Alright, all you Pagans out there: this is a newsflash if you have not already heard: The Holy Thorn Tree at WearyAll Hill, in Glastonbury, Somerset, England was vandalized on Dec. 9. The Holy Thorn Tree is allegedly, in Christian myth and legend, the place where, upon arriving in England, at the Holy Isle of Avalon, Joseph of Arimithea plunged his staff into the ground and it took root, to become the Holy Thorn of renown. It is a place of pilgrimage for Christians and Pagans alike. WearyAll Hill is also known as a site of the Ancient Apple Isle of Healing, Avalon, or Afallon in Welsh. For the Sisters of Avalon, it was and is a site of respite and peace, meditation and solace.
Vandals sawed the entire crown of the tree off, and it appears that there were attempts to remove the protective iron rails around the trunk of the tree, perhaps to chop the entire tree down. Police are investigating, but because the Holy Thorn Tree was not on the Heritage Tree list, they say it is likely that there will be no prosecution. What an outrage.
Now, I know that a lot of politicos will wonder why this is even newsworthy against the late backdrop of WikiLeaks, the West Bank, the impending implosion of the world economy, global climate change and what-all. The fact is, for this author, this act of vandalism is a thoughtless violence against – well, what really? A tree? A faith? A number of faiths? Against the Monarchy? Against William’s choice of a bride?Or just a drunken and mindless act? Regardless of that, for me it is personal. As a Priestess of Avalon I read it as all of those things and more – a commingling, a swirling, a vortex of unchanneled anger that is seething under the surface, just below everyone’s consciousness, indicative of what the world is experiencing on all levels right now and how people feel completely lost, perhaps wishing for a scapegoat, seeking someone or something to take the blame.
From a spiritual perspective, to my weary eyes, it is a warning of things to come, which is only borne out by the horrors and unknowns we see pass before our eyes in the news, on the Net, and elsewhere every day. 2012 anyone?
I hope that the vandals are brought to justice. Thanks to global climate change, Britain is having an unheralded nasty winter this year, and the Holy Thorn may not survive to put out new shoots in spring. If the Holy Thorn does not survive this attack, could it be because the things in this world that are still held dear, or holy, or sacred, can no longer survive being dissed by a species that is still in its bumbling infancy? Will William and Kate’s first son be named Arthur?
Just some food for thought. Some advice: DON’T diss the trees, they are the breath of life, our life, all life, and so much more.
Image at The Guardian.