- Religion and Philosophy»
- Paganism & Witchcraft
The Landscape Zodiac of Britain part 2 The Hub, Canterbury
So, having been to the magnetic North-Pole and back to Canterbury via the Orkneys, Easter Head (John o' Groats), Stirling, Whitby, Bridlington, Mabelthorpe, splashing across The Wash and through Bury St Edmunds and along The Street Of Stones and through Chestfield and into Canterbury and the three standing stones in St Augustine's Abbey... on what I say is the Cancerian spoke of a huge Landscape Zodiac wheel - we should - before going off along any of the other 11 directions quick look at the wheel in its entirety, and then have a slightly more detailed look at the Hub of the wheel itself, which is the City of Canterbury- well, certain areas of it.
First though, I'll show you a simple little diagram wot I dun that shows Canterbury is positioned in the Kent landscape in a quite remarkable way. It was this positioning that lead me to suspect this zodiac's existence in the first place. As we've seen in the previous articles, it is seven miles from the end of The Street Of Stones to the three standing stones in St Augustine's Abbey. Then it's twice that length (2 X 7) from St Augustine's magnetically eastwards to St Augustine's Abbey on the Isle Of Thanet. From the same three standing stones it is also fourteen miles magnetically south to Folkestone and its now ruined Christchurch Monastery. And going magnetically west its a long walk to the final-end of the line which is at the country's most south western extreme, Lizard Point in Cornwall - that's 291 miles. You'll no-doubt recall from part two in this series that the northern alignment hits the most extreme northern point at 535 miles - there's little doubt in my mind that the religious shrine at St Augustine's and the standing stones still there were positioned in that spot with an astronomic accuracy only equalled by the builders of Stonehenge.
Y'know, this Google-Earth thing is amazing - accurate measuring tools and everything. When I first got teched-up with internet and all that, I went nuts with this software. Measured everything on the face of the planet.
So I had to measure the distance between those two extremes, didn't I? 607 miles I make it, according to Google-Earth, anyway - who am I to argue? I mean, what really curdled the cheese in my cranium was the fact that this connecting-up of the national extremities - out of plain old curiosity - caused me to accidentally discover this triangle.
a woman's seat
Which led me to lots and lots of measuring, triangulating, ruminating, writing, drawing and all that. I came up with some interesting new lines of speculation about why the southern-part of the island of Britain is called Angleterre (Angular Earth/Land) by the French, why the English are the Angles (Engles) and various other things I can't put down in words. I figured that those standing stone erectors and aligners of prehistoric Angle-Land MUST HAVE been aware of the fact that connecting up these points as I have here would form/does form a perfect right-angled triangle! I mean... why else are those standing stones in St Augustine's Abbey positioned exactly there... at the crux of this nation-wide triangle?
Something else that was really gnawing-away at me was this: How come no-one else has spotted all this before? Am I hallucinating? Mad?
I measured everything again. And again. And again..... etc, etc.
I noticed another triangle, also a right angled one. But with this one, all three of the points were unarguably man-made. And all in Canterbury.
The first point of this little triangle is of course St Augustine's Abbey and the trinity of standing stones there. I cannot prove it, but geometrical logic suggests to me that these three stones would have been positioned as a triangle - a right angled triangle. Historians tell us that this sacred site was, until around AD 590. (records show) in the possession of the Saxon King Ethelbert, and he was somehow persuaded, by Pope's man Augustine, to 'lend' the site to the new Christian faith. Anyway, until then the mega-powerful Kings of Kent had 'worshipped' at this site, and many royal, ancestral progenitors slept in their graves here.
Augustine recognised the sacred/spiritual/religious importance of the site to the native Kent Kings, and decided that HERE was a good place to anchor the new religion. He wasn't as daft as he looked. Not only did they build an Abbey here but two other churches nestled here alongside it - St Pancras' and St Peter's and St Paul - a trinity of ecclesiastic buildings incorporating three very special standing stones lime-mortared in their stone fabric. Today, only two of those stones are immediately apparent to the casual visitor to St Augustine's - rescued from their entombing walls and foundations, but a careful squint at the remaining walls reveals several candidates for the third.
The second point of our triangle is the Cathedral with it's unique zodiacal floor 'roundels' pictured below. Millions of yards have been written about the Cathedral and how it was built under the direction of the Norman Archbishop Lanfranc three years after the Saxon Cathedral had burned to the ground, so there's not much I can add. The present stone structure stands slightly south of (in yards), but identical in size with, the footprint of the Saxon pile - but for its size alone the Saxon Cathedral was unusual. The site is especially sacred, and archaeologists say that before the Saxon Cathedral stood here there was an older church. Who knows for how long this spot has been viewed as 'special?'
It's also a slightly odd Cathedral in that the central nave of this mighty house is slightly banana shaped - the east and west ends are out of 'true' with each other. That IS odd. Given the immense skills of the architects and stone-masons that built it, it's difficult to imagine that this curve was accidental. But why is it there?
I can only venture the idea that as 'Cathedral' is a Latin word: Cathedra and according to the etymology site etymonline.com, it means an easy chair (principally used by ladies). For my money, this highly unusual slight curve in the Nave is a gesture toward the feminine, the female - as deity... as priestess... as most-worthy of veneration.
Whilst on the subject I might as well throw in the fact that when the Norman Cathedral first 'opened' for its job, it was a nunnery, and men were forbidden access - that's actually why the Cathedral has a high wall built around it - to keep the men out.
In the ''Dark-Ages' they built a monastery on the side - totally separated from the nunnery - and Franciscan Monks moved in - next door. After the martyring of Becket in Trinity Chapel masses of pilgrims wanted to visit and it became what we now know it as - a large church open to all, and final resting place of the great and good. Here's a few of those entombed in there: Queen Bertha (wife of King Ethelbert) Thomas Becket; The Black Prince; Henry IV; Lanfranc; Somerset Maugham; St Alphege; St Anselm;
Any road, all I'm saying is that these zodiac roundels in the Cathedral's floor seem to me to be hinting at a fact that probably couldn't be openly stated or acknowledged in the days when they were laid there. This location (Canterbury) was historically speaking, firmly associated with the Cosmos, the Zodiac and Female Divinity - and that was why Roman Catholic Christianity was intent on rooting itself here....in Canterbury. They recognised potential for power when they saw it.
The third point of the Canterbury triangle is the Dane John Mound, known as dungeon-hill originally (pictured here). To quote Armitage "The name Dane John is not so much a corruption (of Dungeon) as a deliberate perversion introduced by the antiquary Somner about 1640, under the idea that the Danes threw up the hill".
This deliberate perversion of the mound's history probably occurred because Somner had no idea what the mound's really there for- it certainly ain't a burial mound even if some Romans were apparently/legendarily entombed within it- they sure ain't in there now.
It was probably 'thrown-up' in the Bronze-Age, and over the intervening centuries was used in various ways but chiefly as a defensive position.
St Augustine's Abbey
So, as I was saying, you can (as I have) draw a line between these three ancient sacred-sites and form a certain geometrical figure, a right-angled-triangle.
The lengths of the connecting-lines are interesting. It is a 1/4 of a mile from the floor zodiac in Trinity Chapel in the Cathedral to the trinity of standing stones in St Augustines Abbey, and 1/2 a mile from there to the Mound- an exact 2-1 ratio. To the ancient philosophers, this was significant.
This 2-1 ratio was a design feature in the biblical King Solomon's Temple.
The distance from the Mound to the Cathedral is 1.16 miles- a number involved since antiquity in the proportional-perfection found everywhere in nature- the Golden Ratio-also incorporated into Solomon's Temple.
And it's worth taking note that the BIG triangle encompassing the entire nation is also more-or-less the same ratio.
3 nations, 3 tongues, 3 sides
wheel in the weald
And so now what we have is three triangles - one inside the other, with their mutually shared 'crux' or square angle, anchored in Canterbury. A trinity of trinities. 3 x 3 = 9.
There are a lot of 'clues' about the occulted (hidden) side of Canterbury concealed in plain-view - in the very name itself, in fact. When I say 'hidden side' what I mean is that before Christianity happened along, the type of religion carried on in this land was Astro-Shamanic.
Astroshamanism describes ALL ancient religions and spiritual systems - they were astrologically and astronomically inspired: The 'Son' is the 'Sun,' Virgin Mary is Virgo, and her epithet Queen Of Heaven is a Moon metaphor. Christianity's fish symbol is the opposite sign, Pisces - because Christianity's founding coincided with the then dawning age of Pisces.... the Old Testament's 'sacrificial Ram' was the preceding era's sign - Aries.
This ancient fixation (globally) with the heavens and the marking-out and measuring thereof, led to the erection of Henges, Stone Circles, Standing Stones, Mounds Pyramids etc. These practices were carried on by humanity for thousands and thousands of years - were the backdrop to and motivation for everything they did. I have to laugh when I hear archaeologists describing the ancient Britons as 'farmers,' as if agriculture were their 'holy grail!' ho ho ho! I'd cry if I didn't laugh - or chuck something at the telly, and howl like a dying mouse. It's such a Victorian perspective - virtually ignores the genius of the ancient circle builders. Only last night on the BBC that Scot's git - an alleged historian - droned-on in his interpretation of awe at how the ancient Brit's had fed themselves. The dudes that erected Stonehenge he described as a 'hunter-gatherer culture' Do effing what!?
I digress. I think it's a good plan to do a little olde toponymy (my version) on the city's name - Canterbury.
I want to start with the suffix Bury, first. Orthodox toponymists insist that Bury is a corrupted form of Burgh, in every case signifying a fortified town or city with a wall. But this is not strictly true - there are many towns and City's suffixed with Bury that are not fortified and do not have a wall - most though possess ecclesiastic establishments of some 'importance' or grandeur.
Canter-Bury is NOT however, a fort. It is a holy-city with a Cathedral, and that's what it's always been - according to everyone who knows. So what if the nasty Normans DID build a fort here? They built them everywhere because nobody wanted them in England, or Canterbury. Hence they had to defend themselves from the locals- as would the Nazi's have, if they'd ever got here.
The wall that surrounds the city was built by the Romans who had great wall-building competitions between different army regiments. The encircling wall of Canterbury probably won the Canterbury legion a nice trophy or summat. I suspect they built it on theremnants or foundations of some ancient timber posts or palisades, erected by the circle-builders, that enclosed the city within a spoked wheel. The wheel of the zodiac?
So, given the propensity of the new religion Christianity to 'cover-up' and condemn any and all signs of a previous religion in the land, then Bury's other meaning becomes more appropriate, for bury means to conceal or hide. Phonetically speaking berry and bury are identical. Within a berry are seeds. When you bury a berry, you guarantee that the thing buried will at some future time, emerge from where you'd hidden it.
For buried that ancient knowledge was. But now it's re-emerging..... the growing-tip, stem, some tiny branches....
The prefix to Canterbury is Canter, and a canter is the fast-trot of a horse or pony. Orthodoxy suggests that the word canter was invented by the Pilgrims who rode to Trinity Chapel and the zodiac roundels in Canterbury on their ponies or mules. They would urge the beast to a fast trot towards Canterbury and the term to canter was born. But I believe the term is much older than the pilgrims, for Canterbury has always been associated with things that move rapidly - in this case I believe that thing is a wheel.
There are several old Anglish words that help out considerably: "cantel" being one of them; a "cantel" is a buttress or support. It is an easy thing to see the propriety of this for a holy-city, the holy city of the Anglish- a buttress, a support...I feel a biblical quote coming on: “I am writing these things to you so that you may know how one ought to behave in the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.” - 1 Timothy 3:14-15
So in my estimation Canterbury was in ancient times thought of as supporting or holding something. It is a cantel. I believe that they thought of it as holding the spindle or hub of something. Something that moved with power. It's worth remembering that the very symbol for power - horse power - is Kent's (Cant's) emblem- Invicta. But there's more....
In the days before the white rearing horse was chosen as an emblem of that power the County was, according to Albert Churchward (The Arcana Of Freemasonry) the emblem that previously flew over and represented Kent was the Triskalion now associated with the Isle Of Man.
But, those bog-standard interpreters of ancient mysteries don't agree. They tell us that Canterbury means nothing more than The Place Of The Alder Swamp, or The Fortress Of The Men Of Kent. Does either one of them sound like an appropriate name for the most-holy site in English Christendom?
the wheel in the weald
what goes around...
I have a 1964 copy of The Concise Oxford Dictionary which says that the shortened prefix "cant" is a nautical term meaning to 'swing around.' Hmm,to swing around? Might that be around an axis? But the dictionary yields more: movement; turn over, turn upside-down. Hmm, these sound to me like descriptions of... a wheel.
Now, what did the Romans call Canterbury...? Ah yes, it was Durovernum. The prefix Duro is something that endures.
The suffix Vernum would, I believe, have something to do with Verna, the Roman goddess of spring - and of course the season of spring itself - Vernal Equinox is the start of spring.
It seems to me - because of the name they gave the city - that the Romans knew something only just re-emerged. Their name Durovernum includes Verna the goddess of Spring, which suggests that some-why or other Canterbury was associated in their minds with the season of Spring. They must have discovered this from the Natives.
Here's what the natives must have told them - must have because why else name Canterbury after the goddess of spring? For an observer at the great astronomical observatory on Salisbury Plain, Stonehenge, at the Vernal Equinox when Verna takes over the rule of the year, the Sun just happens to rise almost directly over Duro-vernum - 126 Miles away.
But back on the issue of the county emblem, the Invicta.
The Romans had a sun-god usually depicted with 4 stallions pulling his chariot and his name was Sol Invictus - the Unconquered Sun - in English.
The native Brits also depicted the sun god in the guise of a white stallion. Can it be coincidence that Duro Vernum the Enduring Spring is in a County represented by a rearing white stallion called Invicta? Is the white stallion emblem of Kent actually a representation of the Unconquered Sun, rising in victory (over the power of winter & death) on Vernal Equinox over the city?