The dark side of Glastonbury


Duality is unavoidable, being the trick that allows the universe to come into existence. There’s light and darkness, and the level of polarisation between the two ranges from mild to intense. Some places on earth exhibit a high level of polarisation, and such is the case of Glastonbury in south-west England.

Becoming a local

It’s been one year since I moved to the Glastonbury area after being a frequent traveler for several years prior to that. I had noticed the high I would get when driving from London and the energetic crash I’d get when returning to London (in fact, when crossing the M25). Glastonbury is a strange place where everything seems possible, where you can feel amazed, coated in a supportive and divine energy, have the best encounters and discussions ever and have an afternoon full of happy synchronicities. You’re just in the moment, enjoying yourself, and that’s beautiful.

But I had also noticed some red flags: drug addicts roaming around town, the lack of courtesy of many shops staff (not to say some being plain rude sometimes), the common lack of good customer service and reliability, the dizziness when walking on the high street, the negative aura of some characters and venues. There was definitely something at play, something hard to catch. In a nutshell, I’d say that the ‘good’ gets really good in that place, while the ‘bad’ can get really bad too… Again, that’s what polarisation is about.

Therefore, I made a point not to live in the centre of Glastonbury and in any case, not too close to the high street where the energy seems to concentrate (not the Tor, or Chalice Well). In the end I’ve opted to live outside of the hot zone, in a village nearby. I now recall a wise woman once told me as a warning that “there are many rabbit holes in Glastonbury” and that the place is not as heavenly as many believe. What did she mean? I asked her to elaborate and she mentioned bigotry, some people being narrow-minded and judgemental, the saturation of spiritual activities and the ‘hidden’ things. Oh, wise she was, indeed. Because I was to discover some really peculiar things over the coming months. It’s one thing to come and go and see only the beauty of a place. It’s another to live there permanently and over the long run see the true face of some local characters. Appearances are deceiving and discernment is required to penetrate things.

The dark side

So, what’s not so nice about Glastonbury? People come and dump their—unwanted—stuff there. It’s a place for healing and as such it’s an energetic rubbish tip. Who does the cleaning after that? It’s also a place of international spiritual pilgrimage—it has been that way for centuries. It’s a rather small place but with an international prestige and because of that, people come from all over the world which draws in a particular energy. And there’s a lot going on. Workshops galore, trainings, healing sessions, rituals of all kinds, processions, festivals, dance, yoga, qi gong, martial arts etc. For such a small place, the concentration of activities is mind blowing and that’s part of the bounty of living there for the spiritual seeker. I used to cross half of London to attend a workshop (spending sometimes more time on public transport than on site…). Now I’m minutes away from all the action! And the action comes in many flavours. You’ll find all sorts of spiritual traditions represented: New Age, Shamanism, Paganism, Egyptian, Norse, Tibetan, Hindu, Goddess and many more. There’s something for everyone, but it can be overwhelming.

Now to the ugly bits. There are groups and factions of spiritual people out there claiming an affiliation with movements that are questionable. There are beyond a doubt ceremonies and rites that are private, and others open to the public yet quite esoteric. The abundance of events does not warrant their quality and good intention, especially if free or on donation. Once I’ve witnesses something that I could best describe as a sort of satanist ritual, or at least one of a kind that disturbed me. Ceremonial dresses, words ushered in old tongues, gestures, egyptian amulet, dagger, sharing of food with substances and alcohol beverages. I couldn’t believe what was happening in that room. Yet, most people seemed to be onboard with that, despite some of them being blatantly unaware of the nature of the ritual that was being performed. Tourists passing by mixed with long established locals. A mix of people knowing exactly what the ritual was about, while others came naive and unaware of what’s truly being offered. Well, that’s how you learn! That session was a mild taster of some of the dark things that are going on. There are also cults around—as one would expect in such a high energy place. For example, a prominent shop on the high-street is clearly one. Nothing’s wrong with that if people willingly enter such arrangements, except the desperate and lost rarely do… That energy of cults is so distinct that it can’t be mistaken. Again, discernment comes in handy. Walking up the high street sometimes looks going to the circus.

But there are also some real and genuine teachers out there. They’re usually humble and do not seek a wide audience. They’re just content of what they do. Above all, they keep doing what they see as their mission, no matter what, over and over again. That’s the sort of things you can’t work out when you just drop into a session. It takes time to find out. So the spiritual seeker will find its teachers and masters in the midst of that kaleidoscope of oddities. Welcome to Glastonbury indeed!

The energy of the land

Oh, the influence that place has on people is nothing ordinary. People who live too close to the centre are caught up in an energy vortex that colours their life beyond their realisation. The way they think and act is influenced and over time they stop noticing. Visitors stopping for the first time are often so dizzy on the high street that they forget all sorts of things in shops: may it be their wallet or what they just bought! (Ask a shop owner their anecdotes and you’ll be surprised). The energy is so strong that many people become very ungrounded. Oh yes, grounding is a quality very much required around there if you want to function normally.

As one of my friends put it, many people do not have the ‘energy hygiene’ required to live there in decent conditions.

Others will pass by, feeling there’s something special about that place but being unaware of all that’s going on. They simply buy their crystals souvenirs and bohemian clothes and leave content.

What many locals may not realise is that getting outside of the isle of Avalon from time to time is healthy. Breaking from that energy will help you keep a balance. Because, granted, the energy of the land can be uplifting but it can also make your life difficult at times. Why? Because I see Avalon as a place of accelerated manifestation, as an amplifier. But what will it amplify? The good or the bad? Well, it depends on the seed you sow. You should be mindful of your thoughts at any moment, but that is especially true when in Avalon, because their power is increased tenfold. Such is the gift—but also the curse—of Avalon. You’ll meet the lost souls that cannot direct their consciousness and become stranded here going round in circles and from drama to drama. And you’ll also meet the enlightened ones whose radiance and positivity is rejuvenating when you simply cross their path. Hopefully, you’re able to tell them apart! And hopefully, you can withstand the energy of Avalon and prosper.

Table of Contents of this article (made up of ~1400 words)

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