A curious set of portents began appearing in Rochester in the week beginning the run up to the Winter Solstice/Christmas/Sol Invictus/Yule/Midwinter ritual days. Regular readers might recall my discovery of a dead goldfinch in what I took to be ritual circumstances earlier in the year and my supposition that this was linked to the symbolic connection between the goldfinch and Jesus.
The dove is another bird with symbolic connections to the Christian Holy Trinity – in this instance as a representative of the Holy Spirit – for when Christ was baptised by John the Baptist the Holy Spirit took the physical form of a dove. It is interesting to note this second dead bird was found along the same route, but further down the hill, as the first. It is of course impossible to plot a line with only two points to work from – but this downhill route would appear at this stage to be referencing points between the neolithic Kits Coty monument and Rochester Cathedral.
I was clearly not the first person to notice the significance of this ritual. As I retraced the route, across one road and up to the alley where I found the goldfinch earlier in the year, I noticed that in a direct line between the two points a car was parked [pictured above] with a defiant message of militant Christianity disrupting the line of power. I have discussed elsewhere how I believe these cars are used as mobile units, charged with prayer, that can be parked in key positions in order to block or disrupt ongoing ritual workings.
Whatever happened here is still obscure – but by the next morning the dove’s body had been removed from the road – but carefully placed on the pavement, pointing due west, was a three-tined fork – a mini-trident? This presumably as a counter-weight to the wave of Christian prayer directed downhill.
The road in question is privately owned by Rochester’s Bridge Wardens – who are resposible for the bridge over the River Medway. Could the fork/trident be linked to some river-based ritual? The trident is both a symbol of enforcement or security during more obscure occult ceremonies and is also linked to the water god Neptune/Poseiden but also to Shamash, the Babylonian sun god, and god of law and justice who is said to have given mankind their laws.
In ancient Babylon most serious crimes were punished by death, most commonly by drowning or burning. Is the trident here symbolic of a water-based punishment being directed at the person/people who interrupted the flow of energy linked to a midwinter ritual?
William Wordsworth finished his sonnet “The world is too much with us”, with a sense of nostalgia for the lost richness of a world numinous with deities and of the trident weilding sea-gods of old:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea.
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn
Or is it another reference to Christ and John the Baptist – a Christian counter curse disrupting the ritual?
Matthew 3:7 But when he (John the Baptist) saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (8) “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; (9) and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. (10) “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (11) “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (12) “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Whatever the answer – the references all seem to point to water – either baptismal or otherwise – and thus to the River Medway.
What should never suprise me, but always does, is how religion endlessly tries to hack off its own limbs in the pursuit of perfection.
Walking past a private Christian school nearby I noticed a book in the recycling binbag outside. Since I have an aversion to the unnecessary disposal of a book that I could either profitably read or sell, I took a closer look, wondering if I’d have time split the bag and whip out the contents before anyone noticed. A middle-class fear of discovery that I have been unable to shrug off… although funnily enough in the circumstances I did once get a copy of Skelton’s ‘The Practice of Witchcraft Today’ from an overflowing skip in Rye.
Nestling next to a copy of the pre-budget report in the recycling bag was a lonely and unloved Book of Mormon [see picture]. Now the Mormons, or the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are an interesting group and their Book is the translation from golden plates found in a hill by a farmer who upon translating them, gave them back to an angel called Moroni. Moroni was a pre-Columbian Christian prophet-warrior who died after a great battle between two ancient civilizations, and was subsequently resurrected to become an angel. Heady stuff. But too much for the Christian school. It sets me to wondering – where had it come from and how did it end up in the bin? Possibly that is the kind of contraband that is furtively handed round in these types of schools – in my day it was Richard Allen’s ‘Skinhead’ books but perhaps we were less infused with the holy spirit at the time.
This is a factional split in the Christian groupings in Rochester – much the same as can be seen with the inter-communal antagonism between the Sunni and Shia Muslims in troubled parts of the Middle East. When forces become split like this one wonders where alliances will be made and what will be the coming climate as winter takes hold.
Another arresting image caught my eye in the graveyard of St Margaret’s Church overlooking the fair banks of the River Medway. This time something quite odd – the decoration on a tomb showing a crucifix with the design inverted below – this inverted crucifix has a place in Christianity as the cross of Saint Peter and is really nothing sinister. However, here we see the damage done to the lower cross, possibly in a naive attempt to expunge any Crowleyian symbolism (despite the obvious Christian intent of the mason who created the thing) Collatoral damage in a psychic war.
When I was just a boy / The Devil took my hand / Took me from my home / He made me a man . . . / I’m going down, down, down, down, down / On the homebound train.” Jon Bon Jovi is also quoted as saying in Smash Hits magazine: “…I’d kill my mother for rock and roll. I would sell my soul.”
Furthermore The One Above Club has now closed down – so the Godly night-life is once more thrown to the sinners and the Medway Towns and the Pagan 93 Current washes along the New Road and gushes down Star Hill into the High Street of Rochester unabated.
Pictured left is a dead goldfinch that I nearly stepped upon in an alley in Rochester – this bird has a special significance and link to the Christ child and was often painted in medieval devotional art as a foretelling of the passion of Christ, sometimes just fluttering out of reach of the infant’s hand. This is because of the bird’s liking for the thorns and thistles it nests in and their resonance with the crown of thorns – in some stories the finch even removed a painful thorn from the dying Christ and thus gained its reputation as a ‘saviour bird’.
It comes as a shock then to see such an obvious defilement within ten minutes walk of the Cathedral. Summer is coming and the occult forces are ranging deep into the territory traditionally held to be Christian.