Monday, 5 October 2009

Avalon - faery nice indeed

Streetlight sky behind Glastonbury Tor

How do you address a Goddess?

Ma'am? Your holiness? Your loveliness? Your mooniness?

On Saturday night I attended the Goddess Ceremony at the Goddess Temple in the wonderfully-eccentric medieval town of Glastonbury. OK, it's not medieval these days but then neither is it modern. Every man must wear a beard (it would seem), and dresses seem compulsory for the ladies. Folk music echoes in the streets. People dress as faeries. An ancient church sits atop an ancient mound, looking out to the town and nearby counties. Gods and goddesses, faeries and magicians, witches and wizards wander the streets smoking all manner of plants.

And you're telling me Glastonbury isn't a little bit medieval?

I went for the moon; instead I had a heart-to-heart with a moon goddess, the Moon Goddess - speaking to me through one of her priestesses, dressed slightly strangely in ribbons and a glittery mask with all manner of shiny tassles draped over her body. Her voice was sweet - and to others at the ceremony it clearly had healing powers. I approached not really knowing what to say. So I asked the one thing I could think to ask...

[thing I said to Moon Goddess omitted for must-have-something-left-for-book purposes]

But for the lack of moon - which was gutting as I perched in the perfect spot two nights and one glorious daybreak - I had a lovely time in Avalon. Avalon? Of Arthurian legend? Oh yeah - it's all in Glastonbury. Even one of my old pals from Cornwall, he was in Glastonbury.


I heard my name as I reached the bottom of the Tor. But quickly realised that other people are allowed to be called "Rob" too.

"Hey, Rob."

It was Jason. The Squibb! (mentioned here) In Glastonbury. On a day trip with his girlfriend, Abbi - who loves the moon and faeries and all those earthly connections. Squibber here. The weekend I'm here. Walking past the gate to the Tor, which I've just visited and they're just about to. It was a last-minute decision for me to descend the heart-speeding hill this way and not back along the weird route I accidentally stumbled upon to get there. Mr Squibb, chatting to me 150 miles from his home, 170 miles from my home.

That's the third such encounter I've had this year. And they say once in a blue moon.

from the Tor to the town

So then: lots of humming and chanting and a brief encounter with the Moon Goddess, a fantastic sunset over Avalon, lots of rain thrown in my face, a full-moon moonwalk up the Tor to find out what that flickering fire's all about, a tour of the Abbey (which is so well hidden hardly anyone else was there - beautiful), Arthur, Joseph and some Godly blood, bumping into another Temple visitor in Chalice Well Gardens, a badger, and more. But only one slight glimpse of my moon.

Oh and mustn't forget the Faery Ball.

Faery fayre

I visited in the day and quizzed Brian Froud on the full moon and faeries. He told me some interesting tales. But my evening went to the Goddess. Though I did quiz a few young folk in the lovely Little Orchard (thank you, Di and Rod!) about their evening dancing with wings. The girls loved it. The men weren't so sure. It's odd to feel out of place because you're not wearing pointy ears...

Three walks to go. That was my scariest thought of the weekend.

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