Goddesses, Guardians And Groves
Jack Gale, Capall Bann, 1996, £10.95
Continuing with my week of alternatively-spiritual Greenwich, I bring you what is without doubt the oddest book about the town I have ever read.
It’s so odd, in fact, that I haven’t really worked out how to approach it. Written by Jack Gale, member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the Pagan Federation and the Fellowship of Isis, the book is a guide to the Pagan spiritual sites of Greenwich, and its alternative history, as discovered by decidedly alternative methods – dowsing, rituals, visions and psychometric readings. Gale’s findings have been verified by at least two independent psychics.
Most of the sites, for fairly obvious reasons, hover around the park, heath, cavern and the Point and they’re populated by a whole pantheon of deities and ancient figures, from a selection of alternative religions.
Everyone from Diana to Odin, Anubis to Cernunnos, Merlin to the Snow Queen, congregates around Greenwich, especially in winter, around wintry-named sacred places like the Snow Well and Plum Pudding Hill. Holda (aka The Snow Queen) was welcomed psychically by Gale himself, in his mind later, after a ritual held to reintroduce her to Greenwich Park, where they were having such a great time they forgot to do the deed itself.
Every page of this book carries some new fascinating concept – Did you know that William Boreman’s 1662 design (sic) for the layout of Greenwich Park is based on the Qabalistic Tree of Life? Perhaps you will be terrified the grisly tale of Jumping Jack Black, a young man who fell victim to mob justice for a trivial crime of which he was actually innocent. Black revealed to a psychic friend of Gale’s that he was hanged from an oak in Greenwich Park during the late Victorian/Edwardian period. Gale has done his homework and looked for this story in The Times of the period and, creepily, can find no reference whatsoever to the incident. He concludes that “likely it was hushed up and swept under the carpet” by the authorities.
The book is illustrated throughout with psychically-received portraits of gods, goddesses and mythological figures, and squirly automatic drawings made by psychics at the various sacred sites.
I have no idea what to make of this book – and yet I highly recommend it to all. It is utterly fascinating. You will never be stuck for topics of conversation after reading it. Buy it here