I came to Avalon almost 50 years ago, along the secret Green Road of the Soul, the “Mystic Way that leads through the Hidden Door into a land known only to the eye of vision”, as the 20th century mystic, Dion Fortune, described it. I entered that portal through the first ever Glastonbury Festival of music at Worthy Farm, which has since become famous all over the world, although it was a much smaller and deeply spiritual gathering back then.
Afterwards, we set up camp on the grass verges of Cinnamon Lane that winds around the foot of Glastonbury Tor.
I was lucky enough to meet people there who thought like me, who were digging down into our spiritual roots, into our ancestors’ understanding about the spirits of the land – known locally as the Fae or faeries – and learning about how a relationship with them was pivotal to spiritual growth.
I eventually returned to Canterbury in Kent, where the night-illumined cathedral filled my bedroom window in a house I shared with some art students. And I got on with my life, which involved, eventually, becoming a mother, and then a writer.
Through my work as an alternative health journalist for national newspapers, I travelled all around the world in search of ancient medicinal therapies and techniques. This enabled me to learn a vast amount of esoteric lore from a variety of guides, gurus, swamis and shamans who all helped me, over many decades, to develop in my spiritual evolution around the Wheel of Life.
There’s no place like home
In 2010, I was suddenly and unexpectedly pulled back to Glastonbury – like Dorothy and Toto in a tornado. Now in my late middle age, I was still a fairly rookie shaman. Nevertheless, the Fae came into my visioning and asked me to do a shamanic soul retrieval for the land around the town, and I carried it out on the Winter Solstice.
Since then, I’ve realised that so much of what presents itself as “spiritual” completely misses the point. It’s about the land. It’s always been about the land. It’s about being in love with land.
When we try to tell the story of our great love for our homeland – whether through words, music, paintings or dance – the land replies by coming into our dreams and visions with the stories of our ancestors whose ashes fertilise the soil beneath us. Then what we learn from these Mystery teachings helps us in our spiritual development by sparking our growth towards enlightenment and wisdom.
And so that is why I wrote Stories in the Summerlands, to guide others into the holy Mysteries that succeeding generations of Grailkeepers – since at least the days of the King Alfred the Great and the Templars – have buried in the cognitive mists of Avalon where they are not readily apparent to the modern-day spiritual tourist or pilgrim.
This book is more than a guide: it takes the form of a real pilgrimage, during which, as I guide you along the pathways of Avalon, spiritual realisations spark up that open the Hidden Door to your own inner hollow hills and vales along the secret Green Road of the Soul.
This is how I learned … and still continue to learn today … from the spirits of land and the blessed ancestors who guide my footsteps.
You can follow this pilgrimage from wherever you are in the world. You don’t have to physically come to Avalon; Avalon will come to you, as soon as you start reading. You will realise that these stories are invoking long forgotten memories that will flower in your dreams and visions, and go on to bear honeyed fruits in your everyday life.
Once you discover the extent and depth of the esoteric lore that is in Somerset, you will develop the skill of pattern recognition and then be able to bring it all back home by recognising the arcane treasures that have been preserved over many a millennia – and yet hidden in plain sight, just as they have been here – in your own beloved land. And you will quickly come to understand how their secret meanings are can help you to make more sense of your own life on this planet today.