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Castle of Glas

Glas”—what a strange Welsh word. It can mean “blue”, “green”, “turquoise”, “glisten on the sea”, “glisten from dewy grass”, “silver”,“shimmer”, and “shine”. In Irish Gaelic it is taken to mean “green”, in Welsh “blue”. What a very broad word it is.

You may recall that the tuatha dé danann, an esteemed race of gods, said to reside in Ireland and other Celtic lands were reputed to live in “castles of glass” that rotate in the sky. The tuatha dé danann have left us for now, sadly, retreated—yet we are closer to them than we might think.

To understand the significance of “glas”, consider this excerpt from Excalibur (1981):

Merlin: “The Dragon. A beast of such power that if you were to see it whole and all complete in a single glance, it would burn you to cinders.”

Arthur: “Where is it?”

Merlin: “It is everywhere! It is everything! Its scales glisten in the bark of trees, its roar is heard in the wind! And its forked tongue strikes like... like...”

[lightning strikes near their feet]

Merlin: “Whoa! Like lightning! Yes, that's it.”

The dragon is glas—it is the scales that shimmer and shine about us everywhere; and this accounts for the way in which glas can mean many different things; it is primarily, the linguists agree, not a colour but a reference to a quality found in colour—the way it glistens or shimmers, the way the dragon’s scales that surround us shimmer.

We can read the dragon’s scales if we wish—if we are alchemists or Hermeticists; to do so is to use the universe itself as a vast symbol for the divine—hence the important role dragons play in alchemy. We read the “world serpent”, as found in Norse mythology, that surrounds us. This is when we break glas.

The “castles of glass” are not castles of actual crystalline glass, or anything that resembles such a receptacle—they are castles of glas, castles of shimmer. The tuatha dé danann have retreated into the “the dragon whose scales glisten in the bark of the trees” and whose “roar is heard in the wind”.

However, as with all such matters, there is a ceremonial centre at which it is easier to commune with the dragon. This is Glastonbury—Glas-tonbury. The name derives from “glas”—the name means “fort of the glas”; or “fort of the green/grey-green”. It is said that on the Tor at Glastonbury sits the “mansion of glass” inhabited by Gwyn, king of the fairies; Gwyn means “white”, so King Gwyn is “King White”—and white is a sacred colour in Druidism and the Indo-Aryan tradition, it is snowy purity; it is Arkt-ic, Arthurian purity. The Glastonbury Festival, being composed from ugly sounds, is, naturally, an inversion and an attempt to shatter to Castle of Glas inhabited by King Gwyn—an offensive by bad music, played at negative frequencies.

The “mansion of glass” is said to be so because it is how it receives the spirits of the dead—to go to fairyland, the summer country, Avalon, you have to go into the Castle of Glass; or, put another way, into a Castle of Glas—into the castle made from the dragon’s scales that shimmer around us, to be read with the language of the birds; a language that itself is said to be acquired when you bathe in the dragon’s blood or are bitten by the dragon—to encounter the dragon in this way is to be able to communicate with the shimmer. Blood voice.

So we now see just what a “Castle of Glas” is. Further, since “glas” can also refer to “silver”, it is the mercurial quicksilver so beloved by alchemists—Hermes or Mercury himself. Hence the castles of glas are all around us this very moment, with the chief castle at Glastonbury—as with glass you will see right through it unless you fill it with a liquid, fill glass with glas (mercury, quicksilver). Then it becomes apparent.

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