In A Year

In a year of journeying on this road to publishing and launching my first book, I have been blessed with many gifts. I have come to better understand the beauty which lies within than that of my outside reflection. I have come to realize the importance of speaking the words which lie in my heart. For these terms of endearment, bear the truth of knowledge and understanding.

In a year, I have grown to become a more enlightened human being. I have lived and I have learned. And I believe, I have been granted a second opportunity to make right some of my past misdeeds and erase some of my deepest regrets.

In the book entitled; “365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life,” John Kralik (author) relates his inspiring story of how an old-fashioned act of writing thank you notes led him out of his despair and into the re-awakening of his life. Mr. Kralik tells the tale of how he learned to be grateful for simple acts of kindness and gifts received at the hand of others. He explained how his gratitude turned into joy and soon he found his overly complex life had turned into a wonderful life filled with love, laughter and enlightenment.

In the reading of Mr. Kralik’s book, I too was reminded that the simple things in life are indeed the best. And as I grow older, I sense the need to relish in the simplicity which life offers on a moment to moment basis.

I have also been prompted about the importance of legacy. It now seems I want every year to count even more than the previous one. And in my mind, I find it is important to leave remnants of my existence. Not just in the form of photographic memories, cards and letters, or other tangible items, but a meaningful gift for others to hold dear. Not only for the benefit of recalling, but for that of reflecting as well.

In contemplating this need, I became aware that my books and writings were just that. They were not only gifts of healing for myself and others, they were also a leaving a piece of myself behind. My written words became a compilation of my thoughts, feelings and actions all neatly tied up into the books authored. There inside the pages penned would be my patrimony to share. A look into feelings once held locked inside my heart, my mind and my soul.

So in one year, I have seen a dream come to pass. This dream was accomplished through the collective efforts of a group of creative and caring human beings. It came to life as the result of hard work, dedication and a relentless pursuit to fulfill my hearts desire.

In my story of an angelic encounter on 9/11; “In The Shadow Of A Badge: A Spiritual Memoir”, I feel I have done just that. Along with the remembrance of 40 heroic human beings who rose to the occasion and aided humanity, is the knowledge of a divine occurrence which graced my life and set into motion the direction of my future plans. The story became my driving force to heal and become healthy enough to share and give testimony to the events I had witnessed. The many trials and tribulations of life and of publishing became opportunities to gain an enhanced outlook on life and uncover the depths of my spiritual beliefs.

Book Launch: Carnegie Library of Oakmont

Book Launch: Carnegie Library of Oakmont

During the book launch, my family and close friends gathered to celebrate a turning point in my life. As I looked around the room at the many faces of those I cared for, I was reminded of the importance of giving love and receiving it in an unconditional manner. And there in each face, I saw the purest meaning of that love.

As I traveled to the numerous book signings, I had the privilege of meeting some amazing individuals and working alongside of them as well. I became acutely aware of how many people believed in God and His angels. Many of whom took the time to chat and share their own stories about angelic encounters which they too had witnessed. When they spoke of these divine interventions, their eyes grew iridescent as they related the chance meeting with their celestial guides and protectors.

Book Signing: Seven Springs Mountain Resort

Book Signing: Seven Springs Mountain Resort

During a visit to the Flight 93 Memorial, I stood once again on the sacred ground created on 9/11. As I strolled along the pathway, my mind immediately became transfixed on the large stone placed over the resting site of the crashed plane. And I remembered the names of the heroic passengers and crew members now etched into the white marble walls cascading across the grounds. In that moment of recognition, the tears which were held inside for so long began to flow. And as my past meet the present, my heart heaved and the emotions felt seemed to release in a quiet whisper of angelic voices once again heard across that distant field.

UIDlhAkEAKM5mCCncUlHQ3DPj83h6ObNAHEDKXdAlhw1On a trip to New England, I enjoyed the pleasure of staying at the River Road Farm located in the picturesque Village of Manchester, Vermont. While there, I became acquainted with the owner and the other lovely women who had gathered for a spiritual retreat. In speaking with these women, I became more aware of their ability to instantaneously understand the internal power of their soul. And I was moved, in watching the “aha” moments of those who awoke to their spiritual purpose and were moved by the wonder of it all.

 

As the story of my book grew and the media queries began, I had the chance to join in and chat on radio interviews across the air waves. And on occasion when the audience joined in on these chats, I was able to participate and learn from others who spoke of their faith and their beliefs. I was touched by the personal accounts strangers were willing to share.

Paul Guggenheimer @ Essential Public Radio

Paul Guggenheimer @ Essential Public Radio

River Road Farm

River Road Farm

Then, there were the innumerable cards, e-mails, letters and notes received from far and wide. Each piece of correspondence provided a glimpse into the lives of others.  These wonderful individuals who chose to partake, added credence to my belief that we are all connected one to the other.

So, after spending this past year endeavoring to bring my story to life, I have become better informed as a result of my travels. Foremost, I believe and declare my life is indeed blessed by God. And it has been enriched, by the many who have crossed my path.

In the writing and publishing of my first book, I have once again found my path. A path I walk to achieve my spiritual purpose and accomplish my human dreams. In these 12 months, I have traveled and experienced new wonders of the world. I have gathered among strangers who have become instant friends. I have celebrated among friends and watched them as they expanded their lives as well. I have dwelled in a house of darkness for all too long and finally the light had found its place and cleared the shadows around me. The shadows which had hindered the lumen from flowing to me and through me. In one year, much has come to pass and my once obscured journey has become illuminated in its intent.

In a year, some doors have opened and some doors have closed. Some of those doors were shut in a gentle manner and others were abruptly slammed with no reason. Yet in the closing of each door, came the realization that another would soon open. And that unlatched door, often lead to the next step on my path of discovery and my desire to leave behind the books written to express the impressions of my heart.

 

Christmas Bells Are Ringing

One of my favorite Christmas movies is the 1946 classic, It’s A Wonderful Life. The film stars Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams in order to help out his family and friends. His attempted suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the divine intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody. Clarence is an angel second class who has not yet earned his wings. For the angel to do so, he must first save George and help him realize the value of his life.

Film Clip: It's A Wonderful Life

Film Clip: It’s A Wonderful Life

The main storyline of the movie concerns George’s need to believe he has not lead an unaccomplished life, but rather, a life filled with wonder. Aided by Clarence, George retraces some significant events in his life which in turn affected others for the better. While revisiting these past experiences, George becomes aware of all the lives he has touched. He also learns how different life in his community would have been if he had never been born. With each visit to a past memory, George begins to reflect and understand how well he has indeed lived his life. This deep-seeded understanding brings about an amazing transformation from sadness to utter joy.

As I watched the movie again this holiday season, I was prompted to recall all the angels who have played a key role in helping me in my life. Although some of the angels are in fact celestial beings, there are others who are earthly as well. When unexpected events have disrupted the daily stream of life, each of these angelic individuals have rallied to my side. And each, has been selfless in their actions in order to make sure all was well.

When I think about the unfathomable events of 9/11and the most recent incident in Newtown, Connecticut, I am again reminded of the many angels who exist. As it relates to September 11th, there were those brave individuals who rose to the occasion for the sake of us all. At the Flight 93 crash site, the heroic passengers and crew members sacrificed their lives to protect their fellow man. They will be forever memorialized for their courageous deeds. During the heinous acts of terrorism which eventually caused the mighty Twin Towers to fall, there were many who served and risked their own lives. Each of the firefighters, police officers, emergency responders and countless civilians who assisted the many survivors to safety were indeed angelic guides. Although our entire nation grieved at the insurmountable loss of life, it is estimated that 14,000 to 16,000 individuals were rescued that fateful day. Those saved have told tale upon tale of the brave rescuers who risked life and limb to aid them. And after aiding others, some of those courageous souls perished while serving the greater good of mankind.

In recent days, the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School also provides evidence of human angels at work. The school’s principal and a teacher are credited in saving many lives. They were said to have served as human shields and protected the innocent children and fellow staff members who were unable to safeguard themselves. By doing so, I believe these indomitable individuals earned their angelic wings.

When I contemplate the violence, trauma and aftermath brought on by such events, it is my belief we not only have God’s winged messengers walking among us, but also earthly angels who rise to the occasion and commit spontaneous acts of heroism. In my mind, these individuals create everyday miracles in everyday people’s lives. By serving on behalf of others, they indeed reflect an image of an angelic being who represents the likeness of God. Through their very acts, they become a physical representation of the higher power.

In one of the final scenes of It’s A Wonderful Life, a bell is heard ringing. As the tiny chime resounds, George Bailey’s daughter Zuzu states, “Teacher says every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings.”

So, if these words indeed bear any truth, there are many bells ringing this Christmas Day for all the angels being presented with a new set of wings.

Artwork: Christmas Chimes / Artist: Blashfield

Artwork: Christmas Chimes / Artist: Blashfield

MWSA Award Nomination

I am deeply honored to learn that my book, “In The Shadow Of A Badge”, was nominated for a prestigious 2012 Military Writers Society of America award in the Non-Fiction Spiritual/Religious category.   To learn more about MWSA and this year’s award ceremony, please click here.

An Epiphany

An epiphany is defined as a “moment of sudden revelation or insight.”
In my lifetime, I have been blessed with several such events. The first of which was the birth of my daughter. In that moment of new life beginning, the meaning of motherhood was revealed. The soft heart of caring found it’s way into my arms as I cradled my daughter in the initial moments of her life.
The next came when my dear Dad passed away. As his heart stopped beating, I watched the miracle of his spirit leaving his body. When he took his last breaths, he smiled and seemed at peace. His soul left his body and flew into the arms of the angels and loved ones waiting to carry him home.
Then, there was the blessing of four grandchildren. All of whom I had the privilege of watching being born. Their lives have brought such revelation into my life. Not only as a grandmother, but as a woman who is still learning and seeking knowledge.
And, there was the visitation of God’s angels on 9/11 which brought the epiphany of my soul. Their appearance opened my heart to bear the blossoms of my spiritual life.

Each of these events has revealed the essence of living, loving and being loved.

Have you had an epiphany in your life. If so, please share?

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Image created by: Boy So Blue Graphic Arts

Clear The Mechanism

In one of the most poignant moments of a favorite movie, For Love Of The Game; Kevin Costner’s character reminds himself to “clear the mechanism.”  In the film, he portrays a washed out baseball player, who is about to achieve a crowning moment in his life.  As he stands on the mound pitching the game which might be the culmination of his career, his mind flashes back to the most significant persons and events.  While each memory takes it’s turn reflecting in a kaleidoscopic review, he recalls both the positive and negative occasions which became turning points in his life.  These moments and words of wisdom expanded his horizons and left a mark upon his heart.

During a recent radio interview, I was asked a question about having found closure to what I witnessed on 9/11.  I responded to the reporter’s query by replying, “Closure is an over used word.  It does not accurately reflect my thoughts or my feelings about September 11th.  The term implies I have closed the door on an event which caused great trauma for not only me, but to humanity.  How does one close their mind or heart to feelings which are deeply ingrained?  The memories are a part of my very being and have a permanent place in my soul.  For me, the term closure has a more unconventional meaning.  It does not indicate an ending, but rather, the purposeful movement forward to adapt to an altered life.”

In this life, (like most) I have experienced moments which have both enlightened my mind and tarnished my heart.  And, just like the innumerable others who lived through that horrific day of 9/11, I have many frames of film left engraved on my psyche.  These panels of etched history have come to define who I am and how I perceive my world.

There are moments when I am unable to clear the mechanism and only the negative memories filter across my mind’s eye.  During these times, it is tough to reflect on the good which has graced my life.

There are moments when I am able to free my heart and mind from the bondage of negativity and the sorrowful emotions felt.  Then, and only then, these frozen images of life are incapable of haunting me in the ways which have overburdened my spirit.  In these times, I am able to reflect on the positive aspects of 9/11.

Such as…

I had the privilege of being called upon to serve.  In those initial moments of response, I felt proud to be provided an opportunity to assist those who gave their lives and those who survived.  Despite the ramifications to my health, it was an honor to stand on that hallowed field and serve on behalf of the heroic passengers and crew members.

I had the advantage of working alongside some of the most amazing individuals who walk this earth.  They represented the countless agencies who responded and worked at the site.  They were and continue to be the earthly angels who serve their fellow man.  The kindness displayed on that fateful day and in the post days of recovery truly exemplified the empathy of the human spirit.

I had the honor of meeting the surviving family members who taught me the true meaning of courage.  They chatted and shared their life stories and those of the deceased.  Through their shining examples of strength under great distress, each showed fortitude in honoring the 40 who perished aboard the plane.

And, I was graced with a vision of God’s angels.  These angelic visitors arrived to guide and protect.  On that field of devastation, a miracle occurred.  A miracle meant for all those open to receive and to believe.

So, on this day of memory, I bow on bended knee and reflect upon the goodness of my fellow man.  I now endeavor to embrace this concept and clear that mechanism which has remained blocked for all too long.

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~ “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your prayer.  And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” ~ Maya Angelou

Healing

Per wikipedia the modern version of the dictionary, the word “healing” is defined as the process of the restoration of health to an unbalanced, diseased or damaged organism. The healing may be psychological or physiological and not without mutual reception of these two dimensions of human health. The thesaurus also provides descriptive synonyms such as: curative, therapeutic, medicinal, remedial and corrective. All of which are well meaning definitions for the word. But, as I read through the long list of distinct elements of speech, there is one word which appears to be missing in this list and that is spiritual.

In my mind, the art of healing can not be completed unless the spirit is enlightened or restored. This restoration can come in many forms. For some, it is the power of prayer and asking God for His divine intervention. For others, it may be yoga, jogging, weight training or some other form of athletics. Yet others, find the peaceful repose of meditation and in chanting their mantras of choice. Each of us is unique in design and the way in which we express ourselves binds us to that very enrichment of our beings. For me, the healing of body, mind and soul has been slow in coming. These past years have brought me to call upon all too many doctors and reaching for all too many medications and supplements to heal my aching body and weary mind. Yet, with all of the physicians and all of the medicines and integrative therapies I have used, the complete healing has been remiss.

However, some healing came in these past few days and in a most unexpected manner. After the Associated Press ran an article about my book, “In The Shadow Of A Badge / A Spiritual Memoir”, I began to receive innumerable messages from folks across this great country and from afar. In a period of three days time, I was presented with over 1,200 messages. These notes came from individuals who had read or heard about my story of an angelic visitation at the Flight 93 crash site on 9/11.

As I opened the first of the many e-mails received, I began to feel a heavy burden lift from my shoulders. My being seemed to feel a bit lighter and I found myself smiling at the words written. With each note read, the sentiment of the words were felt. My emotions took hold and I found myself smiling, laughing and crying at times as well. The stories shared were heart-warming and spoke to the core of my spirit. The tales of illness and healing, of near death experiences and seeing the light, the sharing of angelic visits or of hearing the voice of God all touched me in a way I had not thought possible. With each, I began to see a pattern emerge from the text of the message composed. The kind words and well-wishes sent by the wonderful individuals who took the time to write overwhelmed me and my emotions were overcome with great joy. Their willingness to share their own tales of woe and victory lifted my burden and reconnected me to my humanity. And I realized, I was not alone in my plight or in my triumph.

When I first set out to write this book, I did so to promote healing. Initially, it was at the suggestion of my doctor and a process to help heal myself through journaling. But over time, I realized the story of God’s presence and His angels sent would bring a solace upon all of those in need. It might help those who lost their loved ones, those who responded, those suffering from the affects of PTSD and those who were left scarred by all which transpired in the buildings and on a landfill lost among the rural landscape of a desolate field. Yet, I didn’t realize at the time, many of us were impacted by horrific events of that September day and by the every day events in our lives. Just like the parables of the Bible or of the great books read and shared, I’d hoped my tiny contribution to the written word would inspire and provide an outlet of healing as well. Not only for me, but for all of those in need of restoring themselves to a healthy balance.

Yet in the onset of the funneling of all of the messages received, I realized a healing had indeed come. It came in the form of an understanding by those who believe. It came in the form of the prayers and good intentions for health to be restored. It came in the sharing of the stories of loss and love. And, in the tales of celestial beings who arrived in a time of need and to carry loved ones home to their place of rest. In the sharing of these countless stories a healing came to pass, not so much in the conventional context, but more importantly in the spiritual sense. This awakening brought about the knowledge that I was not alone. For there are the many who too are aware, who trust and who believe.

A special note of “thanks” to all of the wonderful individuals who took the time to send me a message, their stories and their healing words. The old adage regarding the kindness of strangers does truly apply. For through the caring manner of many I do not know, came the powerful words of healing which has allowed for my spirit to once again soar.

Artist: Jacquelyn Gordon

Healing Visitation of Earht’s Inner Spirit

“Healing Visitation of Earth’s Inner Spirit”
Artist: Jacquelyn Gordon

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

The story of the battle between David and Goliath is one many are familiar with. It is the tale often told about the concept of the weak fighting against the strong and prevailing. David not only persevered in his courageous quest, but he defeated his foe and won the battle. Despite the insurmountable odds, the diminutive man took on the colossal giant and became victorious in his deed.

Over these many years of life, I have avoided situations which caused daily living to become more complicated. Even while serving as a police officer, I tried to take the higher ground in most of the incidents I encountered. At times, this practice of avoidance has reaped great benefits and in others has caused problematic issues. There are times when this behavior pattern has allowed the patience needed to flourish and flow and in other instances when the lack of action stirred the warrior within me. In the present circumstances of my life, I feel the warrior emerging and becoming the predominant part of my being. Yet, the warrior of today, is not the combatant of yesterday. Instead, of preparing for battle with the disposition of a wounded beast, I am rising to the occasion with the wisdom of an elder, choosing a pen as my saber and my words as my shield.

“The pen is mightier than the sword” is an adage first coined almost 200 years ago. Although, it is a term I have heard used quite often in childhood, when my parents where exalting one of their fine-tuned life’s lessons, this proverb never held great meaning to me. However, in this time of life when my understanding has taken root and permeates throughout my heart and mind, these words have replaced my battle cry and turned it into the mantra of my spirit. I stand prepared for this battle which marches in my direction. It is one which has been brewing for these past several years. I pray for the civility of a strong constitution which provides me with the strength to move on. In this David and Goliath match which will culminate soon, I invoke the Angels to surround me with a sacred circle of light. May they aid me in boosting my courage so I may move fearlessly forward on my journey to reveal the truth. On this day of revelation, I ask God to help me to right the wrongs not only committed against myself, but the others who have been judged in an unfair manner as well.

"The pen is mightier than the sword."

“The pen is mightier than the sword.”

Uplifted

While attending an event at the 9/11 National Memorial in New York City, I learned a great deal about healing. This understanding manifested from spending time with 9/11 responders who served at the World Trade Center. As I mingled among the many in attendance, I heard the stories of their days working on the pile of tangled steel and mortar once known as the Twin Towers. In doing so, I attained an unbelievable amount of knowledge about my own journey which too began on that September day. These responders included police officers, firefighters, emergency service personnel, demolition experts, construction workers and human service representatives as well. I was enlightened about the power of letting go and the healing which it brings. As we spoke about their individual stories, I watched their eyes with great intent and listened to their thoughts shared about the rescues of human life, the recovery of remains and the work completed to restore. I heard of the anguish suffered as they feverishly worked to first rescue those still alive. I listened as they relived the days and the months which then followed. In their voices, I heard the deep-seeded hurt as they related the agony felt at the loss of life in the midst of the terror which had rained down upon us all. This wonderful wave of humanity had joined forces to serve and bring order to the chaos of a horrendous circumstance.

As I walked among the thousands of wounded warriors who had served in time past, I heard their words filled with sorrow. I heard about the illnesses which now plagued all too many. I heard the sadness in their voices and the pain within their hearts. Yet, more importantly, what I heard in their voices held significant meaning to me. It was the voice of deliverance from their torment. I heard the stories of service and how they were grateful to give back to those lost. I heard the messages of gratitude for the days yet to be. I saw the mirrored image of the brethren now gone who had served humanity, their community and country as well. The valor of their deeds and the courage of their response. The endearment of their fellow men and women who all hurried to protect and serve. In these moments of remembering, my time of 9/11 came to pass. I found a sense of healing stir within me among those who understood all to well.

I have dwelled in the valley of the shadow of death and I have now been finally lifted by the light. The tale of 9/11 told within the pages of my book “In The Shadow Of A Badge” has now come full circle. On that day, from the Bible lying upon the ground, I read the passage of Psalm 23: The Lord Is My Shepherd. Although I was unaware of the true meaning of the gift, I now stand in full comprehension of the magnitude of the message received. On that day of 9/11, I was stricken by the grief as were all who watched in horror. When I cried out to God for His deliverance, it was indeed heard. It came in the form of the angelic messengers with much to say and much to do. In the moments of the visitation, the Bible flew open and the words read had great religious meaning to me. But, the spiritual content of my being was not yet aware. Now in these many years past, I have heard the herald of the angels as their trumpets sounded in refrain. I have passed from the shadows into the illumination of new life. A light in which I intend to dwell forever more. I stand courageous in my need to forgive and find redemption. I pray for the ability to move on with my life and never again allow the past to restrict me from my journey. I pray for the joy to return and recapture my heart and soul.

I am thankful to those I met and those who shared their stories. For in their kindness and in their words, I became uplifted from the sorrow and the pain from the damage and the shame. Each of these individuals created a collective conscious which has awakened my spirit and reinvigorated my soul. Each is an inspiration and a true hero in every sense of the word.

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9/11 National Memorial

The Face Of PTSD

On May 30th, I will be traveling to New York City to participate in “The First Responders Walk Up Broadway” parade. The purpose of this event is to pay respect to all of those who responded on 9/11 and served at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Flight 93 sites. These responders sacrificed their lives to work tirelessly to rescue the injured, secure the sites, recover the remains of those lost and restore order to all of our lives. Over the days, months and years of work completed, they not only continued to put their lives on the line, but opened their hearts to their fellow responders and the many families who lost their loved ones on that fateful day.

Over ten years of memories, have caused me to remain silent and lose my voice. Over ten years of pain and sorrow have isolated me from those whom I once served with in the law enforcement profession. I have waited for the opportunity to once again stand tall and proud and not be ashamed of becoming ill.

Now, in this time of a decade past, I have learned I do not stand alone. I stand shoulder to shoulder with the other responders who have lost their lives or live with the multitude of diseases which destroyed their once powerful bodies and brilliant minds. I stand side-by-side with the others who remain on this earth. I embrace the chance to shake their hands and welcome them as my friends. Each of us has shared a journey which is not complete. Yet, each of us lives in the full understanding of what we have left behind. We not only lost our colleagues in the pits of the smoldering towers, in the burning building of the Pentagon, and on a barren field, but we have lost them to the pain and suffering of the dreaded illnesses which have afflicted all too many.

In memory of those lost and in keeping with those left behind, I now hold my head up high to be counted as one of the walking wounded who comprehends the burden carried. I suffer with the invisible trauma which I carry within the recesses of body, mind and soul. I am the face of PTSD.

On this day, I give thanks to the coordinators of this wonderful event. You are to be commended for your efforts in shedding some light on the plight of the responders who served on 9/11, who lost their lives, who were left behind and those who still suffer from the impact of that September day.

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Sacred Sites: Glastonbury Abbey & St. Michael’s Tower

Glastonbury is a small town located approximately 125 miles west of London in Somerset County, England. The town is known for both its history and folklore. The once majestic Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury Tor and St. Michael’s Tower are the landmarks most often visited.

There are many myths and legends connected to this hamlet which was established scores of centuries ago. The stories associated with Glastonbury are based on both religious beliefs and mystic legends. Researching this lovely and picturesque site allowed for me to mix my belief in God with my fascination of medieval history and Celtic folklore. Over these many years of life, I have marveled at the stories of Ireland, Stonehenge, Tara, Druids, and King Brian Boru too. So, I’ve greatly enjoyed this opportunity to delve into the lore of Glastonbury.

One such tale relates to the ideology of angels. The ancient Celts invoked their Anamchara (Celtic Angels) on a daily basis. They were believed to be celestial beings who were very interested in helping the spiritually aware to develop their souls and aid them in evolving to their higher self. The dogma of the Celts encompassed numerous accounts of winged messengers and their good deeds done.

St. Michael's Tower

St. Michael’s Tower

The Glastonbury Tor is a hill which features the roofless St. Michael’s Tower. Tor is a local word of Celtic origin which means rock outcropping or hill. The Tower has a striking location in the middle of a plain called the Summerland Meadows. The plain is actually reclaimed fenland which once rose up like an island, but now, is a peninsula washed on three sides by the River Brue.

Glastonbury Abbey was a once a rich and powerful monastery of England and is also situated on the properties. The Abbey was suppressed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under the reign King Henry VIII as part of his church reformation. And since around the 12th century, Glastonbury was frequently associated with the legend of King Arthur. A connection promoted by medieval monks who asserted that Glastonbury was indeed the lost island of Avalon.

Glastonbury Abbey

Glastonbury Abbey

Glastonbury is equally noted for myths and legends concerning Joseph of Arimathea and the Holy Grail. Stories of a sacred vessel dear to the Celt’s heart became entwined with the story of Christ’s Last Supper and His Chalice. Throughout the ages, these tales are said to have inspired great quests and crusades.
From a religious standpoint, it is believed that post the crucifixion of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea took the Holy Grail used by Jesus into his possession. He traveled to Britain with the Cup. When Joseph landed on the island of Avalon, he set foot on a hill located just below the setting of the Glastonbury Tor. Joseph then stuck his staff into the ground and it formed into the Glastonbury Thorn. This is the myth associated with the hybrid hawthorn tree which only grows within a few miles of Glastonbury and flowers twice a year.

In order to keep the Relic safe, it is said, Joseph buried the Holy Grail just below the Glastonbury Tor. Once the Chalice was entombed, Christian mythology again suggests water began to flow from the ground. The Chalice Well is believed to mark the site where Joseph placed the holy artifact. The red of the water is also believed to represent the rusty iron nails used to crucify Jesus. Archaeological evidence indicates the well has been in use for at least two thousand years and the water is said to possess healing qualities.

Chalice Well

Chalice Well

Intertwining the myths and legends of Glastonbury Abbey’s history, it is widely believed that finding the Holy Grail is the purpose behind the quests of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. In 1191, monks residing in the Glastonbury Abbey claimed to have found the graves of Arthur and his Queen Guinevere. The remains were later moved and lost during the Reformation of England. Many scholars suspect this discovery was a pious forgery to substantiate the antiquity of Glastonbury’s foundation, and increase its’ celebrated status. In some Arthurian literature, Glastonbury is indeed identified with the legendary island of Avalon.

Glastonbury is truly distinguished as an enchanted place. It is a sacred site designated from centuries past. And today, Glastonbury with all of its’ beauty and legends is still known as a major haven for pilgrims and spiritual seekers.