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Glastonbury

49 48 AsTRONOMy AND GeOMeTRy great order in the landscape the twelve Hides and the seven holy islands of Glastonbury formed the basis of a pattern that reflected the perfection of the heavens above. the seven islands corresponded to the stars of the Great Bear with the tor as the Pole star, a theme repeated in the floor pattern of the old church with the twelve signs of the Zodiac around the centre of the circle, and the twelve monastic cells of his followers around st Joseph s old wattle oratory. this mystical idea of recreating heaven on earth by the use of geometry and sacred number is very ancient and is found in the designs of many sacred sites including stonehenge and the Gizeh pyramids. It was therefore tempting for Katherine Maltwood to claim in 1935 that the landscape around Glastonbury was fashioned into the outlines of the various creatures of the Zodiac such as Leo, taurus, capricorn, and Virgo. For some this was the discovery of a holy grail although others found it unconvincing. More relevant to the Glastonbury mystery is the simple symbol of the vesica piscis. this consists of two equal overlapping circles, with the centre of one on the circumference of the other. the Latin words mean literally bladder of the fish and the central almond shaped part of the design was an early christian symbol for christ. shown below and opposite are various strange marriages of geometry, landscape and architecture around Glastonbury. Above John Michell s diagram of a vesica pisces overlayed between the Abbot s Fishpond and the Market Cross in Glastonbury. Opposite Diagram by Nicholas Mann showing the relationship between the Tor, Chalice Hill and the siting of the Abbey. Above right Kenneth Knight s discovery of the pentagonally based midsummermidwinter alignment from Glastonbury to Wells Cathedral. Also shows the easterly Stonehenge alignment. Above Katherine Maltwood s landscape zodiac of fields centred on Butleigh woods. Above A lunar extreme and crossquarter parallelogram of major ironage hillforts in the area WELLS CATHEDRAL Saxon ST JOHNS CHURCH GLASTONBURY ST BENEDICT S CHURCH GLASTONBURY ST MARY S CHAPEL GLASTONBURY ABBEY EAST TO STONEHENGE TO CASTLE NEROCH HILLFORT W INT ER SOL STIC E SU NSE T NOT DRAWN TO SCALE THE MIDWINTER PENTAGONAL ALIGNMENT S U M M E R S O L S T I C E S U N R I S E
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