PARABLES & MIRACLES
First published in 'Avalon' magazine
In 2006 Glastonbury's Library of Avalon hosted its first conference, 'Spirituality in the Third Millennium'. Andy Scott reports back, and gives a preview of the 2007 event.
Even after months of planning by a dedicated team of volunteers, the Library Of Avalon was a hive of last-minute activity on the day before. We had decided to provide tickets for each individual speaker, the programmes were being printed and stapled, and all the equipment was being assembled. Over at the George & Pilgrims hotel (who had kindly loaned us their function room for the event) various stalls were set up in one half of the room and the stage in the other.
So it was all systems go on Saturday, when hosts Andy Scott and Clint Denyer introduced the first speaker - the well-known and highly-respected local author and historian Geoffrey Ashe. Geoffrey started proceedings with an overview and history of the LOA, and then moved straight into a thought-provoking talk on 'Spirituality - A Need for Definition'. Dearbhaile Bradley followed with an enthusiastic presentation of 'The Goodwill Patterns' entitled 'Healing Ourselves, Healing Our World', encouraging audience participation and interaction.
The third speaker of the day, Palden Jenkins (interviewed elsewhere in this issue of AVALON magazine), provoked some controversy with 'The Tipping Point', an overview of his book 'Healing the Hurts of Nations'. It was a test of his fine powers of peacekeeping and mediation, but all ended amicably! The final speaker on the Saturday was William Bloom, who attracted the largest audience of the day. William's talk about 'The Rebirth of the Magical Healing Arts' ranged across counselling and psychotherapy to religion and spirituality, and emphasised how various disciplines must come together to create a new era of compassion.
In the Library, during breaks between the main lectures, Adrien van Clute presented a workshop on 'Spirituality of the Beat Poets' and Dearbhaile facilitated a workshop which went into more detail about 'The Goodwill Patterns'. And to close the first day's proceedings, 'Jamuna and the Bardic Groove' provided wonderful entertainment.
Sunday started slightly later than billed - we had forgotten about Sunday hours and the doors didn't open till 12 noon!
Geoff Ward gave an illustrated talk based on his book 'Spirals: The Patterns of Existence' which detailed humankind's attempts to copy what appears to be one of nature's basic building blocks and incorporate it into architecture and art. Ros Pape had planned to run a workshop in the Library of Avalon on numerology and sacred geometry, but this turned into an extra presentation in the hall which fitted well with the previous subject.
Clint Denyer then presented an illustrated talk entitled 'Stepping Into the Void' which was motivational in approach, extending a spiritual philosophy. John Clements provided an interesting overview of 'The Return of the Secret Mystery Schools', based on Madame Blavatsky and Alice Bailey's channelled material from the Ascended Masters, and projecting into future possibilities.
Completing the proceedings was Mano Warren, with a short film and an illustrated talk on 'Glaston's Glory: The Spiritual Alchemy of Earth Energies in Avalon' which referred to many aspects that previous talks had covered, specifically relating to the landscape of the surrounding area. This was one of those times when everything seemed to come together to synchronistically theme the day.
Carol Denyer provided a workshop in the LOA on regression and past life experiences and the whole weekend was topped off with a lively set by 'Ken Wood and the Mixers'. It only remained to thank the stallholders, the speakers and the workshop presenters who contributed their time and knowledge freely, and also of course all the volunteers who helped to make this whole event such a success. The conference raised some much needed revenue for the Library - 'much needed' because the Library of Avalon had suffered badly from freak weather and flash flooding only the month before. Carpets and shelving, lost due to water damage, had had to be replaced with help from the Glastonbury Trust.
Building on the success of the 2006 event, over the weekend of the 15th and 16th of September 2007 the Library of Avalon will host its second annual fundraising conference at the George and Pilgrims Hotel in Glastonbury High Street. The theme will be 'Parables and Miracles – Practical Spirituality in the Aquarian Age'.
This year's event sees the welcome return of Geoffrey Ashe (Patron of the Library of Avalon) on the Saturday. His presentation will be on the theme of 'Present Day Spirituality in Practice'. Joining Geoffrey on Saturday 15th will be Peter Knight ('Connecting to the Land – The Key to Man's Survival'), Gordon Strong ('The Way of Magic') and Andrew Collins ('Celebrate Cygnus in Glastonbury').
Mano Warren returns on the Sunday, projecting onwards from her talk last year with "Kosmosis - The Keys to the Temple of Avalon". Joining her will be Rev. Dr. Mechelle King ('Practical Uses of Crystals and Minerals in the Aquarian Age) and Dr. Serena Roney-Dougal ('Some Thoughts on the Developing Spirituality of the Aquarian Age').
This certainly looks like a line-up of speakers likely to provide a thoroughly interesting and entertaining weekend, and this year we have increased the number of seats available to ensure that no-one is disappointed. See you there!