gwynn ap Nudd, Afallach's brother and the main Otherworld Celtic god. Celtic legends claim the hill itself is/was hollow and that it was the entrance to the Celtic Underworld.

Both the names Avalon and Afallach refer to apples, apples that once grew in Glastonbury. Being a Otherworld sacred site, Glastonbury would be the site where a Celtic king would be sent when near or at death. Such was the case of King Arthur when he was sent to Avalon after his final battle.

This hill rises 522 feet above sea level, dominates the Glastonbury landscape, and is visible for miles in the surrounding countryside. Before the marshes were drained, this hill gave the appearance of an island and perhaps gave birth to the myth of the Isle of Avalon. The hill is the oldest and most involved location on the site. Long before the construction of the chapel that sits atop, the mound of Earth, a natural feature, was once a fortress with a wooden wall surrounding the hill at the bottom. The mound has been carved with a trail that winds around and up to the top. The trail is very old and is believed to have been first carved by Druids for this ancient site of worship. Some investigators believe the trail was carved by the Knights Templar as a marker for this site to link it with the Holy Grail.

From both ancient and current times, the Tor has also been a sanctuary of Goddess worship. Goddess worship can be found in the Celtic and Arthurian legends; the Lady Vivien, a Celtic water goddess and also known as the Lady Of The Lake.

As a sacred territory, a federal assembly of twelve tribes upheld the local law. Known as the Twelve Hides of Glaston, divine law was administered by priestly rulers. King Arviragus, a pagan ruler in 63CE, was the first to grant Twelve Hides, or 120 acres of land, upon twelve early christian missionaries led by Joseph of Arimathea. Though no record exists it is believed that granting of the Twelve Hides was a tradition from an earlier time when Glastonbury was a Druid sanctuary. No authority outside the Twelve Hides could administer in Glastonbury. Interestingly, the rights of the Twelve Hides were recognized by later Saxon and Norman kings. Each new successive king solidified the rights of the Twelve Hides which binded the successor to recognize their authority...read more>>>...

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