The Glastonbury Goddess - My Retreat Experience


Becoming a Mindfulness Teacher and feeling the need for intense periods of meditation and reflection, practicing what I preach is what sparked my interest in retreats. Each retreat I go on I end up by chance working on something different in myself and never what I expect. From judgement and acceptance in Sussex when I got food poisoning, from inner child work on anxiety from the retreat in Suffolk, a wake up call about self care in Essex. This time I followed a calling…


Glastonbury first came to me in a meditation, it was never somewhere I had thought about going. I always associated it with the festival but it kept popping into my head and there was a calling. I have learned over the years it is best to follow these intuitive hits, they mean something, they are not there by chance but linked to something bigger.


For example leaving my corporate job, it didn’t make logical sense but the intuitive hits became physical illness until I was brought to my knees and had to make the leap. Sometimes it easier to follow the intuitive hit!


I had been learning about masculine and feminine energy in business for a few months and I hadn’t realised the connection. I had already re-shifted the way I worked from an over working, over pushing masculine energy (where I was triggering my own anxiety and not taking care of my body) to a business where the masculine structures allow the feminine flow, creativity and care. I had allowed my intuition coming back after so long (it had been dulled down with anxiety and over stimulation).


When I arrived in Glastonbury, I knew it was a special place. Without Google Maps I definitely would have struggled to find it, there were no road signs signposting it, in fact I only saw one when I was about 2 miles away through tiny winding roads. I arrived at the little barn I was staying in full on anticipation and excitement, I was tired from the drive but excited to get out on my first mission which was the Tor.


Reaching the top of the mound and tower of the Tor I was breathless but I felt a sense of calm and serenity, the majority of the people at the top, men and women were meditating, some were meditating in the Tor itself, I felt comfortable, accepted and at home as I sat down to meditate.


As my curiosity unfolded over the next few days and I visited Chalice Well Springs, The White Spring, the quirky shops and the Abbey this sense of being accepted continued as I balanced my explorations with deep meditation, reiki, journaling and I even wrote and sang my own song (my creativity came out when I gave it time!).


Two days before I had left for my trip, I’d seen an online event pop up on Facebook, no idea how Facebook knew I was going to Glastonbury (but that’s probably a privacy discussion for another time!). It was an Equinox event, I decided to just go not knowing anything about it. Little did I know the connection between this event and why I had been called to Glastonbury.


On the second day I was walking down the high street when a little courtyard caught my eye as a man was singing with a guitar on the corner, I saw a sign that said ‘Goddess’ and so I followed it, within this little courtyard was the Glastonbury Goddess Temple. I felt pulled to go in, I had no idea what to expect, the lady inside asked me to take off my shoes and as I walked through there was an alter with a picture of a goddess, candles and everything was decorated in orange and autumnal theme to honour the equinox. A lady was sat down meditating so I sat down too and joined her. The energy in the temple was serene and calming, as I sat for a few minutes tears started to stream down my face and it all clicked into place.


For so many years our world has been led by patriarchy, traditional religion in this country was about sacrifice, I very much felt this visiting the Abbey earlier this day too, your body didn’t matter, it was something outside of you that you worshipped. Especially with the reign of Henry VIII churches were stripped bare and religion became basic and starchy, monks were allowed one piece of bread a day. Societies, cultures, for so many years Women were silenced, were killed even for not following the patriarchal traditions, for being healers, for honouring the earth.


With the Goddess and the tradition of the Goddess being kept alive in Glastonbury it did not appear sacrificial to me, it was honoring, nourishing, an honoring of your body and also of mother earth. A honouring of the seasons.


It was the same for the online event, there was about 60 of us, men and women and there were 5-6 Priestesses of Avalon who each shared a story, a song or a blessing. The priestesses train in Glastonbury and were from all over the world, they train in the ways of the Goddess and keep her alive from the traditions and legends of Avalon (The mystical land which honoured the Goddess which legend suggests was where the Tor is now, it was surrounded by lakes at the time before the Somerset Levels were drained for farming. At this time the God and the Goddess was worshipped across the land).


This all fits in well with everything I have learned on my journey and work with clients on, Mindfulness is a way of connecting back to your body and focusing on those nourishing self care practices. It links with Kindfulness, Love resonance and Gratitude too, the honoring of autumn and the land is a kind of gratitude, a thankfulness, a simpleness. The Goddess tradition feels like a self worship, a deep self love and a nourishment for the body.

So, I didn’t expect to come to Glastonbury on the equinox on a quest to learn about the Goddess Energy, and to start a mission with bringing forth the Divine Feminine but it appears this is now even further ingrained in the work I am here to do, for the work you are here to do.


Its time to shift the balance, in all of us, to balance that masculine and feminine energy, to honour our bodies, honour the land, take care of our Earth. Its about balancing the masculine and feminine, letting the masculine structures guide the feminine flow, this is where the magic happens in your life and business.


I strongly believe through this slowing down and connecting in too we can create so much magic in our life and business especially as highly sensitive people. This is about wellbeing, this is about living, this is about love, this is about changing the world…


What will you do?


If you need some support on balancing your masculine and feminine energy and honouring yourself we cover this in the incredible Shine Academy, my 4 month coaching programme on using your Sensitivities as Superpowers working with me as an ICF accredited Coach, further details here

https://www.thehappinessbranch.com/shineacademy

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For any questions you have, you can reach me here:

Gemma Sandwell, Bsc.Hons.

Mindfulness Teacher & Chief Happiness Officer

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