July is here and as the Portobello Film Festival fast approaches a short, or rather long, series of blogs now begins intended to supplement Mary Caine and Jonathan Barnett’s film on the ‘The Kingston Zodiac’, still available on DVD from Jonathan Barnett care of the Portobello Film Festival office, Unit 11, Acava, 54 Blechynden Street, London W10 6RJ. Telephone 020 8960 0996.
Although this year’s Kingston Green Fair was unfortunately a wash out, thanks, primarily, to an abundance of rain, caused, quite probably by shifting weather patterns brought on as a result of the onset of Global Warming, the showing of my film, ‘Voices of Albion’, itself the subject of last month’s blog and from which a number of key extracts have been posted up and blogged on over the past few months, appears to have been a resounding success. At least, that’s what it seems to look like, judging from the call I got from Des Kay in the days immediately following the deluge from above. Maybe it was because the weather was so atrocious everyone had to hide under canvas in whatever tents were available as a means of avoiding the inevitable soaking. But, I digress……
As I said at the beginning, this month’s blog begins a twelve month journey through the Kingston Zodiac in the company of the late Mary Caine and Jonathan Barnett, and is intended to supplement the various sections of the preview chapter of my forthcoming book on ‘Legendary London’ which has previously made up a not inconsequential proportion of the opening postings on this blog. As those of you who have logged on to this blog in the past will be able to recall, the prevailing undercurrent with which this blog has been concerned from the outset is the link between indigenous paganism and Traditional English and Scottish Folk Music.
And, where else do we find such a provable link, but in the Traditional Somerset Wassail Song, where we find direct reference to the gigantic effigy of a hound, which stands guard over the western approaches into Glastonbury’s Zodiacal circle, for
"The Girt Dog of Langport has burnt his long tail
And this is the night we go singing Wassail……"
This considered, it is perhaps fitting that our journey through the Kingston Zodiac should here begin on Langport’s Surrey counterpart, as the Dog Days of July fast approach…..Hit the start button on the embeded film clip and follow our journey across Kingston’s hidden Star Temple in the footsteps of the Druids, the Templars and the Gnostics and Mystics of ages past and ages present…..