Updated: Aug 20, 2020
Steve Lee is a tour guide in Glastonbury, Somerset, England. He is a great fan of myths and legends and has a very romantic idea of their place in people’s lives. He reminisces with me on how myths where shared by our forefathers around camp fires, where the shamans would look at the stars and tell the villagers and scribes their visions. This would have been through the time of the Celts and Druids… until the Romans came on the scene. What they wrote down may have lost some of its essence in translation.
“To me, there is a thread of truth in everything, through myth.”
Steve tells me that the threads of truth in Glastonbury – the stories that have stayed alive – are stories such as of Joseph of Arimathea (Great Uncle of Christ) and King Arthur. Stories are even told of St Bridget, the first all-female Celtic Christian settlement in England that lasted through to the Roman Catholic reign and its inevitable downfall through the time of King Henry the VIII. Even today we have the Glastonbury Festival, which is in a way a temple to music via its pyramid stage.
It’s how all these Glastonbury myths and legends come together that makes Glastonbury so magical; there’s a thread that has fascinated mystics and scholars throughout the ages. This is a spiritual thread of truth that is found nowhere else but Glastonbury. Some are aware of it and some can feel it but can’t understand it, so they keep coming back trying to work it out.
“When you come to Glastonbury, you are bringing something with you, but you are taking much more away.”
Steve’s personal favourite story is the story of the Glastonbury Sapphire. This is the story of an alter that St David of Wales donated to Glastonbury Abbey in the early medieval times. The main part of its decoration was a very stunning sapphire gem which is believed to be one of the three gifts St David was given on his pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When the Abbey was destroyed in 1539, ordered by King Henry VII, this alter and the sapphire disappeared. However, it is believed that the mystery of the missing sapphire links us all the way to the modern monarchy.
Steve believes that the conscious history of Glastonbury is ever-present and that you can walk into it when you visit Glastonbury – you can feel it and be inspired by it at any time. For instance, when you visit the Abbey, the sense of peace is over whelming and timeless. You could be in the time of knights and ladies, standing with the ancient Celtic Christians, or find yourself again in the modern day. I would agree with him, as I’m sure many residents and visitors would too. Glastonbury is known for its transformational spirit. It isn’t something you can pin down as it’s extremely personal, but for many it is ‘life changing’.
Steve says we should all become ‘historical esoteric journalists’ and go into our home towns and search for the stories of the place. We ought to find out where they come from and what they mean. This will help people to get in touch with where they have chosen to live. There are many stories available to you in the strangest places, such as Atherstone in the West Midlands, which means Arthur’s Stone. Why is King Arthur found there? Was it where he pulled the sword from the stone, or was that London as many believe? Maybe this story is symbolic and Arthur didn’t pull a sword from a stone at all? Maybe there was no King called Arthur? Maybe it was a symbolic myth? These things need to be investigated.
There is also great benefit to go on an ancestral journey or quest to look at your bloodline and ancestral line. This is a great way to get to know yourself – you can maybe even heal the past and, therefore, the present. So, place it not only the physical; you can also explore your emotional place.
“I think it’s really important to go out on quest and find your place, your route, and once you find it look what you can do with it. You can reconnect and heal it if it needs healing, or expand it and give it back to the world.”