Walking the Gemini Figure in the Glastonbury Zodiac

Walking the Gemini Figure

The Dundon twin depicted as Orion holding up the Zodiac.  Artist: Yuri Leitch

The Dundon twin depicted as Orion holding up the Zodiac. Artist: Yuri Leitch

Our third adventure into the Zodiac on this year’s Alchemical Journey takes us to the twin peaks of Gemini and the giant baby of Dundon, drawn by two hills with their own very different character. This figure was first identified by Katharine Maltwood as the constellation Orion, and it has shape-shifted its way into different stellar images in typical Geminian fashion. It is one of the most striking figures in the zodiac wheel and once you’ve seen it from an overhead photograph (with its head pointing eastwards), you will always do so. Our effigy is distinctively marked out in the landscape, and is associated by many with the Christ figure. His head is tilted to one side, one arm reaches to his naval, the other outstretched above his head. Established by Mary Caine (and now accepted by most) as one of Gemini’s heavenly twins, this most capricious of characters longed for a sibling, and one has since emerged in the area of Etsome Bridge, just north of Somerton. The second twin remains the quieter, less distinguished of the pair, meditating cross-legged on a more gently sloping terrain.

The Gemini weekend on The Alchemical Journey marks the pollination phase of our journey around the zodiac, and we imagine ourselves as butterflies and bees, actively engaged in the flutter and buzz of early summer. In Gemini, we let our curiosity guide us, and allow the youthful, playful spirit of the twins to inspire our imaginations, open up new pathways of connection and meaning. And there is plenty to keep us stimulated on this most alluring of our monthly walks. We begin at Meadway Hall, and our curiosity is first piqued by a mysterious old pilgrim’s path that runs from Trays Farm on the bull’s eye to St Andrew’s Church. We follow it to the base of Dundon Beacon, the first hill that we ascend, walking in silent meditation through its enchanted wood and pausing for reflection at its sacred spring, on the third eye point of the figure; a source that once served the village of Castlebrook below. When we reach its plateaued summit, we discover the most sublime meadow, full of wild flowers, once home to a hilltop community of several thousand people. From the top we can see the overlooked second twin, and we send some energy in his direction and promise that we really will pay him a visit this year!

Google Earth Image, created by Gail Cornwell

Google Earth Image, created by Gail Cornwell

The Yew Tree at St Andrew's Church, Dundon

The Yew Tree at St Andrew's Church, Dundon

We descend on the other side and rejoin the pilgrim’s path, walking on to St Andrew’s Church, with its magnificent ancient yew. At 1700 years young (and still thriving), it is the oldest in Somerset and we pause for a while there; this old tree always puts things in perspective, a perfect counterbalance to the youthful excesses of Gemini. The church is full of little Geminian synchronicities, including a beautiful, yet bizarre stained-glass above the altar. From there we head past the Earth-Spirit Centre, on the effigy’s throat chakra, and walk up the bare, exposed Lollover Hill, which appears in stark contrast to the lushness of the Beacon. Again we are aware of the opposite-contradictory forces at play in this sign. Our climb is rewarded with a commanding view over the surrounding countryside. We return, stimulated in body and mind, taking one last draught of air from this most breathy of signs!

Click Here for More Details About Our Gemini Workshop & Walk on 27th May 2012 in Glastonbury

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