Men have treated Women
strayed down from on high…
As beings more fragile
stranger and sweeter
As beings in need of caging
lest they fly
… “The Matter of Britain!”
“I know,” muses Wen, pensively, “People think it’s just Arthur and all that.”
“But before Arthur was a king or a British War Hero, ‘he’ was a constellation.”
“I know,” says Wen, again.
“The Great Bear.”
“The Head Dragon.”
“It’s all star stuff.”
“It’s all star stuff tied to the Earth.”
“And what ties it there?”
“We do, when we sanctify the earth-urge.”
“By George, you’ve cracked it!”
‘The Silver Well: Legend says that St Augustine once visited Dorset. While there he met some shepherds grazing their flocks and asked them whether they would prefer beer or water to drink. The temperate shepherds replied ‘water’ whereupon St. Augustine struck the ground with his staff, crying, ‘Cerno El’ as the water gushed out. The words were supposedly a pun on Cernel, the old name of the village and meant ‘I perceive God.’
It is thought that the above legend was invented by the Benedictine monks of Cerne Abbey to serve as an attraction to pilgrims.
Closer to the truth perhaps is the story of St. Edwold, a member of the Mercian Royal Family who one day had a vision of a silver well. He went wandering through the countryside and when he came to Cerne he gave some silver pennies to a shepherd in return for bread and water. The shepherd then showed him a well where he could drink and St Edwold recognised it as the well of his vision. He built a small hermitage by the spring and lived there until his death in 871…’
Information Plaque, Cerne Abbas
‘Are the monks responsible for the Legend of Silver Well such villains if they tweak the truth in order to entice pilgrims to their shrine?
People who have embarked on a Pilgrimage always get something, even if that something isn not quite what they bargained for.
And how true is the earlier story of St Edwold for that matter?
There was doubtless a hermit and a hermitage at one time.
How he actually came to be there is quite another thing altogether.’
Excerpt from, The Heart of Albion by Stuart France and Sue Vincent
‘…all the great thinkers recognise the importance of rational thought and also the importance of getting beyond the rational and that’s where the myths and fairy stories come in… Plato spends the greater part of his master work ‘The Republic’ berating the poets and story-tellers for telling lies in their myths and then he ends his opus with… a myth’
‘Well, to err is human… But no one’s going to read a book in which all the characters are Giants.’
‘Yet we all live in a world dictated by them… but perhaps you’re right… they have become something of an obsession… the more self-remembering I do… the more giant-like my body and everyone else’s body seems to become… and they do make an appearance in all the mythological traditions… the Titans… the Jotunn… the Asuras… the Fomoire… as opponents of the ‘gods’ usually, which have to be overcome and subdued…and then kept at bay lest the heaven world be breached… and fall.’
Wen becomes pensive for awhile, ‘We need to go to Cerne Abbas…’
…‘I don’t even know where Cerne Abbas is’
‘It’s in Dorset.’
‘Is Set’s Door near Devon?’
Wen pauses for a moment and then smiles, ‘Yes, If Cornwall is the toe of the foot of the country, then Devon is the ball of the foot of the country and Dorset is the arch of the foot of the country.’
I am very much enjoying this description of the place names of Albion.
It makes it sound like the country has got a giant club foot.
‘Albion was a giant originally,’ smiles Wen unfolding a map of the Ancient Country, ‘look, in those days ‘Dorset’ was the domain of the Durotriges clan…’
‘Wow! Where did you get this?’
I am not sure I believe her.
It is much more likely that this has fallen from heaven like manna of old.
It has all the ancient sites marked on it… and everything.
It is a vocational moment.
The world has finally changed for the better and now anything can happen.
‘You know this means that the heel of the foot of the country is called Dover?’
‘Yeahhss’ says Wen suspiciously.
She knows me too well already.
‘Well that makes Albion, fleet-footed, like Mercury. Albion’s heels are Dove winged!’
Excerpt from, The Heart of Albion by Stuart France and Sue Vincent.
Uffington, we decided on the way up there, is a ‘biggie’.
A Big Hitter.
Or any other of the many hackneyed phrases the Tee Vee Heads like to summon in order to express quality.
If we had not visited Uffington that misty March morning just over five years ago we would not be doing what we are now doing.
And that was real mist, just by the way.
Back then we did not even properly know what Uffington was.
But, then, how could we?
We can laugh, now, at the whole ‘is it a horse’ or ‘is it a dragon’ debate.
It is both.
And the clue is Dragon Hill.
But that is not where St George slew the dragon.
That is where St George spied the dragon.
The dragon in the hill…
Which can still be seen to this day.
And we cannot be any more explicit than that.
So, check it out…
to be continued…