Monday, 27 May 2013

Glastonbury - A Kind of Magic

Out from the Darkness - Badger Glastonbury drawing
© Angela Cutler. Out from the darkness, May 2013 
Anyone who has visited Glastonbury, UK, knows it's a spiritual mecca for an eclectic mix of everyone for many centuries. The history of the area goes far back in time to prehistory and myth. There are links to King Arthur who is said to be buried in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey which is now remains in ruins - how true that is I don't know, but it's always been good for the tourist trade. Other myths say that Joseph of Arimathea visited the Isle of Avalon (Glastonbury) and stuck his staff into the ground so that every year an unusual thorn bush blooms out of season. There's long been a reverence to female Goddess power linking it to the landscape and two famous springs adjacent to each other flow with red iron infused water and the other with fresh clear mineral water.

The Somerset Levels with Glastonbury Tor rising in the distance.

Having an eclectic sense of being myself, I've always loved Glastonbury and Somerset with it's gentle, rolling landscape which rises dramatically into Cheddar Gorge. I've always felt a special energy around here, a softness, almost as though the land shimmers magically and if I was turn my head quickly my eye might catch sight of something other-worldly or perhaps I just feel closer to God here. And I always catch my breath when I see the Tor rise majestically over the Somerset Levels. So whenever I have the opportunity to visit, I do.

I visited the area again this Easter and on an evening returning home, two badgers crossed my path and ambled into the hedgerow. The Tor was beyond and stood proudly in the Somerset landscape shining as a beacon to all around, tipped with the ruins of St. Michael’s tower (a ruined church) standing over its gentle feminine curves.  I felt inspired to capture a little of the magical essence of Glastonbury.

© Angela Cutler. Badger detail.
I have always had a love of nature and carried a strong sense of symbols and references to other meanings after reading 'Jung, Man and his Symbols', which had a seminal effect on me. It is this which inspires my work. Badgers are nocturnal, furtive creatures and I wanted to use them as symbols to portray the idea that if you have experienced darkness in your life, or if darkness exerts its pressure upon you, there is always the light of God shining out just for you. You however, need to decide whether to turn to the light or to carry on back to the shadows.

God for me isn't a bearded man judging us in the heavens, but our inner spiritual nature and an outer spirit which connects all of us and the Universe as one and whose doctrine is one of truth and goodness. For those who do not believe in God, you still have a choice to let go of, or at least try to let go of fear, hurt, anger and pain that manifests in our lives. I know people believe and  see all things differently and I am however just as pleased, and the reaction is just as valid, if you see this as an attractive picture of a badger set in a magical landscape and you love it, just because, and I hope you do. For those those that are interested a larger version can be viewed in the gallery section.

In my next post, I will talk and show you about some of my other recent paintings.