FULL MOON MEDITATION
SUN IN VIRGO AND MOON IN PISCES
SUNDAY 22ND AUGUST 2021
AT 12 NOON local time
Careg Pumsaint stone - the centre of a landscape zodiac inspired by the Glastonbury zodiac.
Balancing the ‘mystic’ (inspiration of unconditional love) and the ‘artisan’ (creating beauty and precision) - envisioning what it could be like as a dialogue with a landscape angel and its anchoring symbolism of alignments.
In Wales the rocks have inspired awe and wonder for the prehistoric temple builders who might have emigrated from Wales into England. Their form of circular sanctuaries expressed their connection to the ineffable and numinous, with especially alignments to the constellations as ‘time theatres’. Our ancestors’ ‘sky map’ sanctuaries were later re-created in the legends of King Arthur’s Round Table.
The ‘bluestones’ quarried in the Welsh landscape and used for precision built sanctuaries, as far off as Stonehenge.
Myth of Merlin magically constructing Stonehenge by flying stones from Wales –
A mid-14th-century manuscript illustration showing the wizard Merlin building Stonehenge. This idea, explained by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his ‘History of the Kings of Britain’ in 1136, was widely accepted until as late as the 16th century © British Library Board (Egerton MS 3028 fol 30)
The mystical Welsh landscape became a ‘memory theatre’ of early Christianity which integrated well with indigenous Druidism. The myth of Joseph of Arimathea translated into St Ilid the Welsh name for him as ‘the Galilean’ who instigated many little churches and hermitages. Ilid was also said to be the tutor to Bran the Blessed whose head was carried from Ireland to the Tower of London along a route, which is now the A5. Later medieval re-enactment of the Round Table carried the mythology forward into history’s memory theatre of sovereign pageantry.
Still a source of wonder: King Arthur presides over the Wheel of Fortune (L), (C) Windsor Castle Round Table of Edward III (Time Team screenshot); and (R) a symbolic table created King Edward I in 1290, now hung at the Great Hall, Winchester.
Mystics and builders from 1970 to present Wheel of Life Project:
Peter Dawkins’ solar wheel of time cycles, seasons and festivals, a model for creative and geomantic pilgrimage. [https://www.zoence.co.uk/time-cycles]
Into this area, came the inspiration for creating the Gatekeeper Trust, using one of the names of a Hedge Brown (Gatekekeoer) butterfly, which appears at the gates of many sacred landscapes. My first pilgrimage was to Eagle Mountain. On it we found ourselves in a thick mist, while Peter Dawkins explained that the Druids considered this to be the best time for ‘seers’ and training of the ‘inner eye’. One of our first publications was ‘Song Hunt’ by musician Sylvia Mehta, which included ‘Brave Arthur the King’, sung on many occasions up the sacred hills on pilgrimage. He represented our own ‘inner sovereignty’ and eye of wisdom.
Lodge Hill Fort, Caerleon, is this the ‘Camelot’ of the Welsh King Arthur’s court?
On a Pilgrims’ weekend with Fiona Hopes in 2018 – we stayed at Poulstone and went to Llanthony Priory in the Black Mountains, where a powerful mountain-filled energy inhabits the ruins:
Llanthony Priory within the Vale of Ewyas:
By Trevor Rickard, CC BY-SA 2.0,
Montage capturing the spirit of re-creativity at Poulstone Court, sculpture and art from and altars in the Golden Valley (Abbey Dore) and Black Mountains.
[The ‘Water Sprite’ by John Collins, close friend of Fiona Hopes; Green Man at Abbey Dore]
We walked in the footsteps of the first ‘Culdee’ Christian converts of Wales and their choirs. Adrian Gilbert reports on the Welsh researchers who discovered through unearthing the secretly preserved ‘King Lists’ that the royal family members in those days became the saints and hermits teaching the new gospel of love as the Culdees – the name for the original ‘Church of Britain’: ‘The Welsh triads, and the equally neglected lists of the ‘Lives of the Saints’, contain clear and accurate accounts. They describe the arrival in Britain of Christian missionaries led by St Ilid (Joseph of Arimathea) and how they came to the behest of King Caradoc’s saintly daughter, Eurgain, who is credited with being the first British convert to the new religion’. [The Holy Kingdom’ by Adrian Gilbert, p.127; see also p.135, the family tree of King Caradoc and the early Christian saints].
‘Neolithic burial chamber with mythical links to King Arthur...’ [https://www.sugarandloaf.com/guides/a-guide-to-the-golden-valley]
The Welsh King Arthur and his round table:
The Welsh King Lists of genealogies reveal there were two King Arthurs in Welsh tradition, recorded with proper genealogy to have lived in the ‘Dark Ages’ after the Romans returned to face a collapsing empire. Arthur ‘Arthun, Andragathius) ‘son of Magnus Maximus, emperor of the West’ was active in the Midlands of Britain, and his tombstone was discovered at Oldbury near Atherstone (Arthur’s Stone). This lies on ‘Hartshill’, near Oldbury, on which can be found ancient barrows. It is a landscape full of prehistory and Arthurian implications. It led us to hold a Pilgrims’ Weekend at Purley Chase Centre nearby, where the Gatekeeper Wheel of Life project began.
The three circlets of protective forts were later built by a second King Arthur ‘Arthrwys’, who is Magnus Maximus’s sixth century descendant, son of Uthyr Pendragon Meurig. (p.208). He protected his ‘holy kingdom’ from invaders through building ‘turning castles’ in the form of forts encircling sacred land: The Vale of Gamorgan/Pentremeurig/Essylwg (pp.124, 232) the Black Mountains round Gwent (p.234) and Caer Melyn/Caerleon (pp. 226,230). ‘The hill forts are part of a gigantic system arranged in ‘wheels’ of interlocked circles with royal or central forts at their hubs. Caerleon is at the centre of one of these hubs.’ (p.225). ‘... [and] established both an equestrian class, that is a company of knights and an efficient system of communications with regard to hostilities and legislation’ (p.231).
The 'Caer Sidi' of the Triads = 'turning castles' in welsh hint at both forts and choirs protecting sacred landscapes. These could also relate to earlier prehistoric landscape with symbological representation of ‘protected land’ ‘sky maps’ and stone sanctuaries. There have been records of a zodiac of earlier ‘druidic’ symbolism –- mystic knights and their ‘castles' or landscape sanctuaries - in and around Pumsaint, [see research by Lewis Edwards at http://www.morien-institute.org/pumpsaint.html]. Star maps became essential for navigation by the sun and stars in prehistoric times. Thus the evolution of ‘memory theatres’ also embodied natural wisdom, design and proportion, observed and encoded in landscape architecture. Neolthic stone sanctuaries became enshrined in new story-making connected to King Arthur and his round table.
The tradition of creating circular sacred space continued from the stone circles of the Siluries at Lodge Hill fort, and later the Roman amphitheatres at Isca Augustus (Caerleon), through the ‘turning castles’ of Welsh King Arthrwys, to ending with the theatrical buildings of today.
These ‘memory theatres’ of buried or reconstructed stores are all we have left of a culture embodying memories from prehistory. We now realise that circular diagrams are best known for being maps to the mystic world of unconditional love and acceptance, the divine powers. Without these stone structures – maps of memory - our sense of continuity and connections between past and present, and a path through disruption and transition, cannot be embodied and grounded.
CULTURAL MEMORY DEVICES: Peter Dawkins describes landscape zodiacs: ‘The association of stars and constellations with the fundamental imagery of the Zodiac is almost purely a memory device, so that we can remember and pass on to others the pattern, symbolism and meaning of the Wheel of Life, together with its relationship to time and space and the evolutionary life process.’ www.zoence.org.uk.
See also ‘The Art of Memory’ by Francis Yates exploring the model of Roman theatre as the reconstructed as a medieval ‘memory theatre of the world’ built on Hermetic/Alchemical mysteries to become a major influencing feature of the Rennaisance: ‘The circular form of the theatre thus reflects the zodiac, and the seven entrances to the auditorium and the five entrances to the stage correspond to the positions of the twelve signs and of the four triangles connecting them.’[p.171].
Giordano Bruno’s memory wheel (1548-60) depict characters and their actions
From myths (e.g. Apollo and Python), which reveal hidden insights for the user through inter- weaving the wheels.’ Bruno provides only four examples and leaves the rest to the imagination of his reader.’ [Francis Yates, pp. 144-5].
We now celebrate our island heritage of ‘turning wheels’ as ‘memory theatres’ underpinning our transition to a new dimension of collective understanding in modern theatre. These ancient collective acts of mystic memory in stone sanctuaries, later became Shakespearean round theatres built with certain sacred geometry to reflect the geomantic importance of the ‘fortifications of the soul’. These places were associated with Rosicrucian mysteries of spiritual transformation around the archetype of the ‘wheel of life’, zodiac or the seasons of the year.
Three choirs are reported in the Triads: (Triad 80: p.212: ‘The three harmonies of the Isle of Britain, one was the Isle of Afallach, the second was Caer Caradoc, and the third was the Bangor. In every one of these three there were 2400 men worshipping and of these 100 exchanging every hour of the 24 in the day and night in courtesy and service to God in endless continuation.’ (Triad 84: The three chief harmonies of the Isle of Britain, the Bangor of Illyd the Knight in Caer Worgorn, the Choir of Emrys in Caer Caradoc, and Bangor Wyrdrin in the Isle of Affalen, and in every one of these three Bangors there were four and twenty hundred of Saints that is there were a hundred for every hour of the day and night in their circle in joining praise of service to God without reward, without ceasing.’)
In the British Zodiac, the perpetual choirs seem to form a ‘triskelion’ of gatherings suggesting adaptable geomantic movement in the larger landscape: The perpetual choirs’ modern interpretation seem to cross over the Capricorn (Amesbury), Aquarius (Glastonbury) and Pisces (Llantwit Major) cusps as an articulating ring of devotional sound. Was this inspired to help humanity transition from the great age of Pisces into the next age of Aquarius?
Screenshot of John Michell’s map: [https://sacred.numbersciences.org/2018/12/27/john-michells-perpetual-choirs]
The perpetual choir decadon was measured by John Michell (‘The Measure of Albion’) as ‘decahedron’ - is this a prototype for ‘memory theatre’ for our modern transitional times?
Based at Whiteleaved Oak in Worcestershire, this powerful time-piece has a SW-NE midsummer alignment between Llantwit Major and Croft Hill. As we turn the Wheels of our landscape, our mystical Piscean vision of resurgence, healing and love becomes ever more visible and potent.
Llantwit Major Glastonbury Stonehenge
John Michell ‘Measure of Albion’.
As we say goodbye to the spirit of the Age of Pisces, we gather all her pearls of wisdom as seeds for the new Age of Aquarius, and the great great age of 26,000 + years1.
THEMES FOR MEDITATION:
THE WHEEL OF LIFE STARTS WITH OUR ‘inner mystic’ symbolized by Pisces – who receives inspiration through the heart, and then communicates with the brain with a quest for a ‘memory theatre’ (symbolized by Virgo), which can embody in beauty and precision the living memory of an experience of loving communion with unconditional love and truth.
Virgo Sun quest: How can the ‘craftsman’ within me help create the beauty and precision of a memory theatre for my vision of unconditional love?
Pisces Moon response: Intuitive prompts for acknowledging and crafting together expressions of the landscape spirit and the inspiration of unconditional love within the land. How can we embody the heart-warming spirit of beauty in the land, which elicits awe and wonder within us?
As Gatekeeper visionaries and educators, we honour the contributions from prehistory to our research into ‘Temple Science’ and landscape architecture: the articulating sanctuaries created and modified through history of the ‘mystic’ evolutionary impulse. Today through pilgrimage we encapsulate/embody the spirit of the land through creating ‘art of the sacred’ and our own ‘memory theatre’ of the multi-modal arts.
Theatre of song and resonance: soon to be offered are online practices of Gatekeeper Chants, so that we can build our own musical resonance to the land in the footsteps of the ancient choirs.
VIRGO full moon August 22nd:
At harvest time Virgo represents the perfecting of a dream, as it matures through the cycle of the seasons: the ripening of understanding of our dream takes its proper timing, coinciding with the fruiting season. When the dream matures, it feels safe and protected, full of healing, inspiration and creative potential, ready for enactment in our lives.
Our local contact for Virgo in the British Zodiac is Rose Williams, and for her annual gathering of friends near Lincoln they will celebrate the Harvest Moon on Sunday 22nd August 2021. There will be circle dancing, walking in the forest and possibly a cosy fire! Contact Rose at email@example.com to book.
Editors Charlotte Yonge, Angela Shaw and Rose Williams, August 2021.