I was just saying to a friend the other day about how living in Glastonbury is just like living backstage in the Theatre of Dreams.
I’ve been here for 11 years now … more than long enough to notice that most visitors are secretly hoping to catch the will-o-wisp, the ignis fatuus or Fool’s Fire that is hinted at in William Blake’s poem:
And did those feet in ancient times,
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the Holy Lamb of God,
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
Others arrive intent on discovering the grave of King Arthur, or on solving the mystery of the Holy Grail and the Knights of the Round Table.
Well, they have all come to right place – even, and perhaps especially, the Fools. These Mysteries (with a capital ‘M’) are here to be solved. However, when there are just as many theatrical impressarios practising their dark arts as there are seekers of enlightenment, how does one find the true way forward?
Even millions of years before the caravans of Commedia dell Arte trundled into villages across Italy with their metaphorical plays containing allegorical teachings on the Mysteries, the human being has needed a story to believe in, a story that makes sense of his life to him, a story that will kick him out of bed in the mornings.
And so there has been no shortage of authors employed to provide him with one – one that fits the current political agenda, one that catches light in his imagination, while, at the same time, helping to keep him in line with the consensual reality.
He who authors the story that gets the most controllable bums on seats in the Theatre of Deams gets to be the authority that rules the land with their authorised version of “the truth”.
And so, even if they are not actually conceived and birthed here, a newly rainbow-painted caravan of a story, before it goes out on the road, comes here to Glastonbury to get the mystical Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval before it can be literally road-tested out on the web of the high-speed information superhighway.
We’ve had the Priests of Atlantis, the Priestesses of Lemuria, the Wayshowers, the Lightwalkers, the Annunaki Hunters, the Goddesses of the Eternal Flame, the Keepers of the Holy Grail …. the list is endless.
However, there is a reason why Glastonbury is the Theatre of Dreams and it’s an esoteric reason. Anyone coming to live here – not just visit but move in – has to go through what we call “The Glastonbury Experience”, and it can take years. The Glastonbury Experience is in effect an eruption of his or her shadow side that magnetises to them the opportunity to experience, in vivid technicolour, every single spiritual delusion they’ve ever had about themselves on the path. And so it is a black peat, fertile seedbed for the most amazing masked comedies … and tragedies. It’s a virtual walk through the Tarot deck of the ups and downs of the Fool.
We even had the Second Coming once, and she was a woman. An Australian woman. A friend and I used to walk by her house and see her, through her living room window, watching her telly; or we’d catch her putting bins out, as she was waiting for the day to come when she was to be announced. Finally, for reasons to do with time and a huge traffic jam in the bottleneck at Stonehenge, she missed her moment, it all fizzled out and she left town.
We have no end of women who think they’re the reincarnation of Mary Magdalene, and who make a beeline for any new man coming into town looking like Jesus who has a bit of a Messiah complex.
We have would-be wizards who think they’re Merlin. We have several kings of the fairies living off-grid, some of whom smell as if they sleep in their own clothes.
None of these characters people the story of history but the story of mythology, which is far more valuable to us than history, because it is NOT pointing us to who we were in a previous life, but to who we are now.
The whole cloth of perceived history is draped over a clothes horse pinned together with duct tape, horseshit and safety pins, of contorted and bastardised ancient myths, that were originally conceived and drawn in the stars to provide generations to come NOT with a back story of the human race, but to teach how the universe works according to astronomical, astrological, alchemical and mathematical laws.
Only when he or she understands those Mysteries does life start to make sense.
That’s why I always say (although I cannot claim to be its author) “The only difference between history and mythology is that myths are true.”
We don’t need history – his story. We don’t even need her story. We need the Mysteries, my story, which can only be learned by the individual in the shamanic journey to the inner worlds from their own guiding spirits.