Glastonbury's Purpose?

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What is Glastonbury all about? The ‘Purpose of Glastonbury’ is not widely discussed and this is understandable in the present paradigm where the creation of material projects is understood but the concept of a spiritual motivation is not.

This section aims to offer abstract perspectives and ideas from different people within the community.
If you would like to contribute a short statement, please contact the Managing Editor.


The Wisdom teaches that spiritual purpose is the essence of the meaning of life. In this context the purpose of the town might be said to be:

• To become a spiritual centre of love, learning and personal transformation.

• To attract the people and resources needed to achieve this end.

• To help visitors and residents to grow in consciousness and develop their skills, in the service of the community.

Barry Taylor [2015]


A friend of mine once referred to Glastonbury, or more specifically the Tor, as being a smaller version of Mount Arunachala, the holy mountain where the Indian sage, Sri Ramana Maharshi, headed for and remained until the end of his life, after his spiritual death, rebirth, awakening. This mountain is closely associated with the Hindu Deity, Shiva, the destroyer, and when people stay there, at the ashram in nearby Tiruvannamalai in southern India, they undergo a very intense, at times frightening and overwhelming, fiery purification process. Well, Glastonbury, with its own smaller version of Arunachala, the Tor, complete with its passage into the underworld, similarly puts people, when they come to live here, through a kind of breakdown and profoundly challenging and life changing experience. It is as if anything that is not aligned to one’s inner soul’s purpose, i.e. work, relationships, health, etc is brought to the surface, magnified, ready to be ruthlessly rooted out, burnt to a cinder in Shiva’s fire of transformation, making way for a life more vitally loving and creative. Although, it seems here, with Glastonbury’s feminine emphasis that this process might be more aptly personified by his female counterpart…Kali!

So the colourful array of spiritual paths, practices and paths available in this Somerset town are each uniquely expressing the manifold facets of this phenomenon that touches many of us in its fiercely mysterious way.

David Prince [October 2015]


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