Born Heather May, 13th November 1959 in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.
Morgana grew up in a Yorkshire newspaper publishing and printing environment which was managed and run by three generations of her Methodist family. Early memories include being able to start the press run, usually around 2am, and attending events and happenings as a ‘junior reporter’ at her father’s side. Her interest in fact-finding and research grew from these early beginnings.
Life experiences during her early adult years included managing a night club, living on a beach in Ibiza for 6 months, a brief sojourn within the cult organisation known as the Children of God, travelling the country with a Formula Ford racing team and on returning to her home area, managing a pub. During the 80’s she worked as an intermediary between the local Health Authority and assisted adults, with learning challenges, to move out of institutionalised settings into community living and supported independence.
Morgana, advised that she would never bear children - became a foster parent of hard-to-handle kids. This challenged, stimulated and frustrated her in equal measures. 1989 saw the arrival, much to the disbelief of the medical profession, of her son, followed four years later by another son. During her mothering years, she undertook training with the Pre-School Learning Alliance and continued her work with children and adults with special educational and social needs. She undertook counsellor training, with a specific focus on helping others to overcome blocks to their learning and also worked, in a voluntary capacity, with the Family Support Network.
Morgana’s spiritual life began early. Born under the caul, she was convinced she had been here before and had been named Cordelia Morgana. From a very young age, she knew the exact location of a grave in a neighbouring hilltop village, the headstone of which simply states, Cordelia Morgana.
As a young girl, Morgana would often take herself off to the trees close to her home. These woods included deep dams and streams and petered out onto steep fields that led to the moors. Here the world of ‘strange’ disappeared and the ‘normal’ began, alongside friends that included the trees and stones, the moors and the animals, and their spirit personalities. The route to these woods involved walking past a row of small cottages, in one of which resided the elderly Alice L. Alice began to talk with the young Morgana and over the years introduced her to the ‘magic’ of the flora and fauna in the environment around her whilst at the same time, helping her to recognise the unseen world. On rainy days, she could be found buried into the archives of the family newspaper and local history references in the library.
The young teen years saw an interest in the unexplained and the occult, believing that was being presented in her world, was not the only way. In 1978 she applied and was accepted into a Wiccan coven for training. Morgana left the coven in the early 80’s, feeling a lack of focus on inner enquiry and development and began exploring Philosophy, Theosophy, Hermetics, and the Western Mystery Traditions. A defining moment came when she read Tao: The Watercourse Way by Alan Watts. She began a five-year study of the Lee Family System, and the Eight Strands of the Brocade, with the International Taoist Society at their HQ in Leeds.
Training and teaching for an average of 12 hours a week over the next few years saw Morgana finally understand energy work and began to recognise and feel her connection to the divine. The demands of family life and, alongside her husband, running a catering company, meant the sheer amount of dedication required in the discipline of the training programme became impractical and so Morgana left. However, inspired by the depth of understanding that came through marrying the esoteric arts of Eastern and Western traditions Morgana began to feel that she had finally discovered her path.
Morgana first visited Glastonbury in 1998. Much to her surprise, and after only two visits, she left her beloved Yorkshire behind and moved to the area in 1999. Standing on the Tor illuminated by a spiral of hundreds of flares, with her two young boys at the start of the Millennium, was another defining moment in her spiritual life. In 2002, she became a Melissa volunteer at Glastonbury Goddess Temple and soon afterwards became the Temple Coordinator.
In 2005, inspired to create learning and development circles of nine women, she formed the first Daughters of Avalon group: the aim was to assist women in developing their skills and understanding of the indigenous energies of the natural world around them. This was to be combined with the seeking of a deeper understanding of the esoteric wisdom of the nature of divinity and also to develop the ability to explore all levels of reality - merging the human with the divine and bonding reality and experience within their own unique and individual inner awakening. Morgana still mentors people all around the world on their discovery of their own personal path.
In 2007, she joined forces with Elisabeth Tham, Ingelise Jensen, Pauline Ross, and Jane Sanders and together they set up a formally constituted Association for the Glastonbury Pilgrim Reception Centre project.
The Glastonbury Thorn
On the night on 8th December 2010 the The Glastonbury Thorn that had stood on Wearyall Hill since 1952 was vandalised and reduced to a stump. Shock waves rippled around the world at the attack and Glastonbury Abbey was asked to safeguard the branches on behalf of the community. Katherine Gorbings, then Director of the Abbey, liaised with Morgana on the next steps. Conflicting advice was being given as to whether or not it was the right time of year for cuttings to be taken. When Tony Kirkham, Head of the Arboretum at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew offered his expertise, Morgana took the opportunity to consult one of the world’s leading experts on trees. He advised that the current time was an optimum window of opportunity to do successful grafts. In the severe snow and hazardous road conditions, Tony and his Head of Nursery Tony Hall, travelled to Glastonbury and returned to Kew with several scions.
In January 2013, Morgana, along with Councillor William Knight, John Capper and Dharam Barratt travelled to London to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and a young sapling was brought back to Glastonbury to be planted alongside The Glastonbury Peace Pole in front of Glastonbury Abbey. Sadly, on the 14th June 2013 it was discovered that this tree had also been vandalised.
Work In Glastonbury
Temple Coordinator - Glastonbury Goddess Temple (2002 – 2006)
Co-Founder – Glastonbury Pilgrim Reception Centre (2007 – present)
Manager – Glastonbury Pilgrim Reception Centre (2007 – 2016)
Project Manager - Glastonbury Unity Candle (2010 – present)
Founding Director of Glaston Centre Ltd (2011 - present)
Project Manager - Glastonbury 2012 – A Celebration of Harmony and Healing (2012)
Project Manager - The Glastonbury Peace Pole (2013)
Director - Glaston Centre School of Learning (2014 – present)
Editor-in-Chief - Glastopedia (2015 – present)
Committee Membership in Glastonbury
Promoting Glastonbury (2013 – present)
Glastonbury Town Council Working Party - Concerning the Heraldic Device and Motto of the Town Council. (2014 – 2015)
Renewing Glastonbury’s Fair Trade Status (2013 – present)
The Timeline Project (2014 – present)
Morgana West Author: Morgana West 30.07.15 Edited: CW 05.08.15 / SD 08.08.15