Pilgrimage From Scorpio to Gemini: Articulating the Shadow

Mary Caine's Map of the Glastonbury Zodiac

On Sunday my wife Colette and myself walked from the tail of the Scorpion to the throat of one of the Gemini twins in the Glastonbury Zodiac.  I conceived the pilgrimage route across the landscape temple as a personal journey of transformation – a way of drawing out something dark, powerful and difficult to express within me (and within our relationship) into the light of conscious expression and communication – a way, perhaps, of articulating the shadow side that dwells deep within us all, a shadow that holds our power, our truth, our deepest wealth.

The River Brue Drawing the Underside of the Scorpion's Tail

So we left Glastonbury at around 8.30am on Sunday morning and drove both our cars to the end of the walk at Dundon church, and left one vehicle there, driving on then together to the start of the walk at Lovington – a pub appropriately named the Pilgrim’s Rest.  So we began, with beautiful clear skies on an unusually warm spring day on the tail of the Scorpion. We normally walk this figure in Autumn so it felt very different being there at this time of the year. The first half of the walk follow the River Brue, as it winds its way through this part of the Somerset countryside.  This first section of the walk took us past Knight’s Bridge, and the ruined old church of East Lydford, which you can see on this map by Yuri Leitch.

The End of the Scorpion's Tail. Drawn by Yuri Leitch

One of the first things we saw was the remains of a bonfire, almost extinguished but still smouldering from the night before, which seemed highly appropriate. The name of the river is the “Brue”, which means “noise” and judging by the number of weirs we came across en route, it is aptly identified as a noisy river – it certainly has character and wants to express itself!

The Weir at West Lydford

We then crossed the Fosseway and still following the river came upon the most beautiful bridge at Lydford-on-Fosse and this brought up to the sting in the Scorpion’s tail at Lydford Church.  We took the war memorial in front of the church as an apt symbol of the sting and, as this was one of our key power spots on the walk, we did a simple ritual there, lighting a candle, sounding tibetan bells, and taking three drops of the Scorpio essence prepared last year by the zodiac essence group (Sophie Knock, Bahli-Mans-Morris, Casey John & An Greenheart).  We then walked through the churchyard, noticing that there are eight rather strange spikes protruding from the tower of the church, like stings, or even hydra heads.  Interesting that there were eight, Scorpio being the eighth sign of the zodiac.

The Bridge at West Lydford

The "Stings" Protruding from West Lydford Church!

The Libran Dove on the Map

Across a small bridge by yet another noisy weir and we were out of the Scorpio figure and (still following the Brue) on our way to the dove of Libra.  A beautiful walk along the river bank through accompanied by rows and rows of pear trees in bud.  (We could stretch it and call them “pair” trees and then we have a nice entree for Libra!)  Eventually we reached Tootle Bridge on the dove’s wing – with the dovecote nearby.

Walk Along the Dove's Wing from Tootle Bridge

Baltonsborough Flights on the Map

Crossing the bridge to the other bank we then proceeded all the way along the wing to the tip at Baltonsborough Flights.  This is a really special place in the zodiac, being one of the points in the zodiac where two zodiac signs touch – and they do so in the most poignant way.  The ‘flights’, yet another weir, are so named I guess because of the weir’s resemblance to a flight of stairs or just because of the way that the water seems to fly into the pool below.  Yet this point is exactly on the forehead of the Sagittarius figure, the third eye point identified by Serena Roney-Dougall.  The Sagittarius effigy has be described as Arthur, Hercules, and as the centaur-shaman, Chiron.  From the ‘flights’, his third eye, flies the bird of peace, the dove of Libra.  It’s one of the compelling images in the wheel and we always mark it on our various walks to this point with a special ritual.  On this occasion, we repeated the simple ritual we had done in Scorpio, and took three drops of both the Libra and Sagittarius essences.

The Horses That Greeted Us in Sagittarius

We then walked along the profile and upper arm of Sagittarius, along Dunstan’s Dyke, the mill stream that St Dunstan created over a thousand years diverting the course of the River Brue, and in so doing created the archer’s profile.  Having passed Baltonsborough Church, we eventually rejoined the River Brue proper, only crossing it this time at Wallyer’s Bridge.  Following the road around to the pointing finger of Sagittarius at Baileys Lane, just before Butleigh, pointing straight toward Park Wood and the dead centre of the Zodiac.  This is a sacred place within the wheel and one we have visited numerous times.  It felt very important to pay our respects to it on this particular walk.

Park Wood Viewed from Wallyer's Bridge

There is a wonderful old cedar in a small clearing near to the edge of the wood and we have come to honour this place as the symbolic pole of the zodiacal ecliptic, the axis mundi upon which the zodiac wheel is hinged.  Park Wood has a dragon legend associated with it, which is most fitting for the ecliptic pole, where Draco stands guard in the heavens.  Having done another ritual here, we move on through the village Butleigh to join up with the processional avenue of cedars that puts us on the Milky Way path (discovered by Anthony Thorley) that we will follow for the rest of the walk.  The cedar avenue is a sight to behold and feels incredibly sacred – one of the most exhilarating parts of the walk.

The Processional Avenue of Lebanese Cedars

Having reached the end of the the cedar avenue we rejoin the footpath that takes us up the hill to the horn of Taurus the Bull.  This is decent climb and we rest near the top and take in the spectacular view over to Glastonbury Tor across the moors.  After a few stretches, we carry on, crossing the road and arriving at Hood Monument.  This towering monolith dominates the landscape and can be seen for miles around – one of several useful zodiac markers.  From here it’s a fairly sharp downhill to Trays Farm on the bull’s eye, where a nearby target range was set up until recent times!

Dundon Beacon (Gemini) viewed from Trays Farm (Taurus Bull's Eye)

So we have now journeyed from Scorpio’s sting through the third eye of Sagittarius to the bull’s eye in Taurus, and we reflect on the meaningful nature of this journey before meeting up with two friends who join us for the final part of the walk along the old pilgrim’s track through Compton Dundon to finally arrive at Dundon church.  We decided not to climb the beacon on this occasion, we were starting to feel our legs by this stage.  But as we approached the church with the fabulous old yew, chatting away with our friends (one of whom was a Gemini), we definitely felt as though we had taken a significant journey, allowing voice, dialogue and articulation to express something of the unfathomable depth that we began with in Scorpio.

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