Daily Archives: June 12, 2018

An Orcadian Diary (3): Maeshowe – near life, far life

Sun in Gemini

The strange feeling in my head began when the Historic Scotland guide said, “We can’t really call it a burial chamber as no bodies were ever found here…”

It wasn’t a headache, more of a lightness…. almost a prompting, an invitation… but for what?

I had been staring at a wolf carved in stone. The opening picture, taken later on that day, is of a jewellery copy of the ‘Maeshowe Dragon’, first etched into the stone of the Maeshowe chamber by visiting Vikings. It was dated to around AD 1150 – some two thousand years after the Neolithic settlements on Orkney were mysteriously abandoned.

Some say the dragon looks more like a wolf…

Orkney has an ancient civilisation. The origins of the sophisticated people who settled and farmed here here during the stone age – 5,000 years ago – are unclear. Their buildings were well constructed and remain in good…

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The sacredness of pigs…


… “Vesica’s ‘inscribed’ on the landscape.”

 “It is fraught with difficulties…”

“…For the rational mind, I agree.”

“How do you forge a compass big enough, for one thing, and how would you then use it, for another…”

“Maybe you wouldn’t need to.”

“I was being slightly ironic.”

“Compasses are made out of steel…

If it was set out early enough there would be hardly any buildings.

A peg and rope would be sufficient.”

“An extremely long rope… or a couple of sighting staves held aloft.”

“Maybe these things are already there and just need bringing out.”

“A case of seeking rather than imposing.”

“I like that.”

“There is a snippet floating through my mind.”

“I dare hardly ask?”

“It has to do with the sacredness of pigs.”

“I knew this was a bad idea.”

“Allegedly, they ‘sniffed out’ sacred places like truffles.”

“I like pigs.”

“Me too.”

“If ‘sacrality’ is sensed.”

“Rather than designated.”

“Then ‘sacrality’ can be dowsed.”

“Anything can be dowsed.”

“So long as you know what you are looking for.”

“Sounds to me like ‘our sacrality’ is a form of energy.”

“Was that ever seriously in question?”

“So much for the how?”

“Now, for the why?” …


Drawing a dark veil…

The Silent Eye

“Tell Augustine that he should be no means destroy the temples of the gods but rather the idols within those temples. Let him, after he has purified them with holy water, place altars and relics of the saints in them. For, if those temples are well built, they should be converted from the worship of demons to the service of the true God. Thus, seeing that their places of worship are not destroyed, the people will banish error from their hearts and come to places familiar and dear to them in acknowledgement and worship of the true God.” Pope Gregory’s letter to Abbot Mellitus, 6thC, on the conversion of Britain.


You have to admit, Pope Gregory was sneaky. The mission to bring the blessed isles of Britain into the Christian fold was not to be accomplished so much by conversion as subversion. To ‘convert’ means to turn in a…

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