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marion

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JerryB said:
Also, the hill is higher than the Tor - in fact it's the highest point in all of Somerset ;)
I thought Dunkery Beacon was the highest point?

I guess if you aren't on a spiritual path places are just what they physically appear to you,along with the science and written history, any other argument is gonna start sounding like one of those Christian V Non-Christain flare-ups we get here.
 

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Re: Gasps of Dismay

FraterLibre said:
You mean to say it wasn't a landing site for the motherships from the planet Avalon?
Nah that was all across in Warminster :D
 

Jerry_B

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AndroMan said:
I Just like that picture of it being surrounded by marsh and fenland, sticking out like a real island and with something, now removed and replaced by the chapel (of which only a tower now remains), on its summit.
It needn't have been very imposing, a sacred grove, is all.
And supposing the mediaeval strip fields following the contours of the terraces round the Tor, were making use of a pre existing maze path?
Perhaps, there was originally a sacred apple orchard/grove maze? Sacred apples to make the sacred nectar of the Gods in that part of ancient Britain: Scrumpy! ;)
Well, IMHO that's dressing it all up to be something it's not. As I've said, the whole 'mystical' side of the Tor etc. is a hangover from the tourist/pilgrim trade started up by the locals monks - who became extremely rich as a result ;) And IIRC, apple growing was really kick-started by the Anglo-Saxons in that part of the world...
 
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JerryB said:
And IIRC, apple growing was really kick-started by the Anglo-Saxons in that part of the world...
I suppose that would be cause the conditions there are ideal for apple growing.

The 'Celts' loved their apples, matey Jim. I've had some very fine cider from Normandy and Brittany.

'Timescapes (Land & History): Glastonbury Tor'

Avalon When mist, like sea, surrounds the Tor, it rises from the Levels like a magical island of ancient lore. Indeed in Celtic times it was known as the Isle of the Dead - the threshold of the spirit world where wisdom and knowledge were revealed. Its Celtic name was Ynys Witrin; it is the faery Isle of Glass where the Lord of the Underworld resides. Most famously, legend knows Glastonbury as the Isle of Avalon. Literally meaning 'The Place of Apples', Avalon was a legendary paradise associated with the Celtic Otherworld - the Summerland Annwn. In Romance, Avalon is where Arthur's great sword Excalibur was forged; it is where Arthur went to heal his wounds and where his sister Morgan Le Fay lived. Christian legend knows the Vale of Avalon as the place where Joseph of Arimathea landed with the Holy Grail.
:p
 

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Marion said:
I thought Dunkery Beacon was the highest point?

I guess if you aren't on a spiritual path places are just what they physically appear to you,along with the science and written history, any other argument is gonna start sounding like one of those Christian V Non-Christain flare-ups we get here.
My mistake - I meant in south Somerset. Got me metres/feet mixed up ;)

I think the main spiritual path about Glastonbury is a Christian-orientated one, and that's about it. The whole Arthurian thing got mixed in, but people tend to forget that the Medieval versions of that story are heavily Christianised. This is what the monks drew on to boost the vistor numbers to the area. Delve into Somerset folklore some more and you find that the Tor and the town are pretty 'mundane' in comparison.
 
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JerryB said:
This is what the monks drew on to boost the vistor numbers to the area. Delve into Somerset folklore some more and you find that the Tor and the town are pretty 'mundane' in comparison.
'Scuse me, what else were they drawing on as a source, do you suppose. Must have had some local seed to plant that grew into the coffins of Arthur and Guinivere, don't you think? ;)
 

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Androman - perhaps so, but apple growing and associated folkore in Somerset are distinctly Anglo-Saxon (i.e. wassailing at Carhampton, every January). Personally, I'm not sure where all of the 'celtic' references to the Tor WRT 'Avalon' etc. actually come from. I tend to think that they're patched on things that were applied later. IMHO, if the Tor was indeed such a very important religious site, the archaeology doesn't suggest so. There is better evidence for Iron Age and Romano-Celtic religious sites elsewhere nearby. Roman re-use of any given pre-Roman site is usually a good pointer to any given site having a longer religious history.
 

Jerry_B

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AndroMan said:
'Scuse me, what else were they drawing on as a source, do you suppose. Must have had some local seed to plant that grew into the coffins of Arthur and Guinivere, don't you think? ;)
No, not really. Arthur was a popular romantic Medieval figure. They tapped into that. I don't think this suggests that there was any previous history. If there was, I don't think they would have resorted (allegedly) to creating dodgy 'ancient' Arthurian artefacts to back up their claims. Perhaps they conflated Arthur with another hero - Alfred, who was very active in Somerset, and has similar themes in his life (i.e. a guerilla war against a foreign invader).
 
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JerryB said:
Perhaps they conflated Arthur with another hero - Alfred, who was very active in Somerset, and has similar themes in his life (i.e. a guerilla war against a foreign invader).
Hmm. Perhaps I'm beginning to detect the hint of a pro-Anglo Saxon agenda here? :p
 

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AndroMan said:
Hmm. Perhaps I'm beginning to detect the hint of a pro-Anglo Saxon agenda here? :p
No, not at all - I'm just trying to point out that the whole celtic mystical side of the Tor and Glastonbury is, well, a bit far off of the mark. If anything, I'm trying to show that the site is a Christian one, more than anything else, and that the whole Arthurian thing got mixed in with the later New Age stuff to produce the tourist/mystical image we have of the place today.
 

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The above posts were split off from the Leys thread. :)
 
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Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas Legend!

The Christmas Thorn of Glastonbury
(A Legend Of Ancient Britain)
Adapted From William Of Malmesbury And Other Sources


There is a golden Christmas legend and it relates how Joseph of Arimathea -- that good man and just, who laid our Lord in his own sepulcher, was persecuted by Pontius Pilate, and how he fled from Jerusalem carrying with him the Holy Grail hidden beneath a cloth of samite, mystical and white.

For many moons he wandered, leaning on his staff cut from a white-thorn bush. He passed over raging seas and dreary wastes, he wandered through trackless forests, climbed rugged mountains, and forded many floods. At last he came to Gaul where the Apostle Philip was preaching the glad tidings to the heathen. And there Joseph abode for a little space.

Now, upon a night while Joseph lay asleep in his hut, he was wakened by a radiant light. And as he gazed with wondering eyes he saw an angel standing by his couch, wrapped in a cloud of incense.

"Joseph of Arimathea," said the angel, "cross thou over into Britain and preach the glad tidings to King Arvigarus. And there, where a Christmas miracle shall come to pass, do thou build the first Christian church in that land."

And while Joseph lay perplexed and wondering in his heart what answer he should make, the angel vanished from his sight.

Then Joseph left his hut and calling the Apostle Philip, gave him the angel's message. And, when morning dawned, Philip sent him on his way, accompanied by eleven chosen followers. To the water's side they went, and embarking in a little ship, they came unto the coasts of Britain.

And they were met there by the heathen who carried them before Arvigarus their king. To him and to his people did Joseph of Arimathea preach the glad tidings; but the king's heart, though moved, was not convinced. Nevertheless he gave to Joseph and his followers Avalon, the happy isle, the isle of the blessed, and he bade them depart straightway and build there an altar to their God.

And a wonderful gift was this same Avalon, sometimes called the Island of Apples, and also known to the people of the land as Ynis-witren, the Isle of Glassy Waters. Beautiful and peaceful was it. Deep it lay in the midst of a green valley, and the balmy breezes fanned its apple orchards, and scattered afar the sweet fragrance of rosy blossoms or ripened fruit. Soft grew the green grass beneath the feet. The smooth waves gently lapped the shore, and water-lilies floated on the surface of the tide; while in the blue sky above sailed the fleecy clouds.

And it was on the holy Christmas Eve that Joseph and his companions reached the Isle of Avalon. With them they carried the Holy Grail hidden beneath its cloth of snow-white samite. Heavily they toiled up the steep ascent of the hill called Weary-All. And when they reached the top Joseph thrust his thorn-staff into the ground.

And, lo! a miracle! the thorn-staff put forth roots, sprouted and budded, and burst into a mass of white and fragrant flowers! And on the spot where the thorn had bloomed, there Joseph built the first Christian church in Britain. And he made it "wattled all round" of osiers gathered from the water's edge. And in the chapel they placed the Holy Grail.

And so, it is said, ever since at Glastonbury Abbey -- the name by which that Avalon is known to-day -- on Christmas Eve the white thorn buds and blooms.



Story from Good Stories for Great Holidays by Frances Jenkins Olcott (1914)
 

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rynner said:
The above posts were split off from the Leys thread. :)
Oh no,now you'll have to merge it with the other Glastonbury thread :D

I don't buy the Arthur connection myself and to be honest never thought it was important, I always believed it was something dreamed up by the monks to get the pilgrims coming in (always a tourist place this) Maybe they did find a grave and used a bit of wishful thinking.

There were standing stones,megaliths, recorded here in antiquity and some were mentioned as still existing into the 1960s , maybe some were field markers (I believe the ones marked on the slightly older OS maps from the 70s were) but that would indicate pre-Christian activity.

I believe churches were built on pre-Christian sacred sites and great churches were built on great ones, they wouldn't just have plonked a cathedral or abbey or even a parish church in a meaningless greenfield site if they wanted to attract the locals to the new religion ,or supress the old beliefs.
 

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There's also some folklore from north Somerset that tells of how Jesus visited the county in his youth - I've even heard one version where he was brought along by Jospeph of Arimathea. IIRC, this partly inspired the hymn 'Jerusalem', which was written in Somerset...(or so the story goes)...
 

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Originally posted by Marion
There were standing stones,megaliths, recorded here in antiquity and some were mentioned as still existing into the 1960s , maybe some were field markers (I believe the ones marked on the slightly older OS maps from the 70s were) but that would indicate pre-Christian activity.

I believe churches were built on pre-Christian sacred sites and great churches were built on great ones, they wouldn't just have plonked a cathedral or abbey or even a parish church in a meaningless greenfield site if they wanted to attract the locals to the new religion ,or supress the old beliefs.


Those old stones may have been hundred stones - they wre often misidentified as something else in the past.

True, there was an older church site at Glastonbury that predates the abbey, but this may just have been because the nearby wells had some religious significance in some way - or not. It may just have been a good dry spot. But I still stick to the theory that nothing of any major import was going on at the site aside from teh Christian stuff. The abbey just got bigger and bigger as the monk's wealth increased. Compare it with the abbey up the road at Muchelney, which itself got pretty big (despite the fact that the monks who lived there supposedly led a rather more licentious lifestyle) - it used to be the major religious building group before Glastonbury was established AFAIK. IIRC, it was twice destroyed by the Vikings. The site seems to have been chosen simply because it was a large good piece of dry land ('Muchelney' means 'the increasingly great island'), and the monks there did alot to drain the surrounding land before Glastonbury abbey took over the job.

The reason I got interested in Somerset history and folklore was my initial interest in Glastonbury Arthurian stuff when I was a teenager. But over th eyears when I did a little more digging into the whole subject, it became clear that Glastonbury isn't really a big contender for anything pre-Christian in origin in a religious sense. Especially not when compare to other local sites.
 

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Yeah apparently a journalist or writer was looking into the Jesus thing and found a farmer near Shepton who reckoned it must be true cause his grandfather had met him (Jesus) when he visited, possibly his grandfather had said the same thing and so on.
Its not impossible, there was a lot of trade even before Roman times with the Med countries and the SW of England , and J of A was a merchant.
 

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AndroMan said:
And supposing the mediaeval strip fields following the contours of the terraces round the Tor, were making use of a pre existing maze path?
You mean, they aren't the marks left from the coils of the serpent/wyrm/dragon?!

:rolleyes: :p
 

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Bump! For your delectation, all the best Glastonbury threads collected together here! :D
 

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The BF has just sold my prized resin life-sized replica buffalo skull on ebay to a Glastonbury pub owner :( so if anyone pops in for a pint and notices that ones appeared, give it a friendly wave!;)

(Well, it's only fair as I sold his occult books on Amazon!)
 
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David Raven said:
You mean, they aren't the marks left from the coils of the serpent/wyrm/dragon?!
Is there a legend about one round the Tor, or are you just teasing? :)
 

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I can't see any reason why our ancient ancestors shouldn't have thought of Glastonbury Tor as something special. I have visited it once and thought it was pretty cool.

But what I see all the time is Berwick Law, not too far from Edinburgh. It is very similar to Glastonbury Tor in that the landscape round about it is very flat and then suddenly, there is Berwick Law. Every time I see it, I am surprised afresh at how weird it looks, I mean really weird.
You have to remember that pre-christian people looked at the landscape very differently to us, they imbued trees and rivers with spirits, why not wierd hills?
If I lived many hundreds of years ago, I am almost certain I would look on it as something "mystical" if I can use that word without sounding new-agey. Needless to say there is myth and legend surrounding the Law as well

Just my thoughts. I agree that the whole Glastonbury thing has got a bit out of hand though, I believe it is based on some sort of foundation though. Perhaps it would be worth looking into stuff surrounding Berwick Law and looking for similarities with Glastonbury to find out the truth? As it is less corrupted so to speak?
 

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I think I'll contunue to remain unconvinced by the Tor etc. being special in any way before the monks turned up and imbued it with it's Arthurian flavour. I think it appears special to modern day people because they know what the site is about, so to speak - they know all of the various things that have ben pinned onto it. But the reality is that it doesn't seemed to have been a place of any special religious note further back in time, as I've pointed out. This instead seems to have taken place at other sites, and there is very good evidence for this.
 

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I thought the evidence that it may have been surrounded by water before the 10th Century was kind of interesting. (From a documentary presented by Richard Harris about Arthur.)

I still don't buy it as Camelot, though. Or Tintagel as Arthur's birthplace. Too much of the stories have been edited to make them fit with the locations, I think.
 

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Most of that part of Somerset was underwater until drained in the medieval period (altho' it's still prone to flooding even today). The Tor is just one hill among many that would have been islands before this happened.
 

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Were anti-Christians behind pilgrimage site attack?
2,000-year-old Holy Thorn Tree of Glastonbury is cut down
By Luke Salkeld
Last updated at 9:44 AM on 10th December 2010

Standing proudly on the side of an English hill, its religious roots go back 2,000 years. But a single night of vandalism has left an ancient site of pilgrimage in splinters.
The Holy Thorn Tree of Glastonbury has been chopped down in what is being seen by some as a deliberately anti-Christian act.
A feature of the skyline surrounding the Somerset town, the tree has been visited by thousands retracing the steps said to have been taken by Joseph of Arimathea, who some say was Jesus’ great uncle.

According to legend, Saint Joseph travelled to the spot after Christ was crucified, taking with him the Holy Grail of Arthurian folklore.
He is said to have stuck his wooden staff – which had belonged to Jesus – into the ground on Wearyall Hill before he went to sleep. When he awoke it had sprouted into a thorn tree, which became a natural shrine for Christians across Europe.

To add to its sacred status, the tree ‘miraculously’ flowered twice a year – once at Christmas and once at Easter. It survived for hundreds of years before it was chopped down by puritans in the Civil War, but secret cuttings of the original were taken and planted around the town.
It is from one of the new plants that a replacement tree was planted in the original spot over 50 years ago.

Yesterday residents of Glastonbury wept as they surveyed the damage done to the tree on Wednesday night. Katherine Gorbing, curator of the town’s abbey, said: ‘The mindless vandals who have hacked down this tree have struck at the heart of Christianity.
‘It is the most significant of all the trees planted here and can be linked back to the origins of Christianity.
‘When I arrived at the Abbey this morning you could look over to the hill and see it was not there.
‘It’s a great shock to everyone in Glastonbury – the landscape of the town has changed overnight.’

Every winter a sprig of thorns from one of the town’s trees is sent to the Queen to be used as a table decoration on Christmas Day.

Glastonbury mayor John Coles, 66, took part in the annual cutting ceremony last week using the tree at St John’s Church.
Yesterday he recalled watching a tree being planted on Wearyall Hill in 1951 for the Festival of Britain. Although that specimen died, it was replaced the following year and stood firm until this week. Mr Coles said: ‘It’s the saddest thing I’ve seen in Glastonbury. Some of the main trunk is there but the branches have been sawn away. I am absolutely lost for words.’

Experts had verified that the tree – known as the Crategus Monogyna Bi Flora – originated from the Middle East.

Avon and Somerset police have begun an investigation but because there was no tree preservation order on the Holy Thorn, it means the vandals are unlikely to be prosecuted. The land on which the Holy Thorn stood is owned by Edward James, who was arrested this week in connection with an investigation into failed currency exchange firm Crown Currency Exchange, of which he is a director.

According to the administrator’s report, Crown Currency collapsed owing £16million with little more than £3million in the bank. Last night there was speculation that the attack on the Holy Thorn may have been part of a vendetta against him.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z17hqOVZTZ
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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rynner2 said:
Were anti-Christians behind pilgrimage site attack?
2,000-year-old Holy Thorn Tree of Glastonbury is cut down

...

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z17hqOVZTZ
Or, was it Christian fundies, who object to the hint of incense and high-church papishness, surrounding the whole mystical, Glastonbury pilgrimage, schtick? Who knows?

A very mean act, anyway. :(
 

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Resurrection of the Holy Thorn Tree: Glastonbury's vandalised shrine comes back to life
By Neil Sears
Last updated at 10:53 PM on 25th March 2011

As a Christian symbol, it seems appropriate that its resurrection took place in time for Easter.
Glastonbury's Holy Thorn tree began to show new buds this week, three months after it was savagely cut down by vandals.

According to legend, Joseph of Arimathea – who some say was Jesus's great-uncle – travelled to Wearyall Hill after the Crucifixion and stuck a wooden staff belonging to Jesus into the ground before he went to sleep.
When he awoke, the tale goes, the staff had sprouted into a thorn tree, which became a shrine for Christians across Europe.

Every year, the sacred tree flowered once at Christmas and once at Easter, until just before Christmas last year when it was vandalised, leaving the community of the small Somerset town fearing it was dead.

But that was before the council enlisted the help of Peter Frearson, a self-titled pagan wizard who happens to run his own horticultural business.
Mr Frearson said: 'Well-meaning but uninformed people were putting things like marmalade on the wounds.
'Mead, an alcoholic drink made from honey, was also popular, as well as various ales and Guinness on one occasion.
'There's also been a few ribbons tied round it, as well as lots of people holding hands around it, and circles of people projecting positive energy.'

He said: 'We applied a dressing of pine resin and beeswax to stop further moisture and rain getting in, keep out bacteria and fungus, and applied nutrients.
'We covered it in horticultural fleece, then bubble wrap, then more fleece.
'Soon after we replaced the bubble wrap with hessian.

'We mulched around the base of the tree with well-rotted wood chips to keep the moisture off the ground, and we've also driven spikes into the ground and filled the holes with compost and bonemeal, and we'll do it again soon.'

Glastonbury's mayor John Coles said the display of new buds on the tree was 'wonderful news for the town'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z1HhwPzhgC
 

rynner2

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rynner2 said:
Were anti-Christians behind pilgrimage site attack?
2,000-year-old Holy Thorn Tree of Glastonbury is cut down
By Luke Salkeld
Last updated at 9:44 AM on 10th December 2010

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z17hqOVZTZ
The mystery over who attacked the Holy Thorn Tree

In the small hours of 8 December 2010, the Holy Thorn Tree of Glastonbury was cut down by somebody wielding a chain saw. Was it an act of mindless vandalism, or something more significant, asks Jolyon Jenkins.

According to legend, the thorn tree sprung from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea, Jesus's great-uncle, when he stuck it in the Somerset soil after voyaging to England in the 1st Century AD.
Whether or not the story is true, Glastonbury became an important early Christian centre, the site of an abbey founded in the 7th Century but closed down by Henry VIII.

Nowadays, though, it's not the Christians who are conspicuous in Glastonbury but the pagans who have flocked there.
"It's the heart chakra of the world," says Georgina Sirett-Armstrong-Smith, who is a priestess of Avalon at the local Goddess Temple. Others see strange forms and figures in the local landscape - a swan, a dragon, a pregnant woman.

Walking down the High Street, you could easily get the impression you have stumbled into Witchcraft Central. The shop names tell the story - The Cat and Cauldron, Man, Myth and Magick, The Goddess and Green Man, The Psychic Piglet.
Apart from witches and goddess worshippers, there are fairy followers, astrologers, shamans, alchemists, geomancers, druids, spiritualists and every possible variety of alternative healer.

So there are two mysteries of the holy thorn. One is who cut it down, and why? The other is why it seems to mean so much not just to Christians, but to pagans worldwide.

"We can see it from our front door," says Martin Wheeler, a local blogger.
"We will hear the women drumming up on the top of the hill. We will see the people dancing round the thorn. Drumming you usually get at a full moon."

When the tree was attacked, there was an online outpouring of grief. And when, a year later, new growth started to sprout from the trunk, the joy among international pagans was similar.
"Blessed Be the Holy Thorn - May it have as many fruit as the tears that have been shed," said one comment on the tree's Facebook page.

The thorn tree, however, is not all that it seems. The one that was cut down was definitely not planted by Joseph of Arimathea, but by a council official in the summer of 1951, to commemorate the Festival of Britain.
In fact, that one died due to drought, and was secretly replaced a few months later
.

I found a small piece of it in a surprising place - the Covenstead Bed and Breakfast, whose owner is a witch, Adele Clough.
Clough displays her shrine to witchcraft on which she had placed a twig of the thorn. "Anything that is a symbol of peace and a symbol of love is something that all witches and Wiccans aspire to."

The former mayor John Coles tends to the remnants of the thorn. In recent years, people have tied ribbons to it bearing messages, prayers and maybe even spells.
Coles removes them. "It takes daylight away from the trunk," he explains. He also prises out the coins that people have jammed into the bark.
"This never used to happen even eight or nine years ago," he says sadly.

The apparent takeover of the town by new age believers disturbs him. "There's nothing wrong with paganism but there is a certain taste of Satanism as well and I have always regarded Glastonbury as a Christian town."

The local Catholic priest, Father Kevin Knox-Lecky, has also come across signs of Satanism.
"I have in the past found signs of rituals having been performed on the church steps. And that usually would involve candle grease and herbs and feathers, and sometimes blood," he says.
He doesn't think it's the work of local witches but outsiders. "I find it a nuisance when I have to clear it up, but that's as far as it goes really."

Knox-Lecky is relaxed about witchcraft and paganism, drawing the line only at the occasional attempts by local priestesses to co-opt the Virgin Mary into their pantheon of goddesses.

The Church of England vicar, David MacGeoch, seems a bit less sanguine. He moved to the town precisely because he "felt that Christianity in Glastonbury had got slightly lost".
"Many of us are here to put Christianity back on the map of Glastonbury," he says.

So who cut down the thorn? There are three theories, apart from the mundane explanation of mindless vandalism. First, that it was militant Christians opposed to its use as a pagan symbol.

Second, that it was militant pagans, opposed to its use as a Christian symbol. Third, that it was part of a private vendetta against a landowner.

But the case has gone cold. I only came across one lead, and not a very strong one.
MacGeoch was visited by a mystic who told him of a vision. That there were two men. That the chainsaw had been borrowed by somebody. And the person that he'd borrowed the chainsaw from didn't know the reason why. He told her to go to the police.

As for the extraordinary beliefs of Glastonbury's new residents, local historian Paul Ashdown takes the long view.
"The oldest version of the Glastonbury legend of all, which we find in the 900s, is the most outrageous of all in a sense.
"It says that no skill of man built the church in Glastonbury. It was prepared in heaven for the salvation of mankind.
"All later versions are, to varying degrees, rationalisations of this oldest belief that Glastonbury was one of the most special places in the world - a place where a church can just appear from the heavens."

After that, nothing about Glastonbury is surprising.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17589575
 

ramonmercado

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Knox-Lecky is relaxed about witchcraft and paganism, drawing the line only at the occasional attempts by local priestesses to co-opt the Virgin Mary into their pantheon of goddesses
FFS! Christianity has co-opted countless pagan deities and powers into their pantheon of trinities, saints etc.

How about the way The Morrigan was merged into the vrgin mary and wells, springs and other sites associated with The Morrigan ended up as places of veneration for their lady?

The Celtic Pantheon Will Rise Again!

Morrigú! Morrigú!
 

ramonmercado

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New tree to replace Glastonbury's vandalised Holy Thorn
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-21210949

The Holy Thorn on Wearyall Hill was a famous landmark in Glastonbury, Somerset

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A descendant of the Holy Thorn damaged by vandals is to be planted in the centre of Glastonbury later.

The new tree, propagated from the severed branches of the original thorn, is to be planted on Wearyall Hill.

The original, grown from a cutting of a tree said to have been planted by Joseph of Arimathea 2,000 years ago, had its branches cut off in 2010.

John Turner. from Visit Somerset, said it reinstates an "incredibly important piece of Somerset history".

It will be the second time that a replacement Holy Thorn has been planted on the hill.

Last April, a new tree was planted and surrounded by a metal cage to try to protect it.

But within two weeks the replacement tree had been broken off about a foot from the ground.

'Iconic tree'
The latest thorn is due to be planted close to Glastonbury Abbey alongside a Word Peace Pole as part of a ceremony organised by the Glastonbury Pilgrim Reception Centre.


The last replacement tree was broken off completely
According to the centre, the sapling has been propagated from cuttings taken from the original vandalised tree and grafted onto common hawthorn by experts at Kew Gardens.

Tony Kirkham, head of the arboretum at Kew Gardens, said: "The Glastonbury thorn is one of our iconic trees in the British Isles, with legends relating to the arrival of Christianity.

"We were extremely pleased to be able to assist with preserving the original tree at Wearyall Hill by propagating it using the damaged branches in our woody plant nursery at Kew.

"With the new tree planted back in Glastonbury along with several others in different locations, we hope that the Glastonbury story will continue."

There are several Holy Thorn trees around the town. The original vandalised tree on Wearyall Hill was planted in 1951 to celebrate the Festival of Britain.
 
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