February’s videographic journey through the Kingston Zodiac in the company of Mary Caine and Jonathan Barnett takes us through the sign of Aquarius, where we encounter a strange and curious legend of murder and robbery with links to the archetypal Aquarian waterpot. Appropriately enough, the locality from which this legend hails has links to the Knights Templar; the archetypal Grail Keepers of a symbolic vessel of which the Aquarian Waterpot is just one of a myriad of interconnected manifestations.
In ancient Celtic Tree Alphabets the Lunar Month to which the Sign of Aquarius corresponds is ruled over by the Quickbean, Mountain Ash or Rowan. According to Robert Graves, ‘Its round wattles, spread with newly flayed bull’s hides, were used by the Druids as a last extremity for compelling demons to answer difficutl questions- hence the Irish proverbial expression ‘to go on the wattles of knowledge’, meaning to do one’s utmost to get information.’ Perhaps this indicates that the truth will very soon out with regard to who is really responsible for the current depression and credit crisis. Who are we to say?
In folk song the Rowan’s use as a defensive weapon for the warding off of malevolent occult forces is explored in the ballad of ‘The Twelve Witches’, an excellent rendition of which can be found on Steeleye Span’s 1976 Folk Rock lp ‘Rocket Cottage’. Next month’s tree, to coincide with the Sun’s transit through the sign of Pisces is the Sacred Ash: principal wood source for the sacred ‘World Pillar’ of the Ancient Teutons.