Saturday, September 15, 2007
The Sign of Leo
Many sightings of the Beast of Bodmin Moor say that it is lion-like, this could be a thought form emanation from the Leo Zodiac outline, which in turn may indicate the boundaries of a Mesolithic (and later Celtic) tribal area.
Leo’s body lies over Goonzion Downs, he is the Lion of Goonzion. Leo also stands on the village of Ley, it could be said that he is a “Ley lion”. Another place name that makes up his outline is Luna. Luna is the Latin name of the Earth's Moon as well as the Roman moon goddess Luna. Leo also stands over the 1412 Pant(h)ers Bridge. Leonine imagery abounds in the two churches within this sign, in the church at Warleggan, there is a stone carving of a large (and sexually excited) lion on the wall, as well as one on the floor. In the15th century Parish Church of St. Neot there are many lions in the twelve stained glasses. In two stained glass picture here, St Neot’s well is shown with a golden lion’s head.
There is only one public house within the outline of the lion, the London Inn at St Neot, there is a large brass lion fixed to the pub’s front door. The 'Roaring Shaft' in the complex of mines on Goonzion Down has been said to make a roar like 'a battery of stamps falling regularly with thuds and reverberated through the ground'. These noises may have been natural in origin, but they served to feed the dark images of monstrous beasts and spirits in the minds of those who worked to mine copper, silver and gold.
St Neot is one of many connections between the Bodmin Moor Zodiac and the Glastonbury Zodiac and the village lies within Leo’s boundaries. Neot or St Anietus was a monk and hermit at Glastonbury Abbey in the 9th century accounts say that he died in 877 of natural causes. The most notable tale about him is that he was supposedly only 15 inches tall. Neot is said to have worked miracles with animals and birds as well as fish, these strong connections with animals indicate a familiarity with the “Zoo” that makes up the Bodmin Moor "Zoo"diac. When Neot later fell ill his servant Barius visited the well and took two fish to his master. Neot ordered these to be returned and they were restored to life - a local miracle that reminds us of the yearly rebirth of the Pisces fishes. Another stained glass in St Neot church shows Jesus and his disciples around a round table, pointing us to the Christianisation of solar King Arthur’s Round Table legend, the table being the Zodiac circle. St Neot's memorial day is celebrated on 31 July while the sun is in the house of Leo, and traditional carnival festivities occur in both Leo’s villages of St Neot and Mount during this period.