Samuel Pepys, rapist – enough! – the winter solstice

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The 17th century diarist Samuel Pepys was responsible for – or I should say gave me the impetus – to start this diary in his style. However, in the diary Tuesday 20th of December 1664 we read that he went to his friend Bagwell at his house, accepted their food and after the meal sent the husband on a false errand while he proceeded to have sex with the wife against her will. He then goes to his own home where presumably his wife is present and had another meal. He is so self-conscious or maybe ashamed or maybe indifferent about his act of sex that he describes the event in french. I have reached the point when I don’t want to know.

Up and walked to Deptford, where after doing something at the yard I walked, without being observed, with Bagwell home to his house, and there was very kindly used, and the poor people did get a dinner for me in their fashion, of which I also eat very well. After dinner I found occasion of sending him abroad, and then alone ‘avec elle je tentais a faire ce que je voudrais et contre sa force je le faisais biens que passe a mon contentment’. By and by he coming back again I took leave and walked home, and then there to dinner, where Dr. Fayrebrother come to see me and Luellin. We dined…..

I don’t really want to read this stuff. He is an excellent diarist in many ways but I think I have reached the time to thank him for his catalytic effect on me and go on my way so to speak.

*****

a rather bad photograph of people surrounding the well of chalice well

Today is winter solstice, and by way of celebration we went that unique centre and focus for the Goddess energy, Chalice Well in Glastonbury. There is normally a charge but they let everyone in free before 12 o’clock on all these special days of ceremony.  We joined everyone in the garden area for coffee and savories and then made our way through the gardens up to the well itself for a ceremony which started on the dot of 12.

the well itself dressed for the occasion

The celebrant reminded us of the significance of winter and the shortest day and invited us to do a meditation imagining that our heart chakra was full of the living fire and that this fire should be imagined to move to the Crown chakra. We were asked to envisage energy radiating throughout the body to the whole universe and blessing it.

Finally, we were asked to relax, take three deep breaths, all join hands and make the sound of Om three times and slowly.

the spring in the gardens from which people take the water supposedly containing healing powers
walking round the special labyrinth constructed for the occasion

Oh, I forgot to say, when we arrived we were given an interdenominational prayer to say to ourselves. Here it is:

The Glastonbury moment

Spirit of All Life, Mother and Father of us all, look with loving kindness on this community of Glastonbury and Avalon. Bless all beings here with love, compassion and growing consciousness. Help us to be good neighbours as a safe, creative and prosperous town in which all children are cared for and all people supported in their growth and fulfillment.

Inspire us to care for our sacred landscape sellers to benefit the natural world and our children’s children for generations to come. Help us to be mindful of caring towards our many visitors and pilgrims, honouring their diverse parts and face, as we honour and celebrate the diversity of belief among ourselves. We pray for peace and justice at home and all across the world.

Blessed be. Amen, Om

After the celebration we sat around and talked with a few people. There is a unique atmosphere where everybody is open then you can speak to people on their own male and female. This space is safe. I noticed with great delight something about the women. Very few of them were wearing make up. I could then actually see their face, their expressions, and their real selves. I have always said about make out that if you can see someone is wearing it they got too much. I hate seeing eyebrows and lips daubed with this muck, this byproduct of the petrochemical industry. Anyway, I suppose this is not in conformity with the spirit of the winter solstice or Christmas so I’ll shut up on that one.

general gathering place, tea and snacks on the left, a fire straight ahead ( Ctrl and + to enlarge)

Anyway, back to the story. I spoke to a young man who had just moved to Glastonbury from Lincolnshire and felt very guided because he had nowhere to live and found himself ending up with a house share arrangement. Someone else was listening to the side, a chap in a Rastafarian hairdo, a beard and generally a hippy type though he said later he was trying to be anti-hippie. I mentioned my name and told everyone that I had joined a prayer group and what benefit it was. Lo and behold, this chap who was called Will, belonged to the very same group. The group consists of 50 people throughout the world. The world population is about 7 billion. The chances of two people from the same group meeting and communicating are vanishingly small, one in trillions. We might accept the fact that there is a higher force that is nothing to do with  mathematical possibility but of something happening which draws people together of like mind. That made my whole trip to Glastonbury worthwhile.

a lovely presentation in the street

A little later we decided to wander around the town and get some food. There was a very happy atmosphere along the unique Main Street of Glastonbury with buskers, people wishing each other happy Christmas, and a lady selling Chai tea. This brand of tea reminded me very much of my two trips to India and the tradespeople who used to sell this tea at stations in particular by shouting ‘chai chai’. I said I would buy a cup but she would have to chant the ‘chai chai’. She smiled and understood exactly what I meant and did so. The tea was lovely, I might say almost as good as the coffee which I drink too much of. Whilst I was being served, a thin young man came up to her and whispered in her ear that there was a free vegetarian and vegan meal on offer nearby at 5:30 PM.

A Puch 50cc moped with what looks like the original colours

Glastonbury certainly does have community spirit in spadefuls. People are connected with what they are selling and doing and what a difference it makes.

a memorial shrine in the middle of Glastonbury high Street

What an amazing day with lovely weather and the spirit of fellowship that if multiplied many times will transform the world. We are blessed.

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