“The meta-language of
religion is story.
The meta-language of
Christianity is history.
That was not
the original intent
but was imposed
by order of
The Roman State.”
– Count Jack Black
…“But the Angles were a British tribe, right? And the Saxons were German?”
We are back in Wen’s study after the half triumph of the first of our Glastonbury talks, which aside from a few timing problems, went as well as could have been expected in view of the weather and the somewhat intricate complications of the run up.
“No, that’s not right either; both the Saxons and the Angles were Germanic tribes.”
“Our country is now named after a Germanic tribe! I think we need to know more about the Anglo-Saxons and the original Britons who could, perhaps, be more or less synonymous with what we now like to call the Celts.”
“As you may have already surmised my sense of history is somewhat sketchy at the best of times but in relation to the Anglo-Saxons and what went before it is practically non-existent.”
“That’s hardly surprising. Much of their contribution to these lands was conveniently forgotten after 1066, for obvious reasons.”
“Well, they certainly seem to have got the proportions of their churches spot on at least for the smaller sites. There is an Irish reference to the coming of Christ in one of the Conchobar stories, something about a ball being shaken loose from his head and killing him. He was also regarded as a sort of giant if memory serves. I had always assumed that the story, or at least that particular aspect of it, was merely a monkish interpolation.”
Wen is checking something in the Dictionary, “Get this… ‘Ætheling from O.E . . . . Æpling, ‘son of a king, man of royal blood, nobleman, chief, prince, king, Christ, God-Man, Hero, Saint…’
“Wait a minute… wait a minute… give me that last bit again.”
“…Christ, God-Man, Hero, Saint…”
“Didn’t we call our Arthur, Aeth in, ‘The Heart of Albion’?”
“And didn’t we set his story in Mercia?”
“And didn’t Mercia grow to become the largest and most powerful Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Albion at one point in its history?”
“It did indeed.”
“Well that’s it then…The Anglo Saxon kings were claiming divine descent.”
“…Along with most other European kings at that time no doubt.”
“That’s true, but the Anglo-Saxon kings’ descent wasn’t from God it was from Christ.”
“And how did they get there?”
“They got there from their very own High One who also hung from a tree with a spear in his side… shrieking.”
“They evidently regarded Christ as an avatar of Odin.”
“Blimey, you’ll not read that in any history book!”
“Just as well we’re not writing a history then isn’t it?”
‘Joseph of Arimathea a wealthy Metal Merchant first traded here for lead and copper from Priddy and Greenore in the Mendips, and for tin from Cornwall.
The two former would ship from Pilton’s Harbour which was situated just below where the present Manor House stands and on the way out to sea, he would pass Glastonbury, then an island south-west of Pylle Bay.
After our Lord’s ascension and Pentecost, Joseph would naturally return to preach the Gospel to his old friends here and at Glastonbury and to build a wattle church at each place.
Here, he built a chapel on the side of the hill above the harbour, where probably he baptised his first converts.’
– Traditional History of Pilton Church.
“Does the Pope know about this,” says Wen, her eyes alight, “I can’t believe it’s so brazenly presented and on an information board as well.”
“We may be able to do even better than that,” say I contemplating the church banner with some interest.
“How so?” says Wen.
“Well if the line of the Tor depicted here is correct, it shouldn’t be too difficult to locate the precise spot where they first touched down.”
“No,” says Wen suddenly collapsing into fits of laughter. “No it can’t be that accurate can it? It is probably done by the local kids. And how would they know anyway?”
“It wasn’t done by the local kids.”
“How do you know?”
“I know because the colour symbolism is too precise.”
“You may have to qualify that last statement Mr Sams,” says Wen with something of a crooked grin.
“Not hard,” say I. “The figure in the prow of the vessel adorned by a golden halo, which for arguments sake we will call ‘Jesus,’ is wearing a purple robe.”
“He is,” says Wen.
“The older child who is steering the boat is wearing a purple tunic.”
“He is too. Do we have a name for him?” says Wen.
“I could quite easily give him a name if you would like me to?”
“I am sure you could but that is not quite the same thing. What does the tradition call him?”
“The tradition doesn’t call him anything but if I had to have a wild stab in the dark at what it would call him if asked, I’d say it would call him ‘John’.
“Oh you would, would you? Isn’t he a bit too old for John?”
“We’ve already established that John was at least two years older than Jesus.”
“Okay… and the older figure of course we know only too well from the tradition?”
“And Our Joseph just happens to be wearing a purple head-dress?”
Wen looks from figure to figure and back to me and then moves up close to scrutinise the line and angle of the Tor depicted in the background.
“It’s worth a go,” she says, and swiftly raises her camera…
– Extract from ‘Dark Sage‘
Four seats there
And four sages
who taught them;
A plentiful sowing…
A dutiful flowing…
A beautiful glowing…
An artful knowing…
Wen catches a brief sight of the poem I have been showing Ben before he has time to hastily secrete it about his person.
“You’re obsessed with that dog!”
Which as anyone who has read any of our books well knows is utter nonsense…
…The girls are back outside on another ‘fag’ break and Ben is considering the somewhat crude geometry which accompanies my poem. He grins and twinkles mischievously, “Why are the North Isles depicted as black?”
“The quaternary, or four directions, are governed by the sun. Do I need to go on?”
Ben nods, “But of course you need to go on.”
“…In the Occident the sun appears to rise in the east and set in the west. Its zenith symbolically conceived as the point of maximum light is in the south so the north is the point of maximum darkness and hence depicted as black.”
“So far so good,” says Ben, “but why are we starting in the north rather than the east and the rising sun?”
“There are a number of magical traditions which regard the darkness of the unknown as the basis for generation. Metaphorically it corresponds to the seed of light nestled in the depths of the earth. The tradition of eve’s in our country reflects this, especially All Hallows… Esoterically speaking then the day stretches from Noon to Noon rather than from sunrise to sunset.”
Ben nods again but more slowly this time, “Interesting.”
“Even Genesis has a chasm and chaos before the breath of the word.”
…Ben is again contemplating my crude geometries, “I can see that you have moved the ‘North Isles’ towards a centre point to get this pattern,” he says “but I’m not quite sure why.”
“Because Anu’s folk studied there and to study is to focus on and concentrate. A stud after all is single pointed.”
“The isles are now shaped like seats. A lot of the Bishop’s chairs we have come across in our numerous ecclesiastical wanderings retain this shape as well as the choir stalls but there is a lot going on with this seat thing. The word itself is multi-valent and as I am sure you know it can be rendered siege as well as ‘caer’ which is also a Celtic stronghold or citadel and which also gives chair…positions of prominence in our universities are referred to as chairs…I could go on.”
“Please don’t,” says Ben looking bewildered. He appears relieved to see the ladies as they breeze back into our corner…
“What have you been doing to him?” asks Wen in a somewhat accusatory fashion.
“He’s missing your dog,” I reply and smile as sweetly as I am able…
…On our way back through Little Kimble, we pass St. Nicks of Ellesborough.
There are banners and notices outside the churchyard proclaiming that tomorrow the church and its tower will be open to the public and that for a small fee the tower can be climbed and… refreshments will be available!
“Can you believe that?”
“Just another coincidence.”
“To add to all the other coincidences that we seem to be collecting on this particular quest.”
“Maybe we’ve finally found the key.”
“…The key to what?”
“To the doors of the St. Nicholas Churches.”
“It’s got something to do with the landscape. We had to do that today, we had to see the land like that, and now that we have, we’re ready for the next stage.”
“Two till five… we can do that after we’ve done St. Lawrence’s. That’ll be three Churches in two days that have previously been locked to us.”
We flash past the Stone crucifix that guards the gate of St. Nick’s…
“It’s odd to have two St. Nick’s… so close to each other.”
“Well that one is very evidently the Catholic version.”
“I’ve been thinking about that, about the emphasis that is placed upon the crucifixion. If you regard it purely on its own terms it loses some of its distaste.”
“It is a symbol after all.”
“And symbols are not supposed to refer back to historical events. That’s the big mistake that almost everyone makes….”
“You’re right of course, most people read symbols and symbolic stories literally…”
“…symbols are supposed to point to something ordinarily, and in any other way, inexpressible.”
“So, it isn’t the body of Jesus that is crucified on the cross of the world, or the tree of life, but rather, it’s the ego of Jesus, the crucifixion symbolises the transformation of the human personality during Christ’s ministry.”
“And that though you probably do not realise it is something that is ordinarily inexpressible because most people don’t recognise themselves or anyone else as anything other than a personality.”
“It would throw a distinctly different light on the resurrection if that were the case.”
“On the whole story, actually. Try re-running it from that perspective…”
We can, perhaps, now understand, a little of where this diagram is coming from.
It may be that this figure is supposed to represent a tetrahedron, yet because of its overt Patriarchy it is tempting to see a hidden second point on the underside which reads Goddess, with the reverse of, The Son, sphere being, The Daughter, and the reverse of, The Father, sphere being, The Mother.
This is, probably, not quite what the Holy Fathers had in mind, though.
We may hope that The Holy Spirit is way beyond such gender wrangles.
Triangle of One
One-Three-Six is not One-Six-Three and vice-versa, One-Six-Three is not One-Nine-Nine and vice-versa, One-Nine-Nine is not One-Three-Six and vice-versa but One-Three-Six, One-Six-Three and One-Nine-Nine are… One.
Each of us
One of a kind…
A mind on
Mine is on my
Thing to see
Kept at task
So still, we’ll be…
Together, we sit
For our mind…
Pressed to a nook
Me, with nose
Buried in a book…
When the mouse
Peeks from its den
Is feline, then…
I seek wisdoms
Day and night
So, in peace
Our trades we
White Feline, the cat
To draw the sense
From wisdoms, high
My feeble wits
I’m wont to
“Tell me, when will the kingdom come?” said Judas Thomas.
“why do you wash out the inside of a cup?
So that you may fill it and drink from it?
Whoever makes good the inside, makes good the outside also.
The kingdom will not come by watching for it.
It will not be said, ‘look, there it is!’ or, ‘look, here it is!’
The kingdom is spread upon the earth but you cannot see it.
The kingdom is within you and without you,
and when you know yourself,
then you will be known and you will understand,
that this heaven will pass away,
and the one above it will pass away also.”