The temple contains shrines in honour of the spiritual energies of this place. The shrines are carefully set and cared for by the keepers of the spring.
We wish to keep these shrines clear and set as they were intended, so any offerings left at the shrines will be prayerfully moved to the seasonal altar. The seasonal altar changes every six weeks to reflect the changes of nature throughout the year, and offerings from the natural world are welcome here.
The White Spring is home to a shrine in honour of Brigid, Celtic Fire Goddess and guardian of sacred springs, within it, The Brigid Flame perpetually burns. A shrine in honour Our Lady of Avalon can be found beside the healing pools. The shrine in honour of the King of the World of Faerie is at the portal to the otherworld, as legend has it. The ley-line known as the Michael line runs right through the building and Micheal, forever associated with Glastonbury Tor, is also honoured here.
Brigid, is a Celtic fire goddess, keeper of the hearth fire, of the fire in the forge, and of the Divine flame which burns in our hearts. Brigid is also a guardian of sacred springs and wells. Hence Her presence at the White Spring which is so greatly treasured.
The hazel tree and the swan are sacred to Brigid, the wolf her companion.
Brigid is the personification of the spiritual aspect of the natural impulse for new life. She is the spirit of Imbolc, the first stirrings of spring. Call to her as midwife at the birth of new ways of being in your life and as godmother as they grow and flower.
Brigid is the inspiration of poets and prophets. She is the bridging and balancing energy that reveals the unifying principle between and above the experience of duality; between divine and human, tribe and land.
On a wonderful day around 525 c.e. a child filled with the spirit of the goddess Brigid was born in Ireland and was named Brigid, also called Bridie. Destined at birth to be a great saint. Her father was a druid chief named Dubtach, her mother Brocessa his Christian slave. Their love and the truth of their traditions met in the child. Brigid too wilful to become a wife chose to enter a monastery. The bishop, prompted by the Holy Spirit blessed her as an Abbess as well as a nun. She lived and learned at the Beckery in Glastonbury before founding her abbey Cill Dara, the house under the oak, in Kildare Ireland. Here, women and men lived peaceful, prayerful lives together. It became famous for the art and craftsmanship created there, inspired by angels it was said. The abbey was a place of plenty, a place of learning and healing for all. Conleth, blacksmith and bishop, was the companion of Brigid there.
Brigid was greatly loved and known for her wisdom, good advice, hospitality and generosity. She inspired and transformed many people’s lives and performed great miracles of healing and of increase. A local king in return for healing gave her as much land as her cloak would cover she tossed it and five thousand acres fell under it. She hung her cloak on a sunbeam to dry. The land, the Burragh, is still protected.
Brigid is of the Mary sisterhood, called the Mary of Gael. She was midwife in the stable and godmother at the presentation in the temple. St Brigid's day. Imbolc the Celtic festival of the first stirrings of spring and the purification in the temple are all celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of February.
Brigid is a real, living spirit amongst us.
Many of us, from many paths, have experienced her inspiration and transformation, her humour and wisdom, her help and healing hand in our lives.
Brigid is midwife as we give birth new ways of being,
and stays with us as faery godmother as they flourish.
Call to her, she will hear you.
a brigid prayer
Inspire me, Brigid, sweet sister mine,
Bring healing to mind and body, soul and spirit.
May your flame of Divine love flow heart to heart.
Come, transform my life from within.
Inspire and heal and transform through me
So all may live in peace, justice and joy.
Brigid, we forever bless and honour thee.
A candle flame or a burning fire is an universal symbol of the sacred. Many cultures, traditions and religions throughout history have held a perpetual flame. That means candle is lit from candle so the same flame endures, a fire is never allowed to grow cold. This is important in a number of ways. In the physical it ensures the community always has fire. Indeed it ensures the community endures, as a fire necessitates a fire keeper.
A fire elemental, a salamander, lives in the flame. As the flame grows years, centuries old the salamander matures into greater power. Angels and goddess' may be connected through meditation with the flame. The divine energy radiated by the fire may be drawn into one's heart and soul. Brigid's flame was kept alight by her sisters for a thousand years spanning druid and Christian times.
As far as we know this flame was extinguished in 1220 by command of the bishop, other sources suggest it was lost in the reformation. For certain, it continued to burn in the astral realm. In 1807 the Brigidine order of sisters were reformed within the Roman Catholic church. In 1993 sisters of the order re-lit the Brigid flame and they hold it in their monastery in Kildare. It has become beacon for human rights.
Brigid is far more than a saint within the Roman church of course. Women and men from many paths and traditions are inspired by Brigid and many live a life of devotion to her in their own way. Gathering together on the 1st and 2nd February in Glastonbury has become quite a tradition. At this time in 2005 a fire was rekindled in Brigid's name at the Beckery in Glastonbury in a ceremony honouring the spirit of the elements, the powers of nature and the Spirit of the land. A candle was lit from this fire and was held as a perpetual flame in first one and later a number of shrines. This flame is also held within the Brigid bower at the White Spring. Called the Brigid flame, as Brigid holds it so well, it is the flame of the universal cosmic consciousness, the fire of divine love.
The flame lights fires, some small, some immense at ceremonies and celebrations across the land. It lights the fire in the Brigid garden and that within the stone circle at Glastonbury festival and at other gatherings.
The flame is a living presence of the spirit of Brigid and a symbol of the divine love at the heart of a new community. A Celtic tribal way of life, an expression of Brigid's inspiration, her love of justice, generosity and magical powers. Her deep connection with the earth and the wheel of the seasons. Held within it is a renewal of Brigid's abbey inspired by the foundation in 6th century Ireland. The spirit of the wonderful woman at its head.
Our Lady is the ancient feminine primary power. She is Mother, Earth Mother, Mother of God, Mother of us all. Forever conceiving and birthing yet remaining forever unchanged, purely herself. Self- fulfilled. The Virgin Mother. The essence of peace and joy; of holiness and heavenly bliss.
Our Lady loves humanity with the love of the perfected mother, each person loved equally, each with a unique love. With Perfect knowledge, she takes forms in which we can know her, fulfilling the many names and guises we have given her. Her maternal love comforts and excites and also withholds and chides. Our mother expects great effort and determination in response to her limitless passionate and patient help. She leads us on the path of holiness, wholeness. Calling us to remember to be brothers and sisters one to another, sharing our planet our home.
Our Lady takes on the essence of place. Here she is Our Lady of Avalon. a dark lady, as the earth is dark, womb like, safe and protecting. Hidden and mysterious. Vast and abstract. Our Lady of Avalon dances the earthy and magical energies of these blessed isles far in the west.
The Goddess has been worshiped in Avalon for thousands of years, renewed by the earliest of churches. The “Old Church” built in the first century, dedicated to Our Lady, was at the heart of Glastonbury Abbey. A potent statue, legend has it, a black Madonna miraculously survived the fire that destroyed the church. The exact location of which is remembered and protected to this day. So with an awesome sense of the sacred and of history we dedicate this humble shrine to Our Lady of Avalon with honour and thanksgiving.
Our Lady of Avalon
Full of Grace
The beloved of the Divine
Birther of Divine Humanity
Pray for us now
And at the hour we transcend death
and enter the Eternal Now.
Nature is beautiful, majestic and powerful; diverse and interdependent beyond imagining. Humanity is part of nature, of course, as much as any other part. We live within it. We would not live long without it. Our psyche, our thoughts, emotions, our imagination inhabit the ethereal/ astral world. The Otherworld. A realm which is as real as the physical and interpenetrates it. The world in which the dead find rest.
Nature spirits also inhabit this world. The world of faerie. It teems with spirit beings living within it. Every tree, every plant has its own spirit, its vitality. As does each species. Every river, spring, mountain, valley and woodland has its own unique spirit, each vast landmass and ocean its consciousness. Places that seem particularly wild, beautiful or magical are elven courts, the abode of elves,
This is the symphony of the earth. The tiny heartbeat of a single plant, the mighty drum beat of the vast spirits, the choirs of angels of the natural world, the horn of the hunter, all dancing for the glory of their mighty king, the king of the world of faerie.
The King of the World of Faerie is the unity, the one consciousness of the all the diverse spirits of nature. He is the Spirit of nature. Beautiful, majestic, powerful beyond imagining. He dwells in the world of Spirit, a realm of finer vibration where suffering and death is no more, and looks upon the face of the Divine. This is the realm of the true human spirit, our higher self.
Faeries and particularly elves, tend to keep away from people. They are mischievous and can be unpleasant. However if you go out into nature quietly and reach out in your imagination for the blessing of their king and look after natural places you will be noticed. Once accepted they will look after you too, beautifully. Such fun is to be had in the world of faerie. Pictured within the shrine is of the Lord of the Wild Wood. The spirit of the wood loves his lord. The lord of the wild wood loves the wood and is its fulfillment.
Legend has it that this place is a portal to the Celtic Otherworld. Certainly our ancestors would have revered the place with the red and the white waters being symbolic of Faery and the Otherworld. Local mythology lends itself to this belief and Gwyn Ap Nudd is said to ride through here. Who knows? Perhaps you will spy him as the Wild Hunt rides. With more certainty, you will find a place with an unusual atmosphere.