Walking the Glastonbury Zodiac 2010 – Part 6: Virgo

Lynne Speight With Corn Dollies

Lynne Speight With Corn Dollies

THIS BLOG IS ONE-YEAR OLD.  IT WAS WRITTEN IN AUGUST 2010

I’m just returned from this year’s annual pilgrimage into the Virgo figure in The Glastonbury Zodiac, as part of this month’s Alchemical Journey workshop. By way of preparation on Saturday each member of our group explored their relationship to the Virgo archetype and engaged in a number of activities designed to help us drop into the mystery of this often misunderstood sign.

Our Virgo Group

Our Virgo Group

Our day on Saturday culminated with a beautiful exercise led by Lynne Speight, where we each made a corn dolly in honour of Virgo. It was a perfect preparation for our walk into the landscape effigy today.

Virgo is one of the most gentle, nurturing and evidently pastoral landscapes that we encounter on our zodiacal adventure, ripe with the potency of initiation into the mystery of the feminine perspective. With much of her form being marked out by the winding path of the River Cary, we could see her as Old Mother Carey, the caileach, whose sunken jaw and wrinkled face at Cary Fitzpaine puts us in mind of a witch or wise woman.

Virgo by Yuri Leitch

Virgo by Yuri Leitch

This most striking landscape effigy clearly resembles a woman with a long flowing dress, easily conjuring the image of a harvest goddess, overseeing the harvest time of the year that Virgo represents. Our walk takes place around the parish of Babcary, on her swollen belly, its name suggestive of the baby she carries, and there is even a local legend here of a royal child once being hidden in the village.

To get to Virgo from Glastonbury, we seem to leave the Zodiac, crossing the Fosseway, the natural boundary of the ecliptic circle on the ground. For she sits apart from the other signs, somewhat detached, ‘beyond the pale’ (pale being an old word for fence); a woman whose unashamed sexuality is anathema to the patriarchal religious structures that she inevitably subverts. She is the fallen woman of Christianity, and we find the only church in the Zodiac dedicated to Mary Magdalene on Virgo’s wheatsheaf at Keinton Mandeville. We may envisage her also as Magdalene’s Arthurian counterpart Guinevere, furthest from Avalon yet nearest to Camelot, fiercely guarding the integrity of the feminine principle in our round table landscape.

Our Group on Wimble Toot

Our Group on Wimble Toot

This morning, our group formed a circle on Wimble Toot, the ancient round barrow on the nipple of the Goddess’s breast, and we offered up our prayers and deepest longings to her. The Toot is difficult to access and we entered via a well-hidden path, the main track being blocked off from the road by a landowner clearly respectful of her modesty!

As we walked slowly around her pregnant belly and upper body, I was aware of the slowness and deliberacy of the cyclical transition, but also of the urgency and rightness of this time. The seasonal turning of the year became a symbol for the paradigm shift of consciousness that must once again draw upon the power of the Goddess if it is to have any hope of uniting the jagged shards of our fragmented world.

Virgo carries the energy of ritual precision, respect and careful discrimination. She connects us to the magic that exists in the fine detail of life, and through the honouring the harvest ritual, we are offered a key to the timeless eternity of the present moment, so uniting with her opposite sign Pisces, as we transcend the boundaries of ego and lose ourselves in service to a greater oneness. She reminds us that we must attune ourselves to the land, and pay our token of respect to that which feeds and nurtures us. And she reminds us to embrace that which lies beyond the pale in ourselves and to welcome it.

As ever I am indebted to Anthony Thorley for his insight and dedication to the Zodiac. You can join us both on our next Alchemical journey weekend, which is Libra: The Alchemy of Relationship. It takes place in Glastonbury & Barton St David on 9th / 10th October. All are welcome. See our website: www.thealchemicaljourney.co.uk for details. You can also contact me for astrological consultations on 01458 831771.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>