Pilgrimage and Interaction with the Spirits of the Land
You are in the countryside. Far away from the hustle and bustle of your normal life. For a while, for a peaceful moment in time, you can just connect with yourself; away from the bother of work and social obligations. Maybe you have come to a crossroads in your life and you need clarity of thought, to know which direction to take; maybe you have troubles or trauma and you need to find guidance; maybe life is very good and you just wish to make a deeper connection within yourself, to spend some quality time away from the normal distractions of life. You are in the countryside making a pilgrimage to a special place in the outer world, as well as making a journey to a part of your inner world; you are making an outward journey to look within.
It may be a nice day, warm and sunny, and you are sitting under a tree. It may be raining but you came prepared. It might be night time and the full moon is shining brightly, creating eerie shadows around an ancient ruin. You maybe be tired from hours of walking and all you can think about now is a good meal and a warm bed. The land, and your investment of time, getting to know it, is healing your heart, mind, and soul.
There is a sense that the land itself is watching you. The land is sentient; that is, it is a greater mind that surrounds your lesser mind. The land holds you, supports you, and allows you to explore, crush, trample, get confused, look in awe, smile at beauty, cry, run for shelter, breathe, get sweaty, get hot, get cold, pick berries, glimpse wild animals, and so much more. The outer world allows you to live and connect with your spirit. Your inner world allows you to close up and hide or to open your heart. Pilgrimage is a journey of self discovery and for learning the real reason for existence; 'To be', to 'know thy self'.
All land is sacred and you can pilgrimage anywhere and everywhere but sometimes it helps one to reconnect with spirit if one makes a dedicated pilgrimage to a specific place. To journey with mindfullness and purpose. It is usually within the journeying, rather than reaching the destination, that the magic happens.
In Somerset, England, we have a very unique area of land that has been used as a sacred landscape for centuries; it is commonly called The Glastonbury Zodiac. The Zodiac idea was put forward by Katharine Maltwood in 1935, but as long ago as 1724, the antiquarian, William Stukeley described this area of Somerset as being of special significance. There is also evidence going right back to medieval times that something zodiacal was happening in this area.
To make sense of the above picture you would have to understand something of ancient star lore as well as the Somerset geography to the south of Leo of the Glastonbury Zodiac. This is something that might make sense to you later.
Mystery is very important. Mystery demands of us that we ask some questions; that we seek, search, and quest. Sir Percival failed the Grail quest because he did not ask the question.
Questing is great fun and it makes a pilgrimage of one's life. Where to begin? The Glastonbury Zodiac is a great starting place. It is a Star Gate, or Star Temple, that can connect one with the heavens - and, by default, to all of the ancient mythologies that are represented in the night sky. Furthermore, and closer to home, this land of Somerset, and Glastonbury in particular, has been rich in Arthurian Legends since the very first manuscripts were written down... how to interact with all of this?
This is where we come in - supplying inspirational tools, art, and guidance through books, charts, diagrams, and so on. From a position of encouragement but neutrality. We do not wish to tell you what to think, but we'll supply ideas with which you can go and explore during your own pilgrimage quest.
You are in the countryside, sitting under a tree. You are in an area of landscape that corresponds with the constellation of Scorpio. Somewhere nearby there is an area of land that corresponds with Antares, the brightest star of the Scorpion; it is a 'Royal Star', and there are three more 'Royal Stars' in the heavens. You have a box or bag with you, within it are your maps, star charts, books, dowsing rods, pendulum, offerings to the land spirits, your diary, and your set of Oracle Cards - each card relates to a lady from Arthurian romance, each lady represents a sign of the zodiac, each lady is protected by a knight of the round table.
It is time to start calling back the Well Maidens, to restore the land. You can practise doing so here then try it back home to heal the land where you live.
"All magic is based on the law of Sympathy - that is the assumption that things act on one another at a distance because of their being secretly linked together by invisible bonds which would account for the laying out of the Star Effigies on earth. I have no doubt, when conceived, this Paradise Garden was indeed heaven on earth; even now, those who understand its import cannot but be filled with wonder, awe and reverence, for it is the cradle of the Holy Grail, the inspiration of true knighthood, 'a magic casement opening on the foam of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn'."
(Katharine Maltwood, The Enchantments of Britain, 1944)