This month’s Zodiacal sign from Mary Caine’s Kingston Zodiac is Chessington and Surbiton’s big cat, Leo. Like it’s Somerset counterpart, which lies directly adjacent to the ancient West Saxon Royal Capital of Somerset, which sits directly beneath the lion’s front paw on kingston’s Glastonbury counterpart, the traditional location of West Saxon royal coronations, at Kingston in Surrey, surmounts, or, more appropritely, crowns the Lion’s head in Mary Caine’s Surrey circle.
Perhaps then it is something more than coincidence that Taliesin, Sovereign Bard of the old Welsh dynasty of Rheged, appears to have known of his existence: at least if Katherine Maltwood’s interpretation of the following lines from one of his more obscure bardic ciphers is anything to go by:
‘There is a formidable animal from the city of Satanas,
which has made an inroad between the deep and the shallows.
His mouth is as wide as the mountains of Mynnau:
neither death shall vanquish him,
nor hand, nor sword.
There is a load of nine hundred rocks between his two paws:
there is but one eye in his head,
vivid as the blue ice.’
According to Maltwood, who discovered Glastonbury’s Leonine Effigy before she discovered the other Zodiacal figures in her Zodiac, just as Mary Caine was to do with its Kingstonian counterpart, the ‘nine hundred rocks between his paws’ is a cryptic reference to the town of Somerton itself. If this supposition is correct it would perhaps provide us with an explaination as to how the symbol of the laudatory lion first got his face on the Royal Coat of Arms to begin with. It might likewise explain what apparently attracted the questing Templar knights who carved the Zodiacal effigies on Stoke-sub-Hampden’s curious church typanum just six miles south of Glastonbury’s Leonine Effigy.
We shall return to this territory again later on in the year when the Merlinhedd Films Youtube channel starts to serialize my film on London’s living Da Vinci Code. In the meantime, for those of you who can’t wait to get your teeth into some similarly esoteric nuggets my films on the Luddites and ‘Strange Myths of Kings Cross’ are getting a showing at this month’s Portobello Film Festival.
To download a full pdf programme go to:
Have fun and good viewing!