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Opening eyes wide
what is this realm we live in?
Nature will conquer
copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019
Every May in West Lindsey in northern Lincolnshire, there are nearly a hundred churches open to the public over two weekends.
Of course, you may say that churches are always open – and you would be right. What I mean is, this diverse array of architectural and cultural gems, have items such as exhibitions, old books, games and crafts on display and for sale, plus food and drink of course, the proceeds going to the upkeep of the churches. There will always be a warm welcome too.
Fiskerton’s name means enclosure or farm of fishermen, its name stemming from Anglo-Saxon times. The church is dedicated to St. Clement of Rome, a dedication I do not recall coming across too often, especially not in Lincolnshire.
Like many villages in this area of Lincolnshire, there are strong connections to the RAF, particularly in relation to World War 2.
In fact there were remembrance books and links with RAF squadrons in the Lady Chapel, a testimony to the fact that Lincolnshire during World War 2 became essentially ‘Bomber County’, due to the preponderance of bomber squadrons.
Elsewhere in the church there are some notable features, including remaining Norman architecture.
The font is especially interesting. Note the markings on the stone and the work on the ornate cover below:
Once again, the most overriding memory of our visit to this lovely church was the friendliness of everyone, volunteers who seemingly can never do too much for you.
Thank you people of Fiskerton.
Aliens, Atlantis, Ancient Astronauts… I’m not sure I believe in any of that these days.
However, time was, when once a green teenager, that books like Andrew Tomas’ ‘Beyond The Time Barrier’ published in 1974 by Sphere Books Ltd., fired my imagination, which is no bad thing.
What first drew me to the book was the cover, naturally. The connection between flying saucers and the sphinx, or Egyptian civilisation as a whole is intriguing, and there have been many books written since which hint, if not exactly prove, that human civilisation owes its origin to alien interference.
However, once you get into the core of this short book (160 pages), Tomas’ thesis, as far as I understand it, is that time may not be what it seems, that the so-called rules of time might be broken, or that the past and future can be seen by sensitive individuals using various mediums.
The Meaning of Tarot
Most intriguing for me, however, is his interpretation of the Tarot cards, which he thinks may have originated in Egypt. He seems to say that they do not merely predict what happens in an individual’s future through divination, but perhaps could also encapsulate the essential meaning of each century from the first century BC to our own twenty first century.
How is this? He takes the traditional images of the cards, ‘The Emperor’, ‘The Hermit’, ‘The Devil’ etc., and sees a summation of each century’s character. For instance, take the card called ‘The Pope’. If we are counting from the first card, ‘Il Bagattel’ standing for the first century BC, then ‘The Pope’ coincides with the fourth century AD – the most significant event (most might agree) of that century being the Emperor Constantine making Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire.
It’s all very interesting, especially when one looks at the card standing for the twentieth century, ‘Il Matto’ (The Fool), who seems to be blindly walking towards a precipice, despite a dog’s futile attempts to prevent him falling over. I think you can see that such a symbol might very well fit when describing the tragedy of two world wars and all the other conflicts of that time.
However, it could also be argued that it’s easy to find events which match the pictures on the cards. This may be true.
Similarly, he takes a look at the prophecies of Saint Malachy, the twelfth century Irish Bishop of Armagh, who allegedly predicted future popes from his time using allegory and symbols, each pontiff given an epithet, like Pope John the Twenty Third who died in 1963.
One rather imaginative interpretation of Malachy’s description of Pope John, ‘Pastor et Nauta’, or Shepherd and Pilot, is that it’s meant to be ‘Astor et Nauta’, or Astronautics, which certainly did begin during his reign.
The End of Time?
One worrying aspect of these prophecies is that we are now, as of 2019, apparently living in the time of the last Pope that Saint Malachy gave an epithet to, namely Pope Francis, ‘Petrus Romanus’. Some have interpreted this as to mean that we are living at the end of the age, but people have been saying this for hundreds of years… so who really knows?
There are also references to Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, Jeane Dixon and Nicholas Roerich, the latter whom he believes made prophecies through the medium of painting rather haunting landscapes. He is certainly one of my favourite painters.
However, like I said above, I do not subscribe to all this conjecture, except to say that it was books like this which set me on the path of ‘free thinking’, not necessarily believing anything I was told, nor ruling anything out. I believe we should be open to anything. Uncertainty is the usual state of affairs and is actually quite good in the long run – the truth will probably never be known.
Leofwine Tanner 2019
A hidden gem of Sir Edwin Lutyens in Spalding, Lincolnshire.
Sir Edwin Lutyens’ wonderful War Memorial to the local fallen of the Great War in the grounds of Ayscoughfee Hall, Spalding.
It may be one of his lesser known pieces of architecture, a ‘hidden gem’ that should be appreciated far more.
A touching, moving churchyard memorial to some of the war dead of 1914 – 1918.
Soon after the conflict some viewed WW1 as the war to end all wars. So when this memorial was erected who could have imagined such an amount of horror, suffering and loss ever being repeated again..?
words and pictures ©copyright rp 2016