Rachel K. Ivey Photography – Glastonbury Cross
Since this is Easter weekend, I have found myself thinking about a trip I made to England in 2008. Glastonbury was at the top of my list of places to visit. My husband and I were able to make a day trip to Glastonbury from our bed and breakfast, Appletree Guest House, in Bath.
Glastonbury is a place of legend – many, many of them. To New Agers, Glastonbury is home to a nexus of powerful, earth energies known as ley lines. To Arthurian legend fans, the Glastonbury Tor is the Isle of Avalon of the Lady of the Lake. Glastonbury Abbey has the tombs of King Arthur and Lady Guinevere marked by signs, although legend has it their bodies were mysteriously removed and are no longer there. As if mystical energy lines, the Isle of Avalon, and the tomb of King Arthur weren’t enough, Glastonbury is also steeped in legends of the Biblical variety.
Joseph of Arimathea, the uncle of Jesus, is said to have been a merchant who travelled as far as England in his journeys. Local legends say that Joseph brought Jesus with him on some of his travels to the area. They say that when Jesus died, Joseph brought a cutting of the tree that was used to fashion the crown of thorns Jesus wore when he was crucified. This cutting was planted in Glastonbury, where stands the Joseph Thorn tree, also known as the Glastonbury Thorn. One very interesting fact is that the tree blooms twice a year – once around Christmas (the time we celebrate Jesus’ birth) and again around Easter (the time we celebrate Jesus’ crucifixion).
To continue with the Joseph connection, there is also a spot in Glastonbury known as the Chalice Well. It is said that Joseph brought the Holy Grail with him to Glastonbury, where he is supposed to have built a small chapel. Local stories say that the Holy Grail is hidden somewhere in the area. There is a small well in the gardens at Chalice Well. The water is high in minerals, staining the rocks red overtime, and is believed by some to have healing and restorative properties. (It just tasted like mineral water to me.)
Happy Easter to you and yours.