Follow by Email

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I was given a copy of Deborah Crombie’s book A Finer End, a detective story set in Glastonbury, which sparked the memory of this little-known bit of history. So I decided to share it!

In 1945, I happened to go into a bookstore in New York City and found a pamphlet on Glastonbury by a woman called K. E. Maltwood. In it, she described how in 1922 she had climbed the Tor and gone into an altered state and saw the zodiac hidden in the earth of Glastonbury. She managed to fly in a plane and took a picture of the area and, sure enough, found evidence that she was right. What she had discovered was that King Arthur’s Roundtable was actually the name for a complete zodiac represented by twelve figures outlined in the earth! The only exception was the substitution of a dog for the crab of Cancer. Dogs, however, are ruled by Cancer. Somewhere, I hope, in this house, I still have that pamphlet. The place itself dates back to 3000 B.C. but I have no date for the zodiac, which one presumes may go back to the time of the legendary King Arthur.

As the years passed, I further discovered that John Dee, astrologer, mystic, and alchemist to Queen Elizabeth I, had a fellow initiate confide in him that King Arthur’s Roundtable was hidden in the earth of Glastonbury!

In the 1980s, when I was at Oxford, I went into the famous bookstore Blackwell’s, one of my favorites, and lo and behold, on the bottom shelf of one of the stacks were two large yellow paperbacks on this very subject complete with maps and further evidence: graphics with outlines and further geometric wonders included, put out by R.I.L.K.O. [Research Into Lost Knowledge Organization]! Here in these books lies the proof.

Needless to say, I have visited Glastonbury several times and stood in the middle of that very zodiac. I have also visited the Chalice Well and drunk from its waters, and climbed the Tor where there are two famous old oak trees, Gog and Magog.

As I recall, the legend is that the biblical Joseph of Arimethia, a follower of Christ, traveled to Britain and to Glastonbury and placed a thorn staff in the earth, which blossomed on Christmas Day, I think, with white roses. There is no question in my mind whatsoever that Glastonbury is a power point and has drawn pilgrims to it over the centuries. It is not far from Stonehenge and Avebury, another Somerset center for standing stones, so the chances are that this has been a magical area ever since prehistoric times. As I understand it, it is now a site for crowds of young people who gather there for Glastonbury Fayre at the time of the summer solstice.

The great ruins of the Glastonbury Abbey still stand in mute testimony to an ongoing mystery. Before Ms. Maltwood, a man called Frederick Bligh Bond also had a mystical vision of what the monks at the Abbey were all about.

Nearby is another beautiful, still standing cathedral at Wells. The steps going up to its entrance show the wear of countless pilgrims and the sense of beauty and spiritual peace of Wells Cathedral is something never ever to be forgotten.

On a winter trip in the 1970s that I took alone, I stopped at a medieval inn. I was the only guest, and the landlord informed me that he would lock up and return in the morning; thus I found myself totally alone in this ancient inn. I confess, I slept very fitfully and woke in the night feeling both apprehensive and wary of every possible sound, but I met no apparitions. Still, it is a night I will never forget.

In my family tree, a number of my ancestors came from these regions, and I highly recommend the Salisbury area as a fascinating place to visit. P.S.: I do not know if R.I.L.K.O. is still doing research, but thanks to them there is now much more familiarity with such matters as ley lines connecting holy sites, standing stones marking places where they meet, etc. It seems the more we unearth about the ancient history of Britain, the more amazing discoveries we make. Here is a copy of a letter from Mrs. Maltwood, forwarded to my mother.

Copy: The Thatch, Royal Oak, Vancouver Island, B.C. [undated, presumably before 1976]

Dear Mr. Manley,

Many thanks for your interesting letter with these enclosures. You are very kind to tell me about the Orcutts.

If you are seeing them again, their daughter [Alice] might be glad to see the enclosed about my Guide, as it fits onto Philips Planesphere, from which I took it by pricking the stars through, onto the map of the effigies [the figures outlined in the earth]. If you hold it up against the light, you can see that the effigies were designed in each case to incorporate the constellations through which the sun rides.

I am sure you must have been hard-put to it, to answer some of her questions! Please let me know if I can help. I should be only too pleased to render assistance. The clipping from the local paper is well expressed. I am glad to have it.

With the Season’s greetings and best thanks,

Very Sincerely,
K. E. Maltwood


No comments: