A review of "Glastonbury, Avalon of the Heart"
by Dion Fortune
Glastonbury is a true crossroads of myths and legends. Perhaps a link between different eras, a place where the torch of tradition has been passed from hand to hand to the present day. We find, as Fortune reminds us, the legends of Merlin and Arthur, the constituent myth of Celtic Christianity linked to the mission of Joseph of Arimathea, the missions of St. Patrick and St. Brigid, and the myth of Atlantis, which refers us to other eras, races and cultures lost in time.
A place where it is difficult not to sense a spiritual force, whatever faith is professed. A place where God has been thought of, if not invoked, loved and served many times. And this devotion has caused a thinning of the Veil, which makes God's presence, however one understands it, much sharper and closer.
And how to approach the search for the Grail? That is a path not without danger. By wielding Excalibur, using it as long as we continue the search, and throwing it away, as Arthur did, once one finds what one was searching for. Quoting Fortune "[Excalibur] must ever be with the illuminated soul. He must take into his hand the sword of the ancient faith and...wield it..till the land is cleansed of its evil, and then he must cast it away in order to take up the sword of the spirit." How can we not think, in all this, of the meaning of the Sanskrit word Vedanta (end of the Vedas, going beyond the scriptures of religion and thus faith) or, staying within the Western tradition, of the different alchemical stages?
Overall, we really enjoyed the text, which we already owned, but had never read. In addition to the great spiritual inspiration, we also gleaned useful information for our other passions, such as "The Immortal Hour" by William Sharpe (Fiona Macleod) and set to music by Rutland Boughton (which we will get). Also curious were the chronicles of the psychically guided excavations around the Abbey by Frederick Blight Bond, who later in life was ordained as an Old Catholic priest.