Something is amiss in the mists of Avalon, a.k.a. Glastonbury, England, and it’s either me or new age spirituality. I just don’t seem to have much accordance with crystal healers and chakra aligners, and this place is teeming with them. So as I see it, either something is up with the segment of the populace that goes for that kind of stuff, or something perhaps in me is too cynical or closed minded to open to it.
I’ve been staying at the Shekinashram in Glastonbury for a few days, sharing a cabin (to right in image) with 4 other people. It’s been a lovely time there, with morning rituals and singing followed by meditation. After that comes breakfast and for the most part, the rest of the time there is unstructured, unless you are on the Karma Yoga (stay for service) program. One of my roommates, a thoroughly likeable bloke, offered to let me experience a bottle which is filled with higher frequencies. In my mind, it looked like a small blue empty bottle. He offered for me to try it, and I said I would, but the time wasn’t right as I had just eaten and was about to lie down for a rest. I didn’t get a chance to try it as he checked out sooner than I anticipated, but mostly I think I didn’t want to have to explain to him that there was simply air in the bottle and the effect if any, would have been due to a placebo effect. Closed minded, or realistic? He’s quite warm hearted too so it’s not like he’s purely whacko. Maybe I need to loosen my sense of belief a little.
While visiting with my friend Paul recently, I ran across a quote in a book by Mooji where he said something along the lines of “It’s refreshing to meet an elderly person who is not set in his ways.” That has stuck with me, because as I get older, I am seeing my opinions and beliefs become more entrenched, while I’d prefer that they were going in the other direction.
I love the ashram here. Even if I really don’t have much personal relationship to gods which come in the form of monkeys and elephants playing flutes, the sincerity with which the place is run touches me. I still struggle with Kirtan music (which they sing there and which seems have become the politically correct spiritual music of the day) as it seems like most people who sing it aren’t Hindu and don’t truly have a clue what they are singing about. I love singing though, and the vibrations of the sounds of the names of God (pretty much what Kirtan music entails) does feel good to the soul to sing, at least to my soul. The key for me is to let go into the music rather than to hold it cynically. When I let go, the experience can be transcendent, similar to the transcendence which often occurred for me while singing in the gospel choir for many years in San Francisco.
In town today, I ducked into the ‘Goddess Festival” and was quickly awash in a sea of blue/aqua/green flowing raiment. Clearly the colors indicated the honoring of a Goddess of the sea. They whisked me out, fortunately, since I hadn’t registered, so I didn’t get the chance to buy up any Goddess statuary, clothing, tinctures, or (and this deeply disappointed me) Faerie jewelry. I know it may seem like I’m knocking the Goddess conference a bit here, but I do actually appreciate the need for and value of archetypes in our lives, and specifically of the divine feminine.
What I find interesting, though is that I have my own line which I draw, delineating what I see as reasonable approaches to healing and personal growth, and what appears simply as hogwash. The items that I would definitely nix would include (all of which are on offer here in one form or another):
- Channeling the Magdalene
- Stonehenge Ancestor Journey (on which we “turn into our ancestors”)
- Tuning into the Michael and Mary energy lines
- Archangel Zadiel workshop
- Past life regressions
- Archangel Chamuel the Power of Pink workshop
- Priestess/Priest of Brighde training
- Beginners course in Witchraft (available on-line)
- Crystal Healing (professional diploma)
- Munay Ki to heal the wounds of your past (“over two weekends, you can receive all nine energetic transmissions”)
- Guardian Angels
- Plant Spirit Shamanism
- Crystal Skulls from Atlantis
- and last but not least, Geomantic House Cleaning (your guess is as good as mine)
I am more OK with, or at least curious about, these offerings:
- Lotusheart and Energy Work
- Positive Living Group
- Horses as Teachers
- Transpersonal Hypnotherapy
- Sacred Play with the Motherpeace Cards
- Journey to find Power Animal
- Tibetan Sound Healing
A few people who are very important to me in my life actually dab their toes (or splash about with abandon) in the spiritual pools on the other side of my line. I try to hold my experience open as much as I can to the possibility that I simply don’t know what is true, but I’ll admit my mind is more closed than I’d like it to be. My dear friend Willow does tarot and other readings for a living, and in my book she’s darn good and I think full of wisdom and insight that she passes through to her clients. Do I think the lay of random cards, lines on our palms, or an array of tea leaves holds answers to our questions or can foretell our futures? Nope. Do I think intelligent people cam support their clients in important and helpful ways through these mediums? Indeed. Do I think the Magdalene (not really sure even what “the” Magdalene is) can be channeled? Nope again. Do I think that witnessing the “Channeling of the Magdalene” can be a fruitful experience? Certainly, but only if done by a sincerely intuitive and wise person.
So I’m a skeptic, perhaps a wee bit too set in my ways. But then again, I am a Capricorn with Saturn in 9 degrees Aquarius. For the curious among you, a Crop Circle workshop is coming up at the Glastonbury Symposium along with Sacred Geometry, Conspiracies and Archeo-Astronomy, especially suitable for those of you looking for a fun weekend getaway with your Baby Angel Spirit Guides.