In the Nature of Avalon
Seeing and Hearing in Avalon – the perfume of Her passage
If you are naturally clairvoyant and clairaudient you will have no trouble seeing and hearing in Avalon, in scenting her passage. As you walk in the natural landscape of Glastonbury, colours and forms will appear all around you. As you hear the goddess’s sweet birds singing in the orchards you will see her sitting beside them and hear her words of wisdom whispered on the wind. But you do not need to be naturally clairvoyant or clairaudient, just open your heart, focus your attention on moving through the Veil of Avalon and you will begin to see and hear what was formerly invisible. It just takes practice.
My advice to those beginning the journey of exploration in the nature of Avalon is simple:
- Suspend disbelief. It is only an attitude of mind, not the truth of how things are.
- Open your eyes as you walk through the landscape. Notice the birds who come to speak to you, the animals and people who appear at relevant moments. Notice any movements and objects which you see out of the corner of your eyes and allow them to be there. Don’t dismiss them as nothing. Let shapes and forms emerge into greater detail so that you can see them. They may be objects, figures, people, faeries, priestesses of old, monks from the Abbey, Morgens, goddesses or gods.
- Visualise the shining threads of the web of wyrd which connect everything in the landscape and allow your visions to become actual. See yourself walking along the threads of wyrd. See yourself leaving a trail of shining light as you move from one place to another in the landscape.
- Open your ears as you walk or as you sit quietly in the sacred landscape. Allow the phrases and words that come into your mind to be real and to have been spoken by someone other than yourself.
- Give yourself time to just be here in the landscape, soaking in the vibrations and energies which surround you. There is no hurry here in Avalon.
- Remember that your ability to see into the invisible worlds not only depends on your own openness but on whether the invisible beings want to be seen. For long ages the Nine Morgens have been unrecognised by humankind and have thus receded far away into the mists. When I first began to be aware of their presence I glimpsed them only as dim grey shapes who seemed to hide behind trees and who always seemed to be retreating. After several years of attempting to communicate with them they have begun to take on womanly forms, but it is a long process of developing mutual trust until they become easily visible once again.
- Finally, take note of the synchronicities that begin to pile up as you walk through the landscape of Avalon. Synchronicity is a mark of magic.
Pilgrimage to Avalon
This book contains a series of pilgrimages for both women and men, through the natural landscape of Glastonbury in the nature of Avalon. They are designed to bring you into direct communication and experience of the goddesses of this sacred land. This is not to say that gods do not exist here too, but Avalon is traditionally an Island of Women and I have consciously made this choice of focus. Entering Avalon is all about consciousness, awareness and perception. It is about opening the heart to other dimensions of reality as we walk through the town and countryside of Glastonbury. Its about recognising that there is more to life than meets the human eye. Its about seeking and finding mystery beneath the surfaces of the obvious.
To make a goddess pilgrimage is to journey to her holy places as an act of spiritual devotion, an act of love for the goddess. Traditionally there are four phases to any pilgrimage. The first is the pilgrimage to the sacred place itself, your journey to Glastonbury made with spiritual intent. The second phase is entry into a defined sacred enclosure or temenos, in this case the sacred landscape of the Isle of Avalon. The third phase encompasses your personal prayers to the goddess at the various energy centres, power spots and natural and human made altars, within the sacred landscape. The fourth and final phase is your return to everyday reality bringing the fruits of your communion with the goddess back into the world.
Most of the following pilgrimages begin in the actual town of Glastonbury and then lead out into the natural landscape of Avalon, passing through the veil that separates the visible and invisible worlds. Some are dedicated to a particular goddess, others to several aspects of the one goddess who rules all hearts. Once in the sacred landscape we open ourselves to her through prayer and meditation. We listen for her voice and watch for her presence in the nature of Avalon.
In some cultures it is traditional when making a pilgrimage to repeat a mantra as you are walking along, which helps to keep the mind focused on the purpose of the pilgrimage as well as invoking the presence of the divine. At the beginning of each pilgrimage I have suggested an appropriate mantra which you might like to repeat as you walk in the nature of Avalon for this purpose. Throughout each pilgrimage I have also made suggestions for prayers to be said in particular places to the different goddesses of Avalon/Glastonbury. They are given in the first person singular but can easily be changed to the plural for people walking together. None of the mantras, prayers or visualisations are obligatory but are given as an aid, to help you focus on your intentions in making your pilgrimage. You do not need to use them at all to be able to enter Avalon, but they can help.
You may like to take with you small candles and incense to light at particular places on your journey, using them as a focus for prayer or vision. Small night lights are convenient since they contain the wax they burn. Take the used holders home with you. Candles may need to be protected from the wind, especially on any high ground such as the Tor where there is nearly always a breeze, if not a strong wind. Incense to burn can be in the form of incense sticks or cones, or as sage, rosemary or any natural British dried herbs which burn to ash. Carry small offerings of herbs, flower seeds, incense or grains to scatter in gratitude on the ground wherever you stop to pray. All offerings should be biodegradable so that they return harmlessly back to her body. Bring holy red and white spring water or milk as both refreshment for yourself and to pour on the earth as a libation to the goddess. Take small ribbons to tie on her sacred trees so your prayers can continuously flutter in the wind to her waiting ears. You may like to take a small note pad and pen to record intuitions, flashes of inspiration and poetry that comes to you through the Veil of Avalon.
The pilgrimages vary in length and difficulty in walking. At the beginning of each one as a guide I have given an average time taken to walk them including some time to sit and meditate and gaze at the landscape and the views. You may take longer or shorter times. For most pilgrimages you will need to be physically fit to have the best experience as you will be walking some distance up and down hills and through fields. Some pilgrimages can be made by car. Some of the paths followed cross private land and pilgrims should observe the Country Code:
- protect wildlife, plants and trees
- leave no litter
- keep dogs under control
- fasten all gates
- guard against causing fires
- avoid damaging fences, hedgerows and walls
- walk carefully on all roads.
Each pilgrimage is complete in itself but some parts of the pilgrimage can be made separately. For example, Our Lady of Avalon pilgrimage includes a visit to the White Spring and Chalice Well. On another occasion you might prefer to make this part of pilgrimage on its own as a separate alchemical healing pilgrimage
To state the obvious your experience of walking the Glastonbury landscape will be different at different times of the year. A pilgrimage in the summer sunshine is not the same as a pilgrimage in November’s rain and winds, but both can be equally potent. Some pilgrimages are more attuned to particular seasons than others, for example, a pilgrimage to Bride’s Mound at her festival time of Imboic is potent but again this pilgrimage can also be made at any time of the year. Follow your intuition in choosing which is right for you.
Preparation for Pilgrimage
It is traditional to prepare oneself for a pilgrimage, spiritually, mentally and emotionally as well as physically. It is important to spend some time beforehand thinking and praying about your purpose in making such a journey. You may be making a pilgrimage to Avalon out of curiosity, to see if you can feel something, to see if you can penetrate the Veil. Or your pilgrimage may be an act of devotion to the goddess – walking with consciousness in her sacred landscape, offering her your love, offering yourself to her. You may be asking the goddess to help you to become more conscious of her presence or asking her to open you to deeper insight or to shower you with her blessings. You may be making a pilgrimage to ask for healing of your physical, emotional, mental or spiritual wounds. You can make a pilgrimage on behalf of others – family, friends or the wider society. It can be a good idea to write down your intentions before you begin and then record your experiences as you walk and when you are complete.
Some walks take longer than others, but always give yourself enough time to stop and feel, to sit and relax in the energies of Avalon. Pilgrimage is not a race and with the goddess the pathway to her is the goal. Give yourself permission to take your time making your pilgrimage in the nature of Avalon, offering the Lady of Avalon the devotion which is due to her.
As you begin your pilgrimage I offer a prayer for your journey: