One Year in Glastonbury a Recap of Chalice Orchard

One Year in Glastonbury a Recap of Chalice Orchard December 6, 2023

One year ago, the Water Spirits were guiding me to make a change. I would uproot again and land in Glastonbury as the sacred steward of Chalice Orchard.

Chalice Orchard in the Spring with Snowdrops – Image by Annwyn

It was a big change and like all the other times they have guided me, I listened. They called me into sacred service in Avalon. So, I turned my life upside down. I sold my beautiful homestead in Oregon and arrived in Glastonbury a year ago. I am very lucky to have dual citizenship, but moving internationally is never easy. I knew this quite well, as this was not my first international move. In my mid-twenties, I lived in Okinawa Japan for almost 3 years. There are several differences with this international move though. The main one is that I am most definitely not in my 20s anymore. Another thing that made this move so difficult is that I was so rooted and grounded in Oregon. I thought it would be my forever home. The only reason I would ever leave was to live in England, Wales, or Scotland.

In the spring of 2022, I visited Glastonbury on a sacred pilgrimage. It was my 3rd time visiting this magical place and it wasn’t quite the trip I had expected. The intense eclipse energy brought about extreme turmoil that would be the catalyst of change and bring about some of the most amazing moments in my life. It was a divine foreshadowing of what was to come. No matter how I look at it, the pilgrimage and what went down was fated. Read more about how I got to Glastonbury HERE.

To keep a long story very short by October I had learned that I would be leaving Oregon, selling my homestead, and moving into Chalice Orchard. Chalice Orchard is the former home and magical working space of Dion Fortune. The goal was to preserve and restore the property which had fallen into disrepair. The main house was intact enough to live in. However, it came with some very difficult surprises and every repair seems to bring forth 3 more!

During these past 15 months, I have been simultaneously ripped in half and rebirthed. It has been a constant dance of light and shadow from that fated trip. One moment being torn limb from limb to be left floating formless in the dark waters of the abyss and the very next experiencing some of the most amazing accomplishments and achievements of my life. Then moments later I was reminded that I am human and once again shattered into the abyss.

View of the Tor from the back window of Chalice Orchard

Arriving in Glastonbury

I arrived in Glastonbury with two suitcases and a sense of optimism. I immediately tended to things such as getting a bank account, a new cell phone, and changing the utilities into my name. I paid for the insurance and transfer fees on the car that was given to me. I then ventured out to London to retrieve my cats from the airport. As they had come just a few days after I did. I didn’t make it 30 min outside of Glastonbury before I got a flat tire and was stuck on the side of the road. Thankfully Avalon Taxi rescued me, helped me change my tire, get a new one, and retrieve my cats from London. A few days later I started my first shift as a Keeper in Training at The White Spring. (More on this in the next blog)

Winter was quiet and nourishing. I spent it learning how to live in Glastonbury and cleaning out Chalice Orchard. Chalice Orchard was in worse condition than I had hoped or expected, but I also knew what I was getting myself into when I let the spirits guide me here. What I wasn’t expecting was how much mold there would be and how hard it would be to renovate the place while living in it. This hadn’t been a problem in my last renovations, but they were much larger than this little cottage. Perhaps I am just getting older and I am not as young as I was with the first two. Perhaps it is a combination of being older but also the roughest renovation I have done to date!

When I first arrived, I began by cleaning out years and years of life that the former owner left when she moved out. It was part of the agreement that she would take what she wanted and leave the rest. Again, the dance of blessing and frustration whirled around on the dance floor of life. The blessing was that I arrived with two suitcases to a home with a small couch, chair, pots and pans, kitchen gadgets, a little bed, and a big stack of tea. The downside was that there was so much more left and I am still clearing out things a year later!

Snowdrops at Chalice Orchard – Image by Annwyn

Imbolc came and went, and it was beautiful! The snowdrops were the highlight of the spring. I’ve never seen so many! They blanket a large swath of the land and is a beautiful sight to behold! I spent many days just enjoying the serene beauty of it all. We began working on one of the sheds in March. I call it a shed, but it is more than that. It is one of the sleeping rooms that Dion Fortune built for her work with the Temple of Inner Light. It was more difficult to preserve than we thought but we did it! There is still work to do but the doors and windows are being put back on this week!

This building was really interesting to restore. Below the rotten floorboards, we found ammonites but more curiously we found 4 hag stones. It seems like they were placed in the four corners, but I wasn’t there when they were found to verify this. 2 of the 4 stones had hand-spun natural fiber tied through the holes. I can’t help but think these were placed there by Dion Fortune herself. The fiber that was found knotted through the stones is old, natural, and obviously hand-spun. It is obvious that it is not modern in any way, and I assume she placed them there herself. Or perhaps it was someone else from the Temple of Inner Light. We may never know!

I took a quick trip to France with my dear friend Sarah (SpiritsCraft) and we lived a life of luxury in a French Chateau for a week. We toured southern France, saw many sacred springs, and visited an underground river and lake! (More on this in forthcoming blogs) Then the madness of summer in Glastonbury set in and I got to experience firsthand the crazy energy that is here. I am not complaining though! It was just intense and having been through it once I am better equipped to handle it this coming summer. I also got to meet one of my long-time mentors in person and began taking classes with her which was such a blessing!

We began rebuilding the back corner of the main house in July. I nicknamed this the “hole of doom” It was so broken down, rotten, and full of mold that I closed it off and never entered it until the renovations began. First, everything was hauled out, then all the rotten wood was removed. Then the roof was taken off. They began to rebuild the section by starting with a new frame for the floor. As this was done more ammonites were uncovered and now I have so many! I’ve been obsessed with ammonites for years and to hand dig them out of the land I live on is amazing! The room was mostly completed in the fall.

There is still so much to do! We have a roof to replace, a bathroom to tear apart, and another small place in the house I nicknamed the “tunnel of doom” to gut out, strip down, and rebuild. We also have a second sleeping shed to work on. Right now, it is very fragile. It is being held up with ivy and trees and isn’t safe to enter. That will have to be a project for the summer of 2024 though!

One year later I can say that I am proud of the work we have done so far. We didn’t get as far as I thought we would. We had several delays and many surprises. Much of my time has been taken up by my sacred service to The White Spring. (More on this in the next blog) We have just begun to scratch the surface and have sooooo much more work to do. I am so excited to see where the next leg of the journey takes us!

About Annwny Avalon
Annwyn Avalon is a Water Priestess and Celtic Witch. She is the Author of The Way of the Water Priestess and Water Witchcraft: Magic and Lore from the Celtic Tradition. She is the founder of Water Priestess Training, The Water Priestess Confluence, Bewitching the Waters Symposium, and Triskele Rose Witchcraft a Avalonian Tradition. She has devoted her life to the study of Esoteric Water Mysteries, art, witchcraft and magic. Her path is one of sacred service to the waters of this world and her ancestors. She is an initiated Witch and Priestess, Reiki Master Teacher, award-winning Dancer, published author and has a BFA in sculpture, BA in Anthropology.. She has also received an apprentice certificate in Herbalism. She writes for the Magical Times Magazine in the UK and has contributed to other published works such as The New Aradia a Witches handbook for resistance, Brigid's Light: Tending the Ancestral Flame of the Beloved Celtic Goddess, This Witch, and Witchology Magazine. She now lives in Glastonbury as the sacred steward of Chalice Orchard, the former home of the famous occultist Dion Fortune and is a Keeper at the White Spring. One of the sacred springs located in Glastonbury. You can read more about the author here.
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