Archive for May, 2011


Jugged Hare

May 31, 2011
Bowerman’s Nose, Hayne Down, Dartmoor

“On the very edge

Of the vast moorland, startling every eye,

A shape enormous rises! High it towers

Above the hill’s bold brow, and seen from far,

Assumes the human form; a granite god, –

To whom in days long flown, the suppliant knee

In trembling homage bowed. The hamlets near

Have legends rude connected with the spot,

(Wild swept by every wind) on which he stands

The giant of the Moor!”

N. T. Carrington

According to local legend, a huntsman called Bowerman lived on the moor around one thousand years ago. When chasing a hare he and his pack of dogs unwittingly ran into a coven of witches, overturned their cauldron and disrupted their ceremony.

They decided to punish him, and the next time he was hunting, one of the witches turned herself into a hare, and led both Bowerman and his hounds into a mire. As a final punishment, she turned them to stone – the dogs can be seen as a jagged chain of rocks on top of Hound Tor, while the huntsman himself became the rock formation now known as Bowerman’s Nose.

More about the Dartmoor witches at Legendary Dartmoor


Sharing Ears: The Tinner’s Rabbit

May 31, 2011

Hares past a freckle

Image and Text found: Heritage-Key

The earliest known appearance of this motif is in the Mogao caves near Dunhuang, China dating from the Sui to Tang dynasties (581-907 AD). This motif can be found in several places along the Silk Road, and appears to have adopted by the different religions along the way.

The Dartmoor Tinners have always been a law unto themselves, at one time they had their own parliament and laws with the rights to virtually mine tin wherever they wanted. Recent legend tells of how they even had their own symbol or badge in the shape of three rabbits running in a circle.

Careful research has revealed that this is untrue and in fact the symbol has much older roots.  In her book ‘The Outline of Dartmoor’s Story’, Lady Sayer wrote (p.24): 

 “The Fifteenth century was a particularly prosperous time for Dartmoor tinners, and by way of a thank-offering they enlarged and rebuilt some of the moorland churches. Widecombe church is a fine example, and there you can see the tinners’ emblem carved on a roof-boss – three rabbits sharing ears…”

Three Hares ~ a Springtime pattern

Pattern available from Bustle and Sew Magazine

 This was probably the first serious mention that linked the symbol with the tinners. The connection between the symbol and the tinners may have arisen because the ‘Three Rabbits’ can be found in some of the Dartmoor churches which would have been in mining areas. If one accepts that the actual symbol shows hares and not rabbits then there is a deep hidden history to be found. 

Most of the old examples of the three hares are in churches. In Devon there are 28 in total of which 19 are of a possible medieval origin and of these 12 are on or very near Dartmoor. All are carved wooden bosses and are located in the roof. There are 2 examples which appear on plaster ceilings of private houses and a modern example of a stained glass window which is located in the door of the tinners bar at the Castle Inn in Lydford. 

Looking further a field there are instances of church bosses to be found in Corfe Mullen, Cotehele, Selby Abbey, St. David’s cathedral and Llawhaden. In Long Melford church the design can be seen in a medieval stained glass window and in Chester cathedral it appears in a floor tile. Scarborough can boast having the design set into a plaster ceiling. Although this is not a long list the distribution is far and wide.

Paderborn Cathedral

Image Credit: History Hunters International

When looking in a global context, there are examples to be found in France, Germany and Switzerland, Southern Russia, Iran, Nepal and China. The earliest known example is the Chinese one which dates to around AD600. The Nepalese examples have been dated to around AD1200 and the Afghanistan instance to AD1100. The earliest European examples date to around AD1200 with the English ones at around AD1300. It has been found in 13th century Mongol metal work, and on a copper coin, dated 1281 found in Iran.

Three Hares motif, Sataniv Jewish Cemetery

Image Credit: History Hunters International

But What Does It Mean?

The three hares motif was clearly revered in all the different contexts in which it is found, but, as yet, we have not come across a contemporary written record of its meaning. It may be expected that the motif would have had different meanings in different cultures but, as an archetype, perhaps there was an element of meaning common to all.

The hare is strongly represented in world mythology and from ancient times has had divine associations. Its elusiveness and unusual behaviour, particularly at night, have reinforced its reputation as a magical creature. The hare was believed to have mystical links to the female cycle and to the moon which governed it.

The theory of the Ancients that the hare was hermaphroditic and could procreate without a mate led to the belief that it could give birth to young without loss of virginity. In Christian contexts, the three hares may be associated with the Virgin Mary in her role in the redemption of mankind. This might explain why a three hares boss is often juxtaposed in western European churches with a boss of the Green Man, perhaps a representation of sinful humanity.

There is no evidence to support any link between the three hares motif and the tinners of Dartmoor. Its occasional description as the ‘Hunt of Venus’ seems to arise from a misunderstanding of an alchemical illustration published in a book by Basil Valentine c.1600 CE. Linking the motif with the Christian Trinity appears to be an association made long after the image was originally worked.

~ Text sourced from Three Hares Project, Christopher Chapman

Three Hare's Tor

Artist: Virginia Lee, Devon, United Kingdom



May 31, 2011

"Long Life"

Image Credit: Sheila DeRose Designs ~ about Japanese Quilting


If Zombies Chase Us, I’m Tripping You….

May 30, 2011


The Devil Take the Hindmost


A proverbial phrase indicating that those who lag behind will receive no aid.


The line was first recorded in print in Beaumont and Fletcher’s tragic/comic play Philaster, or Love Lies a-Bleeding, 1611:

“They run all away, and cry, ‘the devil take the hindmost’.”

The expression was known colloquially prior to that though. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations lists “Every man for himself and the Devil take the hindmost” as an ‘early 16th century’ proverb.

A typical use might be in: “It’s every man for himself, and the Devil take the hindmost.” Hindmost means, of course, the last in line. If you’re in a line being chased by the Devil, then the one he’s going to catch is going to be the last in line. It’s a way of saying, “Don’t be slow, because no one is going to stay behind and save you!” The expression dates from at least 1611 (OED Online). SS

It may have been a common way of expressing the military order to run away.

A ‘retreat’ is supposed to be a repositioning rearwards in good order, whereas the expression ‘every man for himself’ gives permission for the unit under command to run away as best they can – a ‘rout’ – a command that would be most likely given when faced with overwealmingly superior forces, eg lightly-armed infantry facing cavalry (prior to the use of a square, unable to form square or without the weapons needed to defend a square).
the addition of ‘and let the Devil take the hindmost’ is giving emphasis to the consequence of not running away quickly enough. if one took the common soldiers’ view that they were ‘the damned’ then saying that the devil would take them the emphasis was simply that they would lose their lives if they were at the back. this would be particularly true if infantry were being pursued by cavalry, who had little hesitation of riding down fleeing men.


The Story of O

May 30, 2011


Ulysses Patera - a small shield Martian volcano

Found this interesting snippet at Aida Gundersen’s blog, Aida’s Strange Reality:

In August 2012, a very special and rare reunion is going to take place. Five asteroids: Odysseus, Ulysses (Odysseus´ Latin name ), Penelope, Ithaca and Telemachus are all going to come together in the same part of the sky. When they first meet, some of them will still be in Cancer, while others will already be in Leo, but soon after that, they will all be in Leo. Once together, they will remain in conjunction for a whole year, until July 2013. [Read more]

From the Muse

This June Full Moon reveals a Finger of Yod for me; a fickle finger of transiting fate mayhaps…….Odysseus conjunct Sun sextile Sinuhe quincunx Merlin…..hmmm….dociousaliexpisticfragicalirupus.

Behind the asteroids are three literary works that have inspired the creative minds of billions and billions of people:

The Tale of Sinuhe

Historia Regum Britanniae, and

The Odyssey

A way interesting Finger of Yod pointing at a book:

Sabian Symbol 21º Taurus: Moving finger points to significant passages in a book.
Kozminsky Symbol 21º Taurus: A race-horse with the number 3 on his saddle-cloth entering a course.

The Three Muses

 Sculptor: Stanislovas Kuzma. Location: Vilnius, Lithuania

More About the Story of O

What Happened when Odysseus came home – beyondthestars astrology

Resourceful, Clever Odysseus – Pandora Astrology

Penelope and Odysseus Sittin’ in a Tree – Those Darned Ruby Slippers

Computer: Exit


Queen of Snows

May 30, 2011
A Constellation of Edelweiss

Image Credit: Armchair traveling with Nikki

In the country of eternal snows, lived a white lady: the Queen of Snows. She was surrounded by many small wights, who were in charge of her protection. Armed with spears of crystal, they protected their queen from the intrusion of stranger folk and those who might do her harm.

When a hunter or an imprudent mountaineer approached the beautiful lady, she was often pleased by the visit, and she would encourage him with her smiles and her eyes to join her. Fascinated by the gentle eyes of the beautiful lady, the mountaineer forgets the danger and continues to climb…and he climbs higher and higher with the hope of seeing more closely this beautiful face.

Confronted by this apparent danger, the wights take to their spears and push back the suitor until he falls into a precipice.

The white lady at the sight of that horrible spectacle began to cry; the tears then ran along the glacier and flowed to the pastures, and when arriving near the rocks, they changed into Edelweiss.

According to Alpine folklore, suitors proved their love by climbing high crags of the Alps in search of the Edelweiss flower. Tragically, many suitors fell to their death or died of exposure to the weather. The Edelweiss is still worn today and featured on German beer steins as a decorative symbol of love, bravery, strength, and dedication. Its popularity with the German and Austrian emperors earned the edelweiss the title, “Flower of Emperors and Kings.”

Story sourced at Coolcrafting  where I also found this tasty tidbit:

Olive Riley the world’s oldest blogger from Australia died last July 12, 2008 at the age of 108. She was born October 20, 1899 in Western New South Wales.
She started to create a blog last February 2007 and within 1 year and 5 months she already had 70 messages on her blog. She wrote different things on her blog mostly she wrote those differences that the younger generations experiencing for example last month she wrote about the washing machine that we are using right now.

Olive Riley’s YouTube submissions where she sings, spins a yarn, and talks about fishing [someone peed on the fish]: all her favourite things.



Without This Man……..

May 30, 2011

Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp. April 4 1880 - May 30 1947

 ……would there be The Sound of Music?  

Could Georg von Trapp have been a Father of Muses? 

 I’ve been watching the 40th anniversary DVD of the redigitalised The Sound of Music, which includes a second disc of documentaries and interviews with the cast.  The real story of the von Trapp Family Singers surprised me with its subtleties; moreso the quiet steadying influence of Georg.  Not to mention his significant contribution to the existence of this family….which seems to have been eclipsed by the driving force and manic energy of Maria.  Without Georg’s tadpoles, a whole musical franchise would never have existed…

The von Trapps were not spiritual leaders or teachers in the calibre of  Buddha, Paramahansa Yogananda, or even Meister Eckhart, yet I bet more people have heard of The Sound of Music, can hum the words of the songs, and know something more about the simple bravery and inventiveness of the human spirit from the story of the von Trapps.  Fact, fiction or fantastical, the von Trapp story is legendary.

Image Credit: photofairy

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

All About the Boy

Before Maria!: Korvettenkapitän Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp ~ The Esoteric Curiosa

The Real Story of the von Trapp Family ~ National Archives

The Sound of Music ~ musical comes home to Salzberg Austria, October 2011