Print
Hits: 7547

The Glastonbury Tor Labyrinth

No matter how you look at it…

Tor   Tor
Tor   Tor

...from far or near this natural hill (that's what "Tor" means) in Glastonbury, Somerset, England is magic.


Samhain sunset

Samhain sunset on Glastonbury
Tor

 

The Glastonbury Tor is on a geomantic corridor that was found by John Michell called The Michael Line that runs through England from St Michael's Mount in Cornwall, up through a number of Michael Churches including Brent Tor in Dartmoor, Burrowbridge Mump, Glastonbury Tor, Avebury stone ring, and other sacred spots to the northeast. (This is also the alignment that Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst followed with their dowsing of the Michael and Mary Lines in The Sun and the Serpent. This alignment, sometimes called the Beltane Alignment, because it aligns with the Beltane (May Day) sunrise, also aligns (in the opposite direction to the SouthWest) with the Samhain (Halloween) sunset. Notice how well the two Gothic arches that are the doors on the major axis of the tower align up with the setting Sun.


But there are other things about this magical hill that have attracted attention.

Tor   Tor

It's the terracing.

Some see a labyrinth here.

And the Tor on the Millennium Eve

Tor

Over seven hundred flares light up the Glastonbury Tor on December 31st, 1999.

They were placed on the terracing, and clearly demonstrate its spiral or labyrinthine nature

Tor
Some say there be labyrinths on this hill!

In the nineteen-sixties, Geoffrey Russel first postulated that there was a three-dimensional classical seven circuit labyrinth superimposed on the Glastonbury Tor. Since then, others like Geoffrey Ashe and Kathy Jones have written books about this labyrinth. To this day, archaeologists claim that it isn't there. To this day, those who have walked it gnow differently.

 

Tor

Tor

The mouth of the labyrinth is to the southwest. If you come up the trail that begins near the Chalice Well and the White Spring, it begins at the two stones above the first bench in the Tor field proper. With terrestrial features like this, one moves in to the realms of Hermann Rorschach's inkblot tests. What you see is what is there. This is uniquely the reality of those on the spiritual path - and of the Glastonbury Tor Labyrinth.

There are different visions about how this three dimensional labyrinth. Some show the labyrinth more clearly, others are more faithful to the actual topography, all are beautiful. Here is Jeff Saward's vision:

Tor

Here is a three dimensional representation of the labyrinth drawn by Kathy Jones. It comes from her latest book, in The Nature of Avalon: Goddess Pilgrimages in Glastonbury's Sacred Landscape. There is an entire chapter entitled "Ariadne's Tor Labyrinth Pilgrimage" dedicated to describing the path one takes when walking this amazing three-dimensional labyrinth.

Tor

On the left is a classical seven circuit - the path is in dotted lines. In the center is an oblique view of the Glastonbury Tor Labyrinth - the path is a solid line.
Drawings by Kathy Jones)

 

The Meander Pattern, or Greek Key, goes back way into our prehistoric past. Marija Gimbutas found this meander pattern on the figurine on the left in the Ukraine dated at 15,000 to 18,000 BCE!

   
Bird Godesses of Old Europe   Meander/Greek Key   Meander to Labyrinth Fan


The labyrinth has ancient roots. I was struck by the similarity of these two:

 

(No actual connection implied)
Sure! ;-)

New Labyrinth in Town!

The Glastonbury Tercentennial Labyrinth

Tercentennial Labyrinth

Dedication of the Glastonbury Tercentennial Labyrinth
in St John's Churchyard

Built to celebrate the three-hundredth year since Queen Ann gave Glastonbury our Town Charter in 1705,and to commemorate four important Saints on our town's history: Mary, Bridget, Dunstan and Joseph of Arimathea. This labyrinth is open to the public, and can be found on the High Street in front of the Church.


I want to thank Kathy Jones for permission to use her drawing of the Tor Labyrinth. Please check out Kathy's web site, The Goddess in Glastonbury

Heather Hoon, MAG Graphic Artist, created several of the Tor Labyrinth drawings in this section. Kevin Redpath took several of the photos of the Tor.

More on Glastonbury

Labyrinth Types >>