Emma Stow is an energy healer, writer and speaker with a strong connection to the sacred land of Avalon and Glastonbury.
WK: Tell us about your connection with the land here.
E: As I was walking the land the first time I went to the Glastonbury Zodiac, I could feel myself literally transforming. I experienced a download of astrological information, an awakening of my senses and intuition. I heard the land communicating with me and felt a strong sense of my life purpose. I have spent many years walking the land: running Zodiac and Solstice pilgrimages, trying to understand how Glastonbury worked as a star temple, how the stars interact with the land. Through the body, the senses, through direct connection with the land and observation of the stars, walking the pathways, I sought to understand why it was a pre-Christian pilgrimage site. The Tor and the hills the town lies on align in a very specific way with the stars. It was this learning and this land that transformed me from being an astrologer to a healer and someone working fundamentally with the soul.
WK: Tell us more about your understanding of the soul.
E: What all of us are really seeking, even when we don’t know it, is connection. And fundamentally that connection is to our own soul., because that is our truth, the essence of who we are and our liberation. Some people only find that out when they are at the very end of their lives, when they return to soul, but we have an opportunity to be an embodied soul and to experience that liberation. A lot of us who are working with healing or stars, or any of those modalities, come to an understanding of the importance of the soul. When I started running events at Glastonbury, I saw that the land and the stars were reconnecting people to their soul, so it was just a question of stepping back, and allowing that process to take place. We’re in this ego-ic paradigm—about force and struggle and control—this is what’s available to us beyond that paradigm.
WK: ‘Nature is an open book of revelation for those with the eyes to read it.’ Like the Native American concept of medicine; everything in Nature is a sign trying to grab our attention so that we begin to appreciate what the story really is.
E: The natural world wants nothing more for us than to thrive, for us to thrive.
WK: That’s right, and a flower loves being looked at. It loves being appreciated and recognized; to be seen for what it is.
E: Yes, and I think appreciation is such a big part of love, of true love.
WK: And appreciation not only means to understand, to notice and to value; it also means to grow in value.
E: When you appreciate me something in me opens, like, as you say, like a flower. And appreciation allows for things to blossom. It’s like when we appreciate the Earth the Earth responds to us in a certain way, and we respond back. So it creates a sort of loop of growing awareness. It’s really about being able to see another, because when we are seen for who we are… I think that’s one of the biggest gifts we can give to another; to another human, to an animal, to a plant. To see them. And I think healing is all about that. It’s hugely healing to be seen, to be truly seen.
WK: I suppose the most holistic idea of healing is to feel wholly yourself. Once you’re that you can’t help but be well.
E: Yes, and seeing someone can help reacquaint them with that, with that truth. In a way, we find pieces of ourselves through being seen.
WK: It’s funny that the soul is the most personal aspect of ourselves; our essence, and yet we find ourselves, we find our soul reflected back to us by Nature and by other people.
E: That’s beautifully expressed. Yes, because the soul is so unique to each person, even more so than our individual bodies, because of the scale of it. Each soul is the scale of a universe energetically; it’s the size of a universe.
WK: Everybody is a star! A universe!
E: Absolutely! And I feel that part of what I’m here to do is just to get us to embrace that reality. It’s very uncomfortable for us to acknowledge our scale and embody our energetic scale and power.
WK: These concepts are hard to grasp rationally. It’s really only through having an open-enough heart and a wide-enough imagination, or having those encounters, such as you have had in the landscape, where you suddenly feel it, get it and you have this sense of revelation. Difficult to convey this to other people if they haven’t had such an experience themselves.
E: That’s why it’s so important to facilitate the experience. The main thing is that the soul cannot be understood rationally. The soul simply goes beyond understanding, and that takes a lot of humility. It’s part of the great mystery. And it’s something you can only know through lived experience.
WK: Can you tell us about your tradition and how you came to it, or it came to you.
E: My closest affiliation is with Druidry, because of the land and the stars, and I’ve learned from the Star Temple, and sacred land itself. But the path that I walk now is very much guided by my own soul and intuition rather than any particular tradition. I’d really like also to honour our ancestors, who invested these lands with the wisdom we can unearth now when we connect consciously and respectfully with them.
WK: Is that what the Avalon Tradition is: an understanding of sacred landscape so that those of us who are able to can reconnect with it?
E: Yes, exactly, I offer these teachings in my own way, in my own time, guided by my own soul. That’s my path. But it was the ancestors who invested these land with wisdom: the Glastonbury Zodiac was sculpted by human hand, our ancestors intervened with the Earth energies here to expand and maintain a sacred vessel. By stepping into that, I am making a commitment to maintain the sacred, and take an appreciation of that into the broader culture.
WK: How would you explain to a festival-goer, maybe someone very much conditioned by the modern world, what the sacred means?
E: If I see that there’s an interest there, then I’m there to support that. But I’m in no way into converting people (laughs). I mean, if there’s not an inkling in them, then I respect them on their path and their choices.
WK: Yes, I suppose it is disrespectful to expect people to walk through a door they don’t feel they want to walk through.
E: Absolutely, there’s a superiority woven into that. I don’t think my way is the way; I want to support everyone in their path, in their connection to truth, should they be interested in that. I’m passionate that spiritual empowerment is how we as a species can be restored and can restore the planet. But with the utmost respect for people who don’t share our beliefs or opinions as well.
WK: Do you think it’s important to bring a sense of tradition or traditional practice back into our modern lives?
E: I have a huge reverence for traditions, but I don’t idolise them. I take what resonates. But I feel we have a lot to bring to those wisdom traditions now, because of our level of consciousness now. In megalithic times, they were very responsive to Earth energies; to the movement of the stars. I would encourage people to understand their own part in the life of the Earth, in the role that they play as a creator in that life, the part they play in the evolution of the planet, because I really feel that our ancestors understood that through the intimacy of their relationship with the planet, the stars, the movements of the planets, the galaxy. The relational model of Creation instills a deep respect for all life. When you listen to the deep wisdom teachings of the indigenous people around the world you know it, right? It’s in you already. And it’s in you because we are part of the Earth, we are part of the Solar System, and remembering ourselves as universal beings, that’s our true identity.
WK: Absolutely! So, what would you say is the biggest cultural threat to that understanding in modern society?
E: Disconnection, distraction. Misidentification. And control. Having control being seen as something that gives you strength; I would say that can only lead to a kind of violence, right? And not just physical violence, but also energetic.
WK: So what do you think is most disconnected in our current society?
E: In England we’re emotionally disconnected, so even being able to feel our feelings, being honest about and being able to communicate what we feel… A big part of my work as a healer is supporting emotional connection.
WK: Emma, if you could pass on just one pearl of wisdom to a young person today, what would it be?
E: Don’t be afraid to make waves by being true to yourself, while still being able to listen to your adversaries and be compassionate. And don’t be afraid to be outstanding; don’t be afraid to change, because the only true constant is change: make peace with that.