Glastonbury, the Catalyst and Collaborator by Matt Witt

Here’s a guest post from Glastonbury based writer and multimedia artist Matt Witt from www.wakeupscreaming.com

Glastonbury is a place where I find great inspiration; it is to be credited, at least in part, for the conception of Wake up screaming, an online arts magazine that explores the links between creativity and self-development.

I have lived in Glastonbury on and off since 2012, hailing from just down the road in Salisbury – I feel a partnership with this town as if it is keen to collaborate with me on my spiritual path. There is an ongoing conversation: Avalon calls me to improve myself, to be more open and sociable and to share some depth that until recently had been confined to dark drawers under a thick layer of self-doubt. Wake up screaming is the portal through which this conversation takes place.

Wake up screaming is an online arts magazine I initiated when I returned once again to Glastonbury in November 2017, following 9 months in South America. Each new moon, an edition is released and a new theme is set for the forthcoming month, providing myself and contributing artists with four week periods to explore themes relating to creativity and spirituality. It is a nexus point for all of my interests, from art to meditation, psychology to creative writing, dreams and self-inquiry, to name a few.

The overarching manifesto of the project is a commitment to the power of creativity to unfold our being, to realise our wishes and to achieve all the things we have not even considered yet.

I love the context Glastonbury provides to develop this project; the thriving community of people exploring themselves and the world. Glastonbury is an attractor for creative souls and spiritual seekers from all directions, when you live on the Isle of Avalon the world comes to you and this is not something to be taken for granted.

For the 10th edition of wake up screaming, I set a theme that would allow me to delve deeper into my adopted hometown of Glastonbury. Edition #10 – In My Town was a social experiment as well as a creative adventure and provided me an excuse and context to explore my environment, to meet new people and to develop socially. It naturally lead me to Glastonbury’s Chaired Bard 2017-18, Billy the Celt. I interviewed him on his experiences as the Bard. I asked him why Glastonbury is held so dearly to so many people, we spoke about the importance of St Dunstan, about Billy’s interpretation of creativity and a whole load of other intriguing topics. Check out the videos which also include some of Billy’s beautiful poems.

Over the weekend of St Dunstan’s day, 21st May, Glastonbury hosted the International Alchemy conference. It was three days of workshops, seminars and networking which drew out a whole host of Alchemists and magicians from their hermitages. This event provided the inspiration for the latest edition of Wake up screaming – #11 – ALCHEMY, an exploration of the links between Humans, Art and Alchemy.

The edition includes alchemical studies from 21 artists, providing a unique resource for those researching Alchemy and Art. The lead story is an article on Benjamin Turale, Director of Education at the Alchemy guild and recent ex-resident of Glastonbury. As a parting gift, he agreed to an interview, here is an excerpt in which he speaks directly about Art in relation to Alchemy:

Avalon calls me to become a part of the community and offer my uniqueness to it, like a feedback loop, I feed it, it feeds me. Collectively, I understand it is calling for us to make the most of our time, to reconnect to the natural cycles and spherical objects around us, to focus in on our true self and let the universe speak its desires into existence. It wants to speed up our flowering, to cut out the bullshit, the self-doubt, the fear of judgement, it calls us to shine lights on our own dark places, and know that this will trigger the next person to look at theirs. This is what I believe is happening through Wake up screaming.

Glastonbury is a conjunctive, catalysing place that brings together opposites and asks us to adjust the way we are approaching the world, to become more authentic, purer expressions of consciousness. Right now, I am a human who knows it is engaged in meaningful activity. The temperature of the mantle is just right and through positive interactions in the real world, through newly developing relationship with others and myself, I am transforming and time is disappearing.

Our next adventure explores the energy of The Sun in relation to creativity, find out more here: Edition #12 – The Sun


Thank you Matthew for contributing to the blog, it’s great to be able to share a different perspective on the town. The illustration for this post is one of Matthew’s, you can see more on the portfolio page of his website.

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All pictures, videos and text in this post are copyright Matthew Witt.

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