|Walking in the Light: An Account of a Foot Pilgrimage from the Hague to Jerusalem|
£14.95 393 pages (available in Glastonbury bookshops or
|Meeting Shiva - Falling and Rising in Love in the Indian Himalayas Tiziana Stupia|
£11.99 327 pages Changemakers Books
|Signs & Secrets of the Glastonbury Zodiac|
Edited by Yuri Leitch An Anthology of the Maltwood Moot Avalonian Aeon £24.99 332ppThe Maltwood Moot have been meeting up over the last few years to both walk and discuss the Glastonbury Zodiac and they have now produced this magnificent collection of history, analysis, dreams, poetry, art and off piste musings that so wonderfully embody the Avalonian spirit. The Glastonbury Zodiac is inextricably entangled with the quest for the Graal, as elusive and ever present as always. The mists close in thickly for those who walk blindfolded by reason and the same mists clear erraticallly for those willing to step into the unknown. A host of writers contribute to this anthology and readers will find their own favourites. Anthony Thorley initiates proceedings by exploring the possible connection between the writing of Madame Blavatsky and the development of Katharine Maltwoods theories about the Glastonbury Zodiac. Alan Royce comes in with a brief but important essay which offers the Polden Ridge as a border between the ancient British tribes of Dobunni and Durotiges, taking the landscape back to prehistorical times. Shirley Whitton offers an evocative essay exploring the Beaufort family presence in the medieval Zodiac landscape through the War of the Roses. Hank Harrison gives biographical details about Katharine and her husband John; Shirley Whitton returns with a warm and personal article about Mary Caine and the Kingston Zodiac. Tim and Sophie Knock recall Elizabeth Leader, for whom the Zodiac landscape was the exact scenery for The High History of the Holy Graal. Bringing us to more modern Avalonians, there are articles on Anthony Roberts, who published the seminal anthology Glastonbury: Ancient Avalon, New Jerusalem in 1997, and Robert Coon, whose planetary chakra system proposed Glastonbury as the heart chakra of the world. And who better to complete the modern trio than Paul Weston writing about the psychic questing adventures of Andrew Collins, taking us back to medieval knights gallivanting through the Zodiac landscape. The section of the book entitled Mystery offers a variety of uncompleted trails for the pilgrim to explore further. This includes geometry and alignments within the Zodiac that Yuri Leitch believes was alluded to indirectly by Katharine Maltwood, including the Somerset Parallelogram and Melkarth Line. These articles begin to reveal the richness of the Zodiac, which can only truly be appreciated by walking on the individual signs and experiencing the unique quality of the different places and the synchronicities that duly arise. One of the most important trails is that of the disappeared Well Maidens, whose departure created the Wasteland. To quote Yuri Leitch: It is Earths water that connects all living things and it is our very real, symbiotic, empathic memory-connection to all of our ancestors and cultural histories - a direct connection to Spirit - and we contaminate it to our own sickness and sorrow. In Glastonbury/Avalon we have begun the journey of honouring and restoring the springs and wells with Chalice Well and the White Spring being the foremost. However, there are many more, some honoured privately, but some neglected or forgotten. One of the pleasures of the future must lie in the reclaiming of these water sources and the return of the Avalonian Well Maidens. The last third of the book is entitled Inspiration and steps further into the liminal or what John Wadsworth calls The Zodiac Memory Theatre. Indeed John expresses the experience of Zodiac exploration in a most satisfying way, including a wonderful suggestion from Patrick Harpur that Mnemosyne is never a mindless data retrieval system, she is always an adorner, a myth maker, a falsifier of facts and a literaliser of fictions. I imagine that this splendid book is already sitting on many bookshelves, but if not, you should go out and purchase a copy right now! It is an outstandingly well presented book with high quality illustrations and photographic reproductions. Furthermore, it is genuinely exciting to see so many different Avalonian voices gathered together in one volume. Hopefully, it is only the beginning and we shall see more publications in the same vein. We are living in a golden age in Glastonbury at the moment, with an amazing collection of inspirational teachers, writers, artists, musicians, healers, spiritual practitioners and enthusiasts of all descriptions, all gathered here and celebrating life in its myriad diversity of beauty and wonder. We are offering a very different alternative to the mainstream and this book is a joyous testament to that fact. MJ
|Inside You: The Twenty Four Lights|
Inside You: The Twenty Four Lights Anna Moulsdale 169pp £15.99 www.twentyfourlights.com Tibetan Pulsing Healing is a system of holistic healing that works with twenty four energy centres in the human body, each containing their own set of emotional and psychological components and representing twenty four different aspects of the human condition. It can be used to restore physical and emotional well-being and also as a practical and spiritual guide on the evolutionary path of consciousness. Tibetan Pulsing Healing was devised by an American, James Murley, later known as Dheeraj, who, like many initiatory healers, intuited the system through his own powerful need for self healing - in his case suffering from pancreatis. He found that by touching his pancreas and feeling the pulse beat, his pain stopped. He gradually became aware of the twenty four energy streams and through meditation developed correspondences of music, sounds, colours, mudras and much else besides. These correspondences build up a picture of the mood, energy, emotional issues, relationship dynamics or challenges for a particular energy centre. Meditations, mudras, vocal toning and affirmations are used to transform imbalances in the energy centres and these are given for the reader to experiment with. At the same time, the advantages of consulting a trained practitioner are apparent, given the complexity of the system and Inside You is a handbook for practitioners as well. An innovative and refreshing approach to healing with a strong emphasis on emotional and psychotherapeutic wellbeing. Recommended reading!
|Qi Gong: Learning The Way|
Qi Gong: Learning The Way Simon Bastian 151pp £12.99 This is an excellent introduction to Qi Gong and the core principles of Daoism, which underpin not only Qi Gong, but also many aspects of Chinese culture including the arts, acupuncture, herbal medicine, diet, astrology, feng shui, I Ching and martial pursuits. Western esotericism has sought to create a similar integrated structure as found in Daoism and key elements of the Western Mystery Tradition, including Qabalah, are used here to explore and contrast with the Chinese concepts of Yin/Yang, Five Element theory, the eight trigrams, the meridian system and much else besides. Both Western and Chinese esoteric systems are essentially studies of energetic change in the macrocosm and the microcosm - as above, so below - and the approach this book takes makes for a very different experience from the normal Western tendency to rationalise, fix and limit the movement of Daoist thought and practices.. The heart of the book looks at Qi Gong exercises that work with the congenital meridians. It is undoubtedly difficult to learn physical exercises from a book, but the basics can certainly be understood and practised from the information and wealth of accompanying photographs given here. If you have little knowledge of Daoism, this is a really great book to start with and if you have some knowledge, you will certainly be entertained. Available from the Wild Hunt, 7, Benedict St. MJ
Simon Small O Books 362pp £12.99An ellipse of brilliant light is pulsing over Niagara Falls and it is no random occurrence because telescopes and radar have tracked its passage to the planet since first appearing over the Sea of Tranquillity on the moon. Earth has an alien visitor and whilst many are entranced and uplifted in its presence, many watching television broadcasts from afar are deeply disturbed and disorientated.This absorbing novel explores the very human need for fixed anchors in an uncertain world and the alien arrival is definitely not helping. The unlikely protagonist of the novel is an Anglican vicar, who is remarkably free of certainties, and his journey describes the opening of mysteries to those who are prepared to let boundaries of thought and belief dissolve.It would be unfair to reveal the plot as it is a delight and full of synchronicities. One of the more unusual pleasures is that this a book that celebrates Christian mysticism in an authentic and uplifting way, crossing into areas not normally associated with Christianity, but familiar to spiritual seekers of all persuasions. The whole novel is infused with a deeply contemplative spirit that envelops the reader to wonderful effect. With echoes of Aldous Huxley, this book is highly recommended and available in all good Glastonbury bookshops!
|On Being You: A Simple Guide to Self Enquiry|
Michael Vincent Authorhouse 2010 Paperback, full colour on acid free paper ISBN 978144 909 7578
This book is delightfully presented in all aspects. I found the look and feel of the book immediately set a relaxed tone. The size and clean layout are easy on the eye offering the opportunity to focus on the content without undue distraction. The text is interspersed with relevant quotations and a selection of images taken from Michaels extensive portfolio of original artworks created during his lifetime as a painter. Each quotation and image offers the reader an opportunity to pause and reflect before continuing.
Sri Ramana Maharshi offered Self Enquiry as silent Satsang. It soon became apparent to him that many of his students were not getting the message as they were unable or unprepared to sit with the silence. Faced with this fact verbal communication was started, much of it recorded by his devotees later to become the basis of texts. From here, the author explains, there has become an almost exponential increase in verbiage, particularly in the West, as Self Enquiry becomes more popular. It is the proliferation of differing words and the accompanying complexity or confusion that Michael seeks to address.
As readers, invited to work at our own pace, we are led through each section with simple and uncluttered explanations. I found that when approached in a relaxed and open way I absorbed the material with more and more ease. Following his desire to keep matters as simple as possible Michaels book follows a path offering a measured journey through each of the areas addressed.
At only 80 pages, including images and quotations, some recommended reading and three pages at the end left empty for personal notes, it is clear that Michael has accomplished what he set out to offer : a simple guide to Self Enquiry devoid of surplus verbiage. John Emery
|Avalonian Aeon From Glastonbury Festival to 2012 A Personal Occult Odyssey Paul Weston|
Avalonian Aeon Publivations
Those of us familiar with Paul Westons talks in Glastonbury in the late nineties have long been waiting for this account of his occult journeyings during the 1980s and early 1990s. I am happy to report that it surpasses all expectations, starting with the early acid fuelled misadventures and developing into the main body of the book featuring epic vistas of psychic questing across the Glastonbury Zodiac and points further afield.
Paul has always been wonderfully perceptive in his exposition of magical and mystical sources and Avalonian Aeon contains insightful studies of John Cowper Powys, Katherine Maltwood, George Gurdjieff and a host of other influences. It seems unlikely that any of these influences could have envisaged the kind of voyage Paul chose to launch upon.
The demented early days rarely allow for boundaries and the purple hazed initiation of Solstice Eve at Stonehenge free festival in 1979 sets up a repeating cycle of especially intense Solstices throughout the eighties - an inspired all nighter up the Tor is particularly memorable, where Sufis, Wiccans and bongo crazies conspire happily together in creating serendipity.
Psychic questing is an unaccountable phenomenon whereby information is psychically received, directions given to specifically described locations leading to the discovery of physical objects such as swords and gems, as well as apported objects, and further information.Paul was working in a group that included Andrew Collins, who has written extensively on the phenomenon, but much of the material in Avalonian Aeon has not been published before.
A vast mass of Arthurian, Sumerian, Egyptian, Mayan and other historical/mythical sources creates an ever evolving matrix out of which further adventure happens. I cannot remotely give justice to the intensity and richness of the material. The appearance of Trebor the Follet, a Cornish Sprite, might give you a flavour: Trebor offers plenty of useful guidance, but has an unhelpful habit of fusing electrics and bursting plumbing, as one might expect from a sprite.
And then of course, there is the Essex cultural background to deal with. For it is the Company of Essex trooping across the misty Vale of Avalon - hailing from Southend and all points East - very much in the tradition of Cowper Powys, where mystical ecstasies are counter-pointed by foul smells. Quests are deliberated upon in smoky pubs, excessive alcohol consumed and revelatory nights flow into breakfast at Little Chefs. Reaching for the stars and scaring themselves shitless in the process.
This is a superb book, an indispensable addition to the Glastonbury canon, full of inspiration and bound to lead to further synchronicities and connections. The Glastonbury Zodiac is currently gaining much more attention and Avalonian Aeon is an invaluable source book for those interested in exploring its terrestrial esoteric initiations. The book does of course carry the usual health warning Not for those of a tender disposition but you may have worked that one out for yourselves already. Too much for me to absorb in one weeks reading and I will be reading it in more detail again. But it sent me well doolally for the few days leading up to Solstice Eve 2010, so job done.
|A Pilgrim in Glastonbury Barry Taylor|
Abbey Press 272pp £10
available from The Pilgrim Reception Centre
The idea that Glastonbury itself might offer a spiritual or tranformative process might seem unlikely to the casual visitor or indeed many residents, but for many others the thought is perfectly normal. This book is an autobiographical account of one persons perception of the process, written in an unpretentious and honest way that may yet be extremely challenging to those holding to empirical belief sytems.
The first section of the book begins with the Call to Glastonbury, which in Barrys case came more as an intimation that he was being called to do something useful in Glastonbury. However, guidance became much more specific on walking within the Abbey when he experienced a vision of the Abbey populated by chanting monks accompanied by a voice informing him that the task was to work with others to recreate the lost spiritual heart of the town; to recreate the Abbey, but this time in a form suitable for today. On consulting other people in town, he found that such guidance was not entirely uncommon and that it was often considered to come from the Company of Avalon, a group of discarnate souls overseeing the spiritual reemergence of Glastonbury.Following this guidance resulted in a 25 year journey of practical creativity giving the lie to the notion that spirituality is not grounded.
Community organisations that Barry has been involved in setting up include The Glastonbury Trust, Isle of Avalon Foundation, The Library of Avalon, The Pilgrim Recepion Centre, Glastonbury Online and the Glastonbury Community Development Trust. He has also served on the boards of Chalice Well Trust, the Chamber of Commerce and the Assembly Rooms and has given of his time as a volunteer or advisor to many other charitable and not for profit organisations. At all times he has held to the vision of developing Glastonbury as a centre of pilgrimage for all faiths and none.
The middle part of the book contain his reflections on how different projects have come into being and what are the particular opportunities and stresses that present themselves in Glastonbury - not the least of which is that a spiritually oriented voluntary sector is not a concept readily understandable to funding bodies. The last section of the book explores Barrys understanding of spirituality as an integral part of ones life, a path of personal transformation.
This book is highly recommended to both Avalonians and any other inquiring minds as this is a highly practical account of how a spiritual call can be answered.
|The Art of Mindful Gardening: Sowing the Seeds of Meditation Ark Redwood|
(Leaping Hare Press Â£7.99)Sowing the Seeds of Meditation is the subtitle of a groundbreaking new book by Ark Redwood, Head Gardener for the last 11 years at Chalice Well and student of Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and his worldwide Community of Interbeing. A unique blend of Zen wisdom and horticultural insight The Art of Mindful Gardening is a journey through the cycle of the seasons, offering the observations and insights of a seasoned plantsman and a serious practitioner of mindfulness. Quotations, meditations, and practical advice illuminate many parts of the text. In his introduction Ark says, âGardening is a pastime that can give us a wealth of possibilities for mindfulness trainingâ - and he shares his love and delight in growing plants from seed: â Every springtime I am thrilled when I see the tiny seed leaves first appearing on the surface of the seed tray. There is something magical about germination, and I cannot see how anyone can fail to be delighted to welcome the manifestation of new life. I experience a tide of tenderness washing over me whenever I see those little green specks on the surface of the compost, and I make a silent vow to guide the infant seedlings to maturity, as if they were my own children. No wonder itâs called a ânurseryâ!...â Thereâs plenty of practical wisdom wrapped up in the book too as in Spring he guides us into a Pruning Meditation, centering the breath and feeling the presence of the shrub to be pruned. In May we are instructed on the âMagic of Compostâ by a Master composter. âA well-made compost heap is truly alchemy in action...filled with life yet formed from deathâ and offered guidance on why âno digâ horticulture promotes a healthy living soil. In busy Summer, Ark asks us to practise walking meditation and breathe and relax into the present moment while contemplating âSuffering and the web of lifeâ and ending our wars against slugs and pests and diseases and instead cultivating âvibrations of love and attentionâ to build up the health and immunity of our plants! He celebrates the traditional cottage garden and the fact that flowers play a huge part in our folklore and history: âThey link us with the ancestors and offer us their gift of healingâ and observes through Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanhs words that just like flowers, âWe manifest, then disappear. It is a game of hide and seekâ but there is no real separation between gardener and garden â only the truth of Interbeing. From Summer deadheading as a spiritual practice to the value of Copper Tools we move into Autumn and accepting impermanence. Soon we are contemplating why trees shed their leaves, learning to sweep leaves mindfully, plant bulbs adventurously, and embrace âthe way of mulchâ to build soil structure and tilth, suppress weeds, retain moisture and insulate the soil from frost. Ark celebrates the joy of harvest-time and offers us an ancestral meditation on abundance before considering frost and plant hardiness and planting bare root trees and connecting to our own roots as we go down into the darkness and death of winter. Itâs time for the garden and gardener to rest and to clean tools and sheds though characteristically Ark warns against extreme tidiness as âGaia abhors uniformity and homogeneityâ. With the return of the light and new resolutions in the New Year we turn full circle and begin to prepare the ground again as the snowdrop heralds Spring. This book is destined to be a gardening if not a spiritual classic and Leaping Hare Press have done a beautiful job with its hardback arts and crafts cover and spacious design to complement an inspirational text making it a pleasure to read in every sense. Anthony Ward