Glastonbury Landscape Zodiac

T of S Cover

T of S Map

A GUIDE TO GLASTONBURY’S TEMPLE of the STARS

 Their Giant Effigies Described from Air Views, Maps, and from “The High History of the Holy Grail

 by

K. E. MALTWOOD

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

      Concerning a subject so ancient and so vast, it is only possible to make a few suggestions now for others to verify later, but indebtedness to all sources that have been drawn upon in the compilation of these notes, is here most gratefully acknowledged. Especial thanks are due to those keen aviators whose air views show these ancient landmarks of a forgotten civilization, and thus implied what the Ordnance Survey Maps had for long delineated, unknowingly.

     Corrections, and further information would be very welcome regarding the original names of fields within the specie area; its folklore; items of archaeological and astronomical interest in this connection; as well as Templar and Masonic traditions that bear upon the subject, for:

 “. . . now the Holy Thing is here again

Among us, brother, . . .

That so perchance the vision may be seen

By thee and those, and all the world be heal’d.”

Tennyson’s Holy Grail.

     I have pleasure in thanking Messrs. J. M. Dent and Sons, Ltd., for permission to quote extensively from The High History of the Holy Graal translated by Sebastian Evans; and I should like to acknowledge my indebtedness to many other works, which have helped me, full details of which appear in the Bibliography.

 K. E. MALTWOOD.

CONTENTS

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INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………… ix

The chief characters of The High History of the Holy Graal and what they stand for …… xv

The Earth: Chart of the Stars in Somerset. The list shows how the stars fall in regard to their corresponding Nature Effigies …………………………………………………………………… xvi

 “The Great Secrets” ………………………………………………………………………………… xx

 CHAPTER I.

The Fire Sign, Leo  ……………………………………………………………………………………  1

The Lion of the “forbidden land” of Logres  ………………………………………………………  1

“From the time of the coming of Brutus”  ………………………………………………………..  1

The Arthurian Lion a Nature Effigy  ……………………………………………………………….  2

Other Constellation effigies outlined  …………………………………………………………….  2

Somerton, the former Capital of Somerset  ……………………………………………………..  4

From the left fore paw to the: hind leg of the Lion  …………………………………………….  5

An Alabaster Quarry on the Lion’s Collar  ……………………………………………………….  6

The Lion’s Ears  …………………..…………………………………………………………………..  6

The enchanted Springs of Logres  …………………………………………………………………  7

Leo is personified by Lancelot  …………………………………………………………………….  7

A Mantle made of  Beards  …………………………………………………………………………  8

The Grave-Yard Perilous lies either side of the Lion‘s tail  …………………………………….  9

Somerton Lane is not a motor road  …………………………………………………………….  9

The Lion’s Head  ……………………………………………………………………………………..  9

Leo lies in Catsash Hundred  …………………………………………………………………..…  10

“Miracles should not cease till the Great Lion had come”  …………………………………..  10

The Sun Worshippers’ Grave-Yard  ………………………………………………………………  12

Leo’s Solar Phases  …………………………………………………………………………………  12

 CHAPTER II.

 The Earth Sign, Virgo ………………………………………………………………………………. 14

She holds ‘an ear of corn by a fall of water’ ……………………………………………………..14

Gates on the Sun’s Path …………………………………………………………………………… 14

Her ‘Kern-Baby’ …………………………………………………………………………………….. 16

The Cary River ………………………………………………………………………………………. 16

“The paled bar” ……………………………………………………………………………………… 17

“The Sepulchre” …………………………………………………………………………………….. 18

Camelot ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19

Camelot’s High-Altar ……………………………………………………………………………….. 20

Three other Camels ………………………………………………………………………………… 21

The Ghostly Fire …………………………………………………………………………………….. 21

 CHAPTER III.

The Water Sign, Scorpio …………………………………………………………………………… 22

“He was nigh his end being at the point of death” ……………………………………………. 22

The river Brue flows through the Vale of Avalon ……………………………………………… 24

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The symbolic Human Head ………………………………………………………………………. 24

Lyd is said to mean Gate ………………………………………………………………………….. 25

 CHAPTER IV.

The Fire Sign, Sagittarius ………………………………………………………………………….. 26

Sagittarius is an ancient constellation figure …………………………………………………… 28

Hercules ‘The King’ …………………………………………………………………………………. 29

Ulysses sees Hercules in the Land of the Cimmerians ……………………………………….. 29

King Arthur lies in the form of a St. George‘s Cross …………………………………………… 30

Glaston Twelve Hides ………………………………………………………………………………. 30

The Sun a Ball of Gold ……………………………………………………………………………… 32

The King’s Hand …………………………………………………………………………………….. 33

The glorious Hercules (King Arthur) of many lands …………………………………………… 35

Star Symbolism is traceable even to-day in many walks of life ……………………………… 35

 CHAPTER V.

 The Earth Sign, Capricornus ……………………………………………………………………… 37

“The King of Castle Mortal” ……………………………………………………………………….. 37

The Cave of the Rising? ……………………………………………………………………………. 38

Joseph the Tin Merchant ………………………………………………………………………….. 39

King Arthur’s Queen ……………………………………………………………………………….. 40

 CHAPTER VI.

The Air Sign, Aquarius ……………………………………………………………………………… 42

The Water Bearer …………………………………………………………………………………… 42

The Universal Legend of the Cup of Immortality ……………………………………………… 42

The Round Table of the Holy Grail is a Solar Wheel …………………………………………… 44

The Aquarius Moon Goblet described …………………………………………………………… 44

The Five Cups that King Arthur beheld ………………………………………………………….. 45

The Effigy Phoenix ………………………………………………………………………………….. 45

The Tree of Life is the Pole Star “pillar;” the Royal Star Cross it the “cross of gold” ……… 45

The Crest of the Phoenix ………………………………………………………………………….. 47

The Effigies were purposely designed to be invisible, and now—the Key having been lost can be traced only on the large scale Ordnance Survey Sheets or from the air …………………… 47

The Castle that “never stinted of burning” ……………………………………………………… 48

The Effigy Creatures ………………………………………………………………………………… 49

The Archetypal Microcosm ………………………………………………………………………… 50

Sir Perceval’s Uncle called him “Par-lui-fet” …………………………………………………….. 50

A land of Fire and Sun worship kindred to that of Egypt ……………………………………… 51

Did Actis of Heliopolis leave his name below the Tor? or is the land named after him? If so, why, and by whom? ………………………………………………………………………………………. 52

Glastonbury Abbey’s Pyramids, and her prehistoric Lake Villages …………………………. 52

 CHAPTER VII.

The Water Sign, Pisces and Cetus ………………………………………………………………… 54

The Sun beamed on all sides although the Night was dark ………………………………….. 57

The Line that ties the two Fishes on to the Whale …………………………………………….. 58

The Castle of the Whale ……………………………………………………………………………. 59

The Ancient Pole Star in Ursa Minor is Here Marked by a Serpent’s Head on a “Crown,”

Which was the Pole of this Temple of Stars ……………………………………………………. 60

The Great Finger of the Equinox Marks the second Point of the

Suggested Triangle …………………………………………………………………………………. 64

The Enclosure of the Sun the Apex of the Triangle ……………………………………………. 66

The Dove ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 68

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CHAPTER VIII.

The Fire Sign, Aries …………………………………………………………………………………. 71

Represented as a Lamb with head and fore foot reverted …………………………………… 71

Confirmation of the Effigy Constellations ………………………………………………………. 74

The Tidal Port of the Kingdom of Logres ……………………………………………………….. 75

The Knights Templars the Guardians of the Grail …………………………………………….. 76

CHAPTER IX.

The Earth Sign, Taurus ……………………………………………………………………………… 78

About 2700 B.C. the Vernal Equinox lay in the eye of the Bull ………………………………. 78

The Effigy …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 78

An Avenue of Cedars ……………………………………………………………………………….. 80

The Bell ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 81

The Red Launde of Arthurian Romance ………………………………………………………… 82

The Bull’s Calf ………………………………………………………………………………………… 82

The reason for not depicting more than the Bull’s head and right foot …………………… 83

 CHAPTER X.

The Dogs ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 85

‘The Dog of Gwyn ab Nudd, the British Pluto, is named Dor-March,’ was it the great hound of the Parrett river?…………………………………………………………………………………………. 85

“The Questing Beast” …………………………………………………………………………….. 88

Canis Minor ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 89

 CHAPTER XI.

Argo Navis …………………………………………………………………………………………… 91

The Ship of the Sun that sails into the West ……………………………………………………. 91

‘The Phantom Ship’ …………………………………………………………………………………. 92

Malory’s Ship of King Solomon. (See Morte d’Arthur, Book I7, Chapter 5, 6 and 7) ……… 92

The Hawk or “Griffon” ……………………………………………………………………………… 94

“The Griffon” that stands on the rudder of Orion’s ship. The Hawk or Falcon was the

Egyptian Canis Major ………………………………………………………………………………. 94

Lug god of Light ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 97

CHAPTER XII.

The Giant Orion …………………………………………………………………………………….. 99

“Uru-anna, Light of Heaven.” The Sun god of the Phoenicians ……………………………… 99

The Giant‘s Head ………………………………………………………………………………….. 103

Giants “born of Heaven and Earth” …………………………………………………………….. 105

Who made the Giants? …………………………………………………………………………… 105

 Bibliography ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 107

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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

PLATE                                                                                                             PAGE

1    THE CIRCLE OF GIANT EFFIGIES.                                                frontispiece

2    PLAN ON BACK OF FORMER, SHOWING THE POSITION OF THE STAR CONSTELLATIONS.                                                    Reverse side of frontispiece

3    THE HEAD OF THE LION.                                                                               3

4    THE HEAD AND BREAST OF THE VIRGIN, AND WHEATSHEAF.              15

5    THE TAIL OF THE SCORPION AND RIGHT CLAW.                                     23

6    THE BACK OF HERCULES ASTRIDE THE NECK OF THE HORSE, FORMING  SAGITTARIUS.                                                                                   31

7    MAP OF THE SEA MOORS OF SOMERSET-”THE KINGDOM OF LOGRES.”                                                                                                   endpaper

8    THE PHOENIX WATER BEARER                                                                   43

9    THE FISHES AND WHALE.                                                                             55

10   THREE POINT IN THE CENTRE OF THE GREAT   EFFIGY CIRCLE.         61

11   THE DOVE.                                                                                                     69

12   THE RAM OR LAMB WITH TRADITIONALLY REVERTED HEAD AND FOOT.                                                                                                                     73

13   THE BULL’S HEAD AND RIGHT HOOF.                                                        79

14   THE LITTLE DOG, AND THE GREAT HOUND.                                             87

15   GRIFFON, AND POOP OF SHIP.                                                                   93

16   THE GIANT ORION.                                                                                      101

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INTRODUCTION

” THE ROUND TABLE was constructed, not without great significance, upon the advice of Merlin. By its name the Round Table is meant to signify the round world and round canopy of the planets and the elements in the firmament, where are to be seen the stars and many other things.“—La Queste del Saint Graal.

     Time and opportunity are given to few to quest Merlin’s Round Table of the Grail in the Valleys of Avalon; if then the summing up of many years of adventure in that pursuit is placed at the beginning instead of the end of this Guide, it is in order that those who are neither interested in exploring the heart of Somerset nor in acquainting themselves with its ancient gods, may be spared the topographical details; for it is now possible to localize the Arthurian Grail legends by means of photographs taken from the air in conjunction with the 6 inches to 1 mile Ordnance Survey maps of the district between Somerton and Glastonbury, because in this neighbourhood of the Lake Villages there are prehistoric earthworks and artificial water courses which have at last given up Merlin’s secret.

     Looking down upon them from the air, with the aid of these maps, it can be seen that they delineate enormous effigies resembling Zodiacal creatures arranged in a circle (Plate 1), as we shall find, they differ very little from the constellation figures and the corresponding stars fall within their boundaries (Plate 2). It is around these archaic Nature Giants that the Arthurian romance accumulated.

     For the term effigy in this respect, it is simplest to turn up “Mound Builders” in the Encyclopedia Britannica, which says: “In Wisconsin the most interesting mounds are the effigy mounds—earthen forms of mammals, birds, and reptiles, usually in groups and of gigantic size.” The National Geographic Magazine for May, 1932, reproduced a fine air view of Ohio’s “Great Serpent,” which measures more than 1,300 ft. from head to tail; there is one somewhat similar in Argyllshire, Scotland. But King Arthur’s Woodland Monsters are much larger.

     The ancients were familiar with like earthen forms, they spoke of Dragons “of such extent that grass grew upon their backs;” some they said were “five acres” large, and others so great “that riders on opposite sides could not see each other.” Though they are found in many parts of the world, it is doubtful whether they have ever been systematized in so complex a design as that which lies in Somerset, it is quite certain no other earth effigies have such a mass of legend associated with them.

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     Consequently the following notes are not concerned with the Grail of the Christian era, but with an earlier “Grail,” that “Cauldron of Wisdom” already famous ages before Joseph Arimathea brought his message here. It was, no doubt, the very reason for his choice of so remote a spot, for it is a matter of history that Christianity came to Glastonbury prior to any other place in the British Isles. Dugdale in his Monasticon, commenting on the Druids in no measured terms, writes: “About sixty-three years after the incarnation of our Lord, St. Joseph of Arimathea, accompanied by eleven other disciples of St. Philip, was dispatched by that apostle into Britain to introduce the meek and gentle system of Christianity . . . they settled in the Isle of Avilion.”

     Nevertheless, even after that event, the neighborhood continued to be haunted by giants, a lion, and “many other things,” part of the legend heritage that had gathered about this land chart of the sky. The following chapters not only describe each astronomical giant as it lies prone upon the ground, but draws attention to the manner in which the Grail History refers to it: we have at last three definite sources of information besides the Arthurian legends, viz.: the Ordnance Survey large scale maps, the pictured astronomical figures of our present globes, and photographs taken from the air.

     It might be supposed that one could see such creatures on any map! but it would be impossible to find a circular traditional design of Zodiacal and other constellation figures, arranged in their proper order, and corresponding with their respective stars, unless they had thus been laid out in sequence, according to plan. Nor could one find thirteen heads designedly turned towards the sunset, with their bodies turning round a Central Point on which they all pivot! Their drawing is proportionally fine.

     The text here used is The High History of the Holy Graal in its English translation by Dr. Sebastian Evans, it is from the French version Perceval le Gallois ou le conte du Graal; “nearly one-seventh of the whole of a copy in handwriting of the thirteenth century is preserved” writes Dr. Evans in giving a full account of the manuscript.

     The name of the author is not known; that he was well acquainted with the Sea Moors of Somerset is now apparent from his accurate knowledge of the effigy giants; in fact they never would have been found had it not been for the guidance of this History.

     On the last page of the High History we read: “The Latin from whence this History was drawn into Romance, was taken in the Isle of Avalon, in a holy house of religion that standeth at the head of the Moors Adventurous, there where King Arthur and Queen Guinevere lie,” for the King is one of those giant Cosmic Deities, upon which every pilgrim who climbs Glastonbury Tor looks down, but can no longer distinguish.

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     The author of another version, called La Queste del Saint Graal, though apparently not familiar with the locality, is more explicit concerning the adaptation of the old stellar religion to the new: for instance he says: “When the sun, by which we mean Jesus Christ,” and again, in Sir Lancelot’s’ dream, he speaks of “the man all surrounded by stars,?’ and the man who came down from heaven, came to the younger knight and “transformed him into the figure of a lion and gave him wings.” Here is strongly suggested the blending of old and new, the Zodiacal Leo combined with the winged Lion of St. Mark.

     Thus the pre-Christian stories of the stars were adapted by the Later chroniclers and interwoven with the Christian Grail legend.

“The old order changeth, yielding place to new,

And God fulfills Himself in many ways,

Lest one good custom should corrupt the world,”

as the King says in Tennyson’s Passing of Arthur, when his funeral barge disappeared in “the island-valley of Avilion.”

     But as foretold, King Arthur, the Sun King, will come again; he shines as Hercules in the night sky, reflected in his sleeping effigy on the “Moors Adventurous.” Those who had. been initiated into the mysteries of this “island valley” were obliged to couch their secret knowledge in romance, after Christianity swept the field; but neither that reformation, nor any other, was able to destroy the map of the stars that our forefathers modeled amongst the hills and river beds of Somerset, and which still testifies to the ancient religion of this land; Dr. L. A. Waddell suggests that it was brought here by the Early Phoenician sun and star worshippers 2800 B.C. (see Phoenician Origin of Britons).

     Speaking of the Phoenicians Mr. J. S. M. Ward quotes from “The Leyland-Locke MS.” in his Outline History of Freemasonry:

     “Pythagoras, a Grecian, traveled to acquire knowledge in Egypt and Syria and in every land where the Phoenicians had planted Freemasonry.” If they did so, these ancient landmarks should reveal more than one lost secret. Fortunately there is no necessity to excavate in order to reveal “the imitation of the Divine plan (in Somerset) that was designed to account for the return of the Seasons,” for it lies on the surface as long as the Zodiacal Giants retain their “beautiful proportions.”

     William of Malmesbury’s expression: “A Heavenly Sanctuary on Earth,” where lies King Arthur, might certainly be taken to mean the constellations laid out on Earth, one of which represents King Arthur, for literally this is true. The pre-Christian Temple there, was that of the hills and rivers, adapted in such a way as to resemble the Dome of Heaven inverted on Earth.

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     To understand, one has to study the traditional picture of the northern hemisphere which astronomers have fortunately preserved, and visualise it laid out on the earth, like an enormous garden—it is called in the High History the garden of Eden—and there is the setting of the Arthurian drama, the “System of the Round Table.”

     The High History says: “Never was the chapel wasted nor decayed, but was as whole thereafter as tofore and is so still.” (Branch 35. Title 27.)

“I saw the Graal, saith the Master, or ever Joseph collected therein the blood of Jesus Christ.” (Branch 35. Title 7.)

     “The history witnesseth us that in the land of King Arthur at this time was there not a single chalice. The Graal appeared at the sacring of the mass, in five several manners that none ought not to tell, for the secret things of the sacrament ought none to tell openly, but he unto whom God hath given it. King Arthur beheld all the changes, the last whereof was the change into a chalice.” (Branch 22. Title 3.)

     Thus, the Christian’s Grail in which “the blood of Jesus Christ was collected” took the place of an earlier and far vaster conception, to which Christian tradition naturally lays no claim, as the late Dean of Wells pointed out in Two Glastonbury Legends.’ “Be that as it may, the fact remains that the Glastonbury tradition to the very end, though it borrowed what it wanted from ‘the book which is called The Holy Grail,’ makes no claim, no allusion even, to the Grail itself.”

     To quote Spence’s Encyclopedia: “This world being unworthy, the Graal was said to be removed, yet not hidden, for it is always discernible by any one worthy or qualified to see it“; and though the Romance, Perceval le Gallois, which that artist Sebastian Evans translated into such quaint English, cast: a mediaeval veil over the pre-Christian Celestial Temple of the Mysteries, it is possible, with careful study, to reconstruct it from that text by aid of modern maps.

     Plutarch must have had something of the kind in his mind when he wrote of Britain. “Moreover there is, they said, an island in which Cronus is imprisoned, with Briareus keeping guard Over him as he sleeps; for, as they put it, sleep is the bond forged for Cronus. They add that around him are many divinities, his henchmen and attendants.” (Didot Edition of Plutarch, Vol. 3, Page 511.)

     To realise at all the magnitude of the prehistoric “Round Table of the Grail,” one is obliged to think in miles instead of inches, in thousands of years instead of hundreds; for the Temple is ten miles in diameter, it is about 5,ooo years old, and this counterpart of the heavens, corresponds with the constellation figures recognized by astronomers today.

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     It is interesting to note in passing, that it was once customary to personify the heavenly bodies and elements in religious drama and dance; “one of the favourite mysteries presented by strolling companies in the southern provinces of China” is called The Spectacle of the Sun and Moon. (Wright, China.) That is exactly what the pre-Christian Grail “Mystery” appears to have been, three knights and King Arthur representing the sun in the four Quarters of the years, within the “Golden Round,” each having his own “house” or constellation Giant. What is so extraordinarily interesting, is the fact that the High History makes them perform on their original Giant stage in Somerset, where their effigies have been lying for thousands of years.

     No doubt our star-gazing ancestors thought by sympathetic magic to realise Heaven on Earth, when they fashioned, what Homer in the 11th Book of the Odyssey might have described as a “wondrous zone” . . . “where woodland monsters grin” . . . “inimitably wrought with skill divine.”

     Robert Brown says in Primitive Constellations: “The Greeks received the constellation names and nearly all the stories connected with them, not from any savages, but from the highly civilized Phoenicians, who in turn, like the ancient Arabians, had obtained many of these names from the archaic civilization of the Euphrates Valley, whose chart of the heavens had been already completed B.C. 2084.”

     It is difficult for us to realise that all over India and in many other parts of the world, the stars are still being worshipped, as they were here before St. Joseph came.

     The ancient Javanese signs of the Zodiac surrounded by gods of agriculture, seen on their zodiacal cups, resemble the Somerset one very closely; and their World Tree motive, belonging to the oldest Asiatic civilization, shows a lion, bull, birds and snake all up in the branches of this Tree of Life, with a giant, griffins and dwarfs below. The High History of the Holy Graal is not only written in the form of a tree with thirty-five branches, but contains these celestial creatures within the branches, and includes griffins, giants and dwarfs.

     The reason why we are still able to trace the Zodiacal creatures, is that the land on which they lie was once the property of “the first church in Britain,” and up to the time of the Reformation the monks of Glastonbury were scrupulously careful to keep the ancient landmarks and waterways intact; doubtless “They had the whole History thereof true from the beginning even to the end,” as the High History tells us. The learned Dean of Wells remarked in Two Glastonbury legends:

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     “But as the tales in connection with which the Grail first makes its appearance are Celtic tales, it is now generally believed that the Grail itself has its prototype in the mystic cauldron of unfailing supply and the magic cup of healing, which are also elements of Celtic mythology.”

“Avalon’s island, with avidity

Claiming the death of pagans,

More than all in the world beside,

For the entombment of them all,

Honoured by chanting spheres of prophecy:

And for all time to come

Adorned shall it be

By them that praise the Highest.”

Melkin, the British Bard.

     As a preliminary to tracing the wanderings of the Knights of King Arthur over the tracks and along the streams that outline their Giant Effigies, it will be useful to consult Bartholomew’s half-inch to the mile map, Sheet 34. That excellent map, though on too small a scale to show all the giants in detail, gives a general idea of the little island, “Kingdom of Logres,” as it is called in the Grail History, surrounded by its green Sea Moors. There we shall find, if we look closely, Leo outlined by the Cary river and two of its streams between Copley Wood and Lytes Cary; and the Giant Orion sitting near it formed by the two Dundon Hills.

     Alfred’s Fort at Athelney and Camelot Castle at South Cadbury, are both eleven miles from the Isle of Avalon.

     By noting the places within this area where the Knights appear to meet one another, and knowing the time it would take to ride there from the last encounter, it is possible gradually to make a complete itinerary and map of the Quest—disregarding, of course, fabulous distances which obviously refer to the starry sky. Such a map to The High History of the Holy Graal was made by me in 1929, and published by Dent in the Everyman’s Library; up till then no suggestion apparently of a Zodiacal Round Table of the Grail had been put forward, despite innumerable theories, and The Kingdom Of Logres had not been located; see Plate 7, in which the Lion, Giant Twin, Bull’s head, Ram and Fish have already been indicated.

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THE CHIEF CHARACTERS OF “THE HIGH HISTORY OF THE HOLY GRAAL,” AND WHAT THEY STAND FOR

1   (Earth)   Taurus   King Gurgulain.

2   (Fire)   Aries   Messire Gawain – The Sun in the second Quarter.

3   (Water)   Pisces   King Fisherman.

4   (Air)   Aquarius   King Pelles, succeeded by Sir Perceval = The Sun in the first Quarter of the year, represented by the Phoenix.

5   (Earth)  Capricornus   King of Castle Mortal.

6   (Fire)   {Sagittarius and Hercules}   King Arthur – The Sun in the east; and the last Quarter of the year.

7   (Water)   (Scorpio)   Calixtus, whose soul is weighed in . . .

8   (Air)   (Libra)   . . . the and Scales of death.

9   (Earth)   (Virgo)   The Damsel, Sir Perceval’s sister, also called Dindrain.

10   (Fire)   (Leo)   Sir Lancelot of the Lake – The Midday Sun in the south; and the third Quarter of the year.

11   (Water)   (Cancer)

12   (Air)   Gemini   Lohot, King Arthur’s son = The Sun in west, the Setting Sun; represented by the “Giant.” Orion in effigy. Sir Perceval = The spirit of the Sun after it has set, represented by the Bird on the rudder of Orion’s Ship.

13   Canis Minor   Meliot of Logres.

14   Cetus   Gohaz of the Castle of the Whale.

15   Draco   The Black Knight, the Giant Devil.

16   Hydra    Queen Guinevere.

The Great Hound, of the Parrett River, is the wife of Marin the Jealous of Little Gomerit.

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Guide to Glastonbury's Temple of the Stars 007 - CopyGuide to Glastonbury's Temple of the Stars 008 - Copy

THE EARTH CHART OF THE STARS IN SOMERSET

     The following list shows how the stars fall in regard to their corresponding Nature Effigies.

     To prove the correspondence of the Earth Giants with the celestial constellations as they are depicted by astronomers to-day, lay Philips’ Planisphere—which is the same size—on the back of the accompanying effigy chart of the heavens—frontispiece—and prick the stars through. If the square of Ursa Minor be laid on the “giant dragon’s” head, at the centre of the circle; with Aldebaran on the Equinoctial line to the west, and Antares on the same line to the east; then the rest of the stars will fall as stated below; they are thus shown on Plate 2.

THE LION – Because of its great size, the effigy Leo includes the whole of the constellation Cancer in his neck, as well as Castor and Pollux from Gemini on his mask. Also the head of Hydra is contained within his body. Leo’s Royal Star Regulus and all his “Sickle” stars fall around his tail which hangs over his back.

THE VIRGIN – Zavijava. and the stars of Virgo near it, with Denebola from Leo, fall around her Sheaf of Wheat the ‘Kern-baby.’ Spica falls on her skirt.

THE SCORPION – Zubeneschamali and Zubenel-genubi from Libra fall in the right claw, which here takes the place of the Scales. Stars of Lupus and Serpens are contained within the effigy. The Royal Star Antares and the five other Scorpion stars near it marked the centre of its body on the Fosse Way.

The ARCHER (HERCULES) – These two constellations are here combined to form a centaur. All the greater sun of Sagittarius fall in the hind quarters of the horse. On its chest fall Altair, Tarazed and Alschain from Aquila, the rest of that constellation stretching across the shoulders of the horse. Practically the whole constellation of Hercules corresponds with his earth counterpart; whilst all the stars of Lyra fall on his back. Eltanin and other Draco stars fall on his right arm.

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THE GOAT – Prima Giedi, Dabih and the greater part of Capricornus correspond with the goat; whilst Equuleus falls in the head.

THE WATER BEARER – This constellation is represented by the Phoenix, drinking from Chalice Blood Spring. Sadal Melik, Skat and several other stars of Aquarius correspond with the wings of the bird effigy, whilst Markab from Pegasus falls by its very interesting crest, formed of cultivation terraces called Chapels‘.

THE FISHES – Three of the stars that in the sky connect Pisces, fall respectively on the tail of the “Whale, on one of the Fishes, and on the road connecting them.

THE RAM – The whole of the constellation Aries falls on the neck of the effigy, the head being reverted towards the west.

THE BULL – The Royal Star Aldebaran falls on the “bell” under the Bull’s dewlap. The Hyades fall on the right fore-leg. The Pleiades fall on the neck of Taurus. Capella in Auriga, falls just below the tip of the horns, which are marked by earthworks along Hatch Hill.

ORION THE GIANT – This takes the place of one of the Twins, two stars from Gemini falling on his uplifted right hand. Betelgeuze, Rigel, Bellatrix, Mintaka, Anilam, in fact all the stars of Orion correspond, except the Lion’s skin. Nath and the other horn star from Taurus, fall on his elbow and head.

THE HARE – The stars of Lepus fall on the seat and high poop of the Ship, in which Orion is sitting cross-legged, sailing along the river of stars Eridanus.

CANIS MAJOR – The place of this constellation is taken by a “Griffon” bird that faces Orion. Sirius, Murzim, in fact all the stars of Canis Major fall within the boundary of this Hawk-headed bird, whose tail lies between the paws of the Lion and flows over his ribs. The central stars of Monoceros fall along its back.

URSA MAJOR – The place of this constellation is taken by a third and smaller bird. The wing pointing west corresponds with Benetnasch, Mizar, Alioth and Megrez.

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URSA MINOR – The place of this constellation is taken by the head of a Dog at Littleton; the hill forming it being supplemented by mounds and an ancient trackway along the top; it is surrounded by the sites of Roman Villas. Gomeisa falls on the neck, by the Lion’s raised right paw.

URSA MINOR – The place of this constellation is taken by the head of Draco. The ancient Pole Star Kochab falls on it. It lies in the “Crown of the Land.”

THE GREAT DOG – of the Parrett River, has no corresponding stars, as it lies outside the Circle of Cosmic giants, guarding the tidal entrance to the “Kingdom of Logres.”

     It is remarkable that the stars which agree with their corresponding constellation figures on the ground, only lie along the celestial path of the sun, moon and planets; with the notable exception of the Giants Hercules and Orion, whose stars also fit their correct effigies, when transferred from the modern planisphere on be the map of Somerset.

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“TABULA SMARAGDINA”

“Heaven above, Heaven below;

Stars above, Stars below;

All that is over, under shall show.

Happy thou who the riddle readest.”

Quoted by Dmitri Merejkowski in The Forerunner.

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THE GREAT SECRETS

“If ye are primitive Bards,

According on the discipline of qualified instructors,

Relate she great secrets

Of the world which we inhabit.”—

“There is a formidable animal,

From the City of Satanas,

Which has made an inroad

Between the deep and the shallows.

His mouth is as wide

As the mountains of Mynnau:

Neither death can vanquish him,

Nor hand, nor sword.

There is a load of nine hundred rocks

Between his two paws:

There is one eye in his head,

Vivid as the blue ice.”

Taliesin the Bard.

“Their swords broke and bounded off from him as if they were struck

upon an anvil.” “So they took off his hair shirt” . . . “he smiled and replied,

‘this fire can not so much as singe my hair.’ ”

La Queste del Sainte Graal, page 97.

W. W. Comfort’s translation.

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CHAPTER I

THE FIRE SIGN, LEO

THE LION OF THE “ FORBIDDEN LAND” OF LOGRES

July and August

The  High History of the Holy Graal.     Branch 9. Title 3.

     “ ‘We wait,’ saith the Mistress of the damsels, ‘some knight that shall clear this pass, for no knight durst pass hereby.’ ‘What is the pass, then, damsel?’ saith he. ‘It is the one of a lion, and a lion, moreover, so fell and horrible that never was none seen more cruel.’ . . .

     . . . Clamados looketh and seeth the hall within an enclosure and seeth the lion that lay at the entrance of the gateway. As soon as he espieth Clamados and the damsels, he cometh toward them full speed, mouth open and ears pricked up.”

     The boundaries of “the Field of the Lion” are as follows. The ribs and front part of the hind leg and foot are outlined by the Cary River; the nose, mane and tail, by streams that flow into it. The back, throat and front legs by ‘ancient’ roads. The jaw is modeled by earthworks called ‘Linches’ on the map.

“From the Time of the Coming of Brutus”

     John of Glaston tells us that King Arthur’s armorial bearings were three red lions: “His arms also he changed in their honour, for they were silver, with three lions red, turning their heads to their backs, from the time of the coming of Brutus even unto this change.”

     Geoffrey of Monmouth says that this Brutus or “Brute the first  of the Britons,” was a Trojan; now the Trojan War was about 1184. B.C., so according to these statements the Brutus lion may have been the original of the hereditary arms of our kings and queens, two thousand years and more before Richard I is said to have brought the heraldic lion from Asia Minor.

     Astrologically, Bristol, Bath and Taunton, all within thirty miles of the effigy, are ‘reigned over’ by Leo, as W. T. Olcott says in Star Lore of All Ages.

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BRUT ID’ANGLETTERE

“From Noe unto Eneas,

And what betwixt tham was.

And fro Eneas till Brutus tyme,

That kynde he tells in this ryme.

Fro Brutus to Cadweladres,

The last Briton that this land lees,

Alle that kynd and alle the fruit

That came of Brutus that is the Brute;

. And the ryght Brut is told no more

Than the Brytons tyme wore.

After the Bretons the Inglis camen,

The lordchip of this land thai namen.”

Robert de Brunne’s translation from the

Roman de Brut of Wace, C. 1 124-1174.

The Arthurian Lion a Nature Effigy

     The lion is an integral part of Arthurian romance; for instance, in the story of Owein and Lunet it kills the man-eating giant, and is also associated with the ring and the serpent. In The High History of the Holy Graal it is several times represented as being killed by Arthur’s knights, but like the giants lives to fight another day.

     Though it has long since been recognized as the lion of Light, it is obviously intended to be something more tangible as well, for in Peredur, “a lion, bound with a chain, asleep by the side of a rock,” suggests a sculptural or heraldic beast; the romance goes on to say that the giant remarked concerning it: “Shame on my gate-keeper’s beard.” (We shall come to the chain and beard later.)

     So it was whilst pondering on the characteristics of this fabulous creature, with Bartholomew‘s map, Sheet 34, open before me, that the Cary river was seen to take the outline of a lion, with the ancient capital of Somerset “a load of nine hundred rocks between his two paws.”

     That was the first realization of the possibility that, if the lion were indeed a nature effigy, then the giant must be another close by! and it was only later that ‘the lion of the Zodiac’ was suggested.

Other Constellation Effigies Outlined

     Many years of questing on that trail, proved that a Romano-British road from Ilchester, which crosses the Cary at Somerton Erleigh on the Lion’s chest, outlines the Giant Orion’s raised forearm; the Bull’s lower jaw; the Ram’s bent knee, neck and head; and goes over the bridges connecting the Whale and the Fishes at Street. This road then outlines one of the Fishes; part of the tail and head of the Glastonbury Phoenix; the top of the head of the Goatfish; the two legs of Hercules that straddle the withers of The Archer’s horse; and the tail of the Scorpion as far as Stone on the Fosse Way. Now, facing south-west, the Roman road makes a short cut through the centre of the Scorpion’s body and its right claw,  passing close by the place of the star Spica on the Virgin’s robe, to skirt her hand; then the older road outlines her Wheatsheaf and the back and shoulder of the Lion, joining the Somerton Erleigh track once more.

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003 Plate 03

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     In this way a devotee could ride from one constellation effigy to another, in contact with the path of the sun, without leaving the beaten track, which is now a motor road.

     But, to reduce the ride to a distance of twenty miles, the pilgrim could leave out the Scorpion of death, and follow up the body of Hercules ‘The King’ to Baltonsborough, crossing Tootle Bridge to join the Virgin’s Wheat-sheaf road by Keinton Mandeville; the route, shown on Plate 7 of The Kingdom of Logres, passes along the inner outline of ten effigy constellations; this amazing piece of draughtsmanship, without further demonstration, is enough to prove the skill of the design.

     At the centre of the interesting shape thus formed is the effigy Finger, that lies on the supposed Equinoctial Line of this NatureTemple, and points to Taurus.

Somerton, the Former Capital

     The Romanized Britons of Somerton did not surrender to the Saxons till A.D. 733; so it is not surprising that many place-names in this particular neighborhood are of pagan origin.

     In the seventh century the town was walled, and drew its water supply from Ringer’s Well, to which the closed up archway in the cellar of the ruined castle may have  access. Ringer’s Well, now disused, is said to have had five springs in a ring: they rose by Sun House Farm just west of the old castle site, at present occupied by the White Hart Inn.

     To the east of this was King Ina’s palace, probably on the site of a much earlier village.

     The Tithe Barn and Old Parsonage are also on the south east of the present town, whilst to the west the Lion’s left paw lay on Maypole Knap.

     Of course there is a Red Lion Inn at Somerton, and, though there are some interesting old houses, it is in the Church of St. Michael that the visitor will linger, gazing at the roof with its four splendid dragons repeated five times. It is of the thirteenth century, carved by the monks of Muchelney Island near Langport, but redolent of early traditions concerning mythical beasts.

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The High History of the Holy Graal. Branch 24.. Titles 6 and 7.

     “there is therein a lion, the fiercest and most horrible in the world, and two serpents that are called griffons, that have the face of a man and the beaks of birds and eyes of an owl and teeth of a dog and ears of an ass and feet of a lion and tail of a serpent, and they have couched them therewithin, but never saw no man beasts so fell and felonous.”

     “So soon as they heard him coming they dress them on their feet, and then writhe along as serpents, then cast forth such fire, and so bright a flame amidst the rock, as that all the cavern is lighted up thereof, and they see by the brightness of light of their jaws the brachet coming.”

     Whilst repairing the church roof, balls were found lodged in it.

     The following is from an article by Mr. H. J. Massingham, “How Ball Games began,” published in the Listener, August 3rd, 1932:

     “The game was not a sport but a religious service.” . . . “The ball game was played by peoples with a social organisation which was split into two halves for ritual purposes: one side of the community representing the sky- world and its solar cult, and the other the under-world.” At Dorking in Surrey the traditional ball game was played once a year on Shrove Tuesday, and the players came from the east and west sides of the church. Their costumes represented some of “the ancient king gods of Briton.”

     The altar table in St. Michael’s Church, dated 1626, tells the story of the prehistoric Grail; for the High History calls the Grail Castle, Eden.

     The carving on the right leg shows the Cup standing on a book, which is supported by an hour-glass at rest; the hands of God have closed (or are about to open) this volume of Time.

     The next leg shows Adam and Eve sitting under the Tree, round the trunk of which coils the inevitable Draco.

     On the third, Adam delves and ploughs the ridged fields with a primitive hand plough.

     In front, on the fourth leg of the table, Noah is building the Ark above his head, by aid of a conspicuously placed Mason’s Square; his right hand chops the wood with a large hatchet.

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From the Left Fore Paw to the Hind Leg

     Not far from Somerton, lying in the hind quarters of the Lion, is the village of Charlton Mackrell. The church has an interesting wood carving on a bench end, representing a Satyr holding a scroll in each claw, one scroll closed and the other unfurled, a sack hangs over his shoulder, at his side a flower grows out of a great book, in his stomach is a face. This pantheistic figure has some connection with the first zodiacal Grail, for there is ‘a miniature of the Holy Graal’ in a fifteenth century MS. in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, showing a composite being not unlike this one, in its attempt to portray the Cosmos by combining stellar symbols. The head has three faces with three horns; a suggestion of two dragon’s heads on the shoulders, and clawed. feet; it holds a bull’s head—Taurus—on the top of a wand, and has four faces on its shoulders and knees representing the four quarters of the heavens, and a fifth great bearded face on the stomach, which face symbolizes the fertilizing sun. On a house in the main street at Wiveliscombe, Somerset, there is a carving of Adam with this face on his stomach: on the same house other interesting subjects are depicted such as Eve nursing a great serpent. Some years ago at a fancy dress ball on board a Japanese ship, two stewards appeared with faces painted on the same part of their anatomy; no one seemed to think it unusual, and presumably they represented the sun and moon.

     And now to return to the topographical details of Logres, for that is the name of the Kingdom of the Quest of the Holy Grail.

An Alabaster Quarry on the Lion’s Collar

     From Somerton to Charlton Mackrell station, the G.W.R. line makes a double curve through the entire length of the lion. On the hill to the north of the railway is the white alabaster quarry which once adorned his collar but is now covered with moss and grass. The name Hurcot for the quarry hill is suggestive of the Celtic sun god, Hu: we find it again in Huish Road, which outlines the lower part of the lion’s body. Because of his great size, the effigy Leo includes the stars of the constellation Cancer.

The Lion’s Ears

     Romano-British villas lay to the south and north of the railway line: one of them is marked by a heap of stones in the Lion’s left ear, now completely overgrown with trees; it is still called Magotty Pagotty, or mother god father god, thus echoing the prayers that were whispered into the ear of this “woodland monster.”

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      Cedar Walk avenue curves round from near KingwestonChurch, through Staddlecombe Plantation, to a tall sun-dial on top of the rounded hill that forms the right “pricked ear;” this hill was also approached by a farm track through a cutting that led to the Troughs of the Twelve Apostles, as they are called locally. The twelve Troughs are about 14 in. wide, 7 in. deep, and 3 ft., more or less, long, made of slabs of stone descending in shallow steps, through which a never failing spring flows on into Chabrick Mill Stream. This stream forms an incrustation of calcium carbonate on whatever it passes over, the fantastic shapes thus made no doubt invested the water with supposedly Supernatural powers, once upon a time.

The Enchanted Springs of Logres

     Three other springs of like nature belong to the Kingdom of Logres; one flows out of Pocock’s Cave; another is in the body of the Sagittarius horse effigy on the south side of Pennard Hill, where its stones are called Washing Stones; a. third spring which has the same fantastic habit is in what I shall call the Enclosure of the Sun at Butleigh. Here follows the analysis of the water from the spring that used to flow out of Pocock’s Cave at Ford Farm, Chilton Polden: the entrance to the cave fell in a hundred years ago and the stream was diverted to a tunnel near by:

007 - Copy

Leo is Personified by Lancelot

     In the Introduction we pointed out that King Arthur and his Knights personify the effigy constellation figures though called by other names; thus in Branch 7. Titles 1, 2 and 3, of the High History we find Sir Lancelot of the Lake, who personifies Leo, in company with one of the Twins—Gemini—the other Twin having been slain “of succouring” him, Lancelot is making much of the remaining one. The Explanation of this may be that when the stars Castor and Pollux are transferred from the celestial planisphere to the map, the star Pollux falls in the mouth of the Lion, and the star Castor by his nose.

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     Sir Lancelot, having killed the Lord of the Rock Gladoens and given it back to the surviving Twin, might he said to ‘beard the lion in his den’ at “the Castle of Beards.” Now as regards beards the following ‘giant’ story is told by J. Rhys in Celtic Folk Lore.

A Mantle Made of Beards

     Nynio and Peibio were brothers: one moonlight night Nynio said ‘See, what a fine extensive field I possess, the whole firmament.’ Peibio answered that ‘the whole host of stars’ with ‘the moon shepherding them’ belonged to him; over which statement they fought a war of extermination. The Giant Rhita conquered Nynio and Peibio and shaved off their beards, and the beards of many Kings. With these beards he made a mantle to ‘cover him from head to foot.’ He was probably this lion of the Castle of Beards. Geoffrey of Monmouth says that the Giant asked Arthur for his beard to fix above the others; and the High History tells us:

Branch 7. Titles 4. and 5.

     “ ‘It is the pass of the Castle of Beards, and it hath the name of this, that every knight that passeth thereby must either leave his beard there or challenge the same, and in such sort have I challenged my beard that meseemeth I shall die thereof.’ ‘By my head,’ saith Lancelot, ‘I hold not this of cowardize, sith that you were hardy to set your life in jeopardy to challenge your beard, but now would you argue me of cowardize when you would have me turn back. Rather would I be smitten through the body with honour, so and I had not my death thereof, than lose with shame a. single hair of my beard.’ ‘Sir,’ saith the knight, ‘May God preserve you, for the castle is far more cruel than you think.’ ”

     “Lancelot looketh at the gateway of the castle and seeth the great door all covered with beards fastened thereon, and heads of knights in great plenty hung thereby. So, as he was about to enter the gate, two knights issue therefrom over against him. ‘Sir,’ saith the one, ‘Abide and pay your toll!’ ‘Do knights, then, pay toll here?’ saith Lancelot. ‘Yea? say the knights, ‘All they that have beards, and they that have none are quit. Sir, now pay us yours, for a. right great beard it is, and thereof have we sore need.’ ‘For what?’ saith Lancelot. ‘I will tell you,’ saith the knight. ‘There be hermits in this forest that make hair-shirts thereof? ‘But my head,’ saith Lancelot, ‘Never shall they have hair-shirt of mine.’”

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The Grave-Yard Perilous Lies Either Side of the Lion’s Tail

     Then follows a horrid repast obviously served by the victims the lion has mauled.

     Sir Lancelot now goes to the lion’s tail, by the “tall cross,” (Christian’s Cross) of the “Grave-yard Perilous;” Leo’s Royal Star Regulus falls near it on Boxhill; this star must have been of special importance to star worshippers, for Regulus is in the path of the moon as well as the sun; it was occulted by the moon on April 6th, I933.

     If Bartholomew’s map Sheet 34 be consulted, it will be seen that though Christian’s Cross lies on comparatively low ground, it commands an extensive view towards the east of the surrounding Wiltshire and Dorsetshire hills: the prehistoric castle of Camelot, at South Cadbury, seven miles away, can be distinguished by its great clump of trees, and beside it the perfectly bare roundhill, Par Rock, to be described later with Camelot.

     The lion’s tail is outlined by a Brook—not shown on Bartholomew’s map—that commencing at the Cross curves round over the back in the shape of Leo’s ‘Sickle,’ towards Charlton House, where it joins the body of the creature; it is then made to outline its rump and flows on into the Cary river.

     On the corner of Boxhill Lane and the road descending Snap Hill, is a circular pond made by laying wrought stones in  circles; a stream from at spring runs through it: there is a similar pond just north of Christian’s Cross in Kingweston Park that is more than two hundred feet in circumference.

Somerton Lane Is Not A Motor Road

     The whole of the back of the lion is outlined by an ancient road called Somerton Lane, running from the site of a Roman Villa, near the railway arch at the bottom of Snap Hill, to Charlton House, where it meets the brook which forms the tail. From here the road coming from Christian’s Cross draws the hind quarters and leg as far as Cary Bridge near Lyte’s Cary.

     Either side of the hind foot are sites of so-called Roman Villas: Holly Hill lane leads to one from Kingsdon.

     The river from Cary Bridge draws the front of the hind leg as it flows north and west to the ‘lion waist,’ then the ribs as it flows west, to pass under the second Cary Bridge on the chest: the Lion—about three miles long—lies exactly between these two bridges of the same name.

The Lion’s Head

     Copley House is near the tip of his nose, where Chabrick Mill Stream rises: Copley Wood covers the whole of the top of the head, and Long Wood forms his “open” mouth, whilst Worley Hill and Hurcot Firs and Linches model his lower jaw.

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     In early November on a sunny day, the hanging woods here are a riot of colour, below them lies the red tongue of the Lion, outlined by a footpath shown on Plate 3; it points to the Giant Orion.

     The “right great beard” mentioned in Branch 7. Title 5, is formed of red marl and hangs down between Worley Lane and Worley Hill. This name suggests that the whirls or customary ‘wheels of fire’ were rolled down from this hill at the solstitial fire festival.

     It might have been possible to see the whole of the Lion from Somerton Wood—where there was a Tumulus, now destroyed,—for it is high above Somerton Erleigh, but the beech trees are so fine they completely hide the view for the greater part of the year.

     Castley Hill forms his right front paw: from here the valley of the Cary river can be seen, and also the charming semi-circular escarpment showing the Rhaetic Beds that bound King’s Sedge Moor and form the isolated Dundon Hills. Owlsley lies in the deep hollow behind the angle of the flat jaw bone; on the edge of this hollow the map marks ‘track of ancient road,’ which runs down to the site of a Romano-British Villa by Cary Bridge, thus outlining the throat and chest bone.

Leo Lies in Catsash Hundred

     This Leo may have been ‘Pa Lug’s Cat,’ the cat of the god of light, and the cat that the Knights Templars were said to worship, for it lies partly in Catsash Hundred.

     Colonel Waddell says in his Phoenician 0rigin of Britons and Scots, page 208:

     “Catti was the title of the earliest British Kings,” and “From Somerton in the Severn Valley we find a series of early ‘Catti’ names radiating through Cambria or Wales to some extent. The very free distribution of this Catti and Barat title in Somerset, or ‘Seat of the Somers,’ with its relative absence in Wales and mainly confined there to the Severn Coast, suggests that Somerset, with the northern bank of the Severn estuary, from Caerleon or Isca on the Usk, to Gower, formed the Cymry Land.”

     It is noticeable that the chief Druid of Britain was called ‘a Lion.’ William Olcott tells us in Star Lore of All Ages “Leo is for many reasons significant to Masons. In the four Royal Stars, the four great Elohim, or Decans, gods ruling the signs were believed to dwell. The four Decans who ruled the four angles of the heavens were the most important and most powerful. To these four Sun divine honours were paid, and sacred images were erected in which the Lion, Eagle, Ox and Man were variously combined. These figures appear on the Royal Arch Banner.”

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     Four stars are shown in a row on the left-hand side of Christ in the tynpanum over the south door of the church at Moissac, the date of the carving is 1063 (see photo in Romanesque France, by V. Markham).

“Miracles Should Not Cease Till the Great Lion Had Come”

     One of the most interesting references to the Somerset Lion is a very ancient note in William of Malmesbury’s Antiquities of Glastonbury (F. Lomax‘s translation, published by Talbot), which says: “that miracles should not cease until the great lion had come, having a tail fastened with great chains. Again, in what follows concerning the search for a cup which is there called the Holy Graal, the same is related almost at the beginning.” That was in connection with Lancelot du Lac of the Round Table, for whom his comrades were searching.

     The reason why King Arthur imprisoned his best knight Lancelot must be that he was acting the part of this Lion, for however brave Leo’: Summer sun, Arthur‘s Autumnal decree is inevitable.

Branch 30. Title 21.

     “ ‘You come hither for another thing,‘ saith the King, ‘according to that I have been given to wit, and, had the hall been void of folk, you hoped to have slain me.’ The King commandeth him be taken forthwith without gainsay of any.”

     However Arthur relents and has him brought out of “his dungeon in the prison.”

Branch 34. Titles 2 and 3.

     “He made bring Lancelot before him into the midst of the hall, that was somewhat made lean of his being in prison.”

     Leo’s burning “manor” is vividly described in Branch 20. Title 2, where Lancelot “felt the men that lay dead, and groped among them from head to head and felt that there was a great heap of them there, and came back and sate at the fire all laughing.” Such savage mirth savours again of a lion!

     Those chains fastening the pagan lion’s tail must be Christian’s Cross which is the name of the crossroads on his tail before pointed out, but the stars of Leo’s ‘Sickle’ are what originally fastened his upturned tail to the zodiacal Path.

Branch 15. Title 14 to 18.

     “The cross was at the entrance of the grave-yard, that was right spacious, for, from such time as the land was first peopled of folk, and that knights began to seek adventure by the forest, not a knight had died in the forest, that was full great of breadth and length, but his body was borne thither.”

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     “The damsel beholdeth their sepulchres all round about the grave-yard whereinto she was come. She seeth them surrounded of knights, all black, and spears had they withal, and came one against another, and made such uproar and alarm as it seemed all the forest resounded thereof. The most part held swords all red as fire . . . She seeth above the altar the most holy cloth for the which she was come thither, that was right ancient, and a smell came thereof so sweet and glorious that no sweetness of the world might equal it. The damsel cometh toward the altar thinking to take the cloth, but it goeth up into the air as if the wind had lifted it . . . Forthwith the cloth came down above the altar, and she straightway found taken away there-from as much as it pleased Our Lord she should have. Josephus telleth us of a truth, that never did none enter the chapel that might touch the cloth save only this one damsel.”

     The cloth that “goeth up into the air as if the wind had lifted it,” must be the tuft on the end of the lion’s tail, for the Damsel is Virgo of the Cary river into which the Brook outlining the tail flows, after passing through the “Grave-yard Perilous.”

     The altar was the Royal Star Regulus.

The Sun Worshippers’ Grave-yard Lay On the Ecliptic Circle

     Whilst quarrying stones by this Brook near Charlton Adam, Romano-British graves were found containing coins and pottery of the time of Constantinus; they are made of slabs set on edge to form a triangular cover as in Malta: among the remains were flat circular stones about a foot or more in diameter, at least eighteen were dug up as well as lion’s claws, a sure sign that the graves belonged to sun worshippers; but the bones of the “first folk” mentioned in Branch 15 were not found, for the quarry was soon abandoned and is now partly built over. Sandpit Lane close by might lead to Bronze Age “folk.”

     A few of the finds were sent to Yeovil museum in 1928, and a record kept at Taunton Castle.

Leo’s Solar Phases

     Turning new to Branch 10. Title 11, it will be noticed that when Sir Lancelot passed the entrance to King Fisherman’s Castle he saw two lions, one of which is the White Lion of night and winter, the lion of March that ‘comes in like at lion and goes out like a lamb’ in April. Sir Lancelot’s is the Red Lion, the symbol of the sun in August.

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     Robert Brown says in The Lion and the Unicorn, that the two lions are two solar phases, diurnal and nocturnal, “and as there is but one solar orb, so he is the lion of the double lions. In the funeral ritual the Osirian or soul seeking divine union and communion with the sun god, prays: ‘Let me not be surpassed by the Lion god; Oh, the Lion of the Sun, who lifts his arm in the hill and exclaims: I am the Lions, I am the sun.’ ”

     W. Olcott tells us in Sun Lore of All Ages: “The Egyptians, Hindus, Chaldeans, Persians and Celts all regarded the lion as a solar symbol.”

     After King Pelles’ death Sir Perceval encountered the Lion.

Branch 32. Title 7.

     “Perceval goeth toward the Deep Forest, that is full broad and long and evil seeming, and when he was entered in, he had scarce ridden a space when he espied the lion that lay in the midst of a launde under a tree and was waiting for his master, that was gone afar into the forest, and the lion well knew that just there was the way whereby knights had to pass, and therefore had abided there. The damsel draweth her back for fear, and Perceval goeth toward the lion that had espied him already, and came toward him, eyes on fire and jaws yawning wide. Perceval aimeth his spear and thinketh to smite him in his open mouth, but the lion swerved aside and he caught him in the foreleg and so dealt him a great wound, but the lion seizeth the horse with his claws on the croup, and rendeth the skin and the flesh above the tail.”

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Chapter II

THE EARTH SIGN, VIRGO

SHE HOLDS ‘AN EAR OF CORN BY A FALL OF WATER’

September and October

Gates On the Sun’s Path

     Bab Cary may be the Virgin’s Gate on the Fosse Way. As gates play an important part in traditions of the Temple, three land gates, and three water gates, that lie within radius of three and a half miles from the centre at Butleigh, are here suggested.

     The early British road along the hills of Mendip, that crosses the Fosse Way at Beacon Hill, sends a branch road to West Pennard, there to enter the earth sign Capricornus; this constellation was called ‘The Gate of the Gods.’

     Westwards, the third land entrance would have been by the Polden Hills, on the road along Walton Hill to Taurus.

     The Scorpion water gate on the river Brue was called Lydford, it was the gate of death next to the gate of life in Virgo.

     The second water gate lower down the Brue was the most famous, it was by Pomparles Bridge at the entrance to King Fisherman’s Castle, in Pisces.

     The third was on the Cary river called Somerton Gate.

     But perhaps the original entrance to the Kingdom of Logres was by the River Parrett, where the effigy of the great Dog guards the junction with the old course of the Cary. Large ships could navigate the entire outline of the under part of this ‘shining hound,‘ swept along on the flood of the tidal bore. “Messire Gawain seeth the entrance of the gateway foul and horrible like as it had been hell.” High History. Branch 2. Title 3.

     Bab is the Arab’s word for gate, and it is remarkable that this original place name by the Fosse Way should remain, close to where Virgo’s hand, holding out her bouquet of corn, breaks the typical straightness of that highway; this divergence exactly marks the centre of the month of September in correspondence with the degrees on the modern planisphere.

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015 Plate 04

15

Her ‘Kern-Baby’

     On Plate 4 we see that the profile of Virgo is outlined by the Cary river: she stands where there was once a Priory, on Wheathill, a name suggesting that what the holds in her hand is Wheat.

     Still in parts of England the last ears of corn at harvest are dressed up and called Kern-Baby, or Bride or Bridget baby, which no doubt,——in the completely pagan High History,— was the Child that the Lady gave into the hands of the hermit when “King Arthur made much marvel, that the holy hermit washed not his hands when he had received the offering. Right sore did King Arthur marvel him thereof; but little right would he have had to marvel had he known the reason.” Branch 1. Title 6.

     This is the Chapel the Queen sent Arthur to, which was in “a combe of the forest,” the ‘Kern-baby’ is partly surrounded by Combe Lane at Keinton.

     Light is thrown on the subject by the dedication of the present church built in this effigy Wheatsheaf; it belongs to Mary Magdalen, and the site of Mary Magdalen’s Chapel at Glastonbury once belonged to St. Bridget, the fields in Beckery close by are still called Bride’s.

     St. Mary Magdalen’s Church at Keinton Mandeville stands in its own field, but the railway embankment and stone quarries have destroyed other fields so that the sheaf is now hardly recognizable, it is outlined by Withybed, Common, and Combe Lanes.

     Having chanced upon the church in the heart of September what should we find but sheaves of golden wheat, rows of rosy-cheeked apples, and lovely flowers peeping from ‘Old Man’s Beard’ clematis, covering the nakedness of the building from floor to ceiling: for the Harvest Festival has no doubt been celebrated here in Virgo’s Wheatsheaf for nearly five thousand years.

     Her stars lie around it like scattered corn, if pricked through from the planisphere on to the map; but Spica, her first magnitude star, falls in the front of her skirt, with two stars close to the Ecliptic.

The Cary River

     The village of Castle Cary, meaning the Castle of the Castle, stands towards Camelot, under Castle Hill, where the Cary rises in five springs, one of them significantly is called Our Lady.

     The river outlines the folds of her flowing robe till it reaches her breast which is suggested by a Tumulus named Wimble Toot, toot meaning teat, and wimple meaning an auger, sounding to the Imperial Dictionary. (This Toot is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.)

     Near it at Stert there was a chapel, of which nothing now remains except a shed in front of the farm house; there are a few marks in the field approaching it.

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     Having drawn Virgo’s sleeve, the river follows Rag Lane, up her throat and under her chin, round her now sunken gums, to Cary Fitzpaine, where prosperous looking farm buildings still fill her mouth with plenty: in Doomsday Book this place was called Cari.

     Then, outlining the nose, it passes under a bridge to give her a high bonnet.

     The river now crosses the Fosse Way to the hind leg of the Lion, to outline the under part of his body.

“The Paled Bar”

     When King Arthur first rides to this Castlecaryland—as it was called in the fourteenth century-—he “sees at the entrance a spear Set bar-wise, and looketh to the right”—which implies he is turning sunwise—“or ever he should enter therein, and seeth a damsel sitting under a great leafy tree.” Another translation is “he sooth at the entrance a paled bar.” Branch 1. Title 6. In Heraldry a ‘bar’ is horizontal and a ‘pale‘ is vertical.

017 - Copy

     The Damsel is the Virgin as she was before her many metamorphoses: she is sitting under the Tree of Life, and warns him of Leo thus: “the land and the forest about is so perilous that no knight returneth thence, but he is dead or wounded.”

     Nevertheless, King Arthur crosses the bar to cut of the head of a black giant, with whose blood the Damsel heals the wound in his arm, for it is the head of Draco; whose stars fall along the arm of this Somerset Hercules.

     No sooner do we turn of the Fosse Way—towards Charlton Adam—skirting the hand of Virgo, than we come to Stickle Bridge, which marks the turning up one side of her Wheatsheaf; this is Withybed Lane, a blind lane, so continuing along Broadway we reach The Barton, written. in large print on the O.S. Map; it is said to mean barley enclosure, in Old English. But here was also that “Bar” which the Damsel under the tree mentions: did the fifteen stones edging the field called Stones (shown on a former O.S. Sheet 63 S.E.) mark it?

     No record. has been kept of their origin though on GlebeLand; they look now like mile stones.

     On the other side of the railway arch from Stones is an Abbey (Farm) with Church and Cross. There was once a Priory not far away; but despite these tantalizing names the village of Charlton Adam is only a. very faint echo from a forgotten past, for those “folk of religion” are as dead as Adam.

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“The Sepulchre”

Branch 32. Title 11.

     “The lady made make a chapel right rich about the sepulchre that lay between the forest and Camelot, and had it adorned of rich vestments, and established a chaplain that should sing mass there every day. Sithence then hath the place been so builded up as that there is an abbey there and folk of religion, and many bear witness that there it is still, right fair.”

     According to the above quotation, the chapel was “between the forest and Camelot,” and Perceval’s sister built it, for she was the Damsel Virgo, as the High History says earlier in the same Title she “should be Queen.” She tells King Arthur all about her brother when Arthur recrosses “the bar” after witnessing the dismemberment of the Black Knight. Branch 1. Titles 8 and 9.

     Now the reason for trying to locate this “sepulchre” is, that “one of them that helped to un-nail Our Lord from the Cross” was buried there, see Branch 15. Titles 23 and 24; and as the stars of the constellation Crater fall on the Abbey fields, at Charlton Adam, on the same Solstitial line as Stones before mentioned, it appears that Crater i.e. the Cup, was the “sepulchre” at the foot of the Sun Cross at that time, which gives us the explanation why it would only open to Sir Perceval who won the Grail.

Melkin the Bard sang:

“Amid these Joseph in marble,

Of Arimathea by name,

Hath found perpetual sleep:

And he lies on a two-forked line

Next the south corner of an oratory

Fashioned of wattles*

For the adoring of a mighty Virgin

By the aforesaid sphere-betokened

Dwellers in that place, thirteen in all.”

Translated by the late Dean of Wells.

     Should the above astronomical interpretation be correct, the marble coffin of St. Joseph would lie here, where the Crater stars fall, for Leo’s “graveyard perilous” close by (where the Ecliptic circle passes through its tail), has already been partly excavated and marked on the official maps Romano – British Cemetery.

* Wattle means wicker burdle made of withies, see Withyhed lane on illustration, south- west of Virgo’s ‘Kern-Baby.‘ The stars of Crater fall due south of this.

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CAMELOT

“Four great zones of sculpture, set betwixt

With many a mystic symbol, girt the hall:

And in the lowest beasts are slaying men,

And in the second men are slaying beasts,

And on the third are warriors, perfect men,

And on the fourth are men with growing wings,

And over all one statue in the mould

Of Arthur, made by Merlin, with a crown,

And peak’d wings pointing to the Northern Star.

And eastward fronts the statue, and the crown

And both the wings are made of gold, and flame

At sunrise till the people in far fields,

Wasted so often by the heathen hordes,

Behold it, crying, ‘We have still a king.’ ”

Tennyson’s Holy Grail.

     In Branch 3. Title 5, of the High History, Sir Gawain “found the fairest meadow land in the world, and saw a castle appear nigh the forest on a mountain, and it was enclosed of high walls with battlements.”

     This prehistoric castle of Camelot which guards the Kingdom of Logres on the south east was no myth.

     Mr. Burrow in his Ancient Earthworks and Camps of Somerset, page 74, tells us:

     Cadbury Castle—associated in folk lore and legend with the mystic Camelot of Arthurian legend—adjoins the picturesque hamlet of South Cadbury, Castle Lane leads up to the north-west angle of this mighty fortress of 18 acres, girt in all three sides of its great triangle by four immensely steep banks with ditches between—42, 26 and 38 feet deep from the bottom of the ditch to the top of the bank,—which seem to have been the work of giants rather than men. And, to add to their mysterious grandeur, these trenches were not even earthwork but ware carved in the solid rock.

     The Little Guide says “the interior ‘ring’ is faced with wrought masonry.”

     Mr. Burrow tells us again: “The hills and slightly elevated places of Somerset were occupied for a considerable period by the Goidels or Celts; in fact, it is considered that the great fortress of Cadbury (Camelot) may very reasonably have been the citadel from which this great western area could be best administered in a military sense. Alter the Goidels and Celts came the Brythons, or Britons . . . These new-comers were conversant with the use of  iron, as well as bronze, and in their turn they entered into a struggle for supremacy in Somerset . . . The language they used was the Kymric form of the Celtic Language . . .

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     Then about 200 B.C. Britain was invaded by another Celtic tribe—the Belgae from the North of France . . . These people settled down with their predecessors, so that when Julius Caesar with his cohorts landed in Britain, the area of Somerset seems to have been divided in a peaceful way between the Brythons, who held the Western half, and the Belgae.”

     It is important to remember that though Romanized, these Britons were not expelled from the “Kingdom of Logres,” south of the river Axe, before 658 or 682 AD. when the Saxons drove them to the Parrett river: but by all the conquering races this kingdom seems to have been held in respect, judging by the plane names, for in so many cases the meaning, if not the actual word, has been retained.

     Logres probably extended from the Severn in the north-west, for about thirty miles to the south-east, and from the River Axe to the Parrett, which is roughly a distance of seven miles.

     Beyond, on the surrounding hills, can be seen, outlined against the sky, the camps of early British settlers, but none of them boast the mass of legend that clings to Camelot.

     Much has been written about the gold and bronze ornaments and other remains found from time to time in the immediate neighborhood, telling of those four, or perhaps five, great waves of conquest before the Christian Era, but how little about the worship of the sky god Camulos.

Camelot’s High-Altar

     There is to the south of Cadbury Castle, a little ‘Mount Carmel,’ one-third the height of the Palestine hill; it occupies a. superb position for a natural altar, just in front of and one hundred feet lower than Cotton Beacon Hill.

     Its name is Par Rock Hill, and the deeply cut lane that crosses it is called Halter Path; these names are significant, they mean Fire Altar, for Par and Bar here in the Kingdom of Logres refer to creative fire, or light.

     The chief recorded event in Mount Carmel’s history was the struggle for supremacy between the prophets of Jehovah, and the priests of Baal. After Elijah had built an altar on the Mount, fire from heaven descended and licked up the burnt offering. Carmel was sacred to Jupiter in the fifth century B.C., and Tacitus states that the mountain itself was a god; so on both these ‘Carmel’ Hills sacred fire and Jupiter were invoked; for John Rhys said of the sky god Camulos (in the 1886 Hibbert Lectures speaking on ‘the origin and growth of religion’) “we have discovered the Jupiter of the Celts, the supreme god of the Goidels.” Whilst Faber before him, made out Casmilus, Cadmilus and Camillus to be the same as ‘Baal the fountain of light.’

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Three Other Camels

     Camel Hill, which lies to the west of Camelot, once contained two catacombs, where many skeletons were found arranged in rows, with their feet turned towards the north. Just south of the hill is a place called Wales (it is between Queen Camel and West Camel) where there is an Eye Well on the edge of the river Cam: this holy well, when not flooded by the river, formerly supplied hundreds of bottles to be sent far afield by coach, for‘ it is a sulphuretted hydrogen spring, and the water was used till recently by the villagers for curative purposes.

Branch 22. Title 5.

     “Camelot, of King Arthur’s, was situate at the entrance of the kingdom of Logres, and was peopled of folk and was seated at the head of the King’s land, for that he had in his governance all the lands that on that side marched with his own.”

The Ghostly Fire

     King Arthur with two knights is said to ride every midsummer eve along the road under the Castle that runs from Halter   Path Lane through the village. They are clad in shining armour, holding ‘at the salute’ their swords, which are tipped with flame.

     That flame might represent the Sacred Fire Light that once dwelt in the original Grail. Mon. Matter says in his account of the ‘Gnosticism of Philo,’ (the following is a translation):

     According to Philon, the Supreme Being is the primitive light, the source of all other light, the Archetype of light, from which emanate the universal rays illuminating the soul. It is the soul of the world and as such, it vibrates through all its particles. It in itself fills and bounds all Being; its purity and worth fills and penetrates all. It is without beginning; it lives in the prototype of Time. Its image is the ‘Logos,’ a form more brilliant than fire, for fire is not pure light.

     This Logos was the world of ideas, by means of which God called visible things into being. This Logos dwells in God; for it is in His intelligence that the Supreme Being conceives the ideas by which He inspires the Universe.”

     Possibly Logres once had the same meaning as Logos for those who venerated the mystical Light of this Kingdom.

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CHAPTER III

THE WATER SIGN, SCORPIO

“HE WAS NIGH HIS BEING AT THE POINT OF DEATH”

The High History of the Holy Graal

November

     Scorpio was the gigantic Warden of the Sun whom Isdubar encountered at the outset of his journey to the land of the dead; here at the entrance to the Vale of Avalon he is the guardian of the “Castle of Sou1s.”

     Originally, as in Ptolemy’s list, the Scorpion was so large that it occupied the place of the later constellation Libra (the Scales) as well as that of Scorpio; this was so in Somerset, where two stats of Libra. fall on the right claw.

     A stone carving of the Scales is still to be seen on St. Michael’s tower on Glastonbury Tor, dating from the fourteenth century, and also on Minehead Tower, where the crowned “Virgin of Light” superintends the weighing of souls.

     We find in S. E. Hill’: Astrology, page I5:

     “The Virgin is often represented as holding the Balance, in connection with which fact it may be mentioned that in Manichaean tradition a Virgin of Light is met by the soul at the Gate of Heaven, i.e. at the equinoctial point in the Zodiac.”

     In order to draw attention to the change in the Zodiac, we suppose that the hermit, whose passing soul was being weighed, was intended for Scorpio.

Branch 1. Title 5.

     “say the devils, ‘But longer had he served us than he hath served you and your Son. For forty years or more hath he been a murderer and robber in this forest, whereas in this hermitage (of the Scales) but five years hath he been. And now you wish. to thieve him from us.’ “

     “The Lady“ (Virgo) answers—“I do not,” and as goddess of Justice she secures the soul of the hermit Calixtus for this “Paradise,” of the High History.

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023 Plate 05

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Branch 1. Title 5.

     King Arthur “would fain have sate him down before the coffin, when a voice warned him right horribly to begone thence, for it was desired to make a judgment within there, that might not be made so long as he were there. The King departed, that would willingly have remained there, and so returned back into the little house, and sate him down on a seat whereupon the hermit wont to sit. And he heareth the strife and the noise begin again within the chapel, and the ones he heareth  speaking high and the others low, and he knoweth well by the voices, that the ones are angels and the others devils. And he heareth that the devils are distraining on the hermit’s soul, and that judgment will presently be given in their favour, whereof make they great joy.”

The Brue Flows Through the Vale of Avalon

     The river Brue delineates the right claw of the Scorpion, guarding the way to Salisbury Plain; Malory says in Morte D’Arthur: “There was a day assigned betwixt King Arthur and Sir Mordred that they should meet upon a down beside Salisbury, and not far from the sea side.”

     Some have thought that Mordred was the Scorpion of death; be that as it may, the end of the Scorpion’s tail can ‘be seen very close to Arthur’s horse (Sagittarius): this death-dealing tail—where gypsies gather mistletoe before sunrise on the rath November—is drawn between College Green and Lower Withial (White Dial) Farm, as shown on Plate 1.

     Just before Arthur’s “passing” we are told  Malory: “So upon Trinity Sunday at night, King Arthur dreamed a wonderful dream, and that was this: that him seemed he sat upon a chaflet in a chair, and the chair was fast to a wheel, and thereupon sat  King Arthur in the richest cloth of gold that might he made; and the king thought therein was under him, far from him, a hideous deep black water, and therein were all manner of serpents, and worms, and wild beasts, foul and horrible; and suddenly the king thought the wheel turned up-side-down, and he fell among the serpents, and every beast took him by a limb.” It is quite clear from this dream that Malory knew all about the Zodiacal Wheel up-side-down not far from Salisbury, that the Sun fell into. It was not Stonehenge because of the beasts and serpents!

The Symbolic Human Head

     In Alford Church (which is built on the head of the Scorpion) is a bench-end carving, depicting a creature taking the typical curve of a scorpion, and looking at a human head; we find the same symbol employed below a representation of the sun on the tympanum of Rollright Church, Oxfordshire, where a fish is in the act of devouring the head, symbolizing the setting or dying sun, it is surrounded by sun crosses and stars. The Knights Templars were accused of worshipping a head which was said to represent ‘the Father of the Temple of universal peace,’ it is very noticeable that in the High History the Knights and  Arthur swear by the head.

     Near Alford Well Farm house there is a chalybeate Holy Well now disused.

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Lyd Is Said to Mean Gate

     BridgefootBridge crosses the river Brue between East and West Lydford; the churches of each of these villages were built on its banks, but very little remains of the old East Lydford church; Its early foot was removed to the new one. The ruin is of interest, however, on account of this very proximity to the river, for the funeral ‘bargiae’ could moor alongside when passing through the water gate of the sacred area to go down stream to the Isle of Avalon seven miles away. Weirs to control the floods now prevent navigation. This river Brue rises near the edge of Salisbury Plain, not far from Arthur’s final stand.

     According to Ma1ory’s Morte D’Arthur the following were the last words of King Arthur as he lay in the funeral barge, after the battle upon “the down beside Salisbury.”

     “Comfort thyself, and do as well as thou mayst, for in me is no trust for to trust in; for I will unto the vale of Avilion to heal me of my grievous wound: and if thou hear never more of me, pray for my soul.”

     After passing over Bridgefoot Bridge on the claw of this ‘Serpent-by-the-way,’ the Fosse Way crosses the body of Scorpio between Four Foot (these two names seem to be a hint that we should look to our feet!) and Stone, in White Stone Hundred: it is just here that the Royal Star Antares falls.

     Close by Stone is Hornblotten (Horn blow town), where there is an old bell tower detached from the restored church built of the local sun-kissed orange Oolite stone that the worshippers of golden light surely loved.

     Leaving Stone we continue along the Fosse Way towards the Sunrise, from whence King Arthur comes to meet us: let us now mount his horse.

     At a distance these Pennard Hills have the appearance of a horse and half a horse lying on its left side, hence perhaps the legend that a gate slammed in the middle of Arthur’s steed: in that case Arthur’s Bridge near Ditcheat would mark the tail of the half horse outside the Circle of the Zodiac.

     From these hills we can look back over the low lying country of Scorpio to “many towered Camelot” ten miles distant.

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CHAPTER IV

THE FIRE SIGN, SAGITTARIUS

THE HORSE

December and January

The High History of the Holy Graal. Branch 1. Title 5.

     “When the King had hung the shield at his neck and held the spear in his hand, sword-girt, on the tall destrier armed, well seemed he in the make of his body and in his bearing to be a knight of great pith and hardiment. He planteth himself so stiffly in the stirrups that he maketh the saddlebows creak again and the destrier stagger under him that was right stout and swift, and he smiteth him of his spurs, and the horse maketh answer with a great leap.”

     The effigy of King Arthur’s “destrier” is ungainly, it must have stumbled, for its hind quarters are 350 ft. higher than its head as a result perhaps of the “stagger” and “leap.”

     The Pennard Hills which form its body were a bulwark of defence during invasion, and stoutly held against Cenweal the Saxon; but in 682 A.D. Centwine “drove the British to the sea.” This was indeed a tragic defeat, for it meant the loss to the Clets of their Sacred Kingdom. Some think the fabled wealth was buried in it, but if there had been any the Romans would have taken it, six hundred. years before: the wealth of the Kingdom of Logres consisted in the gold of the sun’s rays and the jewels of the stars, for its treasure was in heaven, and locked in the secret recesses of the heart.

     Despite invasion the essential outline of all the Zodiacal creature: remains intact, for they were too well designed and executed and are too huge to be destroyed, and have no value for the uninitiated; but it is noticeable that designedly, most of the feet in the composition are hidden, as in this effigy of the Horse. Orion hides his feet by sitting on them, Virgo’s are well covered by her skirts, those of Capricornus wade in the mud of White Lake; but an exception has been made purposely in the case of the Bull, the Ram and the Lion.

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     Looking up From West Pennard station, a conspicuous ‘lineh’ can be seen on the hind leg of the Horse. Stickleball Lane outlines the whole of the front of this right hind leg from Steanbow up to Forge Well. Worthy Lane outlines the under part of the body from the stifie joint in the horse’s leg towards West Pennard Church.

     The upper part of the forelegs is indicated between Pilltown Farm and Newton. Church Lane marks the Horse‘s sternum, Breech Lane outlines its chest and then turns at right angles to draw the buttocks of Hercules. As a constellation King Arthur is Hercules.

     The flourishing tail—-which is a feature of the Iron. Age British coins-springs from the Horse’s body where the road to Hambridge branches from Drove Lane, and extends as far as the Fosse Way outlined by the stream from Hambridge (meaning bridge of the sun, which rises over East Pennard Hill) and in the tail is Huxham Green; the same meaning is thus doubly emphasized in Hu and Ham. Just north of the tail is East Pennard Church on Saxon foundations, it contains a late Norman font, representing four birds with foliated. tails and large human heads; one has a goats beard.

     The road from Hambridge to Bradley Church outlines the south side of the fallen “destrier,” and continues along the left thigh of the King, who, though thrown to the ground, still sits his horse’s neck as close as a Centaur.

     Pennard Hill Farm and Hill Farm stand 400 ft. high, on the croup of the Horse.

     Almost all the stars of the heavenly constellation Sagittarius correspond with these hindquarters, Castle Lane leads to where the ‘Milk Dipper’ would fall. On the south side from here, fascinating little gorges run down the hill to Bradley Brook, one of them is Washing Stone Gulley, mentioned in the chapter on Leo; mistletoe overhangs it still, and foxes live in the jungle of undergrowth that spans the streams. Above the calcium carbonate encrusted stones and pools, great cultivation linches heave themselves like the ribs of this earth creature.

     It is worth noticing that again we meet with both Bar and Par in Barbrook and Parbrool: below the hill. Another suggestive place name is Canter’s Green, by the old Court Barn on the right hip of Hercules (see illustration), as well as Breech Lane, along the under part of his breeches.

     Though taking the place of the centaur Sagittarius, the Horse has a head; it is half hidden behind the body of the unseated King. Water courses have been utilized to outline the head and part of the bit. The watery eye is fringed by willow trees, and probably resembles all the original eyes of the effigy creatures, for these still pools reflect the sky.

     Over the door of a mediaeval cottage by the road side, not far from West Bradley Church, is a stone carving of an archaic looking horse; the cottage stands on the back of the neck of the Horse effigy, just where it joins the left hip of Hercules, by Westbrook House.

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Sagittarius Is An Ancient Constellation Figure

     The Centaur can be seen on the Norman font at Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, with other very interesting astronomical figures; also over the south doorway of Kencott Church, in the same county, where he confronts the giant head of Draco. A fine example in the round stood on the gable crest of Oakham Castle Hall, Rutlandshire, and at Worspring Priory, near Weston-super-Mare, the Centaur was found on a pavement tile.

     But Sagittarius is also represented on ancient Babylonian monuments, and in India. In Egypt, Hercules stood for this constellation as he and his horse do in Somerset, and Olcott says: “The constellation is identified with the Assyrian god Assur and the Median god Alura.” Ahura is generally represented as holding in his hand a ring or crown: so in the High History “the Circlet of Gold” is the prize at the assembly, and King Arthur wins the crown of gold.

Branch 21. Title 25.

     “The knight that had brought the crown came to the King, but knew him not a whit: ‘Sir,’ saith he, ‘You have by your good deeds of arms won this crown of gold and this destrier, whereof ought you to make great joy, so only you have so much valour in you as that you may defend the land of the best earthly Queen that is dead, and whether the King be alive or dead none knoweth, wherefore great worship will it be to yourself and you may have prowess to maintain the land, for right broad is it and right rich and of high sovranty.’ “

     The now practically extinct race of the Guanche in the volcanic island of Teneriffe, called their ‘most high sun god’ Ach-Ahura-han: it used to be thought that the Guanche were the last of the Atlanteans, some think that they crossed over to Teneriffe from Spain or Morocco.

     Plunket says:

     “It is for the Lord Ahura, called, as here supposed, Asura, in early times, by the Ayran Manda, that I would claim the astronomical symbol of the Archer presiding over the circle of the ecliptic, or in other words, over the circle of the year, and of a. year beginning at the spring equinox—-a year, as has already been pointed out, distinctively Median. It is for these Ayran Manda or Medes that I would claim, at the date of 4,000 B.C., the original conception of the astronomic monogram, in which so plainly may be read an allusion to the four constellations of the Zodiac, which at that date marked the four seasons and the four cardinal points, i.e. Sagittarius and Taurus, Aquarius and Leo. This monogram was used as a standard thousands of years later by the Semitic Assyrians.”

Ancient Calendars and Constellations, p. 83.

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HERCULES ‘THE KING’

     Like a Centaur the King sits astride the withers of the “Staggering” Sagittarius horse, his back uppermost. The whole of his virile figure is drawn in outline by roads with the exception of the outstretched arm, bearded face and pointed cap, which the river Brue delineates.

Ulysses Sees Hercules in the Land of the Cimmerians

“Now I the strength of Hercules behold,

A towering spectre of gigantic mould,

A shadowy form! for high in heaven’s abodes

Himself resides, a god among the gods:

There, in the bright assemblies of the skies,

He nectar quaffs, and Hebe crowns his joys.

Here hovering ghosts, like fowl, his shade surround,

And clang their pinions with terrific sound;

Gloomy as night he stands, in act to throw

The aerial arrow from the twanging bow.

Around his breast a wondrous zone is roll’d,

Where woodland monsters grin in fretted gold:”

Pope’: Translation of Homer’: Oajusgz, Book XI.

     Surely Homer had the Somerset Underworld in mind!

     *The Twelve Labours of Hercules’ typify the passage of the sun through the Zodiacal constellations: his name conjures up centaurs, giants, apples, the Argonauts, Troy, and a funeral pyre from which he passed into the heavens.

     It stands to reason that the original constellation figure of Hercules was not placed upside down, as depicted on the modern celestial globes; Homer pictured him “in act to throw” the arrows of The Archer!

     Hercules was once the Saviour Melkarth of the Phoenicians, and on the Euphrates whence he came, he was known as ‘The King.‘

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King Arthur Lies In the Farm of a St. George’s Cross

     His commanding figure stretches across the Vale of Avalon at the head of the Sea. Moors, pointing to the centre of the Zodiacal ‘Wheel of Light.’ Most arresting is the fact that he lies in the form of a crow, his arms parallel with the equinoctial line between Antares and Aldebaran, along which imaginary line he was made to look with his now blinded eye.

     Green Hill at Tilham forms the upper portion of the bent left arm; as it is the only hill in his figure, it may have been a lookout for a ‘tyler.’

     The stars of the constellation Hercules exactly coincide with the effigy, and the stars of Lyra, the harp, fall on his back; a reminder of the Hyperborean’s god who “plays upon the harp and dances every night, from the vernal equinox till the rising of the Pleiades,” as Diodorus Siculus recounts.

     The ancient Britons called Lyra. “King Arthur’s Harp,” and they certainly knew! so it would be worth while looking up the origin of the Celtic harp. On the cross at Ullard near Kilkenny, dated 830 A.D., it is Egyptian or Assyrian in form.

     Baltonsborough, pronounced Balls Borough, is in the King’s beard. On the tip of his pointed cap is Catsham, for Catti was a title of British Kings, as mentioned in the chapter on Leo. The Iron Age gold coins that have been dug up in south-western England, with the letters CATTI upon them, are interesting in respect of this place name. Arthur’s horse is depicted upon them with the Sun-wheel below it and the Moon above, as well as the ‘three points within the circle’ placed triangularly; whilst on the reverse is the Tree of Life. Ham here in Catsham means Sun, as in Hambridge, and again in Ham Street, Lottisham and Tilham, all found within the effigy of this sun god.

     Godfrey Higgins quoting Bryant says: “The worship of Ham, or the Sun, as it was the most ancient so it was the most universal of any in the world. It was established in Gaul and Britain, and was the original religion of this Island which the Druids in after times adopted.”

Glaston Twelve Hides

     We have read in the High History that King Arthur “lies at the head of the Moors Adventurous:” out of these low-lying moors rises Glastonbury Tor, not four miles distant, so that the history of the famous Isle of Avalon. is also the history of ‘Balls Borough’ to some extent. It is in the Eastern division of Glaston Twelve Hides Hundred.

     The effigy outlines–like the prehistoric white horses of the Berkshire and Wiltshire hills—suggest hides: so that, whatever the derivation of the word, in all three of its meanings it helps to describe the effigies, for they resemble skins or hides laid upon the ground; they are here hidden or “concealed” from view on account of their great size, and “A Hide was a measure of land in old English times, varying in extent, primarily the amount considered adequate for the support of one free family and its dependents, and defined as being as much land as could be tilled with one plough in a year.”

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031 Plate 06

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     Why were the Glaston Twelve Hides specially famous? William of Malmesbury says that “Twelve Hides of land” were presented by “three Pagan Kings” to the “twelve disciples of St. Philip;” but as that was nearly two thousand years ago nobody knows which were the particular hides the Pagan Kings allotted. It is strange that in some of the Mumming plays Arthur is “in the tanning trade;” “he swears he’ll tan my hide.” In any case King Arthur’s effigy lies in Glaston Twelve Hides.

The Sun a Ball of Gold

     “The Castle of the Ball” of the High History, appears to have been Baltonsborough, where stood the historic Norman water mill, the destruction of which the Glaston monks deplored so bitterly in the time of Bishop Jocelyn; an old house near the mill still retains the name of Gate House.

     The Lord of the Castle of the Ball “that sate on a mounting-stage of marble, had two right fair daughters, and he made them play before him with a ball of gold.”

Branch 6. Title 8.

     A dwarf with a scourge, suggestive of one of the old gods, is also associated with this castle; Zeus and the Pharaoh both held a scourge; in India it is called the sungal.

     The arm of Hercules (Arthur) crosses Wallyer‘s Bridge further down stream. From West Town, Coxbridge Drove draws the right side of his body, then passing Coxbridge in his waist to his thigh, Woodland Street swells over the leg muscles down to the bent right knee near Havyatt.

     Our illustration, Plate 6, shows this superb line expressive of virile manhood.

     The leg, after malting a square bend at the knee, vanishes behind the head of Capricornus, the outline of which crosses it at right angles; its horn, Ponter’s Ball, lies almost alongside the knee.

     Whilst looking at this map it is important to notice the drawing of the buttocks that extend from Breech Lane to Higher Woodland Farm and Bull Plot Hill, for they extend over the withers of the horse, showing that Hercules is only unseated and not a real Centaur, though he rides the horse of Sagittarius.

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     From West Bradley the outline of the effigy passes Westbrook House at the waist, along the left side of the body to Tilham Farm, and round the left bent arm formed by Green Hill as far as Lottisham Green, then via Ham. Street to Catsham which completes the drawing.

The King’s Hand is Shown Below the Triangle, on the Illustration Called Three Points Within the Centre

      Close to Moorhouse there is a spring flowing from the palm of the Knights right hand, the symbol of a rose and cross on two red tiles above the spring might, in such a place, convey a message, but the Squire‘s initials between them stand for the late Neville Grenville.

     This hand (see plate 10) points towards Butleigh, to which all the local fingerposts used to point. Though a fairly modern place name the village is literally ‘the Butt behind the target,’ for it is actually behind ‘the Point within the Centre’ of the Temple of the Stars. Butleigh was called in olden days, by those who expressly wished to be buried there, ‘The Most Holy Grave,’ which suggests that it had always been sacrosanct and inviolable.

Branch 1. Title 3.

     ” ‘Sir,’ saith the Queen, ‘And were you to go to the chapel of S. Augustine that is in the White Forest, that may not be found save by adventure only , methinketh that on your back-repair you would again have your desire of well-doing . . .

     . . . ‘Sir,’ saith she, ‘The place is right perilous and the chapel right adventurous.’ ”

     King Arthur’s effigy lies partly in White-Stone Hundred as well as in Ballboro Wood, and Butleigh is in White-Leigh Hundred. The explanation of his “slothfulness,” for which not only the Queen but others blame him, is that he, as representing the Autumnal Sun “goeth from honour to shame;” but alter his lonely expedition in the Kingdom of Logres he regains his “desire of well-doing,” for riding clock-wise in the path of the sun, he witness presumably—first the death of the old constellation Scorpio and hears that the soul is being weighed in the scales; neat he meets the Damsel, Virgo, under the Tree of Life; then having crossed the Bar and seen the Mystery of her “Kern Baby,” he cuts of the head of the Black Knight.

     Now this Black Knight of which we read in Branch 1. Title 8, had a spear that “burned with a great flame,” by which we can recognize the same Giant Devil that Sir Perceval is represented as decapitating later in the History, and we find to be Draco “the knight who lay so lonely in the midst of the Chapel.”

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     While they fought we are told “their eyes sparkle as of stars in their heads,” and then the burning point pierced the “sleeve” and arm of King Arthur and was quenched: it will be seen on the map that the river Brae must have quenched the flame, for it outlines the sleeve and arm of Hercules where the starry head of the constellation Draco falls (when transferred from the planisphere to the map) and the place of the Pole of this Ecliptic   Circle.

     Throwing off a fiery serpent from the arm is a mystic symbol in the case of St. Paul, etc.: the snake is also seen on the arm of Shiva.

     But the blood of the Giant head must be used to heal the wound, so the damsel Virgo sends Arthur to fetch the head; and only the Earth can make this effigy whole for she says “of none may you he made whole save by me only.” The effigy Giant head of Draco lies near by in Park Wood, Butleigh.

     On Arthur‘s second visit to “this launde that is so fair” he is accompanied by his two ‘fire sign’ knights; we see all three together in Sir Lancelot’s burning “manor house” which is besieged by fiery ghosts, for Sagittarius is a fire sign also.

Branch 20. Title 5.

     “They enter into the manor and snatch great blazing fire-brands and fling them one at another. They enter into the house battling together, and are keen to fall upon the knights, but they may not. They hurl firebrands at them from afar, but they are holding their shields and their swords naked. Lancelot maketh semblant as though he would leap towards them, and sore great cowardize it seemeth him not to go against them. ‘Sir,’ saith the damsel, ‘Take heed that you go not forth of the circle, for you will be in sore jeopardy of death, for well you see what evil folk be these.’ . . .

     . . . King Arthur and Messire Gawain leap up to help Lancelot and smite upon these evil folk and cut them limb from limb, and they bellow like fiends so that the whole forest resoundeth thereof. And when they fell to the ground, they may no longer endure, but become fiends and ashes.”

     After this experience in Leo, they leave the Kingdom of Logres for a short spell, in order to visit the King’s legendary birthplace, Tintagel: here on the handland facing the ruined Castle can be seen his profile outlined against the sky by the natural rock, in the same way as one can see from the Mediterranean the profile of Zeus on the top of a mountain in Crete. Recent excavations have revealed remains of a Celtic monastery on the Tintagel headland.

     Arthur, Lancelot and Gawain return again to the sacred precincts of the Holy Grail, and fight in two glorious contests, first for the Golden Circlet, and next for the White Horse and the rich Crown of Gold that had belonged to the Queen. See Branch 21.

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The Glorious Arthur of May Lands

     In order to give a. better idea of how Hercules, called also Herakles, was venerated even in the fourth century of our era, the following prayer from the poem Dionysiaca written by the Christian, Nonnus, is illuminating.

     “Herakles star-adorned, king of fire, ruler of the universe, thou sun, who with thy far-flung rays art the guardian of mortal life with  beam revolving the wide circuit of thy course. . . . Belus thou art named on the Euphrates, Amman in Libya, Apis of the Nile art thou by birth, Arabian Kronor, Assyrian Zeus . . . but whether thou are Sarapis, or the cloudless Zeus of Egypt, or Kronos or Phaethon, or many-titled Mithra, Sun of Babylon, or in Greece Apollo of Delphi, or Wedlock, whom Love beget in the shadowy land of dreams . . . whether thou are known as Paien, the healer of pain, or Aether with its varied garb, or star bespangled Night—for the starry robes of night illuminate the heaven—lend it propitious ear to my prayer.” (See Mithraism by A. S. Geden, D.D.) To these titles one might add Arthur of Britain.

Star Symbolism is Traceable, Even Today, in Many Walks of life

     Thus, because the memory of our former faith can never be forgotten by the British race,—whose gold coins shone with the homes of the Sun before the Romans came to Britain, star symbolism is everywhere traceable in the symbolic language of Church and State. Freemasonry is a veritable archaeological storehouse in this respect, and probably holds the secret of the first Grail in its ritual, as it does in its symbols.

     The Signs of the Zodiac, held in reverence in pre-Christian days, were retained after the establishment of the new religion, and introduced. into its churches, in mosaics, stone carving and other decoration.

     There are many examples extant; perhaps one of the most perfect sets is that in the pavement of St. Petronus at Bologna, shown on its meridian line; though that of S. Miniato al Monte at Florence is more beautiful.

     The winged Lion, Bull, Bird and Man, can be seen on the Abbey Tithe Barn at Glastonbury, and on other farms in the neighborhood; a reminder that they were here associated with a vegetation cult. The Archeological Journal for 1849, page 159, reproduces the Zodiacal figures adorning the lead font of St. Augustine’s Church at Brookland, in Romney Marsh, Kent; again associated with agriculture. A remarkable blending of star symbols with the crucifixion has been preserved in the tympanum over the entrance to the convent church at Belen, Lisbon. There the hawk-headed Griffon is placed immediately below Christ crucified on one of three trees, it surmounts the large head of Taurus; whilst the giant Orion,——with traditional lion skin,—kneels opposite in the garden. On the west side of the arch flames the full face of the sun, and on the east side the crescent moon contains a large profile face.

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     The Signs of the Zodiac are also found on the temple of Egypt and India and elsewhere, so it is not necessary to do more than point out that the same star symbo1s as those laid out in Somerset, have been used to express religious belief in all ages, hence their association with the Grail.

     Apart from their religious aspect, there are still astronomical signs on old inns in England. Lud of the King Lud Inn at Ludgate, E.C., was the early British Divinity of Sun and Light worshipped at Lydford on the Severn, as well as the King who founded the city of London. (See John Rhys, Hibbert Lectures,1886.)

     Strange to say there were a score of Inns displaying the Eagle and mummy Child; on the Somerset Zodiacal Circle in place of Gemini the: Twins, a bird stands by 0rion, 1ike the bird Horus by Osiris.

     The Flying Bull, and the other bulls on inn signs represent Taurus; whilst the Red Lion, Ram, Goat, Fish and Ring, Wheatsheaf, are also easily recognizable. There an innumerable Dragons, Suns, Moons and Stars, and the Green Man stands for one of the nature Giants which are the subject of these notes. Heraldry abounds with such star symbols.

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CHAPTER V

THE EARTH SIGN, CAPRICORNUS

“THE KING OF CASTLE MORTAL”

January

The High History of the Holy Graal. Branch 2. Title 2.

     “ ‘But I tell you of a very truth, the King of Castle Mortal is the most fell and cruel that liveth, wherefore ought none to love him for the felony that is in him, for he hath begun to war upon King Fisherman my uncle, and challengeth him his castle, and would fain have the Lance and the Graal.’ ”

     Capricornus is identical with Pan, of whom it has been said, ‘Pan’s horns represented the rays of the Sun, and the brightness of the Heavens was expressed by the vivacity of his complexion.’

     The splendid line of the neck, shoulders, and back of the effigy, is drawn by the road which runs from Ponter’s Ball past West Pennard to Steanbow; but the most important feature of the beast is its horn, Ponter‘s Ball; in this earthwork, which is five-eighths of a mile long and twenty-one feet high, Bronze Age and Early Iron Age remains have been excavated. (See Ponter‘s Ball on my original 1929 map. Plate 7.)

     It was the Castle of Inquest to which Messire Gawain went, thinking to get round that way to King Fisherman’s Castle, as he had been turned away from the other entrance near Street, so Gawain learns Pan’s version of the strange things he has seen.

Branch 6. Title 11.

     “ ‘Sir, many things have I seen whereof I am sore abashed, nor know I what castle this may he.’ ‘Sir,’ saith the priest, ‘This castle is the Castle of Inquest, for nought you shall ask whereof it shall not tell you the meaning.’ ”

     The horn of Capricornus was the ‘horn of plenty,’ Cornucopia. Olcott tells us “the emblem of the Cornucopia is a masonic emblem, and corroborates the fact that the major part of masonic symbols has an astronomical significance.”

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     Capricornus is seen on Babylonian Boundary Stones, and was the Goat god Mendez in the Egyptian Zodiac.

Branch 1. Title 1.

     “Of this lineage was the Good Knight for whose sake is this High History treated. Yglais was his mother’s name: King Fisherman was his uncle, and the King of the Lower Folk that was named Pelles, and the King that was named of the Castle Mortal, in whom was there as much bad as there was good in the other twain, and much good was therein them.”

     As we see from the above Perceval the Good Knight is not without a leaven of goat; his effigy the Phoenix soars above it, for, outlined by a footpath, the nose of Capricornus is pressed against the base of the Tor at Northwood Park Farm, a picturesque building of 1480; it lies below and east of Wick, where grow the two so-called Druid’s Oaks, Gog and Magog.

The Cave of the Rising?

     It is thought the Knights Templars guarded the Spring that flows forth at Paradise above Wick; certainly its lovely valley might have been looked upon as the ‘cave of the rising’ (which, according to ancient Akkadai, belonged to Capricornus), it is surrounded by impressive ‘cultivation terraces.’ A passage now fallen in, under Glastonbury’s Fair Field, penetrated Tor Hill from Chalice Blood Spring, and may have come out somewhere here on the same level, for the tradition was that the sun entered a tunnel in the west at sunset and came out in the morning on the other side; it has also been said that Avalon means ‘passage residence.’ However that may be, the waters flowing down from Paradise spring, bathe the feet of Capricornus, who watches for the rising sun at ‘The Gate of the Gods.’

     For hundreds of years he watched the Winter Solstitial Sun halt in its downward path, and then return to gladden the earth once more; those must have been fearful hours of suspense and subsequent rapture, for the priests of Capricornus which is said to hold the ‘Double Ship’ in readiness for the new horn Sun.

     Whether the prehistoric earthwork called. Fountain’s Wall is meant for that solar “Galley” of this King of Castle Mortal, it would be hard to say; but its outline is not unlike a primitive ‘dug-out’ canoe lying on its side; there is a real one in Taunton Museum that was found deep in the peat on these Moors, and some of them date back to the Neolithic Period.

     Whitelake river outlines the under part of Capricornus, it could be said to “war upon” the two hills beneath which it flowed, belonging to King Fisherman and King Pelles. Queen’s Sedge Moor stretches away to the north, outside the Zodiacal Circle of effigies, and the river also “wars upon” that watery land belonging to the “Queen of the Maidens.”

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Branch I8. Title I9.

     “But now behoveth you achieve another matter. All they of the land of King Fisherman your uncle have abandoned the New Law, and returned to that which God hath forbidden. But the most part do so rather perforce and for fear of the King that hath seized the land.”

     So Sir Perceval ejects the King of Castle Mortal from his stolen lands as well as from the Queen’s Land, and the King.

     “smiteth himself right through the body, and falleth all adown the walls into the water, that was swift and deep, in such sort that Perceval saw him.” Branch 18. Title 33.

     The water he fell into was that of Red and Whitelake rivers below Perceval’s effigy.

Joseph the Tin Merchant

     North-east of Two Lake Meeting is Tinhouse Farm, a name suggestive of Phoenicians, who may have worked the lead mines in the Mendip Hills four mile away. It is known that tin was mined in Cornwall in the Bronze Age and exported by the prehistoric Atlantic route to the Mediterranean, and perhaps to Ur. A sceptre made of tin was dug up in Glastonbury Lake Village.

     In Branch 21. Title 5, we read “My name is Arthur and I am of Tin Cardoil,” he was said to have been born at Tintagel.

     In St. Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury, the Rev. Lionel Lewis, M.A., tells us “Joseph was a tin merchant.” This is interesting because Malay and Sumatra have traditions of the prophet Joseph amongst tin workers, as we have amongst ours. Here is one of their many charms quoted from W. W. Skeat’s Malay Magic:

‘I know your origin, O man of penance

Whose dwelling was upon the hill of MountOphir,

(You sprang) from a son of the Prophet Joseph

who was wrath with his mother,

Because she would eat the hearts of the birds

of Paradise.’

     There are three birds in the Somerset “Paradise.”

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     Another charm is:

‘O Grandfather King Solomon, Black King Solomon,

I desire to fell these woods,

but it is not I who am in charge of these woods,

It is Yellow King Solomon who is in charge of them,

And Red King Solomon who is in charge of them.

Rise, Rise, O Ye who watch it (the tin),’

     A connection is possible between the tin miners of Sumatra and Malay, and primitive lead-mining in the Mendip Hills; but however that may be, this Joseph and King Solomon tradition is inextricably bound up with the Grail legends.

     Photographs taken from the air have revealed lead smelting works in Dolbury Camp near Banwell, “certainly used in the Iron Age,” see Archeology of Somerset, by D. P. Dobson.

     The caves of Mendip, which Mr. Balch excavated and describes in his books, abound with remains from the Pleistocene Age onwards, and provide plenty of evidence respecting early settlement in this neighborhood. A Bronze Age axe-head was found at Gough’s Cave in 1934, which is only one more to add to the long list of those dug up in Somerset.

KING ARTHUR’S QUEEN

Branch 26. Title 2.

     “ ‘Listen, so please you, to me, and all these others, listen! Madeglant of Oriande sendeth me here to you, and commandeth that you yield up the Table Round to him, for sith that the Queen is dead, you have no right thereof, for he is her next of kin and he that hath the best right to have and to hold it; and, so you do not this, you he defieth as the man that disheriteth him, for he is your enemy in two manner of ways, for the Table Round that you hold by wrong, and for the New Law that you hold. But he sendeth you word by me, that so you will renounce your belief and take Queen Jandree his sister, that he will cry you quit as of the Table Round and will be of your aid everywhere.’ ”

     As we see from the above, King Arthur obtained this Round Table of the Stars through his marriage with the pagan Guinevere; she must have belonged to that earlier Water worshipping stock, which element was symbolized all over the world by makes and women, in conjunction with the Pole Star Tree of Life.

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     This would explain Lancelot of the Lake’s passionate love for her; most of his Lion effigy, representing sun and fire, is outlined by water; and being on so large a scale, it takes the place of the water sign Cancer, as well as of Leo.

     The Dendera. planisphere represents Leo standing on Hydra the water snake; Lancelot’s beloved Guinevere is ‘The Queen of the Serpents,’ for the stars of Hydra’s head. and shoulders fall along the whole length of his body, outlined by the river Cary.

     The beautiful ivory statuette from Crete, of about 2700 B.C., now in the Art Museum of Boston, represents this ‘Snake Priestess,’ of whom Colonel Waddell tells us in his profusely illustrated British Edda, calling her Guen-ever or Eve.

     In the High History Lancelot’s love for the Queen is expressed thus:

     “So dearly do I love her that I wish not even that any will should come to me to renounce her love, for never no treason have I done towards her, nor she towards me.”

     Such language is typical of the hidden elemental meaning throughout the History “drawn into Romance.”

     It will be remembered that the Lion’s head is repeated universally on fountains in Europe, Asia, Africa and America; and also on water spouts, as at Somerton where it fittingly adorns the old Market Cross; it can be seen as a gargoyle on many churches in the neighborhood.

     On the modern picture of the stars, Hercules ‘the King’ is seen grasping three Hydra heads: according to Greek legend the ‘hydra head in the centre was immortal’ and ‘was buried under a rock.’

     It is likely that when the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age conquerors took possession of this Iberian land, they married its women who were associated with water and the earth gods; this might partly account for the effigy Round Table, horse, and “crown of the land” belonging to their Queen Guinevere, whose coffin we are told by the High History was in the Isle of Avilion, from which flows the Blood Spring; for those who laid out this Temple of the Stars were water lovers, water was their Queen.

     Even to-day on the mountain passes of Madeira can be seen the tiny stone altar, laid in a natural cavity, to honour a pendant root resembling a snake. On the centre of the altar a fir cone is placed—“a. prominent religious symbol in Assyria”—and in front, fir needles are pegged together to form a triangle, whilst the whole is sprinkled with pink and yellow flowers, and three evergreen twigs stuck up behind.

     Tree and Snake worship is too big a subject to follow up here, but it is worth remembering that in Arthurian literature women sitting under trees haunt the springs of water.

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CHAPTER VI

THE AIR SIGN, AQUARIUS

THE WATER BEARER

February

     The Water Bearer effigy, of Glastonbury’s Isle of Avalon, resembles a Phoenix with outstretched wings, turning its head to reach the lifegiving waters of Chalice Well Blood Spring; for the Druid’s well forms the Urn of this Aquarius, and has always been associated with the Holy Grail. That being so, the astronomical point of view throws considerable light on it, for the Aquarius Cup received the rays of the sun at the Winter Solstice, and those of the moon at the Summer Solstice, about 3000 B.C.

The Universal Legend of the Cup of Immortality

     Since the High History tells us Sir Perceval inherited the Isle of Avalon, he impersonates hereditarily this Phoenix; so the following story, taken from Donald Mackenzie’s Indian Myth and Legend, will show him as Giant Phoenix bearing his Cup.

     Once upon a time immortality (ambrosia or amrita) was robbed from the gods by Garuda, half giant, half eagle. This “lord of birds” was hatched from an enormous egg 500 years after it had been laid by Diti, mother of giants; his father was the Pole Star. Diti caused the amrita. To be taken from a Celestial mountain, where it was surrounded by terrible flames, moved by violent winds, which leapt up to the sky. Assuming a golden body, bright as the sun, Garuda drank up many rivers and extinguished the fire. A fiercely revolving wheel, sharp-edged and brilliant, protected the amrita, but Garuda—having broken the revolving wheel-flew forth with immortality contained in the ‘Moon Goblet.’

     “In Teutonic mythology it is matched by Odin from the giants of the Underworld, and is concealed in the moon.” Thus Mr. Mackenzie speaks of the “persistent legend regarding the ambrosia which gave strength to the gods.”

      On the islands of Java and Bali, Garuda. is depicted fleeing with the famous Cup, either in his hand or on his head; sometimes he carries Vishnu, who holds the revolving Solar Wheel.

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043 Plate 08

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The Round Table of the Holy Grail is a Solar Wheel

     Glastonbury Tor looks down upon another such wheel, for we read in W. W. Comfort’s translation of La Queste del Saint Graal, chapters 6 and 8: “After that table there was another like it . . . That was the Table of the Holy Graal, which gave rise to so many and great miracles in this country” (one being that it fed four thousand people). “Now, fair Sire, in the meadow which you saw there was a rack. By this rack we must understand the Round Table, for just as in the rack there are spindles which separate the compartments, so in the Round Table there are pillars which separate the seats.” This exactly describes the Solar Wheel.

     As one hundred and fifty bulls were feeding at this rack, it must have been no ordinary table to feed them as well as four thousand people! and we are told it was “in a meadow.”

     The Round Table of the Sun in Somerset measures ten miles in diameter, and consequently is well able to provide food for 150 bulls and 4,000 people.

The Aquarius Moon Goblet Described

     When Perceval captured the celestial mountain of Avalon, he came into possession of the “moon goblet” Chalice Well, famous for its strength-giving properties.

     It has been said that this Druid well is a radio-active chalybeate spring; the iron in the water stains the stone over which it flows, golden red, also a rare fungus floats on the surface, resembling clots of blood. It is said that the huge stones used in its construction are of the same formation as those at Stonehenge; one single block encloses three sides of the well mouth. Miss Buckton was the owner of the Well for many years.

     But neither this well, not the Christian Chalice, was the Graal Of the High History.

Branch 6. Title 19.

     “Messire Gawain looketh at the Graal, and it seemed him that a chalice was therein, albeit none there was as at this time.”

     So we see that the later “chalice therein” was not the original Grail, for there was no chalice at that time.

     The High History tells us “King Arthur beheld all the changes, the last whereof was the change into a chalice.” Branch 22. Title 3. How can we account for this?

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The Five Cups, That King Arthur Beheld

     Commencing with the fifth, we are told Christ’s blood was collected in the Chalice of the Last Supper; but before that, the Blood Spring at Glastonbury was obviously the Sun and Moon worshippers’ Holy Well, for whereas the sun at the winter solstice poured its rays into this fourth (Aquarius) cup, the moon did so at the summer solstice.

     As mentioned in the chapter on Virgo, another constellation, Crater the Cup, was receiving the sun’s rays at the summer solstice, 4.000 B.C. (Plunket’s Ancient Calendars and Constellations. Plate II). Now, this ancient constellation was the “symbol of the vault of heaven,” it may be called for that reason the third cup; and as the Temple of the Stars in Somerset represents “the vault of heaven” inverted on earth, it was probably the second Grail; the first being the starry universe.

     It is on this (first) Grail that Messire Gawain looks in Branch 6. Titles 18, 19, and 20, for “he looketh up,” as well as down upon the Table, where the “three drops of blood” stand for ‘three points within the circle,’ and the “twelve ancient knights, all bailed” are the twelve constellation figures.

     “The Master of the Knights beckoneth to Messire Gawain. Messire Gawain looketh before him and Seeth three drops of blood fall upon the table. He was all abashed to look at them and spake no word. . . . And the Master of the Knights summoneth him again by word of mouth, and telleth him that if he delayeth longer, never more will he recover it. Messire Gawain is silent, as he that heareth not the knight speak, and looketh upward.”

     Sir Perceval sees the (second) Grail mystically described in Branch 35. Titles 2 to 8.

The Effigy Phoenix

     Those who have stood on Glastonbury Tor and watched the sun go down over the Severn Sea, seemingly in a conflagration, drawing after it vast wings of cloud—for cloud wings are characteristic of the Vale of Avalon—can picture the thought that inspired the architect of the effigy Phoenix; this eagle typified the sun being purified in fire at sunset, to rise again from the ashes of’ night; Perceval was this spiritual sun.

     Messire Gawain “seeth well that albeit the night were dark, within was so great brightness of light without candles that it was marvel. And. it seemed him the sun shone there. Wherefore marveled he right sore whence so great light should come.”

     A circle drawn around the Phoenix, one mile and three-quarters in diameter (the centre being on the breast by Paradise Lane) will be seen to touch the points of its wings and tail ; this circle would enclose in traditional ‘nest of cinnamon.’

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     As the body and wings were obliged to fly towards the sunrise, the head was turned backwards to reach the regenerating Blood Spring, necessitating difficult modeling, hence the remarkable linches, like spiral steps mounting up under its throat; they can be seen from a great distance.

     The line along the edge of the beak is drawn by the Pilgrim’s Path up the Tor, originally marked by the ‘Druid stones,’ a few remain though much worn. The motor road from Glastonbury to West Pennard outlines the top of the beak, for the head is lying on its side (like those of all the effigies), the crest consequently falls below this road.

     The Phoenix is drawn by ancient tracks, and water. Chalice Hill forms part of the body; the sacred precincts of the Abbey lie on its tail. Two old roads to Wells outline the West wing; the terraces on South Down Hill, model the East wing; Paradise Lane indicates the breast; Norwood Park Farm stands on the outer edge of the East wing, and The Linches form the upper joint of that wing.

     The road that outlines the beak turns east along Ashwell Lane, and then north, in order to outline the top of the head and the back of the neck. The great cultivation terraces called Chapels, that are approached by Coxwithy Lane, form the crest which hangs down southwards.

The Tree of Life is the Pole Star “Pillar;” the Royal Star Cross it the “Cross of Gold”

Branch 6. Title 17.

“Over against him was a pillar of copper whereon sate an eagle that held a cross of gold wherein was a piece of the true cross.”

THE ROYAL STAR CROSS

combined with

THE POLE STAR TREE

or pillar the copper” on which sat the eagle.

046 copy

     The old arms of Glastonbury Monastery were at white shield on which was placed vertically the stern of a green tree with the branches lopped off, a. similar stern was placed at right angles to form a cross: a fitting symbol of the fate of the stellar original and Ygdrasil.

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     Confirmation of the idea of the eagle sitting on the pillar of copper holding the cross, is found in the accuracy displayed in laying out this Temple of the Stars for instance, the Royal Star Fomalhaut, when transferred from the planisphere to the map, falls on Crab Tree Drove (which is on the left of the road to Wells between the tip of the West wing and Fountain Wall, near the LakeVillage). A line dawn on the map between this corresponding position of Fomalhaut and that of Regulus in Leo, passes through the Bird’s claw, the centre of the Royal Star Cross, and the centre of Christian’s Cross, to the Lion.

The Crest of the Phoenix

     This Crest or “golden comb” has the name Coxtwithy, perhaps meaning cock’s comb widdershins, as the bird’s head is turned to reach the Blood Spring. It is made of five or more great terraces, called in The British Edda golden tablets.

“There maun all afterwards

Live under the same laws.

The golden tablets,

They found in the grass

These were of the olden days,

From Attar’s head (eagle’s head).

Unsown earth were they

Was into till’d acres.”

And again from The British Edda (Colonel Waddel1’s translation).

“The best spurred one of the Ans,

The golden combed

She awakes the householders

At the Aryan Father’s.

But another clawed one

Is far in the earth aneath (at Eden)

The Sooty Red Hen.”

The Effigies Were Purposely Designed to Be Invisible, and Now—the Key Having Been Lost—Can Be Traced Only On the Large Seals Ordnance Survey Sheets, or From the Air.

     It is easier to see the Phoenix’ outline on the O.S. Sheets than from the top of Glaston Tor; that applies to all the Zodiacal Creatures, for they are so vast it is impossible to make out their drawings hidden in woods, under hills, or by houses, and too exhausting to follow them on foot; this explains why only initiates could see the Grail.

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     The curves of rivers and hills suggested living creatures to early man, but it needed a race of artists who understood how to measure the heavens as well as the earth, to resolve these existing natural forms into a circular design to fit the stars; it was ‘an art founded on the principles of Geometry.‘ Half the outlines of seven Giant figures are drawn by natural water courses, which rather points to the idea that Mother Earth first suggested the design, though the scientific knowledge required. to adapt it undoubtedly came by the same route that “Joseph the tin merchant” used from the East.

The Castle That “Never Stinted of Burning”

     St. Michael’s Tower crowns Glaston Tor; many churches in the neighborhood have the same dedication, probably like this one, they stand on the site of pre-Christian fire altars.

     High up on the tower is the fourteenth century stone carving of an eagle; and due south, on Wooten Hill Farm, a very line one is represented, again with head reverted and wings fanning as in the effigy Phoenix; it is said to be the Evangelistic Eagle.

     The Tor commands a. fine view of the greater part of the area occupied by the effigy constellations, and on a fine day, of South Wales across the Severn Sea: on the skyline can be seen some of the prehistoric camps and beacons of the Mendip, Quantock, Wiltshire and Dorsetshire hills which surround and formerly protected the Sacred Area below. This Druids’ Tor must be the castle described in Branch 35. Title 15, of the High History, because it belonged to King Pelles before Sir Perceval took it.

The Phoenix Castle and Twelve Chapels

     “He seeth the hermit at the door of the chapel, and asketh him what the castle is that hath caught fire thus. ‘Sir,’ saith the hermit, ‘I will tell you. Joseus, the son of King Pelles, slew his mother there. Never sithence hath the castle stinted of burning, and I tell you that of this castle and one other will be kindled the fire that shall burn up the world and put it to an end.‘ Perceval marvelleth much, and knew well that it was the castle of King Hermit his uncle. He departeth thence in great haste, and passeth three kingdoms and saileth by the wastes and deserts on one side and the other of the sea, for the ship ran somewhat a-nigh the land. He looketh and seeth on an island twelve hermits sitting on the sea-shore. The sea was calm and untroubled, and he made cast the anchor so as to keep the ship steady. Then he saluteth the hermits, and they all bow down to him in answer. He asketh them where have they their repair, and they tell him that they have not far away twelve chapels and twelve houses that surround a grave-yard wherein lie twelve dead knights that we keep watch over.”

     The twelve knights, coffins, altars, hermit, chapels, and houses refer to the twelve zodiacal constellations.

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The Effigy Creatures

     Now let us take a bird’s eye view from the Tor, as did the architect in chief of this Nature Temple.

     We can picture, though we can no longer see, the Zodiacal creatures spread out below like a great circus; for the traveling circus of today, in its round tent with central pole supporting it, is a survival from prehistoric times.

     The Lion is out of sight from the Tor, for he is lying on the slope of the hills opposite Somerton, in order to get the full glare of the south sun in his months of July and August.

     Towards the East, Virgo reclines, outlined by the Cary river; she looks like an old witch with a broomstick, dressed in high bonnet, and flowing garment sufficiently voluminous to hide the host of babies she has produced from its folds.

     Further East, with the right claws lying along the river Brue, sprawls the gigantic Scorpion, waiting to catch the unwary.

     Then next in the ring comes Hercules like a. Centaur, for he has been thrown on to the shoulders of his kneeling horse, south west of the Pennard Hills.

     North of this horse of the sun, the Goat lies, showing off his wonderful horn, Ponter’s Ball.

     These Zodiacal effigies would be on the designer’s left hand as he stood on the head of the Phoenix “eagle” looking south. Here again The British Edda gives us a verse:

“The (Sun) Eagle flies o’er it

There Fialla (the Falcon)

Hunts for fishes.”

     For the fishes are Pisces, on the architect’s right hand side.

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     Fisher’s Hill leads up to one of them, which may have been the famous ‘Severn Salmon,’ the ‘Salmon of Knowledge’ that ‘fed on red hazel nuts’ floating down to its mouth on the Blood Stream, through Read Mead.

     And there below, stretching past Plunging nearly to Wallyer’s Bridge, floats the Whale, outlined by the river Brue.

      Next to the second fish lies the bound Ram of Walton and Street, its feet higher than its body: it should have a Golden Fleece of corn.

     Along that same Polden ridge can be seen the top of the Bull‘s neck, the Hood Monument stands on its ear.

     Beyond these hills appears the Giant Orion of Dundon Beacon, which almost completes the magic circle.

     At the Pole, is the head of the fire breathing Dragon, and there are two Dogs in the troop, one inside and one outside the Ring, besides a “Griffin” bird, a Dove, and “the Ship of King Solomon.”

     This vast picture was in truth a dial, laid out for the sun and moon to ride mound.

The Archetypal Microcosm

     The ‘Glaston Abbey’ clock has been in use in Wells Cathedral since I392. Above its dial knights tilt against one another every hour, showing that the clockmaker connected Knights in shining armour with the idea of Time; the motto on the dial is: ‘This round ball denote the archetypal microcosm,‘ a better translation ‘This sphere denotes the universe its archetype.’ Surely it is intended as a reminder of the ten mile wide dial of its native place, which has the real sun and moon revolving round it. The clock depicts them in their appointed circles, the outer one is divided into twenty-four parts reminiscent of the Round Table of King Arthur at Winchester, with twelve light and twelve dark divisions radiating from the centre. An important feature is that the clock shows the moon in all its phases, and on the four outer corners, four angels hold the sun’s giant heads, which play so mysterious a part throughout the High History.

Sir Perceval’s Uncle Called Him Par-Lui-Fet

     The uncles from whom Sir Perceval inherited or won this Isle of Avalon were–King Fisherman, i.e. Pisces; King Pelles, i.e. Aquarius; and King of Castle Mortal, i.e. Capricornus; they correspond with dark and wintry months, for Perceval ruled over the first quarter of the year, as well as the night.

     The Hermit in the following quotation is  Pelles, whose name for Perceval Par-lui-fet “he hath made him of himself” also means fire made him.

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In Branch 5. Title 4, he has just laid aside his shield with the sun upon it, implying that the sun has set.

     “ ‘If he should rise, as sick as he is, none might prevent him nor hold him back, but presently he should arm him and mount on his horse and joust at you or any other; and so he were here, well might we be the worse thereof. And therefore do I keep him so close and quiet within yonder, for that I would not have him see you nor none other, for and he were so Soon to die, sore loss would it be to the world.’ ‘Sir,’ saith Messire Gawain, ‘what name hath he?’ ‘Sir,’ saith he, ‘He hath made him of himself, therefore do I call him Par-lui-fet, of dearness and love.’ ‘Sir,’ saith Messire Gawain, ‘May it not be in any wise that I may see him?’ ‘Sir,’ saith the hermit, ‘I have told you plainly that nowise may it not be. No strange man shall not see him within yonder until such time as he be whole and of good cheer.’ ”

A Land of Fire and Sun Worship, Kindred to That of Egypt

     It must have been an inspiring sight when Glastonbury Tor stood in the midst of hundreds of Beacon Fires tossing their flames up to the night sky from the surrounding hills, a survival of the Beltane Fires of May Day. In living memory at least a hundred were still lighted on great occasions, and blazing tar barrels annually rolled down the streets of Bridgewater till a few years ago.

     Below the crest of the Phoenix lie the fields called Actis: Lower Actis is the tract of land opposite to Plunging. Now the Classical Dictionary says: “Actis, Son of Sol, went from Greece into Egypt where he taught Astrology, and founded Heliopolis.”

     And Diodorus Siculus. Historical Library, Book 5, Section 57:

     “The Sons of Helios (or Sol) were distinguished from other men by their education and their knowledge of Astrology. They made many discoveries useful to navigation and rules conceiving the seasons. Tenages, who had more natural talent, was killed by his brethren out of jealousy. The crime having been discovered all the culprits took to flight. Macar went to Lesbos; Kandalanus to Cos; Actis landed in Egypt and founded the city of Heliopolis.” And who was Sol, the father of Actis? Lempriere’s dictionary says again:

     “Sol (the sun) was an object of veneration among the ancients. It was particularly worshipped among the Persians, under the name of Mithras, and was the Baal or Bel of the Chaldeans, the Osiris of the Egyptians, the Adonis of the Syrians. Apollo, Phoebus and Sol are universally supposed to be the same deity.”

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     As Cinnamon Lane lies next to Higher Actis, let us see what the Encyclopedia says about Cinnamon:

     “Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity, and it was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was regarded as a present fit for monarchs and other great potentates. It is mentioned in Exodus.” The Phoenix is represented in the Peterboro’ Bestiary inside its ball of spices looking at the sun which will set it on fire; again, another bird is there illustrated on its nest of cinnamon in the top of a tree.

Did Actis of Heliopolis Leave His Name Below the Tor? or Is the Land Named After Him? If so, Why, and By Whom?

     The Nile, by Wallace Budge, gives us the following concerning this Prince of Heliopolis; it is translated from a papyrus in the British Museum:

A Hymn to Ra when he rises in the Eastern Sky.

     “Homage to thee, O thou who art Ra when thou risest and Tmu when thou settest. Thou risest, thou risest; thou shinest, thou shinest, O thou who are crowned king of the gods. Thou art the lord of heaven, thou art the lord of earth, thou art the creator of those who dwell in the heights, and of those who dwell in the depths. Thou art the ONE god who came into being in the beginning of time . . . O thou mighty youth, thou everlasting sun, self-begotten, who didst give birth to thyself; O thou mighty One of myriad forms and aspects, King of the world, Prince of Heliopolis, lord of eternity, and ruler of everlastingness, the company of the gods rejoice when thou risest, and when thou sailest across the sky.”

     In Egypt a soul “might make its transformation into the Phoenix which flew to Heliopolis.”

     As already pointed out in this chapter, Sir Perceval is said to have “made him of himself,” and to have a sun on his shield, so he must have been the Glastonbury Actis, this self-begotten Prince of Heliopolis, transformed into a Phoenix.

Glastonbury Abby’s Pyramids, and hen Prehistoric Lake Villages

     We have stood on the Tor to witness the last flaming moments of the setting sun, and its ethereal rising after a night of starry splendor, and have seen Perceval’s uncles, the constellations, dance their dance around the Pole Star; now let us descend by the Pilgrim Path and go to the Abbey grounds where a few feet from St. Joseph’s Chapel stood those tell-tale Pyramids that were said to mark Arthur’s grave! One was 28 feet high and the other 26 feet high, as William of Malmesbury saw them.

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     Almost opposite the Golden Wheel Tea Rooms which display the Signs of the Zodiac as a signboard, is the Museum; it contains a little of what has been laboriously recovered from the two British Lake Villages lying in the Moors below Glastonbury. Arthur Bulleid in his Lake Villages of Somerset tells us about objects of Flint, Amber, Glass, Jet, Pottery, Tin, Lead, Bronze, Iron and much else, including the hearths in the round huts (these hearths are ornamented with circles), which he discovered and dates “provisionally” at B.C. 250 to 300.

     Of the skulls dug up here, Bulleid quotes Sir William Boyd Dawkins as saying that all of them belong to the oval-headed Mesaticephalic section of the inhabitants of Britain, and:

     “They are physically identical with the small dark inhabitants of the Basque Provinces of France and Spain . . . The same race occurs in Italy, in Greece, the Greek Islands and in Asia Minor, and in Northern Africa, being represented in the West by the Berbers, and in the East, as Prof. Elliot Smith has shown, by the primitive Egyptians and their descendants among the fellaheen.”

     The Meare Lake Village collection is exhibited in the County Museum at Taunton Castle and also a number of relics from the Godney Lake Village.

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CHAPTER VII

THE WATER SIGN, PISCES and CETUS

March

     From the Air View we see that Glastonbury’s Wearyall Hill forms one of the Fishes; the other is in Street: the Whale extends from Hulk Moor west of Pomparles Bridge almost to Wallyer’s Bridge, along the river Brue.

The High History of the Holy Graal. Branch 10. Tide 9.

     “So far hath he ridden that he is come forth of the forest and findeth a right fair meadow-land all loaded with flowers, and a river ran in the midst thereof that was right fair and broad, and there was forest on the one side and the other, and the meadow lands were wide and far betwixt the river and the forest.”

     “ ‘Lords,’ saith Lancelot, ‘is there no castle nigh at hand nor no harbour?’ ‘Yea, Sir,‘ my they, ‘Beyond that mountain, right fair and rich, and this river runneth thither all round about it.’ ‘Lords, whose castle is it?’ ‘Sir,’ say they, ‘It is King Fisherman’s.’ “

     From King Fisherman’s Castle—which is the Wearyall Hill Fish effigy-one looks down towards the north west. on the prehistoric Lake Villages of Godney and Meare; it was doubtless their idol, for a fish was supposed to swallow the sun as it sink down into the sea, thus explaining King Fisherman’s sickness and death.

     The idea of a fish god was Originally brought by the Early Phoenicians from the Euphrates; many books have been written about him under his different aspects of Ea, Poseidon, etc., and at Lydney Park on the Severn he was represented in a pointed cap hooking a salmon, for the Celtic fisher god Nodon ‘god of the abyss’ had a sanctuary there.

Branch 10. Title 9.

     “There was a knight within in the midst of the boat that was fishing with an angle, the rod whereof seemeth of gold, and right great fish he took.”

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055 Plate 09

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     Babylonian seal-cylinders, and coins found at Gades in Spain bear this symbol.

     A carving in Manor House Farm at West Down, near Ilfracombe, shows him as Orpheus playing on his lute, with a long fish‘s body and tail and fins, and the four points of the compass marked by four lions’ heads around him; the date of the carving is 1560. Above it is the Winged horse of the Templars, whilst in another room there can be seen a remarkable plaster relief of an elaborate subject realistically treated, and dated 1624.

     This relief bears on our subject, the Temple of Time. Winged Father Time on crutches is riding in a chariot drawn by two white harts (the car of the Kingdom of Logres had three white harts), the wheel of the vehicle is encircled by numbers up to twelve as on a clock dial, the spokes of the wheel being formed by the St. George’s and St. Andrew’s crosses. Behind the white harts is a Norman Church; to the right a huge sun shines over the heads of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, indicated by a tree and flowers below. Eve is in an enclosure on wheels which Adam guides. At either side of the relief two giant women support flowers and fruit on their heads, one holds the earth and the other an anchor, thus representing earth and water as women do in the High History.

     Walking along the front of the composition are four bearded men, the first pointing either to the number 6 on the clock wheel or to the earth, the fourth points to the sun; two younger figures in line with them point to Adam and Eve in the garden.

     In The Shepherd of Hermas we read of these “six young men” and also of the Virgins who “stood mannishly as if about to carry the whole heaven.”

     The damsel who accompanied the car of Logres drawn by three white harts, spent some of her time at the Fish hill, for she was the River Brue which flows through the Kingdom typified by the car: King Arthur remarked “such Kingdom as is this of Logres,” when he had “sent without to see the costliness and fashion of the car.”

Branch 2. Title 1.

     “There is without this hall a. car that three white harts have drawn hither, and lightly may you send to see how rich it is. I tell you that the traces are of silk and the axletrees of gold, and the timber of the car is ebony. The car is covered above with a black samite, and below is a cross of gold the whole length, and under the coverlid of the car are the heads of an hundred and fifty knights whereof some be sealed in gold, other some in silver and the third in lead. King Fisherman sendeth you word that this loss hath befallen of him that  demandeth not unto whom one serveth of the Graal. Sir, the damsel that beareth the shield holdeth in her hand the head of a Queen that is sealed in lead and crowned with copper, and I tell you that by the Queen whose head you here behold was the King betrayed whose head I bear, and the three manner of knights whose heads are within the car.”

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     We have already seen in Chapter IV that the river Brue outlines the head of “the King” Hercules, and in Chapter V that the head of “the Queen” (Hydra) is outlined by the Cary river; so this again points to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, for we are told this King was betrayed by this Queen. The above quotation is illuminating in other ways; it mentions the “cross of gold the whole length,” that the eagle held (Chapter VI).

     The idea of the Damsel’s Car is very ancient; at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, can be seen the early iron age Votive Cauldron from Kein Glein, held by a tall female figure above her head; she stands in the centre of a four-wheeled Car on a sun wheel, surrounded by tiny knights and two stags. It is interesting to compare the Lucera bronze tripod in a case close by, for all these symbols are found in our Arthurian legends, including the bull.

The Sun Beamed On All Sides Although the Night Was Dark

     “King Fisherman’s Castle” approached by Fisher’s Hill, was called Weary-all because the thousands of pilgrims who went to Glastonbury had reached their journey’s end here, like the setting sun. When Lancelot saw the sun King, he must have been swallowed by the Fish already, for “the night was dark.”

Branch 10. Title 11.

     “The Knights lead him before King Fisherman in a chamber where he lay right richly. He findeth the King, that lieth on a bed so rich and so fair appareled as never was seen a better . . . such a brightness of light was there in the chamber as that it seemeth the sun were beaming on all sides, and albeit the night was dark, no candles, so far as Lancelot might espy, were lighted therewithin.”

     But before Lancelot, Messire Gawain had been to King Fisherman’s Castle.

Branch 6. Title 17.

     “They lead him into the chamber where lay King Fisherman, and it seemed as it were all strewn and sprinkled. of balm, and it was all strown with green herbs and reeds . . . and under his head was a pillow all smelling sweet of balm, and at the four corners of the pillow were four stones that gave out a right great brightness of light.”

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Saith King Fisherman:

     “And greater cheer would I make you than I do were I able to help myself; but I am fallen into languishment.”

     The ancient pilgrim ways outlining the Fish are now used as motor roads and the drawing has been perfectly preserved by them, but below the Fish’s belly on the south side of the hill two fins can be distinguished from the air view, also the faint outline of the gills comes out on the photo.

The Line That Ties the Two Fishes on to the Whale

     The second Fish lying in Street, contains the modem cemetery. Abbey Grange occupies the place in its tail where one star from Pisces fell, another star is marked by Street Churchyard which is circular and consequently ancient, and a third star lay on Press Moor, in the Whale’s tail.

The following is Messire Gawain’s experience of the Three Bridges (which form the line that ties the two Fishes on to the Whale).

Branch 6. Title 15.

     “Much marvelled. he that he found the bridge so wide that had seemed him so narrow. And when he had passed beyond, the bridge, that was a drawbridge, lifted itself by engine behind him, for the water below ran too swiftly for other bridge to be made. The knight draweth himself back beyond the great bridge and Messire Gawain cometh nigh to pass it, and this seemed him as long as the other. And he seeth the water below, that was not less swift nor less deep, and, so far as he could judge, the bridge was of ice, feeble and thin, and of a great height above the water, and he looked at it with much marvelling, yet natheless not for that would he any the more hold back from passing on toward the entrance. He goeth forward and commendeth himself to God, and cometh in the midst thereof and seeth that the bridge was the fairest and richest and strongest he had ever beheld, and the abutments thereof were all full of images. When he was beyond the bridge, it lifted itself up behind him as the other had done, and he looketh before him and seeth not the knight, and is come to the third bridge and nought was he adread for he might see. And it was not less rich than the other, and had columns of marble all around about, and upon each a knop so rich that it seemed to be of gold.”

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     One of the Bridges was called ‘Pons Periculosus’ in 1415, which recalls the fable repeated by Leland, that King Arthur cast his sword into the river here, where the sun sinks down in the glories of the sunset; but nothing could look more prosaic than it does adapted to modern requirements, despite its being still called Pomparles.

     The Brue is divided into three streams above this Bridge. When repairs were being made to “the third Bridge,” just by the Fish’s mouth, huge piers of golden Ham Hill stone, which still support it, were uncovered, but they are now hidden under a mass of concrete; perhaps they are Roman, since Roman pottery was found under the ancient road running parallel with the present one, and also above on Wearyall Hill; but flint implements have also been found there.

     So here, connecting Street with Glastonbury, were the “Three Bridges” crossing the three streams, that the Knights who followed the Quest were obliged to pass over on their way to The Royal Isle; when they were adorned with images, and their marble columns had “golden knops,” they must have formed a beautiful watergate through which the sacred barges passed to the Holy of Holies at the centre of the circle of effigies.

The Castle of the Whale

     Branch 35. Titles 11 to 15, tells about Gohas of the Castle of the Whale, who “had a ring at his feet and a collar on his neck with a chain whereof the other end was fixed by a staple into a great ledge on the rock.”

     The road joining the Fishes to the Whale passes over his tail, and as all modern pictures of the star constellations join the Fishes on to the Whale by a ring and a chain, it is clear that the High History refers to the same tradition.

     On Javanese Zodiac cups a whale takes the place of the Fishes.

     The High History says “this great land is his own that is so plenteous,” for he is entirely outlined by the river Brue and Old Rhyne.

Branch 35. Title 10.

     “in all these islands of the sea is there none that hath any puissance but he only, and so assured is he that no dread hath he of any. For none that is in this land durst offend against him.”

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     Near Baltonsborough, Wallyer’s Bridge is an important place-name, for it either means Waellas (Celts), or Whale’s bridge; it is here that the arm of Hercules crosses the River Brue.

     Since both Hercules and the Whale indicate the direction to take, we will now explore the centre of the circle of Cosmic Deities, returning to the circumference later.

THE ANCIENT POLE STAR IN URSA MINOR IS HERE MARKED BY A SERPENTS HEAD ON A “CROWN” WHICH WAS THE POLE OF THIS TEMPLE OF THE STARS

The High History says:

     “The serpent seeth him, and cometh toward him, jaws yawning, and casteth forth fire and flame in great plenty Perceval thrusteth his sword right through the gullet.“

     The equinoctial line of 2700 B.C. passed through the “gullet” of this serpent as shown on the illustration, plate 10.

     It is remarkable that the North Somerset Mummer‘s Play should have kept alive the tradition of the “Black Prince of Paradise, born in a fiery hole” (see Mummers’ Plays, by R. J. Tiddy), for he can be none other than Draco, whose “giant head” guards the fiery hole of this Pole Star. The hole corresponds astronomically with that mysterious ‘Enclosure-of-Life,’ formed by four stars of Ursa Minor once called ‘the little fiery Chariot,’ and held by Arabs and Mohammedans to be ‘the hole in which the earth’s axis found its bearings.’ Kochab, meaning ‘The Star,’ was the Lord of this ‘abode of the essence and spirit of life’ or ‘place of the crown of the land,’ for it was of ‘supreme importance as the Pole Star when Taurus led the year’ as R. Brown says in Primitive Constellations. In that case it superseded σ Draconis the previous pole star.

     As for that ‘crown of the land,’ the High History tells us that the Crown and the Round Table belonged to Queen Guinevere who, if she be the same as Eve, would feel quite at home with the serpent Draco, and the Pole Star Tree of Life, and we noticed that on the old plaster relief of the Wheel of Time at West Down, Eve is in an enclosure on wheels which Adam is pushing, possibly it represented this ‘little Fiery Chariot’ (Ursa Minor). (For ‘her crown and land’ see Branch 21. Titles 24 and 25.)

     The crown that is universally known as having a snake’s head on it, is the crown of Egypt, and it is singular that the unusual shape of Park Wood at Butleigh, where we find the serpent’s head, is not unlike the White Crown of Egypt in outline. Branch 35. Title 5, tells us that the crown was suspended over the Masters’ table and the hole! so we must conclude that the “crown of gold” covered Draco’s “hole.”

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061 Plate 10

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     “And while he was thus looking, he seeth a chain of gold come down above him loaded with precious stones, and in the midst thereof was a crown of gold. The chain descended a great length and held on to nought save to the will of Our Lord only. As soon as the Masters saw it descending they opened a great wide pit that was in the midst of the hall, so that one could see the hole all openly.”

     It is in Park Wood that we can trace, by means of wide grass paths amongst the trees, the perfect drawing of it snake’s head, “jaws yawning” towards the west; on the map it looks as if it were protruding from a choker collar; this is probably intended for its hole.

     The snake‘s head, or “dragon’s head,” fittingly described as “giant” in the History, measures about 880 feet, there are no earthworks to distinguish it, or the supposed “hole;” nevertheless it exactly corresponds with the centre of this Circle of effigies.

     Judging by the hundreds of birds that flock from the surrounding neighborhood to roost in the branches of the trees in this “crown,” one would almost imagine that the snake had some queer fascination for them; but as a matter of fact, Park Wood is carefully preserved and fenced in with barbed wire and a ditch; let us hope it will be kept a bird sanctuary for all time.

     The High History of the Holy Graal is written about what it calls “the Earthly Paradise” and “Eden,” so it is worth turning up the Encyclopedia Britannica (11th edition) and reading “Paradise,” for the interesting information there given.

Branch 35. Title 12.

     “he seeth in a little islet a knight that is mounted up in a tall tree that was right broad with many boughs. There was a damsel with him, that had climbed up also for dread of a serpent, great and evil-favoured, that had issued from a hole in a mountain. The damsel seeth Perceval’s ship coming, and crieth out to him. ‘Ha, Sir,’ saith she, ‘Come to help this King that is up above, and me that I am a damsel!’ ‘Whereof are you afeard, damsel?’ saith Perceval. ‘Of a great serpent, Sir,’ saith she, ‘that hath made us climb up.’”

     Of Draco we read in Star Lore of All Ages:

     “This serpent is the guardian of the stars (the golden apples) which hang from the Pole Tree in the Garden of Darkness, or Garden in the West, the Garden of Hesperides.”

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     Saith the Welsh Bard:

     “The proper place of this delicate tree, is within a shelter of great renown.”

     “Incorruptible is the tree which grows in the spot, set apart (the sanctuary) under is wide envelope.”

     “The sweet apple tree is like the Bardic mount of assembly; the dogs of the wood will protect the circle of is roots.” (Canis Major and Canis Minor being the dogs.) See Mythology and Rites of the British Druids, by E. Davies.

     A-wassailing the apple tree, is a Druid custom annually kept up in Somerset. Making a ring round the largest tree in the orchard this verse is sung:

“Old apple tree, Old apple tree,

We’ve come to wassail thee

To bear and bow apples enow

Hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full,

Barn floors full, and a little heap under the stars.”

     A bucket full of cider is put under the trees, and bread that has been toasted is dipped in it, and stuck in a fork of the branches for the birds.

     ‘The Wisdom of the Serpent’ must refer to the knowledge which Draco possesses of the Nutation of the earth’s axis, and Precession of the Equinoxes, or the change by which the equinoxes occur earlier in each successive sidereal year. The contemplation of seven successive pole stars was bewilderingly upsetting to the calculations of astronomers; no wonder Draco became the “Devil!” but the ‘Seven Glorious Ones’ have had many more good names than bad, for pole stars never set.

     It was into the hole of the Pole that Horus drove the serpent monster, thenceforth called Ba, which perhaps gives us the origin of that word in the Kingdom of Logres, for Ba was its fire soul; it is not only Perceval who destroys one of its fiery heads, for Arthur (Hercules) cuts off another, as We have already observed.

In Branch 18. Titles 6 and 7.

     Perceval “dealeth him a great blow on the shield in such sort that he cleaveth it right to the midst thereof where the dragon’s head was, and the flame leapeth forth so burning hot on his sword that it waxed red-hot like as was the Knight’s sword.”

      “The dragon’s head turneth it toward his lord in great wrath, and scorcheth him and burneth him to dust, and there-after departeth up into the sky like lightning.”

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     The Illustrated London News of July 22nd, 1933, contained a reproduction from an Akkadian Cylinder seal of the seven headed fire-dragon that ‘Hercules’ killed 2500 B.C.! The expression used by Dr. Henry Frankfort in describing this discovery was: “astonishing in its implications.” Its seven heads would be the seven pole stars.

     At the commencement of The High History of the Holy Graal, King Arthur’s squire dreams that he stole a golden candlestick belonging to the brother of a black giant. The taper that he removed from the candlestick may have been a pole star, for it burned “in the midst of the launde” with three others, around the body of the “knight that lay dead in the midst of the chapel,” i.e. the three stars of Ursa Minor with Kochab.

Branch 1. Title 3.

     “This squire marvelled much how this body was left there so lonely, insomuch that none were about him save only the images.”

THE GREAT FINGER OF THE EQUINOX

Marks the Second Point of the Suggested Triangle; It Lies South West of Butleigh Church, Compton Street by Rocke’s Lower Farm Outlines It

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“THREE DROPS OF BLOOD” ON THE GRAIL TABLE

The Symbol means Jehovah

Branch 6. Title 19.

     “Messire Gawain looketh before him and seeth three drops of blood fill upon the table. He was all abashed to look at them and spake no word.”

     The first Point or “drop,” towards the east, has just been described; presumably the second Point or “drop of blood,” towards the west, was the centre of the Cosmic Cross formed by connecting the four Royal Stars of the four quarters of the sky.

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     We have already seen that the finger of the hand of Hercules at Moorhouse, points toward Butleigh, but another finger, on a much larger scale points west, into the eye of Taurus. Confirmation of this indication is found in the name Compton Street underlying this Finger, for the eye of Taurus lies at Compton.

     The great Finger, with nail and bend of joint clearly defined, has no earthworks; it consists of ordinary flattish fields, and is quite out of proportion to any of the other figures; but because of the coincidence of its position in the centre of the Royal Star Cross over head, and consequently resting on the equinoctial line of 2700 B.C., as well as marking the second point of the triangle suggested by “the three drops of blood” on the Table, one is inclined to believe it is part of the original Temple design.

     The name of the stream that is made to outline its south side is suggestive of ritualistic washing, it is called Wash Brook. Former Ordnance Survey maps showed the old footpath bifurcating where the jewel or a ring on the Finger might lie, near lower Rocke’s Farm.

     The spring that feeds Wash Brook is at Beggar’s Grave—outside the Finger—-where are the ruins of a circular building, with a paved floor, like a Columbarium; this stands at the lower end of a prehistoric earthwork called New Ditch, so it is probably on an older foundation.

     Since we are dealing with the second point of a triangle, we cannot avoid mentioning the so-called Vesica piscis. As Sydney T. Klein says in his interesting paper on the subject, to be found in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, the whole science of Geometry is based on the intersection of two circles, and the equilateral triangle is itself generated by it.

     In order to form the two intersecting circles, this second point or “drop” is essential. Having formed the Vesica piscis, it gives us the third “drop” which fell upon the Graal Table, that is, the Apex of the Triangle.

     It is no wonder that the triangle was called the Logos, or “World of Ideas,” for it is the basis of Geometry and Astronomy, and the triad of Religion.

     The Geometrical figure of the Vesica piscis is used on seals, in architecture, miniatures, stained glass, frescoes, illuminations, tapestry, and by the Old Masters in their religious pictures to frame Our Lord in Glory.

     The seventh century binding in Mr. Pierpont Morgan’s collection, chosen as an illustration to Sydney Klein’s article, is very interesting in this respect.

     Possibly this triangle in Somerset was worked out as a test (to find the effigy Giants) by a different, perhaps Egyptian race, whose expression “the Finger of God,” is significant in this respect.

     That the pole of the Ecliptic, here on the fore arm of Hercules (which is the centre of the stars of the Zodiacal Circle) was not known to them, is apparent: and they were not sure of the exact Centre of the Temple area either, which is Park Wood, Butleigh.

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     The same people may have added Argo-Navis under the Giant Orion, as King Solomon’s ship, with the Griffon bird standing on the rudder, because the masts of that sun ship converge on the apex of this triangle.

     If three more triangles are superimposed on this one as foundation, their points will indicate the position of the twelve effigy Signs around the circle.

     But the original designers of this chart of the heavens, almost miraculously knew the place of the Pole of the Ecliptic (how could the Zodiacal stars fall within their correct effigies when transferred from the planisphere, if it were not so?), but they did not make that their Centre; they made the Pole star Kochab the Centre of their composition. Just as on Philips’ star chart our present Pole Star occupies the middle place.

THE ENCLOSURE OF THE SUN

The Apex of the Triangle

     The unique idol vases from the fourth City of Troy, dated by Dr. Schliemann about 1500 B.C., show the Three Points on the sun bird’s vase. (See pages 521, 522, 523 and 575 of Ilios, published by john Murray.) We shall now describe the third Point, or “drop of blood” towards the south, but still in Butleigh.

     Amongst the effigies which comprise the Chart of the Stars in Somerset is one representing Argo Navis; the masts of this ship of  Solomon exactly converge—when projected on the large scale map—upon what we take to be the enclosure of the Sun, or the apex of the suggested triangle.

     The convergence of the masts suggests  which is the symbol of God‘s name.

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     The first volume of Bardas, page 17, explains the Symbol of the primitive Bards of the Isle of Britain which was “the symbol of God‘s Name from the beginning:”

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     “In three columns; and in the rays of light the vocalization—for one were the hearing and the seeing.” These rays penetrate Mother Earth, and she in turn brings forth her harvest of ‘eternal festival;’ consequently it is interesting to note that the same symbol, the Broad Arrow—pregnant with archaic religious significance—is still used as the Royal mark on British Government Stores of every description.

     If the whole lay-out of the sacred area had not been planned with geometrical exactitude, we might have hesitated to believe that the convergence of the masts of the Ship on this point was intentional, and it is a coincidence that the cottage nearest to the spot where the lines meet, should be called Bethel as seen on the 6 inches to 1 mile Sheet, for it means in early Phoenician ‘The House of the Supreme God.’

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     The space thus indicated is surrounded by the Lanes called Wood or Wooton, Harepits and Banbury, all of which names are ancient and suggestive; Ban being the name of the aborigines of Britain according to L. A. Waddell.

     The western angle of this enclosure is marked by Butleigh’s ancient Cross. The Romano-British road called High Street, coming from Leo, passes close by, where the old name ‘Rose and Portcullis’ (Inn) is a reminder of the Rose at the centre of King Arthur’s Round Table at Winchester, and of another in the middle of the Glastonbury clock, as well as the expression which once meant so much, ‘sub rosa;’ in the East on a certain day in the year ‘the rose has a heart of gold.’

     Butleigh Cross has been restored as a war memorial, and since the ground on which it stands slopes down towards the east, one looks over the valley “where lies King Arthur,” to the sunrise.

     Within the enclosure are two excellent springs called on the map Spring Gardens and Pond Head; they supply fish ponds of recent date that are beautiful with primroses in April; here can be seen lumps of that fantastic stone that has been formed by the mingling of these waters with sun-lit air.

     The roof of Wells Cathedral Chapter House is said to have been built from this so-called tufa, brought from the Polden Hills; one wonders if it was used on account of its lightness or its sacred origin. In less than twenty years a block the size of a man is formed, and has to be removed in order not to choke up the fairy’s well.

     A wide strip of sandy soil runs parallel with the fish ponds, the water from which flows on past Park Buildings near Park Wood, to Shuttle Orchard on the river Brue.

Branch 2. Title 1.

     “This river was right fair and plenteous. Josephus witnesseth us that it came from the Earthly Paradise and compassed the castle around.”

     In the following quotation from Branch 6. Title 2, the gold and silver and ivory vessels probably represented the enclosures of the Sun, Moon and Pole Star, repeated by the triad of ghostly damsels, two of whom subsequently vanished and only one remained.

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     “Therewith, behold, three damsels that come of right great beauty, and they had white garments and their heads were covered with white cloths and they carried, one, bread in a little golden vessel, and the other wine in a little ivory vessel, and the third flesh in one of silver. And they come to the vessel of gold that hung against the pillar and set therein that which they had brought, and afterward they make the sign of the cross over the pillar and come back again. But on their going back, it seemed to Messire Gawain that only one was there.”

     “The pillar” must be the Pole Tree in the centre of this Temple layout, hence “the sign of the cross over the pillar,” meaning the Solstice and the Equinox. The head of the “great serpent” marks it.

THE DOVE

‘I will address myself to my sovereign, the King of the Air, O, Sovereign of the power of the Air.’

Quoted from Meilyr, a Bard of the twelfth century.

     Around Barton St. David lies the outline of a bird, its left wing corresponding with the stars of Ursa Major; but as it is not far from Lydford where the right claw of Scorpio takes the place of Libra, it may have stood for the third Air sign; if so it belonged to Perceval.

     It is smaller than his two other effigy birds and, unlike them, lies on its back; it was the Dove that carried the ‘Host’ in ‘the Parzival.’

     The road from Butleigh to Barton passes along the upper edge of the left wing, and from the old house called Barton Farm to Lower Barton Farm, a road outlines the under part of the bird’s body, and another road delineates its half closed right wing leading to Tootle Bridge on the Brue. The rest of the drawing is traceable only by footpaths, one called Double Gate Drove leads to Double Gates on its tail. Tootle is said to mean ‘look out’; unfortunately there is very little left to look out for on the ground, but the stars hat correspond with the outstretched wing, being the important stars in the handle of the ‘Great Plough,’ (Ursa Major) it is to the sky that we must look. Its eye was at Tucker’s Corner.

     In Star Lore of all Ages, Mr. Olcott says:

     “The Northern sky is in reality a great clock dial over which hands wrought of stars trace their way unceasingly. Moreover it is a time piece that is absolutely accurate.” The Great Plough appears to revolve round the heavens once in twenty-four hours, though it is the earth that is really turning. He gives us in the same chapter the other name of this constellation.

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069 Plate 11

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     In Ireland it was ‘King Arthur’s Chariot,’ and the Druids so named it. The French called it the ‘Great Chariot,’ and ‘David’s Chariot,‘ which is interesting, for the effigy bird appears to hold the Old Vicarage at Barton St. David, with the church and Cross of St. David in its beak.

     In the Middle Ages, in different countries, Ursa Major was known as the ‘Chariot of Elias,’ ‘Thor’s waggon,’ ‘Waggon of Odin,’ ‘Car of Osiris,’ ‘the abode of the Seven Sages who entered the Ark with Minos,‘ the ‘Waggon of Our Saviour,’ and ‘The Brood Hen.’

     To sum up, the constellation of the Great Bear or Plough was held to be the fiery Brood Hen, and appears to have carried Osiris, Minos, David, Elias, King Arthur, Thor, Odin, and Our Saviour endlessly round the starry heavens every twenty-four hours.

     The Welsh Bard sings:

     “I have presided in a toilsome chair, over the circle of Sidin—the circle of the Zodiac—whilst that is continually revolving between three elements; is it not a wonder to the world that men are not enlightened.” See page 296, Mythology and Rites of the British Druids.

     It is “a wonder that men are not enlightened” considering that it has always been known that the Priests of the Mysteries imitated the motions of the celestial bodies, and that they took the names of the constellations and dressed to represent the Zodiacal creatures. The theology they taught was purely astronomical.

     Cynddelw, the Bard, sings of the mystic dance of the Druids:

     “Rapidly moving in the course of the sky, in circles, in uneven numbers, Druids and Bards unite, in celebrating the leader.”

     ‘Ursa Major contains the oldest star symbol, i.e. the fiery wheel or cross called the Swastika; it might be suggested in the circumstances that the name of the county of Somerset once had the same meaning, which is familiar to us in ‘turning a Somersault or Somerset,’ for the High History, Branch 6. Title 11, says: “the car that the damsel leadeth after her signifieth the wheel of fortune;” this sign is represented on early British coins, and is a “symbol of the goddess of the silver wheel who guarded the limits of the British temple.”

     Besides the wheel on these coins ‘the point within the circle’ is shown, and also the trefoil or triad, with the home of the Sun.

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CHAPTER VIII

THE FIRE SIGN, ARIES

REPRESENTED AS A LAMB, WITH HEAD AND FORE FOOT REVERTED

Aries Was Once Called the Prince of the Zodiac; the Ancient Persians Named Him Bara; Bactria Was the Old Land of the Zarathustra Fire Worshippers

APRIL

     The High History says: “He had a rich clasp at his neck wherein were many rich stones,” for the stars Hamel, Sheraton and Mesartim fall on the neck of the effigy.

Branch 6. Title 1.

     “Messire Gawain rode until he came to a forest, and seeth a land right fair and rich in a great enclosure of wall, and round the land and country-side within, the wall stretched right far away. Thitherward he cometh and seeth but one entrance thereinto, and he seeth the fairest land that ever he beheld and the best garnished and the fairest orchards. The country was not more than four leagues Welsh in length, and in the midst thereof was a tower on a high rock.”

     Aries is so small a constellation that its stars when transferred to the map from the planisphere are found to fall around Portway; doubtless this is the explanation of the History’s “one entrance thereinto,” for Portway has no other meaning locally (see plate 12).

     On Walton Hill can be seen the remains of earthworks, perhaps part of “a great enclosure of walls four leagues Welsh in length;” those walls of Wal-ton are mentioned three times, and belonged to the Waellas or Celts, for we are told the “King of Wales was lord of the land:” that is why the Welsh Bards knew so much about this sacred Kingdom. (Walton, and the corn mill, are marked on Map of the Sea Moors, plate 7.)

     “The tower on the high rock” probably stood where the round Norman Com Mill (rebuilt by John Tulley in 1192, but now converted into a dwelling) commands a fine view of the plain of King’s Sedge Moor, and also of the Vale of Avalon; it stands on Walton Hill which forms the hind leg of Aries. The hoof is well drawn by Ivy Thorn Lane, and from the farm the road under the hill continues the outline of the foot. A large flint scraper was picked up opposite this farm: it is in Bridgwater Museum with a few other Sedge Moor implements of flint.

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     At Ashcott, the Walton Hill road joins the main Street road, this so called Roman road outlines the back and mask of the effigy as far as The Cross (printed in large type, on a former O.S. Shoot), near StreetChurch; this important name for the cross roads in connection with the Lamb, lay by the tip of the ear.

     From here the road returns at right angles towards Leigh, thus outlining the back of the averted head; then passing by Portway Lane, which is the line under the jaw, it goes on to draw the joint of the reverted fore foot at Marshall’ Elm; on Ivy Thorn Hill it is indicated by a deep trench cut in the rock.

     This traditionally bent back fore foot” attends as far as three upright stones marking the entrance to the footpath which outlines the hoof; several other stones have been broken off in the same place, and there are the remains of a flagged path leading to them from the motor road, almost opposite the turning down to Ivy Thorn Farm, two-thirds of a mile from Marshall’s Elm. Continuing along the hill road we reach the Corn Mill tower again, having completed the circuit of the young Ram’s contour.

     From Walton Hill the outline of the bottom of the Phantom Ship, Argo Navis, is visible crossing King’s Sedge Moor along Walton Drove, and in high relief the back and right side of the reclining Giant Orion can be seen (see plate 16; and plate 1 for the ship in the West).

     Sir Lancelot was taken by mistake for Aries because he also represents fire; on New Year’s Day he is told he “should be crowned in the fire;” that would have been about 2540 B.C., determined by the stars of the month’s heliacal risings.

Branch to. Title 4.

     “Thereupon behold you the provosts and the lords of the city, and they come over against Lancelot. ‘Sir,’ say they, ‘All this joy is made along of you, and all these instruments of music are moved to joy and sound of gladness for your coming.’ ‘But wherefore for me?’ saith Lancelot. ‘That shall you know well betimes’ say they. ‘This city began to burn and to melt in one of the houses from the very same hour that our king was dead, nor might the fire be quenched, nor never will be quenched until such time as we have a king that shall be lord of the city and of the honour thereunto belonging, and on New Year’s Day behoveth him to be crowned in the midst of the fire, and then shall the fire be quenched, for otherwise may it never be put out nor extinguished. Wherefore have we come to meet you to give you the royalty, for we have been told that you are a good knight.’ ‘Lords,’ saith Lancelot, ‘Of such a kingdom have I no need, and God defend me from it.‘ ”

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073 Plate 12

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     Presumably Sir Lancelot met the revellers on the Ashcott Road at the ancient foundation of Piper’s Inn, for the History states, “there was much noise of bagpipes and flutes;” they may have taken him to Reggis Stone near by; three times it is mentioned that Lancelot rode by the ‘plain’ which is King’s Sedge Moor. But Messire Gawain, to whom the castle belonged, was the proper sacrifice in this sign as we read in the following:

Branch 33. Title 4.

     “if that Messire Gawain were in fear, little marvel was it, for he thought that his end had come. Meliot espied him bound to an iron staple with cords about the body on all sides so that he might not move.”

Confirmation of the  Effigy Constellations

     On the Zodiacal relief at Stoke-sub-Hamdon Church, Leo, Sagittarius and Aries stand under the Tree of Life that has three birds in its branches. On this ancient stone carving Aries is shown holding the Cross, Sagittarius wears the pointed fire cap and is shooting an arrow at the Lion which has “pricked ears” and tongue lolling out and two of the birds are large in proportion to the Tree, whilst the third is smaller: all these peculiarities we find in our Temple of the Stars.

     This early confirmation in stone is to be seen on the tympanum over the entrance to the Church; Stoke-sub-Hamdon is near Montacute and both places lie under Hamdon Hill, famous for its miles of earthworks and other prehistoric remains. The stone relief is illustrated in Highways and Bye-way: of Somerset, accompanied by the following bit of history.

     On Montacute’s St. Michael’s Hill, the Leodgaresburg Cross of Flint was found in the days of King Cnut; twelve red oxen and twelve white cows drew it to Waltham. (Probably the local Walton is meant, because left to themselves it is impossible that the beasts would have wandered right across England, they were so close to Walton in the Kingdom of Logres “which had a cross of gold the whole length’)

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     However, before the battle of Hastings the Flint Rood bowed to Harold, hence the English battle cry, Holy Cross! Holy Cross! (so it certainly was no ordinary cross) and as a result of its discovery on St. Michael’s Hill a college of priests was established at Montacute “in honour of the invention of the Holy Cross.” Another thing to be remarked is that the cross was “glistening black” and had a duplicate beneath it of wood. It lay six miles to the south of the effigy Leo; Leo, as just pointed out, is depicted on the church close by.

     In the following, Lancelot, the impersonation of the Lion, lies down with the Lamb “as it were on a Cross,” and “takes three blades of grass,” a significant sign in this connection as some will recognize.

Branch 2o. Title 13.

     “He taketh three blades of grass and so eateth thereof in token of the holy communion, then signeth him of the cross and blesseth him, riseth up, setteth himself on his knees and stretcheth forth his neck. The knight lifteth up the axe. Lancelot heareth the blow coming, boweth his head and the axe misseth him. He saith to him ‘Sir Knight, so did not my brother that you slew; rather, he held his head and neck quite still, and so behoveth you to do!’ . . . The knight forthwith flingeth down the axe . . .”

The Tidal Port of The Kingdom of Logres

     In the Somerset Temple of the Stars, besides that of Aries, twelve other heads are laid out to look towards the sea and sunset; this arrangement must have been a stupendous task for the designer. An additional reason for the turn of the head of Aries may be, that it looks along the Polden Hills to Down End, and to the tidal port on the Parrett river at Dunball, where there was an early British settlement; the earthworks can be seen on a level with the railway station, by the branch road to the former Roman village of Puriton. Many ancient remains have been dug up on Knowle Hill, above Puriton, and the fine Iron Age enamels in the British Museum came from Edington Hill still further east on the way to Walton.

     An ancient highway ran all along the Polden or Bolden Hills on the north side of the present Roman road; it was five feet wide and about a foot thick, formed of small stones, discovered 18 inches below the surface of the ground; a ‘tumulus’ at Chilton Polden standing on the highway was opened a few years ago but nothing found; it is composed entirely of small stones based in a hole four or five feet deep.

     The futility of destroying these beautifully shaped earthworks in this particular neighborhood is thus demonstrated; their value is in their perfect shape. They should be treated as archaic sculpture to be preserved at all costs; filling up the opening after excavation, however well done, does not prevent disintegration eventually, and the whole. process is a thankless and very costly undertaking.

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     The yew trees that cover the mound appear to smoke with incense in the spring, as in Lord Tennyson’s “Holy Grail :“

“On a gustful April morn

That puff’d the‘ swaying branches into. Smoke.”

     On either side of the Polden Hills, the Sea Moors are flooded in the winter, and in the summer as the veils of sea. Fog or marsh mist roll up the valleys, one can picture the high tides as they poured over the banks of the rivers, lapping the shores of the Isle of Avalon on one side, and almost swamping the Giant’s Ship on the other. The wraithlike mists of his forgotten spirit land are called locally ‘the white Lady of Sedge Moor.’

     The strategic importance of the wedge shape made by this effigy of the young is now apparent, for it blocks any further advance along these hills to the Kingdom of Logres. But for that very reason its destruction eventually was inevitable it is called in the High History the Waste city, and Waste forest. The King and his knights often met and passed each other hereabouts, because as time went on the spring equinox moved from Taurus into Aries.

Branch 23. Titles 1 and 2.

     “ ‘when the vavasour that dwelt here was dead, he left to Messire Gawain, his foster-son, this castle, and made me guardian thereof until such time as Messire Gawain should return.’ ”

     “The King looketh at‘ Messire Gawain, and seeth him stoop his head toward the ground for shame. ‘Fair nephew, be not ashamed, for as well might you reproach me of the same. Of your birth hath there been great joy, and dearly ought one to love the place and honour it, where so good a knight as are you was born.’ ”

The Knight Templars, the Guardians of the Grail

     It is not necessary to say more about Messire Gawain in this connection, for the parts of the High History that deal with this Waste City are easy to follow; the explanation may be that a Knight Templar is thought to have written The High History of the Holy Graal, and as the Lamb was the insignia of a Knight Templar he would be familiar with its effigy.

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     An ivory seal showing the Lamb and Flag was dug up in a garden near the church at Chedzoy, adjoining the Templar Farm at Bradney. There is a Templar’s Copse in Loxley Wood, not far away.

     On a bench end in South Brent Church the Lamb is seen looking back over its shoulder at a face (no doubt the head the Templars were said to worship); and again at Lower Wick on Glastonbury Tor, one of the circular carvings on the farm house represents it looking over its shoulder as it does in the great of Walton and Street.

     The Templars’ Encampments at Bristol and Bath date back to 1190, and as the Captain General of an Encampment wore the Bird for a jewel, it seems likely that the companion carving of a bird at Lower Wick was also a Templar relic.

     A. Bothwell Gosse in The Knights Templars says: “Sometimes popular belief has connected the Templars with the Knights of the Round Table, deeming that the Order of the Temple was the successor to the Arthurian band. There is also a legend that the Templars are the special guardians of the Holy Graal.”

     They held the tradition that “there is no other religion than the religion of nature, preserved in the Temples of Initiation in Egypt and Greece.” The aprons worn by Freemasons in olden days were made of an entire lamb’s skin, most carefully dressed.

     There is a list kept of ninety-one properties in Somerset which used to belong to the Hospitallers or Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, who succeeded the Knights Templars; Bridgwater, Barton St. David, Somerton and Chedzoy are included in this list.

     It is easy to understand why their churches were round, for, like Druid Circles, the Dome of the Rock at Jerusalem, the Pantheon, and many other examples, they were intended to be a reminder of the Temple built by The Great Architect Of The Universe.

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CHAPTER IX

THE EARTH SIGN, TAURUS

About 2700 B.C. THE VERNAL EQUINOX LAY IN THE EYE OF THE BULL

May

The High History of the Holy Graal. Branch 18. Titles 11 and 12.

     “He seeth the bull of copper in the midst of the castle right. big and horrible, that was surrounded on all sides by folk that all did worship thereunto together round about.”

     “Perceval was therewithin, but none was there that spake unto him, for so intent were they upon adoring the bull that, and any had been minded to slay them what time they were yet worshipping the same, they would have allowed him so to do and would have thought that they were saved thereby; and save this had they none other believe in the world.”

     In The Mythology and Rites of the British Druids by E. Davies, we read of Oxen, that “their office, in the commemorative ceremony of the Britons, was to draw the car of the lofty one, or Hu, the Patriarch god, to whom the oxen were consecrated, in solemn procession. And if this was the meaning of the memorial, the avanc of mythology, which the sacred oxen drew out of the lake, and which gave rise to the ceremony, must imply the identical shrine, or vehicle, which enclosed. the Diluvian Patriarch.”

     Gwynvardd Brecheiniog, a Bard who wrote in the former part of the twelfth century, says:

     “The amiable Bangu was left behind, bearing his chain.”

     May we infer that Taurus was the amiable Baugu who “overstrained himself, in drawing forth the avanc, so that his eyes started from their sockets, and he dropped down dead, as soon as the feat was achieved.” (Mythology and Rites of the British Druids, page 140.)

The Effigy

     The Bull’s head lies at Compton, where Tray’s Farm occupies the place of the Bull’s eye, and thus gives us the exact equinoctial line of this Temple of the Stars as it was first conceived; for we have already noted that the effigy Finger marking the centre of the Royal Star Cross points to Taurus.

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079 Plate 13

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     A few carved stones such as the remains of an Early English window, and swirling quatrefoil, on the cider-press barn at Tray‘s Farm, speak of former buildings of importance here, to which a flagstone path leads all the way from St. Andrew’s Church at Dundon.

     As one stands on the top of the Bull’s neck Collard Hill, and looks down south towards Dundon Beacon, it can be seen that the road draws the outline of its lower jaw; the Manor of Ivy Thorn to the west, adorns its shoulder; ivy was sacred in ancient days on account of the resemblance of its flowers to globes of stars and the holy Thorn of Glaston is well known.

     The Pleiades correspond with the remains of earthworks on the West side of the Somerton road, near the turning to the Manor. About 2300 B.C. the Moon was worshipped in the Pleiades, then marking the Vernal Equinox.

     The ears of the Bull, Giant, Lion, and dog seem to have been of primary importance to these nature effigies, that of Taurus on Windmill Hill commands an interesting view: from here the pilgrim’s path up Glastonbury Tor can be seen outlining that sacred mount against the sky. Looking south, the road below the Hood Monument (which stands in the Bull’s ear) draws the curves of his nose; whilst beyond one can see into the great ear of Orion the Giant, that is outlined by the camp on Dundon Hill; under this, King’s Sedge Moor stretches away toward: the sea shrouded in mist. Sprays of tiny white flowers fill the Bull’s ear in July, they are called Enchanter’s Nightshade.

     It was once held that the Bull opened the year with its horns, Hatch Hill is here pierced by them, on the equinoctial line!

An Avenue of Cedars

     Continuing along the hill toward Wickham’s Cross, one of the horns can be seen on the right; the tip of the earthwork that outlines it points to the gateway on the left of the road through which the Processional Way supposedly passed from Butt Moor Bridge on the Brue, to Compton Dundon.

     Butt Moor Bridge was the “first bridge” that Messire Gawain had to expect after leaving the precincts of King Fisherman’s castle when he “goeth his way a great pace beside a great river that runneth in the midst of the valley.” Many have wondered why it should have rained. so much that it almost drowned him, while the sun shone on the other side of the river; the explanation is that he was riding on the Plunging “Whale,” but he is told “At the first bridge you come to will it be stayed upon you,” see Branch 6. Title 22.

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     Not far from this bridge a very narrow road leads to a majestic avenue of cedar trees which enters Butleigh Wood; the path through the woods climbs the hill to the gate by the tip of the horn of Taurus, where it suddenly emerges on to the top of a natural amphitheatre, looking down upon the Giant Orion.

     Then, a deeply worn path (now completely overgrown and not shown on the map) passed down this amphitheatre horse-shoe curve, formed by the Polden Hills from High Ham to Priest’s Hill near Ashcott.

     At the bottom of this steeply inclined path, Withy Lane lends to the Bull’s nose it is a singular coincidence that a rifle range is marked on a former O.S. Sheet 63 N.E. crossing the field to the Bull’s eye.

     Withy Lane divided near Law’s Farm, branching off to the two Redlands, and also to join the flagstones leading to St. Andrew’s Church, that saint being chosen in place of Taurus for the ‘Apostolic Zodiac’ when Taurus lost favour in the eyes of the Church: it is worth noting that in the Hebrew Zodiac Taurus was Joseph.

The Bell

Branch 22. Title 2 and 3.

     “and there was one behind that carried a bell with the clapper and all at his neck. ‘Ha, God,’ saith King Arthur, ‘What folk be these?’ ‘Sir,’ saith Perceva1,‘I know them all save the last.’ “

     “Then he asked the hermit that bare the bell, whence this thing came? ‘Sir,’ saith he to Messire Gawain, ‘I am the King for whom you slew the giant.’”

Branch 20. Title 7.

     “nor was there never a day so long as King Arthur was on pilgrimage, so saith the history, but he heard the sound of one single bell every hour, whereof he was right glad.”

     One Redland is on the Bull’s dewlap, below which lies his Bell, that was “set on the ground” (on Hurst Drove) “though at this time was there no bell neither in Great Britain nor in Lesser” as the High History says. The narrow strips of land between its five ditches must indicate the “clappers;” astronomically they correspond with Aldebaran.

     Hurst Drove leads to Ham Lane which draws the back of Orion, Mead Run lies between these two suggestive place names. There is said to be a tunnel from Hurst Farm to St. Andrew‘s Church “along which the fairies used to go to church” according to the farmer’s wife; another story is that the ghost of a knight in armour holding a sword, stands at the foot of the pulpit stain. (Orion’s sword ?)

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The Red Launde of Arthurian Romance

     Redlands gives us one of the most important place name clues, for the Red Launde Tourney must have been held here, about which the History speaks so much.

     It stands to reason that the Tourney would be held at this place which corresponds with the Royal Star Aldebaran and the Vernal Equinox, then the place of the May Day festivals.

Branch 13. Title 8.

     “This high record saith that Messire Gawain hath wandered so far that he is come into the Red Launde whereas the assembly of knights should be held. He looketh and seeth the tents pitched and the knights coming from all quarters.”

     We read in Celtic Druids, page 153, “The change of the time of the equinoctial festival from the first of May to the first of April, would of course be made at the time that the equinox had ceased to take place in Taurus or May.”

     Beltane, the Celtic name for May-day and its festival, represented the Druidical worship of the sun god, of which the surviving ceremony in later centuries was the lighting of bonfires known as ‘Beltane fires.’

     Traces of these still linger in Ireland, the Highlands of Scotland and Brittany. And again G. Higgins says (Celtic Druids, page 291): “After all that the reader has seen, he will not have been surprised to find the Bull amongst the gods of the Druids. By a Bull, made of brass, the Cimbri, Teutones, and Ambrones, swore to observe the capitulation made with the Romans on the Adige. After their defeat, Catulus took this bull and kept it in his house, as a trophy of his victory.”

     Again, page 132: “The remains of the worship of the bull, or the sun in Taurus, are to be met with everywhere—all over India, Persia, Greece, Italy and Britain.”

The Bull’s Calf

     In the High History, King Gurgalain impersonates Taurus; he sends Messire Gawain to kill the Giant (Orion) who has stolen this King’s son—obviously in the circumstances a calf!

     Messire Gawain returns with the “son,” having killed the Giant of Dundon Beacon Hill.

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Branch 6. Titles 6 and 7.

     King Gurgalain “maketh light a great show of torches in the midst of the city, and causeth a great fire to be made, and his son be set thereon in at brazen vessel all full of water, and maketh him be cooked and sodden over this fire, and maketh the Giant’s head be hanged at the gate.”

     “When his son was well cooked, he maketh him be cut up as small as he may, and biddeth send for all the high men of his land and giveth thereof to each so long as there was any left.”

     As a description of a primitive sacrificial feast, the foregoing quotation is suggestive, the mention of torches, the Giant’s head, the eating of every morsel of flesh, even the word bidding as in the bidding-prayer.

     The next picture we have of this Bull King who was “Lord of Albanie,” is as the hermit who followed the procession after he had encountered three priests on the sea-shore by an ancient hermitage: the following reply to King Arthur’s enquiry respecting the bell does sound like the confused utterance of a pagan bull.

Branch 22. Title 3.

     “I made baptize me before you and all those of my kingdom, and turn to the New Law, and thereafter I went to a hermitage by the sea, far from folk, where I have been of a long space. I rose one night at matins and looked under my hermitage and saw that a ship had taken haven there. I went thither when the sea was retreated, and found within the ship three priests and their clerks, that told me their names and how they were called in baptism. All three were named Gregory, and they came from the Land of Promise, and told me that Solomon had cast three bells, one for the Saviour of the World, and one for His sweet Mother, and one for the honour of His saints, wherefore they had brought this hither by His commandment into this kingdom for that we had none here. They told me that and I should bear it into this castle, they would take all my sins upon themselves, by Our Lord’s pleasure, in such sort as that I should be quit thereof.”

The Reason for Not Depicting More Than the Bull’s Head and Right Foot

     There was no room for the body of the Bull, because the effigy Ship of King Solomon “had taken haven there;” it will be remembered that only the head and shoulders of Taurus are shown in the pictures of the star constellations.

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     On the Dendera Temple Planisphere the Beeve with the bell on its neck is lying down. in the ship; and on the ceiling of the grand portico of this temple, Taurus carries the Sun on his neck in the cup of the crescent Moon.

     Before describing the effigies of those ‘Great Twins’ the sun and moon, the hounds of Arthurian Romance claim our attention.

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CHAPTER X

THE DOGS

‘THE DOG OF GWYN AB NUDD, THE BRITISH PLUTO, IS NAMED DOR-ARTH’

     A great Hound guards the entrance to the “Kingdom of Logres” at Athelney; the historic fort is described as it once was, in Branch 4. Title I, of The High History of the Holy Graal.

     “And it was compassed about of a great water, and had about it great clumps of trees so as that scarce with much pains might he espy the hall, that was right large. The river that compassed it about was water royal, for it lost not its right name nor its body as far as the sea. And Messire Gawain bethought him that it was the hold of a worshipful man, and draweth him thitherward to lodge. And as he drew anigh the bridge of the hold, he looketh and seeth a dwarf sitting on a high bench. He leapeth up: ‘Messire Gawain,’ saith he, . . .‘you will find my lady, the fairest and most gentle and most courteous in the realm of Logres, and as yet is she not of twenty years.’ ‘Fair friend,’ saith Messire Gawain, ‘What name hath the lord of the hold?’ ‘Sir, he is called of Little Gomeret.’ ”

     It will be found when we describe Canis Minor that the dwarf’s “lady” is the effigy Hound, which is formed by conducting channels of water between immense artificial earth-works, and by the ancient “path” bounding Aller Moor.

     By means of Burrow Wall and Challis Wall, the river Cary was made to delineate the Hound’s nose and collar, when that river flowed round Michels Burro into “water royal” of the Parrett; this tidal river, with a Phoenician name, outlines the under part of the Hound’s jaw, throat, ribs, stomach and hind leg as far as Langport.

     Between the solar names Ham Down and Huish, the tip of the tail is drawn by Wagg Drove and Wagg Lane at the place called Wagg!

     Speaking of Langport it is worth mentioning the old stained glass window of Joseph of Arimathea in the church on the Hill, where he is shown holding the two cruets.

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     The High History says in Branch 4. Title 3, that the Lord of the hold of Little Gomeret, Marin the jealous,

     “bideth above a pool where was a spring, and maketh her enter into the water that flowed forth full cold, and gathereth saplings in the forest for rods and beginneth to smite and beat her across upon her back and her breast in such sort that the stream from the spring was all bloody therewithall.”

     The industry around Athelney is “gathering saplings,“ thousands of bundles can be seen in all stages of preparation, but chiefly standing “in the water that floweth forth full cold,” stained red by the soil of Red Hill. The outline of “her back” is almost a straight line from Pathe by Allerdrove through Aller to Wearne, where the old road outlines the rump to Wearne Wyche: this was also King Alfred’s “path” to Somerton.

     The ear of the Hound stands up on a hill like that of the Lion, Bull and Giant, no doubt in order to listen to the “chanting spheres of prophecy.” As the name of the hill is Grove Hill, the sacred grove may have been in the car hole at Grove Farm; just south the name Chantry is retained.

     North of Athelney, the district called Earlake Moor lies by the Hound’s ear; not far from its mouth is Head Drove, and again another Head Drove and Head Rhyne edge Little Hook on its collar (Challis Wall). Which names prove the recognition of this effigy up to comparatively recent times.

     The type of head is not unlike those of the great dogs which have pricked ears, and collars, that are carved on the ivory handle of the predynastic stone knife found in Egypt, now in the Louvre.

     Plate 14 shows how skilfully the Rhynes have been arranged to draw the construction of the Hound’s head but does not show the eye below the well-marked brow (its place is indicated on the accompanying illustration); the air view supplies this deficiency, for two large circles appear on the photo either side of the Rhyne that divides the second from the third field south west from the brow; they are not visible on the ground.

     On a hot 1st of May, golden glossy King Cups (marsh marigolds) bloom on this sleeping eye, which looked West, that is, straight down the nave of St. Michael’s Chapel, with its foundations in the form of a cross on the top of the prehistoric Mount; the High History says “she goeth to the cross” when speaking of the questing hound.

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087 Plate 14

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     Collinson’s History of Somerset remarks concerning this St. Michael’s Mount: “It had its name from a large borough or mount, very high and steep, which, though generally reckoned natural, seems to have been thrown up by hands for the purpose of a sepulchral tumulus. This opinion is corroborated by the many battles which are known to have been fought in these parts in very early times, the tradition of the inhabitants, and the instruments of war which have been found. in its vicinity unsimilar to those of modern ages. Add to this, the materials of which this borough is composed. are such as are not to be found within less than three miles of the place, viz.: at Red Hill, within the parish of Currey Rivel, being a stiff, very deep red clay. This mound stands on the East side of the river Parrett . . . At high water, when the tide is in, the river is sixty feet wide and eighteen deep, and coal barges of forty or fifty tons easily come up it.” That was written in 1791.

     The river Tone flows past the Isle of Athelney into the Parrett, under the Hound’s watering mouth; cakes used to be fed to The famous dog, hence possibly the story that ‘King Alfred burnt the cakes at Athelney,’ a persistent legend believed in here, that seems to have no point otherwise.

     As in The High History of the Holy Graal “the Lord of the hold” is called “of Little Gomeret,” it may be of interest to quote Godfrey Higgins; he says that it was the Gomerions “who brought the Tauric festival to Britain,” and that “Gomer was the son of one of the first men who escaped the flood;” also that “According to all ancient histories the Cimbri and Pieti were Gomerions.”

     Bearing on the same subject Colonel Waddell remarks in Phoenician Origin of Britons, page 195:

     “On the south is Somerset or ‘Seat of the Somers, Sumers or Cymyrs;’ and the western promontory at the Severn mouth is ‘Hercules Point,’ the ‘Herakles Akron’ of Ptolemy (or modem ‘Hart-land Point’), indicating the former presence of the Hercules-worshipping Phoenician navigating colonists there. The Upper Severn rises in Mount-Gomery, which name is now seen to mean ‘The Mount of the Cymry, Somers, or Gomers’—the latter being also the Hebrew form of the ethnic name ‘Sumer.’

     This information should give some idea of the age of the effigy Hound, who we have seen was the wife of Marin the jealous of Little Gomeret.

     It is so far outside the ring of Zodiacal effigies that no stars correspond with it.

“The Questing Beast”

      In Branch 17 of the High History we read, that “the questing beast” gives birth to twelve hounds that tear her with their teeth “but no power had they to devour her flesh,” which suggests that she was made before the twelve zodiacal effigies, if they were her pups.

     Also Malory in Le Morte D’Arthur says that after King Arthur’s dream when “Him thought there was come into this land griffins and serpents“ . . . “the king saw coming towards him the strangest beast that ever he saw or heard of; to the beast went to the well and drank, and the noise was in the beast’s belly like unto the questing of thirty couple hounds; and all the while the beast drank there was no noise in the beast’s belly.”

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     It will be seen on the map that the Hound’s mouth is called Moon’s Drove; the tides being governed by the moon, whilst she drank of them “there was no noise;” but at spring tide the difference between low and high water in the Parrett estuary is occasionally ‘fifty feet, ’then the roar of the tidal bore is loudest when it reaches her “belly,” and the noise of it is “like unto the questing of thirty couple hounds.”

     The thirty couple mentioned twice, perhaps refer this time to the thirty days and nights of the month, for all these beasts have some connection with the calendar.

THE EFFIGY HEAD OF CANIS MINOR

The High History of the Holy Graal. Branch 12. Title 4.

     When Perceval “came to seek the shield, the brachet, that had remained in the hall, played gladly with him and went away with him.”

     In representations relating to the worship of Mithra, besides the Signs of the Zodiac, a little dog is shown leaping up to lick the Bull’s wound; it figures largely in this “Romance” as Meliot of Logres, for we know now that all King Arthur’s knights have their stellar counterpart.

     The well-known star Procyon in Canis Minor, whet pricked through from the Planisphere on the circular map of the Temple of the Stars, falls by this Little Dog’s collar at Littleton, near the Lion’s paw. hence the association in the History of the child Meliot with the lion. The other star Gomeisa falls on its collar.

     Around the place where these stars fall extensive Roman remains were excavated about at hundred years ago by Samuel Hasell who lived there; possibly it was a Mithraic settlement.

     West Hill, close to the river Cary, forms the head of this little effigy. Canis Minor amongst the Euphrates constellations was a water dog, but the Arabs included it in their huge Lion sign.

     Branch 24. Titles 6 and 7, speak of its relation to the Griffon which is on the other side of the river thus:

     “the griffins love her as much as one beast may love another, and have much joy and such desire to play with the brachet that they will leave you alone.”

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     Probably the legend was known at Wells in 1174. A.D., for on the North Porch of the Cathedral, the Griffon, half bird, half lion, is carved in stone, opposite to a child leading a Lion.

     On the east side of West Hill, by the Little Dog’s eye, stood the fine Romano-British Villa of which a plan is given in the Victoria County History, showing three hypocausts, baths, and a Bacchus pavement among other mosaics; it seems to have been nearly 250 feet long from east to west.

     The baths were supplied by Bradley spring that never varies in the longest drought and still waters hundreds of acres beyond the villa by means of the ancient water ways. Perhaps it is to this spring the Giant Orion points with the finger that is now Redland Cottage garden.

     There is so much about Meliot of Logres, his Hall and his Lion, in the High History, that we can only quote the following, which is important as giving the clue to his canine parentage, i.e. the great Hound of the Parrett river just described:

Branch 5. Title 1.

     “And Messire Gawain looketh at the child that rode upon the lion right fainly. ‘Sir,’ saith the hermit, ‘None durst guard him or be master over him save this child only, and yet the lad is not more than six years of age.’

     ‘Sir, he is of right noble lineage, albeit he is the son of the most cruel man and most felon that is. Marin the Jealous is his father, that slew his wife on account of Messire Gewain.'”

     The History tells us that both Meliot and his mother were of Logres.

     West Hill is perhaps the moat comprehensive and accessible view-point here, for Bradley Hill to the south forms the Griffon Bird’s wing; to the west the singular outline of Lollover Hill silhouettes the hip and stomach of the Giant Orion, Dundon Hill close by showing the top of his great head. Further north Collard Hill forms the Bull’s neck, with the clear cut outline of its ear and horns pointing to the south east. just across the Compton to Littleton road due east, lies the Lion’s tongue, “red beard” and flat jaw-bone above, whilst his paw—Castley Hill—dominates Littleton.

     We now see why Meliot was of such importance that he was called “of Logres;’ in the midst of these hills and red cliffs he lies in the so-called “cave” of this Giant Fairyland, which is perhaps more beautiful wrapped in profound sleep, than when “The bull bellowed so passing loud that right unearth was it to hear ought else within the castle besides” and, “The Lion gave out a roar so loud that all the forest resounded thereof.”

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CHAPTER XI

ARGO NAVIS

THE SHIP OF THE SUN THAT SAILS IN THE WEST

The High History of the Holy Graal. Branch 35. Title 2.

     “So soon as the ship had. taken haven under the castle, the sea withdraweth itself back, so that the ship is left on dry land.”

Branch 12. Title 3.

     “The ship was arrived under the palace and was quite still. When the ship had taken ground, the King looketh thereat with much marvelling.”

     The Ship that had “taken haven” is three miles long; its main mast is over one mile, but the after mast, called Sale Piece, is less than a mile in length being raised on the poop, which resembles that of a fourth dynasty Egyptian boat (see page 393, Maspero’s Dawn of Civilization).

     On Street Moor lies the main sail “with the Red Cross thereon,” for Aldebaran of the Royal Star Cross falls just above in the Bull’s bell.

Branch 35. Title 27.

     “Perceval heard one day a bell sound loud and high without the manor toward the sea. He came to the windows of the hall and saw the ship come with the white sail and the Red Cross thereon, and within were the fairest folk that ever he might behold, and they were all robed in such manner as though they should sing mass. When the ship was anchored under the hall they went to pray in the most holy chapel.”

     The strange thing about the whole craft is that whereas all the giant creatures described in these notes are drawn with living curves, this inanimate object is depicted by perfectly straight lines suggestive of planks of wood in its construction; it lies on its side, whilst the hills forming Orion the Giant rise out of it, rather in the shape of an acorn from its cup.

     The bottom of the boat is outlined by Walton Drove (the keel by Pitney Stert Drove), the whole framework being delineated by water dykes called ‘rhynes.’

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‘The Phantom Ship’

For King Solomon’s Ship see Malory’s Morte D’Arthur. Book 17. Chap. 5, 6 & 7.

     The custom of parading the Sailor’s horse at Minehead—which place can be seen from the top of Dundon Beacon—lends colour to the legend of King Solomon’s Ship.

     Every year from the first to the third day of May, an imitation inverted boat is dressed up as a hobby horse whose stable is down in the old Quay: its houseling is painted with circular spots.

     It is said locally that the custom commemorates the advent of “a sort of Phantom Ship which entered the Harbour without captain or crew in remote times.”

     Most enlightening is the fact that it always used to have a real cow’s tail; (in remembrance of Taurus).

     The head is a mask of a horse wearing at conical hat, surmounted by a peacock feather; (the builder of the heavenly Argo Navis was represented by a peacock).

     Other Hobby horses had “snappers” covered. with hare’s skin and hare’s ears attached; (in the effigy ship the constellation Lepus is the Giant’s seat).

     One of the verses that is sung during the prancing of the horse is:

“Awake, St. George, our English knight Oh!

For summer is acorn and winter is ago,

And everyday God gives us His grace,

By day and night Oh!”

     The horse crouches down during the verse, and at the end springs up leaping into the air, like the sun at sunrise.

     In Salisbury Museum can be seen a Giant with his Hobby Horse; they used to be taken out every St. John’s day, the 24th June, which is the Giant Orion’s month. John the Baptist is especially connected with the Grail legends, and the High History says that it being St. John‘s day “the son of King Urien served that day at the Table before the King.” Orion was first spelt Urion according to the Classical Dictionary.

Branch 12. Title 3.

     “He looked at it until he espied what seemed him to be a ship wherein was the light, and he was minded not to move until such time as he should know whether a ship it were or something other. The longer he looketh at it, the better perceiveth he that it is a ship, and that it was coming with great rushing toward the castle as fast as it might. The King espieth it nigh at hand, but none seeth he within nor without save one old man, ancient and bald, of right passing seemliness that held the rudder of the ship.”

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093 Plate 15

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     The mast of Orion’s ship (this ship of the sun that sails into the West), is worthy of attention as it may have suggested the May Pole or Sun Pole, from which streamed down the rays that are represented by ribbons in the country dance; for it marked the May Equinox 2700 B.C., and in that case took the place of the pole star Tree of Life, which Pole was not decked with streamers, but had a circular Garland round the top, and others hung on pegs lower down.

     The stars of the sky river Eridanus fall on the vessel, and stars from Columba fall on the rudder by the Griffon bird’s claws.

     At the present day, the effigy Ship carries corn amongst other produce, but during the drought of 1934. the ship was on fire for more than a month, the soil being peat.

     T. W. Rolleston’s Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race gives some interesting illustrations of solar ship-carvings of the Megalithic People, notably one at New Grange, Ireland; and H. J. Massingham in his Downland Man, page 76, reproduces drawings of three boats, one from Lake Victoria, one from Egypt, and one from rock carvings in Sweden, all terminating in a ram’s head. The bow of the effigy boat here touches the effigy Aries, just below the Corn Mill.

     From time to time great balks of wood are brought to the surface on this effigy boat. Taunton Castle Museum has some preserved.

THE HAWK or “GRIFFON”

THAT STANDS THE RUDDER OF ORION’S SHIP

“Thou dost sink down and make an end of the hours.”

     Gemini is an air sign, and as Orion is here one of the Twins, the bird that faces him should be the other twin; Canis Major on the Egyptian Zodiac of the ‘Grand Portico’ in the Temple at Dendera is represented by a similar bird standing next to Orion’s boat, and as all the stars of Canis Major correspond with this effigy when pricked through from the planisphere, some kind of Egyptian influence is certainly indicated. But I do not think this effigy is contemporary with the others.

     The Egyptian ‘Bronze Falcon’s Head’ reproduced in colour on post cards at the BritishMuseum, strangely resembles this one in outline.

     The Dendera bird is crowned; it will he remembered that the crown of the High History was given by King Arthur to Sir Perceval, and also promised to him by the Master, and this hawk-headed creature may have been one of Perceval’s effigies.

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     The tail of the bird lies between the paws of the Lion, as if he were springing on to its back; it thus suggests the composite Griffon, half lion, half bird; it was in this effigy that the Castle of the Griffons lay that Sir Lancelot visited more than once in peril of his life. See Branch 24. Titles 6 and 7.

Branch 30. Title 7.

     “But, had he known where it was he had come, little sleep would he have had, for he was close to the cavern where he slew the lion and where the griffons were, that had come in from the forest all gorged of victual, and were fallen on sleep, and it was for them that the postern-gate had been left unbolted. A damsel went down from a chamber by a trap-door with a brachet on her arm for fear of the griffons, and as she went toward the postern-gate to lock it she espied Lancelot, that lay asleep in the midst of the orchard.”

     The brachet on her arm was Canis Minor close by, and the postern-gate Somerton Gate.

     On the poop of the Ship lies Liver Moor Drove, which explains why the Griffons were “gorged of victual:” perhaps one of them was the bird that Hercules shot for eating the liver of Prometheus, brother of Atlas. In any case it might be said with Homer—“The immortal liver grows and gives the immortal feast.”

     The important star Sirius, when transferred from the planisphere to the map, corresponds with two springs below Bradley Hill, lying on the edge of the Griffon bird’s left wing.

     The Cary river, after delineating the effigies of Virgo and Leo, outlines the back and front of this bird creature of the ship, supplying the water to that vessel also: the under part of the body and the back of the leg is drawn by Bancombe Road and Park Lane as far as the footpath from Park Farm to Stepping Stones. The footpath and the river then outline the bird’s claws.

     Somerton Door Bridge leads by Somerton Door Drove along the poop of the ship, to the knees of the Giant Orion.

     A Roman villa is marked on the six-inch O.S. sheet 63 S.W. at Lugshorn (Lug meaning God of Light), it stood in the head of the effigy, which is outlined by two artificial loops of the Cary river; this is interesting, as it was the Griffon Head that is so specially mentioned in the History. “The head of one of them shall he take and bring to me at Castle Perilous.” The beak, formed by South Moor, has an enclosure of banks on its tip by Hayes Lane Drove, at which the Giant Orion seems to gaze with his now sightless eye, or at his own solar plexus.

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     Dundon Drove leads from this small enclosure to Grove Steining Ford which is another ancient name meaning the stone ford of the Druid’s sacred Grove, for the star Sirius falls on Grove Lane.

     Somerton Gate is the name of the breach in the great artificial embankment partly outlining Red Lake. The two place-names Door and Gate imply an important approach to Lollover and Dundon Hills.

     The glassy eye of the Griffon, which is formed by a decoy pond, is worth noting: it can be seen in the orchard by Decoy Farm, enclosed by four dykes; perhaps it is meant for a double eye.

     So much labour has been expended in making it, and in digging all the other ancient waterways of the Sacred Area, that on the principle that one can only take out of a thing what has been put in to it, it is no wonder “they had such great abundance there within of everything they could desire, that nought in the world was there whereof they lacked.” For this they gave the credit to the Bull close by.

     The rudder of the ship, on which the great bird stands, is connected to the keel by Pitney Stert Bridge leading from Straight Drove to the well-known Pitney Roman Villa.

     This Villa, which was built round a court and measured 325 it. From cast to west, and 210ft. from north to south, was excavated by Mr. Hasell in 1828, and is described with other Roman remains by Sir R. C. Hoare in his privately printed Pitney Pavement; the book is in the Taunton Museum Library. ‘The Somerset Victoria County History gives a plan of the Villa, and illustration of its mosaic floor; but all is now buried under the green sod.

     The symbols held by the numerous figures in these elaborate pavements are unusual, and also the subjects. A single nude figure in the centre of one design, represents a youth about to kill a snake with a weapon he is holding over his head: perhaps he is meant for Orion who, according to Ovid, “died of the bite of a scorpion which the earth produced, to punish his vanity in boasting that there was not on earth any animal which he could not conquer.” Out of the tub that the youth holds, articles like coins are falling. Another figure in a pointed cap is said to be Mithra.

     There is a second Roman Villa marked on the map close to this one, and there are sites of two more on Starwell Tree Hill, besides the one near Sam’s Cross above Low Ham. In fact a dozen or more partly excavated Romanized dwellings, and “30 acres” of Roman remains are known to lie around this effigy.

     The Pitney Villa and one at Littleton were found to have been centrally heated; a mass of lead pipes from them and other remains, including ‘a basin of Parian marble,’ were for long preserved in Mr. Straddling’s Museum at Chilton Polden with an inscribed Roman stone from the Pitney Villa, described in the Country History, now in Bridgwater Museum; some of the other relics were sent to Taunton Museum, whilst gypsies destroyed what remained.

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Lug god of Light

     But why did a highly civilized people settle on this stretch of the Cary river two thousand years ago, and a Bronze Age race leave their flint implements on the sea sand bank near Grey Lake Fosse close by? (These worked flints are well illustrated in the April 1933 number of Man). It may be that they worshipped the god of Dundon, Lug god of Light, judging from the place-name Lugs-horn.

     Those interested in sun worship would do well to turn up Mithras in the Encyclopedia Britannica, for though in the time of the Roman Conquest of Britain that Persian religion of vast antiquity had been debased, it probably lingered here.

     Roman soldiers stationed at Caerleon were Mithra worshippers for a Mithra temple was found at Caerleon, just across the Severn Sea.

     One degree in the System of Mithra was the Gryphon, others were the Lion, the Ox, the Eagle, the Sun, etc.: and as this creature compounded of lion and bird was consecrated to the sun, and watched over mines of gold and hidden treasure (according to the Imperial Dictionary) it is worth rescuing from oblivion.

Branch 33. Title 6.

     “ ‘Meliot,’ saith Messire Gawain, ‘See you, there is Perceval the Good Knight, and now may we say of a truth that he is in sore peril of death; for that ship, save God bethink Him thereof, shall arrive in such manner and in such a place as that never more shall we have no witting of him.’ ”

Branch 35. Title 2.

     “None were therein save Perceval, his horse, and the pilot. They issued forth of the ship and went by the side of the sea toward the castle, and therein were the fairest halls and the fairest mansions that any might see ever.”

     By killing Chaos the Red and the Red Knight of the red shield, when still a. lad, Perceval won back this “castle” which had belonged to the Widow Lady his mother (the moon), it thus appears to have been Sir Perceval‘s effigy before he took possession of the Phoenix of the Isle of Avalon. (Wolfram von Echenbach confirms the conjecture.)

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     La Queste del Saint Graal graphically describes his experience on the “Island” rock in chapter 6, page 76 of W. W. Comfort’s translation, but says later “then Perceval leaned on the rail of the boat with the good man,” and, “the lion kept close beside him wagging his tail,” which would apply to this Griffon effigy next to the Lion.

     As the Dove near the Serpent is also associated with Perceval, we suppose that he stood for the element Air, and the Spirit of the Sun, and was thus the ‘Twin’ to Orion.

“Sometimes on lonely mountain-meres

I find a magic bark;

I leap on board: no helmsman steers;

I float till all is dark.

Oh, blessed vision! blood of God!

My spirit beats her mortal bars,

As down dark tides the glory slides,

And star-like mingles with the stars.”

Tennyson’s Sir Galahad.

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CHAPTER XII

ORION THE GIANT

“URU-ANNA, LIGHT OF  HEAVEN;” AND SUN GOD OF THE PHOENICIANS.

June

The High History of the Holy Graal. Branch 6. Title 4.

“ ‘Sir,’ saith Messire Gawain, ‘Wherefore make the folk of this castle such dole, and they of all this land and all this country? For I hear them weep and beat their palms together on every side.’ ‘Sir,’ saith he, ‘I will tell you. King Gurgalain had one only son of whom he hath been bereft by a Giant that hath done him many mischiefs and wasted much of his land.’ ”

Orion was once the most celebrated of all the Giants, and the stars of his constellation correspond with the body of his effigy, when transferred from the planisphere to the map of Dundon and Lollover Hills: he was probably the oldest and most important of all the Nature gods in this Temple of the Stars.

The Stars of Orion

Rigel on his right leg,

Betelgeuze on left shoulder,

Bellatrix on chest

His belt on stomach, ‘

Sword below belt, ‘

Saiph on left knee.

099 - Copy 2

The Stare of Orion

Orion takes the place of one of the Twins in Somerset; two of the stars of that constellation fall on his right hand, and he is the house of the Sun which was Twin to the Moon. In Egypt he figured both as Osiris and Horus, whilst in Persian representations of Gemini, Orion himself or his giant head is shown between the Twins.

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The effigy Orion looks as if he were supporting the Round Table of the Somerset Zodiac on his right arm like Atlas, who, Homer says, “keeps the tall pillars which hold heaven and earth asunder ;” these pillars were thought to rest in the western sea. Atlas was said to own the Garden of the Hesperides, and was turned into a rocky mountain.

The Giant’s uplifted arm, which is bent in the form of a Mason‘s square, is superbly outlined by the road from Compton to Redlands Farm, beneath which the hand lies, with the tip of the thumb touching Stepping Stones, and two fingers almost meeting it as if holding something.

The bend at the elbow is marked by the remains of an ancient cross at Castlebrook Hamlet, so called in reference to the prehistoric camp or castle on Dundon Hill, supplied by a spring, that has now been diverted.

Branch 16. Title 2.

“ ‘From what land hath come such manner of man?’ ‘Sir,’ say the knights, ‘He is come from the Giant’s castle, and he warreth upon you for the love of Logrin the Giant.’ ”

Looking up from the Cross, the camp, seen against the sky, draws the outline of the back of the Giant’s ear, for his head lies half buried in the ground, whilst this right ear listens to the music of the spheres.

Considering that his face—which looks down west—is three-quarters of a mile long from the point of the chin to the top of the head, it is a marvellous work of art: the jaw is finely drawn by the flagstones called Church Path; and though the lips and tip of the nose have been obliterated by the houses of Dundon village, the Tithe Barn is still in his mouth.

Branch 6. Title 5.

“the enclosure of the mountain went round about for a good three leagues Welsh, and therewithin was the Giant, so great and cruel and horrible that he feared no man in the world, and for a long time had he not been sought out by any knight, for none durst won in that quarter.”

Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary says that Orion laid himself down to sleep on the seashore; when he awoke he found his eye had been put out, but when he turned his face towards the rising sun he immediately recovered his eyesight. Other giants, including the first Horus, seem to have been afflicted in the same way. Nevertheless, though almost obscured, the eyeball can just be made out not far from Dundon Smithy, by the entrance to the newly-planted orchard, whence the modelling of the brow is apparent, with the magnificent forehead beyond.

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101 Plate 16

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As for the ear—formed by the camp-its enormous size is reminiscent of the ears of Eastern gods; a prehistoric stone embankment outlines its edge, whilst a tumulus on the tip is called Dundon Beacon. This tumulus was opened about a hundred years ago, but unfortunately no record kept, other than that it contained human remains; until recently the Beacon fire was regularly lighted there on great occasions.

The entrance to this ancient Sanctuary of the ear is opposite St. Andrew‘s Church, whence the path, having outlined the under part of the jaw, leads up a steep incline to the defined ear-hole. Many worked flints and bronze rings used to be picked up close by, but  has been found recently.

From this isolated hill, which is 300 ft. above King’s Sedge Moor, there is a fine view on clear days, and sometimes incredibly beautiful sunsets: it is a superb situation for an altar to the setting sun.

Vedic Hymn

“Sacred fire! Purifying fire! Thou who sleepest in wood and mountest in shining flames on the altar, thou art the heart of sacrifice, the fearless aspiration of prayer, the Divine spark concealed in all things, and the glorious Soul of the Sun.”

Branch 6. Title 5.

“He is come to level ground and looketh before him and seeth a hold that the Giant had on the top of a rock, and espieth the Giant and the lad where they were sitting on the level ground under a tree.”

The Giant “thinketh to carry him to his hold that was within the rock. And as he goeth thither he falleth, Messire Gawain and all, and he lieth undermost. Howbeit he thinketh

to rise, but cannot, for Messire Gawain sendeth him his sword right through his heart and beyond.”

Lollover Hill forms the Giant’s body, small in comparison with the head and consequently suggestive of a child or dwarf. He is seated in profile on what the Arabs called ‘the chair of the Giant’—i.e., the constellation Lepus-in the pose of a cross-legged Buddha.

On the Giant’s ribs is an interesting specimen of ‘cultivation lynch‘ modelling, indicating the costal cartilages of the lower ribs of the right side, they are visible in the air photograph. The nasty wound on the groin is as red and lacerated as ever!—it is shown in the illustration, which is inserted due east and west.

The rest of the anatomy is admirably delineated by Ham Lane, running west all round his back, and by Emblett Lane and Hayes Lane in front, whilst Hayes Farm stands on his right knee; it is astonishing that such fine drawing could have lasted so long.

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The highest part of the hill, between the aforesaid wound and the ribs, is 295 ft. above Orion’s Ship, already described.

At a remote date Lollover Hill was washed by sea waves that are now kept out of the Moors by walls and locks.

It is lamentable that the three Stones marked on the former O.S. Sheets 63 N.W. were removed and broken up by a stranger; the fragments are still in the barn close by the field, called Above Groats, in which they lay. The Stones apparently had no signs upon them, but the field, which is never ploughed, has shallow trenches that cross each other and are not necessary for drainage. The pond in the lower corner is full of water in the longest drought; a little flag-stoned bridge passed beside it, whence water could be drawn.

The star Bellatrix, when pricked through from the planisphere on to the map, falls where the three Stones lay on the Giant’s chest or heart, by Lockyer’s Farm.

It has been said that the Iberian type lingered at Dundon longer than anywhere else in the neighborhood, and until these historic hills changed hands, the ancient landmarks and traditions were sacred; a quotation from Jacob Bryant may be in place here, he says: “The Iberians of Baetica seem to have delighted in a kind of dirge, and funeral music. Hence they are said by Philostratus to have been the only people in the world, who celebrated the triumphs of death.”

The stars of “the scabbard” of Orion’s famous sword, when transferred from the planisphere to the map, lie below his stomach on Hayes Lane; but Red Lake earthwork is perhaps meant by “the sword came forth thereof all bloody” for it extends from his thumb downwards; it is over a mile long and more like a snake than the sword, which is described in the following:

Branch 6. Title 4.

“Then the King draweth it forth of the scabbard, and the sword came forth thereof all bloody, for it was the hour of noon. And he made hold it before Messire Gawain until the hour was past, and thereafter the sword becometh as clear as an emerald and as green.”

The Giant’s Head

Now let us consider the name of the Giant’s head—for heads play such an important part in the High History—it is called Dun Don or Fort of Don. Geoffrey Higgins says in The Anacalypsis, “We have before seen that when we pursued the word Don to the utmost point to which we could carry our researches, we found it to end in Wisdom.”

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Don, Euron, and Euronwy—Edward Davies tells us in Mythology and Rites of the British Druids—was a mystical personage; he says: “Amongst the ancient poems relating to this mystical personage I must distinguish one which is entitled Cadair Ceridwen:” “When the merit of the presidencies shall be adjudged mine will be found the superior amongst them—my chair, my cauldron, and my laws, and my pervading eloquence, meet for the presidency. I am accounted skilful in the Court of Don.”

Not only is the Giant’s head a fort of wisdom, but presumably a symbol of the setting sun towards which twelve of the effigies are represented as looking.

Branch 19. Titles 1 and 2.

“The messenger cometh back again. and saith thereof that two suns appear to be shining, the one in the East and the other in the West. He marvelleth much thereat, and prayeth Our Lord that he may he permitted to know wherefore two suns should appear in such wise.”

“Straightway behold you, a damsel that cometh” bearing Lohot’s head.

Branch 19. Title 6.

“ ‘These letters say that the knight whose head lieth in this vessel was named Lohot, and he was son of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. He had slain on a day that is past, Logrin the Giant, by his hardiment. Messire Kay the Seneschal was passing by there, and so found Lohot sleeping upon Logrin, . . . The King himself maketh dole thereof so sore that none may comfort him, for before these tidings he had thought that his son was still on live and that he was the Best Knight in the world, . . . never did no man see greater dole made in the King’s court than they of the Table Round made for the youth.’ “

Branch 15. Title 7, says, previous to the above:

“ ‘Meseemed that the corpse lay therewithin for whom the service was ordained.’ ‘You say truth,’ saith the hermit. ‘I have done it for Lohot, King Arthur’s son, that lieth buried under this pall.’ ”

Undoubtedly the secret of the original Grail lies in that statement “for whom the service was ordained,” hence the wailing of the women that haunts the High History, by which sign Perceval “bethought him what folk they might be.” (Branch 9. Title 11.)

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We have shown that King Arthur‘s effigy was the giant Hercules representing the sun in the east; the effigy of his son Lohot was the giant Orion representing the sun in the west, for Lohot’s head enters Arthur’s hall just as the “two suns” are seen shining, “the one in the East,” “the other in the West.” In the corners of the “Glaston clock” in Wells Cathedral, four giant heads represent the sun in the four Quarters.

Speaking of Lohot, the High History tells us that he was the giant:

“ ‘I marvel much, saith the King, ‘what hath become of him for no tidings have I heard of him beyond these, that Kay the Seneschal slew Logrin the giant.’ ” (Branch 12. Title 1.)

Giants, “Born of Heaven and Earth”

As for the origin of the giant effigies, The History of the Kings of Britain, by Geoffrey of Monmouth, on page 14 of the Everymans edition, says:

“Brute, past the realms of Gaul, beneath the sunset

Lieth an Island, girt about by ocean,

Guarded by ocean, erst the haunt of giants,

Desert of late, and meet for this thy people,

Seek it! for there is thine abode for ever.”

And again on page 20:

“At that time the name of the island was Albion, and of none was it inhabited save only of a few giants.”

From the above statements it is clear that the Giants-i.e. Nature gods “born of Heaven and Earth” (for no giant skeletons have been found)—did exist in Albion long before Brutus the Trojan came to Britain about I103 B.C., to the land that had been ’erst the haunt of giants.’

So the “question” is now, not, “unto whom one serveth of the Grail ?”—for it was served originally to the supreme God of the Starry Universe, the Bardic sign for whom was OIV—but, who were those who served it first? Who made the Giants? Whose was the consummate genius that could see in these rivers and hills a complex circular design, and having envisaged it as a Zodiac, command such skilled labour to carry it out that the stars of the Ecliptic Circle, as well as those of Orion and Hercules fit the composition to a nicety? and if regularly interlaced equilateral triangles-representing earth, fire, water and air—are laid on the centre of the circle of Giants, their twelve apexes point to their respective effigies.

The drawing of the effigies is free, powerful, realistic, not in any way conventionalized; the effigies definitely indicate a Sanctuary made by star-gazers, who were practical enough to apply their scientific religion to fructifying Mother Earth  by natural methods of irrigation; when the knights were unable to ask that vital question, the temple waterways became neglected and drought ensued, as the History states.

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Such a Caer Sidi of living science and art could only have emanated from a highly imaginative people of profound experience and vitality; whose God was ‘immanent’ not only in their daily Mass of food and drink, and in the very ground upon which they trod, but permanently pervading the Universe around them.

Rhys Brydydd sang:

“The smallest of the small is Hu the Mighty, in the world’s judgment; yet he is the greatest, and Lord over us, we sincerely believe, and our God of mystery. Light is his course, and swift, a particle of lucid sunshine is his car. He is great on land and seas-—the greatest whom I shall behold –greater than the worlds! Let us beware of offering mean indignity to HIM, the Great and the Bountiful!”

Mythology and Rites of the British Druids, page 110.

That is the Bardic conception of their god Hu, the worship of whom was carried from the “Summer Country” to the “Isle of Britain” in “the age of ages,” according to the Sixth Triad.

“Let the rock beyond the billow be set in order at the dawn, displaying the countenance of him who receives the exile into his sanctuary—the rock of the supreme proprietor, the chief place of tranquility.” In the name of this rock the mystic priest proclaims: “ am the cell, I am the opening chasm, I am the place of re-animation!”

Mythology and Rites of the British Druids, page 163.

As we close, 2. gigantic double rainbow spans the entrance to the Temple of the Stars, forming a gateway of glowing colours reflected from the Setting Sun.

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Cover of K A R T of the Z

Map 5

Introduction

*

THE SOMERSET GIANTS

By LT.-COL. HARWOOD STEELE, M.C.

     I have recently examined from the air what I believe to be one of the most remarkable, and least known, discoveries of our time—the so-called Somerset Giants in what is known as The Temple of the Stars. The Giants consist of the Signs of the Zodiac, in outline and partly in relief, laid out in a circle ten miles in diameter near Glastonbury, in the country associated with King Arthur, the centre of the circle being at Butleigh. They somewhat resemble other ancient giants—Uffington’s White Horse, Wisconsin’s effigy mounds and Ohio’s Great Serpent.

     With minor variations, all the familiar Signs are accounted for, and ten are actually outlined in the familiar sequence. If a modern planisphere of the correct scale be placed back-to-back (1) with a map of the Giants and the stars of the Signs be pricked through, these stars, in almost every instance, fall into the corresponding figures on the map. The exceptions fall in their vicinity. Also present are the Ship, Whale, Dove, Little Dog, and other symbols. The Great Dog stands near by, but does not synchronize with the appropriate stars. The Giants are formed by natural and artificial waterways, ancient tracks and hills which, with occasional old earthworks, model some of the figures in partial relief.

     It is not necessary to fly over the Giants to distinguish them. Mrs. K. E. Maltwood, F.R.S.A., an Englishwoman now living in Canada, discovered them before the war by studying Ordnance maps and observing from high points while trying to identify on the ground scenes and episodes of the Arthurian cycle. Laymen with the map alone can trace them too. At least, like children with a picture puzzle, they can revel in separating most of the figures from the maze of irrelevant roads, streams and other features wherein (presumably by the accident of haphazard construction by men not in the secret and the design of men who were) they lie coyly and charmingly concealed yet in plain view. Air observation and air photographs like those of the discoverer, amplify the map, revealing several Giants with such dramatic clarity that, when I showed them to aviators, they expressed the greatest surprise.

     (1) The reason why the pattern is opposite hand to that on a planisphere is because a planisphere is intended to be held between the observer and the stars. Thus the stars were made to “fall” straight down upon the ground.

     The theory of the origin, age and significance of the Giants in this the priests of ancient times were the custodians -of scientific knowledge—including astronomy—shrouded in symbolism the meaning of which they revealed only to their initiates. The knowledge symbolized in the Zodiac was brought to Britain by Sumer-Chaldean priests who, to preserve it for ever in a manner readily visible to initiates but not to others, laid out the Zodiac as a great Nature Temple of the Stars. The Zodiacal myths are an allegory of the Sun’s annual wanderings among the Signs. In these myths, the (Sun) God escapes death in a sacred ship. The ancient British priesthood, incorporating the Sumer-Chaldeans, called this ship—and, eventually, the associated Zodiac—the Caer Sidi. Still later, the whole cult, with the priesthood’s confined circle of arts and sciences, became the Cup of Wisdom, the transposition from ship or vessel to cup being simple.

     The central God subsequently became Arthur, perpetuating the real or imaginary chief who defended the Britons from the heathen and who, like the sun after his epic annual decline, would come again. When Joseph of Arimathea (2) brought Christianity and the Holy Grail to Britain, the Grail inevitably absorbed the Cup of Wisdom—hence its association with Glastonbury. Similarly, the astronomical myths became the adventures of a great Christian King Arthur and his knights (the sun and constellations), the round Zodiac merged into the Round Table and the country of the Giants: into the Kingdom of Logres, Arthur’s Kingdom; while the Quest of the initiates for the Cup of Wisdom (i.e. knowledge) became the Quest of the Holy Grail.

     Nearly five thousand years, by the discoverer’s estimate, have passed since the Giants were outlined. The component parts of the puzzle were preserved. Yet its existence was forgotten until Mrs. Maltwood realized that the Arthurian adventures could be connected with the ground of the Kingdom and therefore that, being part of the transformed Zodiacal myths, they must connect with the Zodiac on that ground. Her discovery is supported, directly or indirectly, in many quarters.

     (2) Joseph of Arimathea. “The Councils of Pisa, Constance, Siena and Basle all ruled that the English Church took precedence of all others, as being founded by Joseph of Arimathea.

     “This was corroborated by such authorities as Clemens Romans, Polydore,

Irenaeus, Archbishop Usher, Stillingfieet, Fuller and Genebrand.”—B. M. Moffat.

     Hogben, in his Science for the Citizen for example, sets out most clearly the association of ancient priesthoods with science wrapped in symbolism.

     That the Sumer-Chaldeans made the Giants is indirectly supported by Dr. Waddell, whose British Edda proves their kinship with the original British, and by Lenorinant, Jensen and Epping. The mysterious Biblical declaration: “There were giants in the earth in those days,” and the belief that the Sumer-Chaldeans constructed giant effigies may also bear on the matter.

     The Temple was probably laid out 5,000 years ago, because at that time the Sumer-Chaldeans were astronomically active, the sun at the Spring equinox stood in the Sign of the Bull—to the effigy of which the Archer (Sun God), here combined with Hercules, and other Somerset symbols point.

     Malory places the Kingdom of Logres in Somerset. Edward Davies established the links between the Zodiacal myths, the ancient British priesthood and the Arthurian cycle.

     Morte D’Arthur states that “there was a day assigned betwixt King Arthur and Sir Mordred that they should meet upon a down beside Salisbury and not far from the seaside,” where they fought “the last Great Battle of the West”—Arthur, wounded but escaping death, then retiring to near-by Avalon. The Persians called November Mordad, meaning the Angel of Death. The Scorpion marks November, when the approaching Winter solstice threatens the sun with extinction; Archer and Scorpion stand side-by-side in the heavens and the Somerset Giants representing them meet near Salisbury; while over the Somerset Archer flies the Dove, a reminded that, according to Druidism, the Sun God’s spirit escaped as a bird from his‘ head, vanquishing death!

     Time and Nature may have caused irregularities in certain Somerset Giants, or they may be unfinished, others, wonderfully clear and symmetrical, support the discoverer’s case—notably the Twin, Bull, Ram, Fishes, Archer, Dove and Great Dog.

     Coincidence? By the law of chance the twelve truly Zodiacal figures, outlining ten Signs, in the Somerset design could take their proper sequence in the circle by accident only through one chance in 479 million. The possibility that accident formed the figures seems, on similar grounds, remote.

     Whatever its origin, age and significance, the preservation of this wonderful curiosity should no longer be left to chance. Now that the war is over the opportunity should be taken to submit Mrs. Maltwood’s claims to expert examination. If they are substantiated, as I believe they would be, these links with the distant past should be safeguarded for all time.

                    —“COUNTRY LIFE,” London, England.

                                        Jan. 11th, 1946.

KING ARTHUR’S ROUND

TABLE OF THE ZODIAC

HITHERTO we have traced the wanderings of the knights of King Arthur’s Round Table, during their Quest of the Holy Grail, in “the forbidden land of Logres”; but to understand fully the import of their wanderings we must realize that the Tree growing in this Paradise Garden bore stars for fruit, often called stones or jewels. The High History of the Holy Grail is written in the form of a tree with 35 “branches.”

     It will be remembered that in the Apocalypse the tree of life is represented as growing in the street, and as bearing twelve fruits, one of which it yielded every month! An allusion is here made to the Solar path, where are found the 12 signs of the zodiac. Again in the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh, when he went in search of the Western Paradise he beheld the tree laden with precious stones. Also Hercules saw apples of gold in—

               “Those Hesperian gardens found of old,

               Fortunate fields, and groves and flowery vales.”

     So, now let us transfer the map of the earthwork effigies that represent the constellations, and constitute the Path of the Sun in Somerset, to the zodiac on a stellar globe. At once we see that, though covering, in respect to each constellation, a larger area of the sky than do the modern figures, still in position and sequence they correspond. An important point to be remembered is that the constellation creatures on a stellar globe face in the opposite direction from those on star maps. The Somerset creatures follow the direction of those on star globe, and it was thus that “the stars fell from heaven,” as the great astronomer of 5000 years ago designed that they should.

     This gives the first interesting insight into how it was done; we are amazed at the skill of those learned men who lived so long ago, not only in thus transferring the figures on to the earth with all that it involved of geometrical measurement, but in designing the creatures to utilize the most conspicuous single stars at salient points and groups of stars to fit certain shapes, as will be pointed out later.

     It is now obvious that “the lost book of the Grail,” from which the mediaeval romancers took their highly coloured and amusing adventures, was none other than this chart of the heavens, hence the ever recurring Lion, Giants, Bull, King Fisherman with his great fish, and innumerable other symbols and secrets connected with the Path of the Sun the world over.

     Owing to the last two great wars, the discovery of this original zodiac has not received the attention and publicity that it deserves, but that is all to the good: to show how slow the going, of necessity must be, in undertaking an archaeological survey of such magnitude and antiquity, we will take an instance, amongst many others, in the constellation of the Bull.

TAURUS

     The Pleiades fall on the neck of the Bull at Collard Hill—is that the reason why those born under this sign are stiff-necked according to astrology? The “V” shaped Hyades fit the angler formed by the foreleg flexed on the shoulder, the ruddy Royal Star Aldebaran falling on the foreleg by Redlands. The star Nath, with its interesting Nova close by, forms the nostril, a third magnitude star glows in the eye, whilst the enormous earthwork horn of the effigy Bull points to Menkalinan on its tip, yellow in colour.

     Now comes the puzzle—why does not that gigantic horn point to Capella called on the old tablet in Akkadian “the Star of Stars”? It lies nearer the Pole than any other first magnitude star and in consequence is visible at some time every clear night throughout the year. It is said to be “Icu of Babylon,” Marduk’s star. Whereas the star Menkalinan is of the second magnitude.

     At last, after twenty-five years of studying the whole question of King Arthur’s Round Table of the Stars, I have found the outline of a left horn buried in the earth of Butleigh Wood, pointing to a star-shaped space to which six ancient paths converge on its five points. The buried horn is the same length and width as the artificial horn alongside. Now exactly on this five—pointed space at the tip of the left horn, falls Capella!

     Undoubtedly there was once a “chapel” on this spot, for the constellation Taurus marked the Vernal Equinox when the effigy creatures of the zodiac were laid out, consequently this yearly occurrence was the reason for great festivals. The air view shows nothing but the trees which hide the horn, but for the benefit of those who are fortunate enough to be able to visit Somerset let me quote, before pursuing our way clockwise in the direction of Glastonbury, from my Guide Glastonbury’s Temple of the Stars, published by J. M. Watkins, London, in 1935.

     “Continuing along the hill towards Wickham’s Cross, one of the horns can be seen on the right; the tip of the earthwork that outlines it, points to the gateway on the left of the road through which the Processional Way supposedly passed from Butt Moor Bridge on the Brue, to Compton Dundon. Not far from this bridge a very narrow road leads to a majestic avenue of cedar trees which enters Butleigh Wood; the path through the wood climbs the hill to the gate by the tip of the horn of Taurus Where it suddenly emerges on to the top of a natural amphitheatre looking down upon the Giant Orion.” The six inches to the mile map of Butleigh Wood (note this name, which has lost the “t” of Butt Moor) not only shows this footpath from the Cedar Avenue, but the star-shaped meeting place of the paths and the outline of the left horn that butts on to it, almost parellel with Reynald’s Way.

     Capella falls on this “Processional Way” and though I noticed the star-shaped clearing in the wood years ago and wondered what it could imply, I then had no idea I was standing on “the star of stars.”

     The central figure which forms the background of Mithraism is always the god bestriding the bull and in the act of slaying it. This ancient Iranian god of light was identified with Shamash, the Babylonian sun-god, and Mithraism adopted and assimilated many of the beliefs, legends and traditions which had held sway on the plains of Babylonia. As god of light, ruler of the upper air, Mithra was mediator or intermediary, between the gods who inhabited the upper world and the lower world. He was a child of Chronos or Time. From the dying bull issued the seed of life to the world, and thus the act of Mithra became the sign or symbol of regeneration from death to life. (see “Select passages illustrating Mithraism” by Geden).

ARIES

     “The subject of this story is in the dominions of the Emperor Arthur, without any one lighting upon it.”

“Ah, Man,” said Owen, “would it not be well to go and try to light on that place?”

                                                                                          —Quoted from The Mabinogion.

     During at least 2000 years, mine is the first approach to “that place” by the light of the stars, that has been made, and many will be afraid of the night sky, but for those who can keep their feet firmly planted on the ground there is a great reward, none other than the discovery of heaven on earth. So to continue our journey—

     The effigy Ram of Somerset lies upon the Polden Hills, and the earthworks that surround it, still to be seen by the old windmill tower, gave the name to the village Walton, where the 15th century parsonage, standing next to the church, marks the place of the famous star Mira.

     This “Wonderful Star” varies in brightness from a ninth magnitude star to a third magnitude star. Though it belongs to the present Whale constellation it falls upon this lamb Ram’s back; no Wonder he has turned his head to watch its vagaries for to astronomers it is one of the most remarkable stars in the heavens. The farm opposite to the Parsonage is called Crutches Farm; perhaps Mira was thought to work miracles!

     Menkar and other stars from Cetus fall upon the Ram’s effigy body, but his own tiny constellation of Aries suggests the turn of the head, for the stars Hamal, Sheratan, Mesarthim and others, form the curve of the neck which has been so faithfully perpetuated in the Agnus Dei.

     An ancient British highway, called by the Romans, Street, runs all along the Ram’s back, on which, between Walton Church and Piper’s Inn, is Riggiston Farm; Dr. L. A. Waddell told me the name was derived from Rigg, British Gothick name for Reg, king. (See page 226 of his Phoenician Origin of Britons, Scots and Anglo Saxons). Perhaps it was on this King Stone, Aries being a fire sign, that “the provosts and lords of the city” wanted to crown Lancelot “in the midst of the fire” as The High History of the Holy Grail tells us. Branch 10. Title 4. But Lancelot protested saying, “Lords, of such a kingdom have I no need, and God defend me from it.”

PISCES

     The ancient Eagle saith—“I went once on a journey to seek my food and I struck my claws into a salmon, thinking there would be food for me for a long time from him . . . He came himself to me, to take fifty harpoons out of his back. Unless he knows something of that which you seek, I know nobody who can know of it.” — From The Mabinogion.

     The triskelion, formed of three whirling fish (like the Manx three-legged sign), is a well known sun symbol and may have originated on this “Path of the Sun,” where the two Fish and the Whale’s tail are in such close proximity that they are literally tied together by the three bridges of Arthurian and other legends which span the river Brue. The bridge that in 1415 was called Pons Periculosus is still known as Pomparles, though its fishy character has been forgotten. In The High History of the Holy Grail the famous bridges are described as “lifting themselves by engine behind him” which was the romancer’s humorous way of visualizing the flapping of the slippery tails, and the amazement and peril of the knights when crossing them!

     It is from this Pomparles that the sun god King Arthur is said to have cast away his sword, when Christianity took the place of sun worship, which then vanished in this Vale of Avalon.

     The Hung Society by J. S. M. Ward, Vol. III, pages 51 to 58 sums up the different descriptions of the bridges of ‘the Underworld and Paradise that are to be found still surviving the world over. He also describes other hereditary emblems from the Earthly Paradise such as the Boat of the Soul, the Sword, Mountains of Sunrise and Sunset, Circle of Heaven and Earth, Tree of Knowledge and Life, and many others. He says “We have already seen that despite the Reformation, old traditions died hard in England, and that the one concerning the “Underworld” survived well into the 19th century if, indeed, it is not still in existence.”

     The Whale in Somerset, instead of lying outside the circle of the zodiac, as on modern star charts, stretches from the Fishes towards the pole of the ecliptic, in order, as the legend goes, to- swallow the sun god; the Poets mention a tradition that Hercules was preserved in the body of a Cetus. (Lycophron V, 33, and Scholia).

     The more modern legend that the sea monster was sent by Neptune to punish Cassiopeia by chaining her daughter Andromeda as a prey to Cetus, confirms this monster’s rightful place in the sky, for the stars forming Andromeda’s arms on modern star maps, stretch along his back from his tail to his dorsal fin; the most conspicuous star that falls on the effigy being alpha Andromeda.

     The stars of Cephus fall in the head of the Somerset Cetus. It is quite apparent, therefore, that these three people that we now see seated in the sky, usurped the stars of the sea monster, of which beast The High History of the Holy Grails says, calling him “Gohas of the Castle of the Whale,” this great land is his own that is so plenteous, in all these islands of the sea is there none that hath any puissance but he only, and so assured is he that no dread hath he of any. For none that is in this land durst offend against him.”

     The Somerset Fishes, when transferred to a stellar globe are found to lie along the two ribbons of stars that bind them together and to the Whale; so here we have the explanation of that seemingly ridiculous custom of binding these three creatures together in the sky with a cord, but which apparently had its origin 5000 years ago.

     Mackenzie says in The Migration of Symbols—The hazel “tree of life” grew in the Celtic Paradise of Avalon, and gods and men partook of its life-giving nuts. Nine sacred hazel trees grew beside a sacred pool and the salmon swallowed the red nuts and thus got their red spots. He who tasted of the juice of the “King of Salmon” as did Fionn (Fingal) acquired prophetic power. (The hazel provided fire-sticks for the production of sacred fire—“fire from heaven.”)

     Glastonbury’s Wearyall Hill being the Fish effigy of the earth zodiac and the “King of Salmon,” the old Celtic parable becomes a tangible reality and needs no further comment. The eagle of the Mabinogion intended to “taste of his juice” when she struck her claws into him and thus acquire the prophetic power of astrology.

AQUARIUS

     “Nevertheless, I myself will be a guide to Arthur’s messengers until you come to a place where there is the oldest animal which is in this world, the Eagle.” The Eagle said, “I came here a long, long time ago; and when first I came here there was a stone here, and from the top of it I pecked the stars every evening.”

     These quotations from the Mabinogion are taken from Ellis and Lloyd’s translation of Kulhwch and Olwen, in the introduction to which they say—“Kulhwch and Olwen is the earliest written record of the Arthurian cycle . . . it displays no foreign influence whatever. It is purely Welsh (of about the 10th century) the origin of the quest of Arthur’s knights.”

     That being so, the above agrees with what we find at Glastonbury, for the Tor and lower slopes, form the Eagle effigy. We notice that the Eagle pecks the stars, being the fruit of the Tree of Life; the mention again of the “place,” is proof that we are on the right road.

     The Eagle or Phoenix is one of the symbols that indicate sun worship and it is here represented drinking from the Blood well, at the foot of the pilgrim way up Glaston Tor, the Druid Well being the Urn of the Water Carrier.

     The early astronomers could not have chosen a more fitting cluster of stars than that which was made to enclose the head of this effigy.  It is “the Circlet” of the so called Western Fish, now belonging to the constellation Pisces; a lozenge shaped group of eight 4th and 5th magnitude stars, which take the exact shape of the top of Glastonbury Tor. These were no doubt the stars the Eagle pecked.

     The simplest way to locate them is to find the place where the ecliptic circle now crosses that of the equator at the Vernal equinox, which is shown on every planisphere. Owing to the precession of the equinoxes, this Watercarrier (Aquarius) instead of marking the winter solstice as once it did, is beginning to mark the spring equinox of the present day, and the point falls near the Western Fish.

     One wing of the effigy Eagle holds Scat and other Urn stars, at the same time pointing to the Royal Star Formalhaut, which is reddish in colour. It marked the winter solstice 5000 years ago when the zodiac was probably about to be laid out amongst the little hills of Somerset. The other wing points to Deneb Katos which falls on its tip.

     The effigy Phoenix has been true to symbology, for again and again in its long history, the Isle of Avalon has been immolated on the sacrificial pyre, only to rise again in spirit from the ashes. We have seen it burning more than once in The High History of the Holy Grail.

     So far I have shown how the stars of Taurus, Aries, Pisces and Aquarius fall upon their earthly counterparts in Somerset; since I have written so much about Glastonbury in “A Guide to Glastonbury’s Temple of the Stars,” let us pass on to the Goat whose effigy lies next below the Tor.

CAPRICORNUS

     Possibly there is some human mystery or tragic history behind the original choice of this Sign. For instance, in the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh—which existed both in Sumerian and Babylonian as early as B.C. 2000—Enkidu, the great friend of Gilgamesh, behaved in a goatish manner which was described centuries later, in the portrayal of Olwen in the Welsh Mabinogion. After the maiden had said to Olwen “a curse be on your beard,” he continued wandering “until his clothes were all worn out, and until his body was well-nigh wasted away, and until long hair grew all over him. And he wandered about with wild beasts, and grazed with them, until they were accustomed to him” . . . And the maiden put all the ointment upon him “whereupon the hair fell off Olwen in scaly tufts.” Then he—like Enkidu 3000 years before—became human. Legends of fauns, satyrs and the great god Pan may have sprung originally from the same source.

     But looking to the stars for an interpretation of these ancient stories, they may imply that when Gilgamesh (the Archer) and Enkidu (the Goat) killed the bull (Taurus), which in consequence set below the horizon, their own stars were in the ascendant; and the winning back of Olwen from the wild beasts by the maiden, as in the Babylonian epic, might mean the return of the constellation of Capricornus after its wandering below the horizon.

     Whatever trouble his goaty legs may have given on earth, in heaven the Sign of Capricornus has been endowed with a fish tail, as on modern pictures of the stars, but not so in Somerset. There, although immersed in the mud of Red and Whitelake rivers and Two Lake Meeting, and thus difficult to trace, the flexed hind leg and characteristic hoof are still well drawn by the outline of the rivers, thus proving its resemblance to a real goat and not a goat fish.

     It is an interesting point to be remembered, that all the effigies on this Round Table are realistic creatures, none are hybrids. For instance, the Archer is not a centaur, he is a man with legs and his horse has a head, sure proof that this is no stylized counterfeit, but the genuine design for the zodiac.

     The stars of Capricornus fall like an apron across the hind quarters of the effigy; some Aquarius stars, Sadal Melik and Sadal Sund, traverse his fore quarters, and his enormous artificial horn, named Ponter’s Ball, points to the Northern Cross when the map of the effigies is transferred to the star globe. Here the place name Ponter surely stands for pointer. Hercules, parallel to the Northern Cross, is portrayed in the form of a cross, his outstretched arms lie on a line with the equinoxes of 5000 B.C. which in the Spring was marked by the Royal Star Aldebaran and in Autumn by the Royal Star Antares.

     Thus, in every Sign we see some purposeful meaning in the pose of each effigy, whereas on modern maps of the stars, the figures attitudinize with no cohesion, rhythm or reason, as in the case of Hercules sitting upside down in the sky.

SAGITTARIUS

     This Archer, according to Mythology, was Chiron, whom Hercules killed; which suggests the reason why Hercules is riding the Sagittarius horse on the Somerset Path of the Sun; for practically all the stars of Hercules fall on him, and the stars of Sagittarius fall on the body of the horse.

     One can hardly imagine a finer design than the tremendous sweep from the flourishing tail (covering stars of Scorpio’s tail) through the great body of the horse, up over the back of Hercules, to his arm and hand near the north pole round which the Draco stars coil, as he points to the centre of the effigy circle.

     To trace this superb composition in the night sky is the only way to realize that the astronomers, artists and geometricians who designed the zodiac, were supermen.

     Besides utilizing the stars of these constellations already mentioned, Lyra was made exactly to fit the horse’s head, with the sapphire coloured, first magnitude star Vega in the eye. Aquilla outlines its shoulder, with Altair as the golden chest ornament. Sagitta fits the thigh and Delphinus the knee of the Giant rider of the horse.

     The Archer is sometimes called the Bull killer; certainly from the position of the hand of this Hercules, the arrow would hit the Bull’s eye, with the further meaning that when his stars rise in the east they drive the stars of Taurus below the horizon.

     It is generally admitted that, according to W. T. Olcott—“there is a great deal of mystery concerning the origin of the Hercules constellation. It is one of the most ancient of the star groups and was worshipped by the early Phoenicians as representing their god Melcarth.” The “mystery” has now been solved. In England, he was not only a sun god but a culture hero, for this recumbent figure, traced over the ground between Glastonbury and the river Brue, with ‘Balls-borough’ on his shoulder, is none other than King Arthur who vanished in the Vale of Avalon, there “where lies King Arthur.”

     Sir Thomas Malory’s Book, “Le Morte D’Arthur,” tells us—“Comfort thyself, saith the king, and do as well as thou mayst, for in me is no trust for to trust in; for I will into the vale of Avilion to heal me of my grevious wound; and if thou hear never more of me, pray for my soul.”

     If the outline of his effigy is transferred to a star globe, we see at once that his crown is just falling from his head as he slips off his horse’s neck at the end of the year’s course. This Northern Crown glows brighter than the constellation that covers the body of Hercules, for of the eight stars that make up the diadem, seven are fourth magnitude, whilst “Gemma” the “Pearl of the Crown” is of the second magnitude. In February, 1946, a star known as “T” in this constellation suddenly became 1000 times brighter than usual. The same star became rapidly brighter before in 1866 making it one of the rare class known as recurrent novae. There are only three or four recurrent novae known. No other king had such a crown; and this is what The High History of the Holy Grail says about the Crown, Branch XIV. Title 2.

     “Saith Lancelot ‘What “castle is this?’ ‘Sir, it is the Castle of the Golden Circlet. And I go to meet the knights and dames that come to the castle for this day is the day ordained for the adoration of the Golden Circlet.’ ‘What is the Golden Circlet?’ saith Lancelot. ‘Sir, it is the crown of Thorns,’ saith the knight, ‘that the Saviour of the world had on His head when He was set upon the Rood.’ ”

     It must be remembered that the High History is a Christian rendering of the pagan myths of the zodiac. The effigy of King Arthur lies in the form of a cross or “rood”; the cross was once looked upon as the Tree of Life, with its roots below the earth and its branches amongst the stars.

SCORPIO

     A Scorpion is surely the last thing a native of the British Isles would have chosen to lay out in Somerset, and the presence of such an effigy strongly indicates Babylonian influence, for the scorpion is to be seen with other zodiacal figures, on the remarkably fine stele of Nebuchadnezzar I, king of Babylon, B.C. 1140, now in the British Museum. The constellation figures were known in the Euphrates Valley at a very remote period, as Robert Brown, ]un., points out in his “Primitive Constellations,”—“Our Planisphere takes us back by implication to a period prior to B.C. 2540, when the sun was in Taurus at the vernal equinox.” In agreement with this, Prof. Sayce observes—“In Accadian times the commencement of the year was determined by the position of the star Capella in relation to the new moon at the vernal equinox.” About that time the autumnal equinox was in Scorpio.

     Apparently the water courses in the Vale of Avalon lent themselves to outlining each joint of this creature’s tail, which lies between the Fossway and Par Brook. The Brook springs from the sting of the Scorpion which obviously has wounded the Archer’s horse causing its fall, but the Brook also flows across the small of the back of Hercules. The other streams utilized in the tail are controlled by several weirs and dams.

     A road with ditches on either side, outlines the Scorpion’s great claw and body all the way from West Lydford, via Eastfield Lane, down its side to the Fossway, then crossing over to continue down the east side of the tail towards West Bradley. This pronounced drawing, easily traceable on the map or on the air views (for there are very few trees to hide the outline) is difficult to follow without their guidance; yet the remarkable fact is that when transferred to the star globe, this slim creature’s effigy body exactly fits the most important stars of the constellation Scorpio; the Royal Star Antares falling upon the place name Stone on the Fossway. Probably here stood the foundation Stone of the whole layout of this Path of the Sun, slightly north of east, for Antares, which is red in colour, is a super star, a giant amongst giants, well known to the early astronomers. Stone is in White Stone Hundred.

     The long line of stars led by the second magnitude star Dechubba, fits the edge of the central portion of the effigy Scorpion like a glove; but the upper part contains the stars of Lupus, and the right claw holds the chief stars of Libra, proving that the Claw was indeed “the Scales” of today.

     The left effigy claw lies alongside the body of the Scorpion, thus fitting into the circular design of the zodiac on the ground. The clue to that fact I found, as usual, in the High History of the Holy Grail, which states :—“The maiden of the car held her arm in a sling” or at her side. Now, “the three maidens of the car” represent the three rivers of this Earthly Paradise, i.e., the rivers Brue, Cary and Red-and-WhiteLake; it is the Brue that outlines the right claw of the Scorpion, but the “arm in a sling” or left claw, is outlined only by a tributary of that river.

     A curious but important confirmation of the local knowledge that there was an effigy scorpion here, is to be found in the church situated on the creature’s head, for an early bench-end in Alford church has an ancient carving of a scorpion with its tail raised to sting the human head that represents the sun.

THE AIR SIGN LIBRA

     The “Claw” of the effigy Scorpio so definitely points to the outline of a dove at Barton St. David, that this symbolic bird may well represent the assumption into heaven of the spirit of the sun god, the apotheosis of Hercules (here the Archer) after he and his horse had been stung to death by the scorpion. It is said that all souls in purgatory are released for forty-eight hours, from All Hallow’s Eve and including All Saint’s and All Soul’s Days, which days, the 31st of October and 1st of November, correspond with the constellations of Libra and Scorpio.

     The 2nd magnitude stars that fall on The Dove are very important, and outline the bird in a fine curve, terminating in “the pointers’ Surely this is an older and more beautiful symbol than the Great Bear or Plough the stars of which the dove covers, when placed on the stellar globe.

     So here we have in effigy, not only a superb sculptural composition representing the sun god falling from his horse on account of the death dealing scorpion sting, with the spirit dove escaping from the rider’s forehead, but for those endowed with vision and understanding, a spiritual conception handed down the ages, and indellibly printed on the earth.

VIRGO

     Considering the immense size, 30 miles in circumference, of this Somerset zodiac, and the mighty earthwork modelling of most of the effigy monsters, it is hardly surprising that Virgo may have been overlooked and merely sketched. With the exception of her breast, she is only drawn in outline by the Cary river, and stands alone and apart from the other creatures. Is it likely that this was the reason why women used to be excluded from becoming Freemasons; for that very ancient secret society undoubtedly has its roots deep down in the solar cult.

     Wimble Toot Tumulus stands for the Virgin’s breast, interpreted in means the Augur’s teat, or soothsayer’s breast: supposedly those who insisted on its being preserved as a National Monument knew its significance. It can be found not far from the Cary river bank near Stert, should any one be anxious to consult the soothsayer. I do not however hold out any hope of results, because the only time a friend of mine consulted the spirit of a Tumulus in the neighbourhood he was told that :—“the spirit was too far removed in time and space to have any witting of  him.” The fact is that devotion to science, art and literature is definitely the only approach to the Earthly Paradise of which I write, and no spirit communication has ever thrown any light at all on the subject of this layout of the zodiac.

     The belief that the Sphinx represents Virgo’s head and Leo’s body originated in the proximity of the stars of the Virgin’s head to the Lion’s body,with as we shall see in the case of the Somerset zodiac, the second magnitude star Denebola from the modern Leo, falling on her chin. It was between Regulus and Denebola that the Summer solstice fell when this Path of the Sun was laid out, hence no doubt the origin of the Sphinx symbol.

     The name of the Sphinx in Egypt was Hu, and Hu the Mighty was the god of Cymry who led that nation into the Isle of Britain in the age of ages; possibly there is some connection with one or the other in the place names Huish Road below the lion’s ribs, and Hurcot on his neck.

     Some may be wondering if England could have had contact with either Egypt or Sumeria (1) at so early a date, so let me quote from H. E. Balch, F.S.A., who says in his introduction to “The Caves of Menpid”: —“In Somerset it was, that the earliest of mammals was first found in the rocks of our shore. Here also, at the same time as in South Devon, was first found that man coexisted, along with the extinct mammals of the Pleistocene Age, and here in Mendip’s caves he made both his dwelling and his place of sepulture at that time. Here, too, long after the Cavemen disappeared, a far more enlightened race found shelter and a home in the natural stronghold of Wookey Hole, while his contemporaries built their floating Lake-Villages on Sedgemoor, not far away.”

     (1) In JK. W. Ab Ithel’s translation of Barddas, we read: “The Cymry first came into the island of Britain from the Country of Summer, where they had been previously from the age of ages, the primitive knowledge, and original wisdom, were preserved in memory and record.

     A few of the Water Snake (Hydra) stars fell on Virgo’s long skirts, and some of Leo’s stars fall in her high head-dress, which resembles that of the snake goddess of Crete, illustrated in “The Glory that was Greece,” by Stobart; I quote “But recent students of religion have pointed out that side by side with the public worship of celestial deities there was a more mysterious but more real devotion to a quite different form of religion, a cult of nature goddess, with mystical rites whose origin was more than half forgotten. The principal deity of Crete was a Nature goddess, generally represented as adorned with snakes.”

     I rather think that this Virgo was more Nature goddess than celestial; her feet stand on Wheat Hill and all her broad acres are well watered, she certainly represented fertility like all river deities but I doubt if there was much of an enigmatic sphinx about her. Prophetess probably, by divine right of her Queen of Heaven stars, but always from first to last the Great Mother. This is the High History of the Holy Grail’s rendering :—“On the left hand side, was a Lady so fair that all the beauties of the world might not compare them with her beauty. When the holy hermit had said his Confiteor and went to the altar, the Lady also took her Son and went to sit on the right hand side towards the altar upon a right rich chair (her star Spica) and set her Son upon her knees and began to kiss Him full sweetly and said: ‘Sir.’ saith she, ‘You are my Father and my Son and my Lord, and guardian of me and of all the world.’ King Arthur heareth the words and marvelleth much of this that She should call Him her Father and her Son.” Branch I, Title 6.

     Virgo is generally associated with a sheaf of wheat held in her hand, which sheaf suggests a “Kern Baby,” but she herself, representing the spirit of the corn, was probably celebrated in the custom of dressing up the last sheaf to be cut at Samhain, like an old woman, and seating it at the head of the table at the harvest feast, after which it was hung up on the wall till the next ploughing. Quite naturally the reapers were fearful of cutting this last sheaf and in Wales stood in a ring round it to cast their sickles at it so that no one in particular should have the onus of hurting her.

     On modern maps Virgo is given only one first magnitude star,  and no second magnitude stars, for Arcturus has been put between the legs of Bootes, and Denebola on the tail of Leo, instead of  Denebola falls on the chin of the Virgin effigy in Somerset, and Arcturus is one of the golden ears in her Wheasheaf “Kern Baby.” Undoubtedly this was the original position of these stars in the design for the zodiac, hence the reason for the term “The Diamond of Virgo,” still in use by astronomers, signifying that triangle in the sky.

     The Sunday Express of August 12th, 1945, says:—“An oat-stalk 7ft. 5 ins. high has been grown at Street” (Somerset). That is in the Ram effigy five miles from the Wheatsheaf effigy.

LEO

     In regard to the locality of this Path of the Sun in England, it is situated near the mouth of the rivern Severn and was at one time Welsh, Wales lying on the opposite bank. Scholars are agreed that the name Somerset implies “The Seat of the Somers, Sumers or Cymyrs.”

     The only portion of the county that concerns us in this study of the zodiacal effigies, is the small district through which the rivers Red-and-White-Lake, Brue, and Cary flow; and outside the circle, the Parrett (Parutti), for the Great Dog that guards it lies on that river of Sumerian name.

     If this mysterious region is named after the Sumers or Somers, including the ancient county town called Somerton—lying on the Lion’s paw—we must look for the habitations of that people in the neighborhood of their occupation and their food supply, i.e., adjoining the area of the effigy Zodiac, which probably employed many thousands of labourers in its construction. Its little hills skirt low lying Sedgemoor.

     This country around Glastonbury is famous for its Lake Villages, which were built on piles where the alder and willow grew, the trees felled and used to construct the foundations, etc.: of the dwellings. Though the villages in the British Isles that have been discovered not considered older than the prehistoric iron age, similar Swiss settlements belong to the stone and bronze ages, so possibly earlier may yet be found in this neighborhood of King Sedgemoor.

     The Sumers of the Euphrates (Puru-su) being river valley folk, made mud bricks to build with, it is only natural that their dwellings in Somerset should have been submerged long since by the floods of Sedgemoor, but Mr. Dewar found that both north and south of the Polden Hills there existed, in the Mesolithic period, flint implement industries, one at Greylake, below the Giant Orion, and one at Shapwick, below the Ram effigy. Those Lake Villages of the later iron age near Glastonbury that Mr. Bulleid excavated, had been pillaged and burnt before the Romans came.

     Speaking of the Romans, they have left several fine tessellated pavements in the vicinity of Somerton, the subjects of which tesserae suggest Milthraic influence; their creators, not yet Christianized, would in that case owe allegiance to the Lion, and other zodiacal constellations such as the Bull and Scorpion. So let us try to find out more about this woodland monster Leo whose chest and hind quarters are clearly outlined by the Cary river for every one to see.

     The name Regulus borne by Leo’s famous Royal Star, means the little King, and in Somerset the effigy lion is very royal, for he gazes over King Sedgemoor, he carries King-Weston on his back and below his body is the village of Kingsdon, with Kingsdon Hill and Kingsdon Wood. Here is another sign that the natives of this district, up to fairly recent years, knew of his presence amongst them. He also “reigned over” Bristol, Bath and Taunton, all close at hand.

     Regulus, which falls on the lion’s hind quarters, when the map of the effigies is placed on a stellar globe, was one of the four “Guardian stars of Heaven” when the Zodiac was designed. Four thousand years ago the longitude of this star was measured in Babylon, and two thousand years later it was measured by Hipparchus, who found from his observations of Regulus and Spica a discrepancy in their position from the former measurement, which led to his famous discovery of the Precession of the Equinoxes.

     Included in the effigy lion’s neck is the constellation of the Crab, made up of fourth and fifth magnitude stars, and in consequence there is no Crab on this earthly Path of the Sun. Also included in this enormous lion are the much more important stars from the present Gemini, Pollux of the first magnitude, falling in the lion’s mouth and Castor of the second magnitude, falling on his nose; hence the veiled jokes in the early romance about a certain knight killing twin brothers.

     The head of the Water Snake, Hydra, lies very near the lion’s heart, another source of amusement to the story tellers who knew the star legends, for snakes and rivers are feminine, thus Queen Guinevere was Hydra and Lancelot impersonates Leo.

In the time of William of Malmesbury it was still said that “miracles should not cease till the Great Lion had come,” surely it is a miracle that his actual photograph should have been taken from the air as he lies prone upon the earth today, and that Leo’s “sickle,” clearly visible in the night sky for eight months in the year, should be found exactly to fit his tail turned up over his back; which convention has been retained in heraldry for hundreds of years. It was also prophesied that King Arthur should come again at his country’s greatest need!

     With a little practice it is easy to fit sun hero legends into their own “houses” or constellations; for instance a “great cat,” that does not behave in a normal manner, is as a rule Leo. Take the story of Thor in the Land of the Giants. Despite his tremendous god-like strength he is quite unable to lift the cat from the ground, the cat only “bent its back and lifted one paw.” Hence we know the reason for the steep hill in the effigy lion’s back and the raised right paw called Castley Hill.

GEMINI

     Again, as regards the constellation of the Twins (taken by the Giant Orion and his Argo on this zodiac), because they represent the sun and moon something fatal is bound to happen to one of them, as in the story of Balin and Balan. Balin proves himself the best knight King Arthur’s court for he alone could draw the wonderful sword out of its sheath (Orion’s sword); that is how we can recognize him in fairy tale, because he is possessed of two swords and in consequence ii its enchantment he unwittingly kills his brother with it, after crossing over to his island in a boat.

     The story of Lohengrin is another legend connected with this of Orion by reason that the constellation Gemini holds the secret of “the writing on the Grail,” or the “name” that must not be enquired of, and at the same time is associated with the holy “dove.” The story runs in part thus:—“On distant shores untrodden by your feet there rises a mountain called Mount Monsalvat. And on it stands a temple fairer than any other on earth, in which is kept a treasure of wondrous virtue and great holiness, brought as a blessing to men by an angelic host. Once every year, to renew its divine might, a dove descends from heaven and alights upon it. It is called the Grail, and lends to those who guard it pure faith and holy calm.” But should “the name” become known the power of its servant is at an end.

     We get a curious side light on the actual inscription of the effigy “name” on the hill behind Orion’s head, in the following legend:—Thor, in the Land of the Giants, wishing to kill the Giant Skrymir, threw his hammer three times at his head, but the Giant thrust a hill between them, on which the marks of the hammer can be seen to this day, for there are “three glens,” one of them very deep, which were cleft by Thor’s weapon.” Gilling down, just above the Giant’s head is marked by “three glens” which suggest the sacred name of God and might well be Thor’s handywork, for its cliffs are red as blood. Strangely enough our present Summer Solstice, June 2lst, falls on this place in the effigy ecliptic circle.

          “Every door is barr’d with gold,

          And opens but to golden keys.”

     The earliest native British historian Gildas, says:

     “I will not cry out by name upon the mountains, wells, and hills and rivers on which Divine Honour was wont to be heaped.” (c. 493-570).

     When I first launched forth on my voyage of discovery to “The Land of the Giants,” and found them lying asleep in a circle resembling the creatures of the zodiac, my first rough and ready method was to reduce the entire photograph of their outlines, and fasten it on to the back of Phillip’s planisphere, in order to prick the stars through. This gave an excellent idea of where and how the constellations fell on their earth counterparts; but as there was bound to be a certain amount of foreshortening in the photograph, I found it better to trace the outline of each creature, direct from the ordnance survey map, and stick the tracing on to the equivalent constellation on a star globe.

     When these outlines from the map are cut out, they might be said to resemble the “hides” of the Bull, Ram, Goat, etc.: hence, no doubt, the custom by the Druids of stretching out the hides of the sacrificial bulls upon “Wattles,” in order thereby to capture supernatural knowledge from the stars they represented. This accounts for the current old saying “Wattles of Knowledge,” still in use, and is probably the origin of the “Glaston Twelve Hides of Land,” given to the first Christians, by the pagan king Arviragus, when  they settled in Glastonbury, A.D. 37. These Twelve Hides of Land are called “Domus Dei,” in Doomsday Book.

     As to these first Christians, the original Keltic church of Britain must not be confounded with the Roman Catholic Church, which imposed itself hundreds of years later. St. Augustine was sent to England by Pope Gregory I to convert the Anglo Saxons in 596 A.D. But it was not till 603 that he consecrated Christ Church, Canterbury, even then he endeavoured in vain to bring over the Keltic Church to the observance of the Roman Easter. The roots of the Church of England are in Somerset.

    The church these first Christians, headed by Joseph of Arimathea, constructed at Glastonbury, on the site where now stands the Norman ruin in the Abbey grounds, was built “circularwise,” as recorded by Malmesbury. Around this original wattle chapel excavations have brought to light the remains of a “Pyramid,” and also a “Pillar” erected by St. David in the 6th century to mark the true extent of the sacred site. If one includes St. Dunstan’s Chapel, and the place where stood the high altar over the shrine of St. Joseph, a theoretical ring surrounding the circular Wattle Chapel, falls on these four points. The inference is that originally twelve cells stood around it, resembling the plan of the very primitive church excavated at Etchminazin, Armenia, where the twelve signs of the zodiac were sculptured on each of the twelve surrounding chapels, thus leaving no doubt as to its astronomical import.

     Here in Glastonbury a circular platform, seven feet in diameter, of very ancient workmanship, probably the floor of a cell, was found under the remnants of St. David’s “Pillar.” Also under the square “Pyramid” base was a fragmentary circular foundation like the previous one. It is unfortunate that ecclesiastical scruples should have put a stop to the excavations which bid fair to being an archaeological discovery of far reaching importance, but did the learned Dean suspect that here the secret of the “Mysterium Fidei” that has haunted Glastonbury’s traditions? He never would admit that the Holy Grail was a Christian symbol, in fact he says in his “Two Glastonbury Legends”:—“It never at any time received ecclesiastical sanction,” and admits that it was the Keltic Cauldron of Wisdom, which we have found to be the zodiac of a previous cult.

Never-the-less there are countless representations of the Zodiac in early Christian churches, to be seen on their pavements, ceilings, facades, pillars, fonts, etc.: so there must have been considerable reverence in the Church for the starry host up to a thousand years ago, when the constellations were given the names of saints.

     But the month to be considered now is June, for St. John the Baptist’s day was the great day in England for parading giants, this being the giant Orion’s month.

     Though Orion is not on the ecliptic circle, in Somerset his effigy arm reaches up to grasp some of the stars of Gemini, for, with his boat Argo on King Sedgemoor, he took the place, once upon a time, of the more modern Sign of the Twins. The modern Twins are represented as young children, and our effigy is a giant child with a head large in proportion to the body, for the child is here symbolic of the son of the old Sun god. Orion’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd magnitude stars, including his belted sword, are well known, for he is the finest constellation in our night sky; he is the Giant Logrin of the High History. The “giant” star Betelgeuze glows as his bloodshot eye with such variability that no one who has gazed upon it can forget the uncanny impression it makes, for it is one of the most remarkable stars in the heavens; Bellatrix falls in his armpit; the first magnitude star Rigel on his hip; with Saph on his folded knee, for having been wounded in the thigh, according to many setting sun legends, he cannot walk. His sword and belt thus fall into their proper place.

     The so-called “throne of the giant” is the effigy boat, in Somerset, on which fall the stars of Lepus; whilst hanging on the “starboard” of this Argo Navis shines the brilliant white “sparkling star” Sirius, to our eyes the brightest fixed star. The whole shipload sails along the river Eridanus, when we compare the effigies with modern star charts.

     The mast of the Giant’s ship is one mile long, by 1-6th of a mile wide; an 18 ft. “rhyne” or water-way runs down the centre of it. The contrast between its inflexible straight lines, lying behind the back of Orion, and the beautiful lifelike curve of the giant’s young body is very remarkable, especially from the air.

     There has been a tendency to take for granted that all religions prior to Christianity, were sensual and cruel, so it is of importance to say here that there is no suggestion of any phallic, sacrificial or even frightening symbol in the whole design for this zodiac, it would hardly have been associated with the Holy Grail and kept so sacrosanct throughout its long history had it shown anything of a depraved nature.

     Now we have come round to the main mast of the Giant’s ship, on top of which the effigy Bull rests his hoof, the idea that the Maypole was a phallic emblem must be corrected, for it is clear that the mast of the effigy Argo Navis was the original May Pole in Taurus, the famous star Aldebaran falling exactly here on the Bull’s hoof. I will quote a few authorities in regard to the ship of Mayday, and the giant of St. John’s Eve festivals, June 23rd.

     Dudley Wright in his Druidism says: May Day, the day on which the sun entered Taurus, was ushered in by a festival commencing on the eve, which was instituted in commemoration of the exit of Hu, the Mighty, and his family from the Ark! The place name Hurst, marks the top of the mast of the “Ark,” surely derived from Hu.

     One of the many titles by which the Druids were formerly known was Maysons, or Men of May. At one time the annual festival of the Grand Lodge of English Freemasons was always held on St. John the Baptist’s Day, and that is still reserved by many Lodges in all Constitutions as the day for the installation of Masters. It will be remembered that the Grand Lodge of England—the Mother Grand Lodge of the World—was founded on “St. John’s Day.”

     Furlong in “Rivers of Life” says that the Maypole was called the column of May, marking the boundary of the year in Taurus, the confines of summer and winter. “Some insisted that it should be as high as the mast of a vessel of one hundred tons,” and must stand immoveable and upright throughout the year.

     Sir John Sinclair wrote in 1794, that the Welsh held a festival on May Day morning in commemoration of the Deluge in which “the ark of Ceridwin was borne up on the shoulders of Ovates” in a great procession; immediately in front of the ark went the “Supreme Creator,” the sun and moon.

     Sikes states in his “British Goblins” that on Midsummer Eve, or St. John’s Eve, the feast of the summer solstice was celebrated at Ponty-pridd in Wales (1878), “in the face of the sun, within the folds of the serpent, i.e. a circle marked with the signs of the zodiac.” The Druid prays to “the Creator of sun, moon, stars and universe” and new members are initiated in the “mysteries.”

      Old English people used to call the Twin stars of the constellation Gemini, “Giant’s Eyes,” and thereby hangs a unique star tale connected with the above effigy mast of the ship, as follows:

     “Three gods were, trying to cook an Ox in a pot over a great fire” (Notice the position in the heavens indicated is Gemini and Taurus). “A Giant spies them. (The only giant here abouts is Orion). The Giant snatched the flesh of the Ox the gods were trying to cook, out of the great Cauldron, leaving only the bones. ‘In retaliation, one of the three gods seized a great Pole which lay near at hand and gave the Giant a blow with it, whereupon the Giant cast a spell over the Pole, sticking it fast to his own back, and the hand of the god he stuck fast on to the Pole. In this way the Giant was able to drag the god along over the rocks and bushes, scratching him badly.” To gain his freedom the god had to promise to fetch the Apples of Youth for the giant. The end of the story is that the giant is consumed in a fire which may be the Phoenix flames of the sunset, from which he will rise again, thanks to the Apples of Youth.

     This “Gemini” story, called Giant’s Eyes, has no point except to show the relation of the Pole to the Giant’s back, and the hoof of the Bull god; in which case the English legend must either be at least two thousands years old, or there were still folk at a later date who knew the actual effigies, or had a picture of this particular zodiac. The only pole in the design that is “stuck fast” to a Giant’s back is the mast of Orion’s ship, on King Sedgemoor, and on to the top of that mast the hoof of the Bull is “stuck fast.” Confirmation of the presence of the mast close at hand, is, that the story says “the Giant had gone fishing when the god stole the apples.” (See “Stars shown to the Children,” under Orion).

     With Tagore I can say—

          “In the playhouse of infinite form

          I have had my play and here have

          I caught sight of Him that is formless.”

     After working so hard at star gazing let’s go into the nursery and listen to the story of Tom Thumb, one of Orion’s counterparts in fairy tale; it is reminiscent of other characters who are recognizable under changing guise as sun heroes.

Tom Thumb

     Merlin, the famous magician, told the Queen of the fairies, that a plough-man and his wife wanted a little son, so she granted them Tom Thumb.

     This tiny boy liked to play with cherry stones but they bruised his little thighs and legs; an oak leaf covered the whole of his head. He fell by mistake into a bowl of batter and when it was set to boil he kicked so furiously, his mother thought the batter was bewitched and threw it away; a cow picked him up in its mouth but dropped him when he cried out. Then a raven swallowed him with a grain of corn and set him down at a giant’s castle by the sea, into which he fell and was swallowed by a great fish. King Arthur found him in the fish and made him his dwarf, in which role he amused the Knights of the Round Table.

     He was then sent back to his mother with a silver three-penny-bit in his pocket, and he lived on a hazel nut for three days. The Queen of the fairies blew him back to King Arthur but he fell into a water pot of the King’s ferment. After that he jumped down the throat of a Miller, and thence he sprang into the river and was swallowed by a salmon. The cook who found him inside the salmon took him to the King; a great cat at the court nearly killed him but he defended himself with his sword and the Knights of the Round Table came to his rescue.

     In this ancient but still well known fairy story, we find Merlin, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table with the usual paraphernalia of stones, seething bowl and water pot, a cow, corn, giant, whale, salmon, dwarf, the number three, hazel nut, and sword, all of which point to a Welsh sun and star myth of the earliest type.

     If we carefully follow these sign posts we find that Tom Thumb stands for the giant child Orion of the Somerset Zodiac, who is wounded in “the thigh” by stones or stars. The Bowl of boiling batter is the seething “cauldron” of regeneration, the first conception of the Grail. The Cow is Taurus, the effigy of which looks as if it would take Orion in its mouth. The Raven is the Phoenix eagle, who pecked the grain of Corn from Virgo’s “Kern Baby Wheat Sheaf.” The Giant’s Castle was by the sea (before Sedgemoor was drained). Sun gods are traditionally swallowed by Whales. The giant child effigy in Somerset resembles a Dwarf with a big head, and the three-penny-bit is the sacred name formed by the three rays of the sun above Orion’s head, where “The Flame of the Holy Spirit descended each day for the most Holy Grail.” The Hazel nut grew on the Tree of Life in this Paradise Garden. Tom Thumb fell into a water pot, which was the Urn of Aquarius. The Miller whose throat he gets into, is the effigy Hercules whose throat is outlined by the river Brue, on the banks of which stands the place name King-a-mill, up stream. The Salmon (Pisces), that caught him, lies on this river with its mouth waiting for small fry. The Cat is “Par Lug’s cat,” Leo; and the Sword is Orion’s famous sword, a hallow of the Grail. The Spider that eventually makes an end of him is the many legged Scorpion. King Arthur and his Knights bury him under a rose bush, for “the rose has a heart of gold.”

     Truly the mystery of the Round Table of the Holy Grail has been hid from the wise and prudent and revealed unto babes.

Man-Mountain Giant Antaeus

     The difficulty most people find in grasping the reality of the constellations laid out in Somerset, is on account of their great size; for it is a peculiar trait with some people that they are unable to visualize things on a colossal scale; they even picture God in the image of man. The Greeks realizing this difficulty made up a story about the star giants in contrast to little people or pigmies. They tell us these pigmies grew wheat and other kinds of grain, so they were really human beings like ourselves, and the Giant Antaeus was a perfect mountain of a man who derived all his strength from his Mother Earth. The pigmies’ history books and traditions said that he had been their friend for innumerable generations and ages. Stretched out on the ground he looked like the long ridge of a hill washing its face in a cloud. He flourished his arm over his head like Orion, and the little people ran in and out of his great ear and mouth and raced round his one eye.

     But, to the astonishment of these dwarfs, another giant appeared, even larger. This was Hercules, who said he was going to gather three golden apples in the Garden of the Hesperides. On modern star pictures Hercules holds these golden apples, so by that we know that this giant is the star constellation, as well as being an earth giant. After a fiery battle with the first giant, whom he flung where he could never pick himself up again, Hercules fell fast asleep on the ground. Now, the mediaeval chronicler, Richard of Cirencester, tells us that Hercules “was one of the gods of the Britons” and “writers are not wanting who assert that he came hither and established a sovereignty.”

     The enormous size of the effigy giants is the very reason why they still exist after thousands of years, for they would long ago have been destroyed had they not been unrecognizable on that account, but now we know where they lie and what to look for, they are easily discernable from the air, and on the six inches to the mile maps.

     “Cold, calm, unsmiling before our laughter and curses,

     The gods wait, immortal.”

     “Enduring thou art! For not the slow frost of the ages

     Shall dim from thy past thy glory immortally graven!”

     “A new dawn wakes and laughs on the breast of the darkness;

     Earth has her sunshine still, the grave her Spring.”

                                                                            —Leo-Kermorvan.

     Perhaps it would be helpful to look back over the period when the pre-historic design for the star constellations was laid out in Somerset. England was not joined to the rest of Europe at that time, as has been suggested, for the neck of land connecting her to France disappeared during the Middle Stone Age, long before the zodiac was thought of, and at the time when the climate of England was only-becoming very slowly warmer after her glacial period. In consequence the river valley Mesopotamian race that followed the Stone Age immigrants, were obliged to come by boat, hence the importance, historically, of the effigy “Argo Navis” on King Sedgemoor.

     Settlers of a high stage of culture, are known to have arrived in the West of England via the Mediterranean, about 2700 B.C. bringing with them in their boats, long horned cattle, wheat, and stone axes. They were the so-called New Stone Age colonists, who, to judge from their elaborate and numerous long barrow burials which still remain, were rituastically religious, worshipping the Great Mother of Fertility, which is connected with Tree, Moon and Serpent or river cults. As the New Stone Age merged into the Bronze Age, Sun worship took the place of the Moon and Earth Mother cult, and then it was that the tin and lead of the hills skirting the Bristol Channel were worked to fashion the bronze weapons that were used along with flint implements.

     At this time, when the reverence for the earth was paramount, the fundamental change over from the Moon to a Sun calendar, of necessity demanded a new design for the heavens. Now it is this new design, which I claim was laid out for the first time in Somerset, that gradually became world famous and is still in use at the present day; for the zodiac has justly been called “the oldest scientific heirloom of the human race.”

     The neighbourhood of this earthwork layout of the Sun Calendar has ever since been considered holy ground, and when Sun worship tell into abeyance the legends of an Earthly Paradise, the Holy Grail. King Arthur’s Round Table and many other traditions, came into being here, in the Vale of Avilon. The following story will illustrate this.

“The Mysterious Land”

     St. Brendan, who lived from 484 to 577 A.D. hearing of the marvels, of this land of promise, the Earthly Paradise in Somerset, brighter than the sun and full of joy, set out from Ireland with twelve companions in a ship covered with Ox hide. On their first landing a great hound (the effigy of Canis Major opposite Athelney, on the Parrett river) came and fawned upon St. Brendan, and led them to a fine Hall provided with all they could desire. Setting sail again they came to the island of enormous sheep, where the weather is always fair (Aries lies on the Polden Hills, for which effigy they would land at the mouth of the river Parrett). From here they were sent to the paradise of birds (the Phoenix effigy) and landed on a great rock jutting into the sea. (Wearyall Hill, till quite recent times, used to be visited by tidal waves sweeping up the river Brue).

     When they had nearly cooked their meat on this (Wearyall) hill, the rock began to move, so they fled back to their ship and found that what they thought was an island was really a huge fish “the greatest living.” (Pisces effigy). From the Fish they went on to a country rich in blossoming flowers and found in the midst a deep clear well. (Chalice Well, the Urn of Aquarius). Beside it stood a beautiful Tree full of singing birds which told St. Brendan “Once upon a time we were angels in heaven but fell with Lucifer and on this tree we praise Him who made us.” Then an old man led them to an Abbey where they were fed by twelve loaves that were always miraculously provided, and when they had eaten they went to the church which had an altar and vessels made all of crystal. Whilst they worshipped there “a fiery arrow darted through the window, as if it had been sent from heaven” (the flame of the Holy Spirit for the most Holy Grail) and when they sailed home again their clothes still carried the scent of this sweet and joyful land of Paradise.

     These and many other so-called “fairy tales,” were what the children of my generation were still being brought up upon. It looks more than likely that our sage old nurses, from time immemorial, knew that these stories were really the authentic history of the British Isles. “The Mysterious Land” bears the hallmark of actual experience, because the three effigies mentioned, upon which St. Brendan’s party landed, are the only possible havens for a sailing vessel in the sacred area of the Somerset Zodiac.

     In “Folklore of the British Isles” Eleanor Hull remarks: “it has recently been argued that such a deep rooted tradition as that of the Holy Grail may have been derived from the ritual of the mystery religions.” That, no doubt, is the reason why scholars have found the subject so baffling, despite an enormous Arthurian literature. But as in a combination lock there is only one solution to the method of opening it, so having found the secret the treasures of the ancient wisdom are revealed.

     King Arthur was both a sun god and a vegetation hero; his rightful path is the ecliptic circle, which is his Round Table; it is traced on every star map through the constellation figures. Not only does he accompany these at night time in the nether world, but by day, when he throws his “cloak of invisibility” over the stars. To make this more apparent, the astronomers of a bygone age figured out this “Path of the Sun” on the earth, to fit the Zodiacal Circle in the sky. Here we have the key to the ritual of this mystery religion.

     That such a masterpiece of science and art, traced on the ground, could or should have been lost sight of, is almost inconceivable, and yet there seems to be no knowledge of its existence still extant, though Madame Blavatsky, in her “Secret Doctrine” pointed to Britain as the place of the “colossal zodiac,” and Arthurian literature and British folklore teem with references to it.

     King Arthur in Somerset is portrayed as the sun god Hercules, but seated on the horse of the Archer; this we know because his effigy lies in the vale of Avilon where Arthur vanished. That explains the culture hero role, and the five thousand year old origin of the Holy Sacrament, in actually drinking the “blood” (water), and eating the “flesh” of this vegetation god’s effigy.

     Besides the zodiacal effigies laid out in Somerset, the constellations of Canis Minor, and outside the circle, Canis Major, are portrayed. Without knowing this it would be difficult to account for the following Cuchculain taboo. This sun hero, whose name Cuchculain means “the hound” because he killed the Great Dog when only seven years old, was not to eat the flesh of a dog for fear of death, but three old women tempted him and he partook of a shoulderblade of a hound they were cooking. At once he was stricken in the left arm and “thigh” and wounded in the foot which caused him to sink to the ground.

     The object the child giant Orion holds in front of the nose of the “Little Dog” effigy is probably the shoulderblade. The stars of Canis Minor fall on the effigy on this Path of the Sun, Procyon corresponding with its neck.

     In Wales there is a belief in a dog of the spirit or fairy-world, a Cu-sidh; there is also a belief in Cwn Annwn who are dogs of the abyss, sometimes called Dogs of the Sky (Cun Wybir) which are small hounds headed by a large dog.

     The wounded thigh legends originated partly in the peculiar seated pose of Orion, with folded legs, like a Buddha seen sideways, in order to paddle his boat; but The High History of the Holy Grail tells us that the wound on which hung “the enchantments of Britain,” was inflicted by the sword (Orion’s) which was a “hallow of the Grail.”

     Beautiful and alluring as this Somerset “Heaven on Earth” may be, yet it is only a model of the Universe around us. This archaic calendar is the formula for something infinitely more marvellous. The ritual of its mystery religion was the shadowing forth of universal laws, by priests who were astronomically minded scientists, to whom, it is recorded, the youth of Europe flocked to be educated. Consequently, if these effigies can still in any way testify to the marvels they dimly represent, our ancestors’ stupendous work will not have been in vain, and though they themselves may have passed out of reach, still they have left us this “Book of the Grail.” It is profoundly important that it should be preserved.

     Judge Troward remarks: “The importance of recognizing our power of thus giving direction to the intuition cannot be exaggerated, for if the mind is attuned to sympathy with the highest phases of spirit this power opens the door to limitless possibilities of knowledge. In its highest workings intuition becomes inspiration, and certain great records of fundamental truths and supreme mysteries, which have come down to us from thousands of generations, bequeathed by deep thinkers of old, can only be accounted for on the supposition that their earnest thought on the Originating spirit, coupled with a reverent worship of It, opened the door, through their intuitive faculty, to the most sublime inspirations regarding the supreme truths of the universe both with respect to the evolution of the cosmos and to the evolution of the individual.” The Holy Grail was the vehicle for this Eternal Spirit.

     I cannot close without expressing my grateful thanks to Mr. A. E. S. Smythe for his support in publishing so many of these articles in “The Canadian Theosophist.” His understanding of the far-reaching importance of the discovery of The Round Table of the Holy Grail should surely be acknowledged as remarkable, considering the callous materialism and indifference of the present day.

     “Go, work on mind and matter now,

     A Master raised to power art thou:

     A Impress on each and all you can

     Wise heaven’s eternal Temple plan.

     As on a trestleboard portray

     The great Design, from day to day Y

     And build, in silence reverently,

     The Temple of Humanity.” (1)

(1) A. S. MacBride, in the Speculative Mason.

Cover0002

 

     “The ‘subject of this story is in the dominions of the Emperor Arthur, without any one lighting upon it.”

     “Ah, Man,” said Owen, “would it not be well to go and try to light on that place?”

                                                                                  —Quoted from The Mabinogion.

THE COWS-LIP OR KEY-FLOWER

      K. Mainwaring tells us that, “Long before Christianity came to this land, cowslips swung their tasselled heads in the soft Spring sunshine; and our ancestors believed that these blooms were the replicas of a bunch of golden keys lost by Freya, the Key Virgin, in a field of cows-lips. She never found them. Thus arose the belief, that the lucky mortal who plucked the one magic blossom, would be led to the treasure caves of the Gods, where the Key-flower opened all locks, revealing a fabulous wealth of jewels and gold. For reward the finder might take away all the treasure he could carry, providing he did not put down or lose the cowslip-head until he was safely outside the caves again. If, in his greed, he should drop or lose it, he would find himself back in the field empty-handed.

    “Superimposed upon this old pagan legend is told a Christian version in three other country names for this sweet-scented flower: Herb-Peter, Key of Heaven, and Password. It relates that St. Peter dropped the Keys of Heaven’s Gate, which fell into a field of cowslips and was lost; and now the lucky finder of that Key-flower may enter through the gates of heaven without let or hindrance from St. Peter!”

 A Two -Days’ Tour of the Giant

Zodiac In Somerset, England,

with a Map of the District

*

First Day

*

THE SCORPION

     Let us suppose that I am staying at the George Inn, Castle Cary, and that I take my car to Castle Cary Station, G.W.R., to meet two or three people who have travelled down from London on purpose to get some idea of the Effigy Giants. We drive first to Alford Church, which is situated on the left shoulder of the giant Scorpion (that Scorpion which Gilgamesh met when he went to seek his friend Enkidu) for in the Church there is an early bench-end depicting a scorpion about to sting a human head symbolizing the sun; also a stained glass window representing the Cup, which reminds us we are in quest of the Holy Grail.

     We continue along the main road to the first turning on the right, and cross the bridge at the Mill over the river Brue, where we notice how the river outlines the top of the Scorpion’s body and right claw. Then drive down the right side of the Scorpion, via Hornblotton Green village to the Roman Fosseway. Here we turn sharp right along the Fosseway to the first turning on left, to Stone. Stone lies in White Stone Hundred. In the north west corner of the first field, on the opposite side of the road from the farm house, is where the Royal Star Antares fell which marked, no doubt, the foundation stone of the whole layout of this nature Zodiac, dating it by the Autumnal Equinox as between 4000 and 2000 B.C. The Stone was probably of the lovely Orange Oolite found here. From Stone we continue along Stone Lane outlining the left side of the tail of the Scorpion, as far as College Green, where the “sting” rises in a spring that feeds Par Brook, and flows on over the small of the back of Hercules. (King Arthur’s stars are the stars of Hercules, riding the horse of the Archer.)

THE ARCHER’S HORSE

     Here we leave the Scorpion and reach the left knee of King Arthur near West Bradley, follow the under part of his leg, then turn to the right down the chest of his horse, to West Pennard. All this time we have been in the Vale of Avalon “where lies King Arthur,” and towering up in front of us stands the famous Isle of Avalon. The superbly drawn figure of the Archer King Arthur should be reserved for some future visit, when all the other effigies have been thoroughly mastered, because, till this perplexing country of Sea Moors is familiar, much valuable time would be lost at this juncture, and the Dove and three Enclosures at the Centre of the effigy circle, should be visited at the same time as the Giant King. His horse Pennard Hill, rising to a height of 400 feet, lies due east of us.

THE GOAT

     The main Glastonbury road outlines the back of the Goat. At West Pennard we turn sharp left, up the neck of the Goat to Ponter’s Ball. This is the horn of Capricornus, it is one of the best known “earthworks” in the Grail Area. Though a most important prehistoric landmark, about three quarters of a mile long, it is not so interesting as the “camp” earthworks on Dundon Beacon Hill, because they actually model the ear of the Giant Orion, whilst this horn is perfectly straight. After walking along Ponter’s Ball (on the left hand side of the main road, where the knee of Hercules nearly touches the earthwork) notice the raised path, on the right hand side of the Glastonbury road, that outlines the profile of the Goat’s face.

THE PHOENIX OF THE ISLE OF AVALON

THE WATERCARRIER

     We continue along the main road till we come to the right hand turning to Chalice Well, which is at the foot of the pilgrim path up the Tor. Here we are indeed on hallowed ground, if we consider the feet of many saints that have passed this way, since Christ was born, though probably it was even more hallowed in pre-Christian times. The Well is at the top of the garden on the left, but we drink of the holy water that flows over the “blood” stained stone lower down. The construction of the huge blocks of stone, visible when the well is emptied, was considered by experts to be of the Pyramid age. This Chalice Well Blood Spring is the Urn of the Watercarrier.

     Now refreshed, we climb to the top of Glastonbury Tor, 500 feet high, by the Pilgrim path which outlines the beak of the Phoenix. The figure of King Arthur lies below, to the south east, but trees make it difficult to trace at this distance, however the great Fish of Wearyall Hill stands out against the setting sun, whilst the drawing of the Goat’s magnificent back and horn can be seen under the Tor on the east side; the outstretched wings of the Phoenix point to the north. If we are not nearly blown off by the wind—in which case we seek the shelter of St. Michael’s tower—the mist called “the White Lady of Sedgemoor” may be covering the land with her heaving mantle of invisibility, reminding us that this is the ancient haunt of ghosts, and that this Cauldron of Wisdom “will not boil the food of a coward.” However it is also “The Cauldron of Renovation,” and in the little town of Glaston (lying on the Phoenix tail), we shall be refreshed in mind and body, for the Abbey grounds, where stood the world famous Wattle Church of St. Joseph of Arimathea, are full of inspiration, and stories of her saints can be had in plenty; also the Church in the High Street is worth a visit as well as the Pilgrim Inn and the Court House.

Second Day

THE FISH OF WEARYALL HILL ANCIENTLY CALLED

THE SALMON’S BACK

     From Glastonbury we drive along the south side of Wearyall Hill and get out at the little gate on the right to stand on the spot where St. Joseph of Arimathea planted his staff, cuttings of which still bloom at Christmas tide; the place is marked by an inscribed stone. To the north we look down on the famous Lake Villages, for which, supposedly, this hill stood as their Fish god, for legend says an enormous salmon lies buried here. On leaving the Fish, we cross Pomparles Bridge, by the Fish’s mouth, from whence King Arthur said to have cast away his sword. The arm of the effigy King Arthur crosses the river Brue four miles up stream.

THE WHALE

     We are now upon the Whale’s tail, the uncertain movements of which made the passage of the bridge so “perilous” for the Knights of King Arthur, hence its name. From the top of Glaston Tor the drawing of the effigy Whale can be traced by following the course of the river on its under side; it can also be seen from the Salmon’s Back.

THE RAM LAMB

     The unromantic little town of Street stands in the Ram’s head, so we drive on down its face and back, to Walton, and at the first turning on the left, make for the old stone windmill tower on Walton Hill. Here there is an interesting view over King Sedgemoor, on which can be seen the remarkably straight lines of the Giant Orion’s ship (just west of the Dundon Hills). It is entirely delineated by water ways, and lies below the Giant who presents his back to us from this standpoint.

     Now, following the road to Marshall’s Elm, we outline the top of the hind leg, and the under side of the bent back fore leg; a quarry marking the knee at the cross roads. Here we leave the Ram Lamb.

     The Ivy Thorn Woods opposite, are National Trust property, and used to be sweet with primroses and bluebells in the Spring, when all the song birds shouted together; so let us pause there to read—lest we forget—this “Quest of the Sangraal” by Parson Hawker, the Cornish mystic.

“Forth gleamed the east and yet it was not day:

A white and glowing horn outrode the dawn;

A youthful rider ruled the bounding rein,

And he in semblance of Sir Galahad shone;

A vase he held on high; one molten gem,

Like massive ruby or the chrysolite;

Thence gush’d the light in flakes; and flowing, fell

As though the pavement of the sky brake up,

And stars were shed to sojourn on the hills

From gray Morwenna’s stone to Michael’s tor,

Until the rocky land was like a Heaven.

Then saw they that the mighty quest was won:

The Sangraal swooned along the golden air:

 The sea breath’d balsam, like Gennesaret

The streams were touched with supernatural light,

And fonts of Celtik rock stood full of God!

     We have now completed half our circular tour of King Arthur’s Round Table, for we are opposite the Scorpion which marked the Autumnal Equinox at Stone when this “Heaven on Earth” was laid out. The continuation of the Walton Hill road runs direct from the Bull’s horn to Castle Cary, via the tuft on the Lion’s tail (the triangular enclosure by Christian’s Cross), or should we wish to return to Glastonbury we take the road to the left at Marshall’s Elm and thus complete the drawing of the shoulder, neck and head of the Ram Lamb.

THE BULL

     But, weather and time permitting, the most mysterious, legend rich and oldest effigies lie ahead of us. As we mount up onto the Bull’s head we look down upon its time honoured eye, and the hoof which marked the Spring Equinox of 2700 B.C. and rejoice with the birds that this spot was chosen by the ancient astronomers to immortalize their May day festivities, it still retains endless enchantment. Nightingales, black birds and many others, sing their reiterating Hallelujah chorus, whilst the Lion and the Bull with heraldic gestures, guard the young Sun Giant of the Spring. —For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and his name shall be called Wonderful! the Prince of Peace!

     So we follow the road straight up Collard Hill, which forms the Bull’s neck, to the Hood monument, which stands on its head. There is a fine view of Glastonbury Tor from here, and to the south we can peep into the Giant Child’s ear which is turned upwards, listening to the music of the spheres. Further along the road we come to the great earth-work of the Bull’s horn, on the right hand side, its tip pointing to the entrance to Butleigh Wood on the left. From the gate a track leads to the place of the star Capella, which is a star shaped space in the wood at the tip of the second horn, now overgrown. On returning to the Hood monument, we take the first turning to the left down a steep hill, that outlines the Bull’s face, as far as the remains of Compton Cross, which marked the elbow of the Giant Orion’s upraised arm.

THE GIANT ORION OR TWIN

     We must take the lane to Dundon Church in order to find the path past the school, up to Dundon Beacon Camp, which forms the great ear of the Giant child. It is overgrown to such an extent that we may have to break in some other way. On the opposite side of the hill, due east, the red cliffs of Gilling Down should be noticed. Once in the Camp, we find what is left of the Tumulus forming the Beacon, excavated 100 years ago, and then walk all round the earthworks, trying to follow the drawing of the great ear. A double bank leads to the spring, now piped down the hill. A large map of these earthworks is shown in “A Guide to Glastonbury’s Temple of the Stars,” Plate 16., and the “Air View Supplement” gives a fine photo of it and the drawing of the whole head. It is essential to have these two illustrations in order to get an intelligent grasp of the subject.

     Having enjoyed the View over King Sedge Moor and Bridgwater Bay into Wales, we make our way down to Dundon Church again by the Giant’s chin, where the car waits to pick us up to go to Hurst Farm which stands on the Bull’s hoof. Farther on, on the right hand side of the farm road, is the Duck Decoy. The Royal Star Aldebaran falls on this important landmark (shown on the Air View, and six-inch map) it marked the Spring Equinox of about 2700 B.C.

     Another interesting feature shown on the Air View, are the clearly cut linches forming the Giant’s ribs, high on Lollover Hill. To reach them we return to the Church, which is haunted by a Knight holding a sword (so the Vicar told me; was it Orion’s famous sword I wonder?) and take the tiny path below the vicarage leading to Lollover Lane. Each rib is four to five feet high, beautifully curved and sharp in drawing; there are six of them. From this elevation we can see the great “rhyne” outlining the mast of the Giant’s Ship, upon which the Bull rests his hoof; and also the bent up knee and finely drawn back of this Giant Child.

     Returning to the Church, we drive round the face and high forehead of the Giant to the main Somerton road, and then turn sharp right, noticing the little hill on the right hand side of the road forming the Little Dog’s head. An important Romano-British Villa stood in the field just in front of this Littleton Hill; it was warmed by means of lead water pipes which also supplied baths from a never failing spring. The tessellated pavements that were found, like those at Pitney should have been preserved, fortunately there are drawings of them at Taunton Castle Museum, in the Victoria County History. At one time the Little Dog’s head was of great importance, as it lies near the Ecliptic Circle of this Zodiac, with the heads of the Lion, Twin, Bull and Ram, hence the legendary interest of this lovely valley through which we are now passing.

THE LION OF CATS-ASH HUNDRED

     Castley Hill forms the Lion’s right paw, raised above the main road, to the left after passing the Littleton houses. The bridge to the right over the Cary river leads to the Lion’s left paw, upon which stands the ancient county town of Somerton. The Church has a wonderful roof of carved dragons and an altar table with interesting carved legs, but my “Guide to Glastonbury’s Temple of the Stars” tells all about these Somerton treasures and so many other things about the Lion and Virgin that I suggest we brouse for a while over cider or Somersetshire cream in this old world setting. The Red Lion and the White Hart Inns both stand in the market square with its town hall and market cross and beautiful octagonal church tower.

     Now from Somerton we return by the bridge by which we came, over the Cary; it is this river that outlines the ribs and hind leg of Leo, so turn right along the body of the Lion via Charlton Mackrell Church, and then leaving the Lion effigy, drive through Charlton Adam, to Stickle Bridge.

THE VIRGIN

     At Stickle Bridge on the Roman Fosseway, the Virgin grasps her Wheatsheaf “Kern Baby”; a mile and a half further on, the Fosseway crosses the East Lydford road at Cross Keys Inn; here we turn sharp right, back to Castle Cary Station from which we started.

     Those who are steeped in Arthurian, or for that matter, legendary lore of either land or sky, are able to vizualize the Somerset Giants, despite their enormous size (eight of them are exactly the same measurement, 6000 yards, which is proof in itself that they could not be fortuitous); so come with me, 500 feet up Castle Hill, to gaze over the “forbidden Land of Logres,” and drink in the mystery and enchantment of this “Cauldron of Wisdom,” whilst the sun sinks down into the western sea only to rise again as King Arthur in a golden Dawn.

     At the time of the wars of Alexander, 334 B.C., the haughty Celtic envoys concluded their mission to him by saying “We fear no man: there is but one thing we fear, namely, that the sky should fall on us.” T. W. Rolleston remarks: “The reference to the falling of the sky seems to give a glimpse of some primitive belief or myth of which it is no longer possible to discover the meaning. One is reminded of the folk-tale about Henny Penny who went to tell the King that the sky is falling.”

     The national oath of the Celts was: “If we observe not this engagement may the sky fall on us.” Now in “Tain Bo Cuailgne” of the book of Leinster (12th century manuscript) we find: “Heaven is above, and earth beneath us, and the sea is round about us. Unless the sky shall fall with its showers of stars on the ground where we are camped . . . we shall not give ground.” This survival of a peculiar oath-formula for more than a thousand years, and its reappearance after being first heard of among the Celts of Mid-Europe, in a mythical romance of Ireland, is certainly most curious (See “Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race”), but the unique fact that the sky had “fallen” on the country which they conquered, seems to stand out as the most awe inspiring oath they could give expression to.

K. E. MALTWOOD

“The Thatch”

Royal Oak, Vancouver Island, B.C.

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One comment on “Glastonbury Landscape Zodiac

  1. Pingback: THE ENCLOSURE OF THE SUN | Victoria Landscape Zodiac

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