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RETREAT REVIEW: Discovering your 'X-Factor' at the Circle of Light

Our wellness travel expert, Zoe Macfarlane, checked into Glastonbury's Circle of Light retreat where she could actually feel herself healing from happiness.

Our wellness travel expert, Zoe Macfarlane, checked into Glastonbury’s Circle of Light retreat where she could actually feel herself healing from happiness.

I love retreats. I enjoy the peace, the lessons, and the camaraderie. I consistently seek new approaches to wellbeing. And new is what I got at this year’s Circle of Light retreat in Glastonbury.

The Circle of Light is not your average wellness shindig. There was no kale, no yoga, and Lululemon leggings were not the group’s uniform (though feel free to wear them). Through workshops, meditation, breathwork, and sound healing, the retreat affords a psyche deep-dive.

It’s a deeply supported exploration to remember and reconnect with your authentic self, your personal ‘x’ factor. And much like The X-Factor, this year’s retreat theme was to ‘Sing Your Soul Song’. Instead of the bright lights, loud sounds, and harsh judges, however, the retreat employs light and sound as instruments to heal and nourish.

Travelling from around the world, 29 retreat participants connected in the UK’s famous Glastonbury town. At least half the group couldn’t say why they had chosen this retreat; they knew only that they had to attend. Some would consider themselves ‘woke’, others finally turning off the snooze button and getting up.




And by up, this is spiritually up. A high-vibing, stars-and-universe kinda up.

On day one of the jam-packed event, alchemist and healer Neelam Minochas, shared, “We’re a soul family and reunited for a reason”. It felt wild but true. The first night’s dinner was filled with déjà vu-like moments and tales of jaw-dropping synchronicities.




The Energetic Ley Lines of Glastonbury.

Our retreat took place in the beautiful, Tudor-era rooms of Abbey House.

The imposing building backs onto the famous Glastonbury Abbey, where the crisscross of two ley lines meets. Ley lines are believed to be the direct paths between ancient spiritual monuments and Glastonbury’s reach into the Abbey House rooms.

This power amplifies Neelam’s energy workshops and her intention of a heart-centred cocoon for healing and release. Here, in the shadow of the jutting Abbey ruins, is where the magic happens.




Crystal Sound Healing in the Shadows of Glastonbury Abbey.

The 18 crystal bowls that singer/sound healer Jeralyn Glass hauled from L.A. support the retreat activities.

Her mineral-infused bowls work with the group’s collective energy to cleanse the physical and auric body. Sound baths have grown in popularity lately, for their ability to release blockages, both physical and emotional.

With Jeralyn, she masterfully conducts her instruments to produce a lion’s roar of energy that waves across your body. The vibrations find every crevice of stickiness that needs to be released. Every rotation of the bowls strips away the trauma that has held you in crappy jobs, ill-matched relationships, and long-standing self-doubt.




Movement Workshops in the Shadows of Glastonbury Abbey.

The pinnacle of the weekend was the Saturday night energy transmission when Neelam and Jeralyn united their healing powers.

An energy transmission, Neelam shares, is a powerful download of light and love that awakens and reconnects you to your true essence. Together, Neelam and Jeralyn took us far and wide from our physical body.

It felt like the energetic equivalent of upgrading from an iPhone 4 to the new 2025 model. It was an ahead-of-the-game, high-intensity upgrade that I’m still processing, one week on.




Arrive as Strangers, leave as friends.

Retreat names are often marketing hooks – tapping into the latest insecurities – ‘heal yourself to happiness or ‘find the goddess within’.

However, as we stood in Glastonbury’s holy Chalice Well, I could feel it. A circle of once-strangers, individually, collectively, and in harmony, we sang the songs from our soul. As we departed ways, it was as a family; filled with love, nurtured, and at peace.

Click here to check out Zoe’s review of the NOWW Retreat in Fiji.