The Glastonbury Thorn

Wearyall Hill, Glastonbury, Somerset

Listening to The sound of love

What often strikes me as I listen to the land is how much there is to be heard on the non-audible level. This can translate as feeling, sensation and “knowing”, as well as sound, words or music that is heard or perceived internally. A word that is frequently used to describe non-audible sound is energy and I’m sure many people habitually tune into the energetic signature of a place. When I arrive at a new site, as soon as I have permission to approach, I become aware of its energy. The energy is transmitted as part of the permission, actually, because this is how you know whether or not you are welcome.

As I tune in more deeply, I start to sense whether the energy is longstanding or recent. Usually, longstanding energy is a natural part of the place, whereas recent energy has been brought to bear upon it – mostly by human activity. There are also instances when human activity has caused a longstanding effect on a place’s energy. Sadly, when a place’s long term energy has been altered by humans, it is usually of a negative kind, such as that at battlefields and other places of significant trauma. 

When I pick up recent energy, it can be either positive or negative. I have felt some very chilling energy left by human activity at a certain stone circle, for instance. I wondered what I would find today on Wearyall Hill.

Glastonbury Tor from Wearyall Hill
Glastonbury Tor from Wearyall Hill

Legend says that The Glastonbury Thorn sprang up where Joseph of Arimathea planted his staff on Wearyall Hill – the first land he reached on his travels to Britain. The Thorn that has grown ever since on Wearyall Hill is said to be a descendant of that first Thorn. The most recent tree was planted from a cutting in 1951. I say grown ever since, but in reality, the Thorn was tragically vandalised in 2010: subsequent efforts to revive the tree were also brutally thwarted as shoots of regrowth were continually damaged by hands and motives unknown. 

I remember well the outpouring of grief for the Thorn at the time. I was prepared for the energy of the place to reflect this, but what I found was something very beautiful. There was sadness, yes, but most of all there was love. A lot of people had put a lot of time into intentionally healing the place – and it was tangible.

I felt moved to add a song. There was no need for me to sing of remorse or sorrow. That work had already been done well by others. Instead, I sang a simple song of gratitude:

Thank you for bringing us together
Bringing us together as one
In love of you.