Guest Post – Red Witch Guide to Glastonbury by Anna McKerrow
In 2015 Anna McKerrow’s debut Crow Moon was released and this year we are lucky enough to have the highly anticipated sequel, Red Witch.
Red Witch was released on the 10th March 2016 published by Quercus and from what I have heard so far about this book I am in for and absolute treat!
With summer just around the corner and Glastonbury being a key location in Red Witch the lovely Anna McKerrow has written a brilliant guest post for Tales….
The Red Witch Guide To Glastonbury
*hands over to Anna*
Seventeen, heartbroken, powerful; Demelza Hawthorne has run away from home and the safety of the Greenworld.
In the cities of the Redworld, Melz discovers she’s special, and for the first time in her life, desired. And not just for her magical talents. When Melz meets the young but influential Bran, their attraction is instant and electric. In the Redworld, with Bran by her side, Melz believes she can reach her true potential.
But the world Bran promises Melz is ravaged by war and violence. Fuel is running out, and people will do anything to gain control of the remaining resources. Melz may be more powerful than ever, but power can be a curse in the wrong hands.
Red Witch Guide To Glastonbury
I set most of RED WITCH in the south west England town of Glastonbury, famous for Glastonbury Tor and the ruined Abbey as well as the music festival (which isn’t actually held in Glastonbury, it’s in Pilton, up the road) as well as being a hippie paradise/world spiritual centre. Here are some of my top tips for places to visit:
Glastonbury White Spring
Picture credit to http://www.whitespring.org.uk/
If you only go to one place in Glastonbury, which would be stupid since you’ve trekked all the way down there and coped with the fact that there’s no nearby train station (Avalon likes to remain a little hidden in the mists even now), then you should visit the White Spring. It inspired much of Bran and his life in RED WITCH and he lives there too (I fictionalised that – you couldn’t live there IRL).
One of two distinct and different natural springs that flow out from underneath the Tor, the White Spring (so called because it’s rich in calcium) flows into a dedicated pagan temple. The vaulted stone interior is always dark and candlelit and is tremendously warm and wonderful, and has areas sacred to Greenworld goddess Brighid on one side and Gwyn Ap Nudd, Celtic God of the underworld, on the other.
Chalice Well Gardens
Picture credit to http://www.chalicewell.org.uk/
Just around the corner from the White Spring is the home of the Red Spring in Chalice Well Gardens, a beautiful and tranquil place for meditation and introspection. The Red Spring represents the Mother energy where the White is the Father; the Red Spring water has copper deposits which turn the stones it flows over red. The garden has been landscaped to follow the natural flow of the water and centres around the ancient Chalice Well itself which is deeply and powerfully charged. Fab shop onsite too.
Picture credit to http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/glastonbury-tor
Climb Glastonbury Tor! Pretend you are an ancient Priestess circling the hill of the Goddess! Be prepared that it’s usually windy and a bit of a climb, but the views from the top over the Somerset Levels are amazing. Sit at the top and tune in with the ancient wisdom and heartbeat of the earth in this wonderful British landmark.
Picture credit to http://comptondundon.com/
Just outside Glastonbury is Compton Dundon, a tiny village that has great hill walking and a very spiritual, peaceful vibe. Go as far up as you can through magical forest and attune to the lovely energy at the top.
Picture credit to http://www.pilgrimsbb.co.uk/places-to-visit/glastonbury/
If you want an amazing view of the Tor, climb up Wearyall Hill and hang out with the sheep up there. The Holy Thorn, an ancient tree supposedly planted by Joseph of Arimethea, is also situated up there and even though it was vandalised a year or so ago, it remains a place of pilgrimage for many, as you’ll see from the many ribbons tied to it.
Picture Credit to http://www.glastonburyabbey.com/
The Abbey is well worth a visit – beautiful ruins and Brighid, or St Bridget, was worshipped there. Great shop too.
Glastonbury Goddess Conference
Picture credit to http://www.goddessconference.com/
Every year the Glastonbury Goddess Temple runs its Conference which is your opportunity to attend all the seminars, circles and talks you can over 9 days. This year the theme is the Goddess of Avalon.
Star Child Apothecary
Picture credit to http://www.starchild.co.uk/
My favourite shop in ALL Glastonbury, Star Child is both beautiful and fascinating, with a traditional apothecary counter dispensing all your herbal requirements from Chamomile to Belladonna and many more. They also make brilliant candles, perfumes, incenses and lots more.
The Mystic Garden Gallery
Picture credit to http://www.lindaravenscroft.com/
The shop of renowned faerie artist Linda Ravenscroft, this is a lovely place for gifts featuring Linda’s art from paintings and prints to clothes, bags, figurines and jewellery.
Labyrinth Books, 24A High Street, Glastonbury
Small but mighty, Labyrinth Books stock new and secondhand new age and occult books and some oracle cards. Very long browsing recommended.
Picture credit to https://www.speakingtree.co.uk
A huge and brilliant shop on two floors – make sure you go upstairs – Speaking Tree has discounted books on everything from art and photography to witchcraft, shamanism, tarot, history, geography, politics and much much more. Also a brilliant range of notebooks, cards and tarot and oracle cards on sale.
Dilliway & Dilliway
Picture credit to http://www.dilliway.co.uk/
Lastly, for all your Indian furniture needs is Dilliway & Dilliway, organised over three floors and bulging at the seams with vintage Indian cabinets, beds and furniture of all kinds. I have one of their cabinets and I wish I had more.
You can buy Red Witch here or why not visit your local independent book shop for a copy!
About Anna McKerrow
Anna McKerrow works on arts projects for the reading charity Book Trust, which is where she became interested in Young Adult fiction. (It wasn’t around when she was 15; she went straight from Judy Blume to Jackie Collins). She has also published four volumes of poetry and taught creative writing in adult education for 7 years. She also provides school workshop and book event consultancy to writers and publishers.
Anna is a Pagan, reads the tarot, is a Reiki practitioner, and is a little bit obsessed with stone circles. She believes passionately, like Alan Moore, that creative activities such as writing are a kind of magic in themselves.
To find out more about Anna McKerrow visit her website http://www.annamckerrow.com/
She also has a Facebook author page.
A huge thank you to Anna for a brilliant guest post!
Have you read Crow Moon or Red Witch? What did you think? Do you have any favourite places in Glastonbury that we must visit? I would love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @Chelleytoy