The Pendle Zodiac: A Guide through the Sacred Landscape of Pendle
By Thomas Sharpe
Spirit of Pendle Publishing, 2012 Buy this Book!
Thomas Sharpe (b. 1970) was born and lives in the area of Pendle, in the Rose County of Lancashire, in northern England. This area is well-known from the 1652 visit made by George Fox, a founder of the Quakers or Friends, during which, at a well on Pendle side, he had a mystical or Christic vision. As a result of this vision, Pendle has been strongly linked with the Quakers, and the well is called George Fox’s Well. A 2002 publication, The Lancashire Witches, Histories and Stories, edited by Robert Poole, is described as “the first major study of England’s biggest and best-known witch trial, which took place in 1612.”
The author first became open to clairvoyant perception in 1989, using a book by Carl Rider, Your Psychic Power: A Practical Guide to Developing Your Natural Clairvoyant Abilities. Rider’s book was based on exercises taken from Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment, by Rudolf Steiner. In response to a question, he wrote that the Carl Rider book “guided my clairvoyant imaginations, though without an adequate background of interpretation which a broader study of Anthroposophy would have provided.” He had been inspired by the work of Walter J. Stein and books on projective geometry, attended some lectures related to the work of Rudolf Steiner, studied Goethe’s spiritual science, and in 2008 began a study of Anthroposophy, partly to acquire a fundamental basis for his natural clairvoyance in relation to the geomantic work in Pendle. He made several valuable contributions to the 2011 publication of the Brunnen von Christus Group, The Writing of the Heart, Book II.
From the Preface: “The supposition of giant zodiacal effigies set around the Pendle landscape was originally illustrated through the unostentatious ‘Terrestrial Zodiacs in Britain: Nuthampstead and Pendle Zodiac’ (1976), by N. Pennick and R. Lord, Institute of Geomantic Research, Cambridge.” The author’s revision “is somewhat in the spirit of [William] Blake — a documented lifetime’s journey exploring the Pendle landscape, charting my cumulative visions and experiential encounters with the super-sensory world. The panorama that unfolds will genially inaugurate the reader into a mythical landscape, complete with landscape zodiac, sacred geometry and geomantic alignments.” From the beginning of the first chapter: “My background is local to Pendle, having been born under the presence of Pendle Hill, as viewed from the west-facing windows of the house in which I grew up. My early interests included art, with a leaning towards the natural sciences, particularly ornithology and conchology. Therefore, along with a comprehensive knowledge of the genera of flora and fauna, I can identify most native bird species. Then of course, I spent my time illustrating these through artistic media.” This authentic and priceless little book — 65 pages in length, including 15 illustrations and an extensive “Bibliography & References” section — transports us to the serenity and mystical green beauty of the English countryside, and wastes no words at all. The chapters are short, yet the content is profound, and repeated readings bring further understanding. The first chapter is titled “Etheric Clairvoyance,” and, in addition to offering essential biographical information, it describes subtle awakenings within the spiritual world, especially the Elemental world. The second chapter describes an encounter, in a lucid dream, with “The Lady of the Well,” who is perceived inside a hollow Faery mound. “Her disposition was both generous and kind and also somewhat homely and house-proud. Bearing no sign of old age she was not young either, rather ageless.”
In the chapter on Sacred Geometry, a brief history of Geomancy is given. Spiritual awareness of geology and geometry date back to the time of ancient Greece, from which have come such words as Gaia Manteia, meaning ‘earth divination.’ How the sacred aspects of geometry can be highlighted by the differences between the logarithmic and Archimedean spirals is pointed out: “The latter, at its point, reaches a dead end and confers materiality, whereas the logarithmic spiral is recursive to infinity.” This quotation cites as source the book The Plant between Sun and Earth, and the Science of Physical and Etheric Spaces, a 1982 publication by Olive Whicher and George Adams. In this same chapter such subjects as polyhedrons, the Platonic solids, and Earth’s icosahedral vertices are also introduced, and then — in a turn that characterizes the deeper aims of this book – the author describes a meditation during which he began to visualize and rotate the tetrahedron: “The effect of this action was to find myself suddenly and abruptly outside of the body. Turning around, I was now aware of myself standing upon ‘The Hitching Stone’ [a great stone geomatically related to Pendle Hill, illustrations 2 and 4] …” and he experiences the presence of an elfin-like feminine tutelary spirit that he regards as a manifestation connected with his consciousness through the etheric and astral bodies. An illustration of this tutelary spirit guide in the midst of twelve standing stones can be seen on The Pendle Zodiac website (address and link below).
The book offers descriptions of spiritual perceptions and experiences with the aim of increasing understanding of ‘earth divination’ and related esoteric subjects, but always as measured against critical thinking, objective knowledge, self-knowledge, and spiritual science. Nine works by Rudolf Steiner, in addition to many authors working out of Anthroposophy, are included in the Bibliography. From the chapter on Ley Alignments: “… the streaming of the ley has the effect of shifting one’s etheric body out of alignment with the physical body. This, in some cases, might engender visions or experiential shifts in awareness. It is because here, the super-sensory world has become more open and perceptible to the subtle senses.” From Chapter 8, More Impressions from the Spiritual World: “While contemplating the landscape under the silent sentience of the early morning, a shift in the field of time ensued whereby a rending of the veil between worlds became apparent. The panorama that opened up before me seemed to evanesce into another of those ‘timescapes’ (I have already described this effect in relation to my other cases of ‘out of the body’ experience). Throughout illustration 15 is depicted an outline of my clairvoyant impressions, although the sequence of events that ensued was something beyond pictures or words.”
The giant zodiacal and archetypal figures that appear in the Pendle landscape are the Eagle, the Horse Goddess, the Dove, the Phoenix, Perceval and the Graal, the Swan, the Griffin and Unicorn, and the Dolphin. The figures, seen from high above the earth, appear in the natural features of the landscape, and these figures are accented on the dark illustrations of the maps over which the author has superimposed the connected white stars of the constellations, e.g., the constellation of the Eagle (Aquila). How is it possible that such figures could appear in the landscapes of the earth? Quotations from Rudolf Steiner’s 1909 lecture, The Spiritual Hierarchies: Their Reflection in the Physical World, are paraphrased: “The foundational seeds of animal forms had already been laid down by the Cherubim during Old Sun. These animal forms were mirrored reflections of the Zodiac, magically evoked into the Sun mist by the Cherubim. That is, the Cherubim, who dwelt in the periphery of Old Sun, were the Zodiac … The reflections of the pure forces of the Cherubim, as stellar constellations (again reflecting through the earth), appear to surface as if from below. The inner earth is indeed ethereal, with pockets of the ether rising to the surface before sinking again, in vast circuitous currents. In this fashion, the surface of the land is perpetually being materialized and dematerialized through the workings of the ether. This is unnoticeable because of the vast amount of geological time involved, although certain areas have a much faster turnover …”
The author makes several references to the losses that occur when industrialization destroys the environment, such as how the Elementals respond to the loss of an ensouled area: “Where concrete has replaced the site, the Elementals are never able to ensoul that place again. Humankind then unconsciously suffers the loss of their pre-Adamic, paradisiacal aura, and consciousness.” On page 42 there is a sketch of the author’s “… clairvoyant impression from the summit of Pendle hill and possibly induced by the etheric ley. It is of the Angelic Hierarchy working through the etheric. They were transmuting any unregenerate forms engendered by the dense mill towns that lie to the South and East.” Immediate impressions from the Pendle summit within a 15-mile radius “… include a contrast between the industrial usages of the area, both past and present, within an outstandingly beautiful open and solitary landscape.”
The Pendle Zodiac is a book to be treasured and is highly recommended. The most important books of our time, especially since the year 2000, are striving to communicate significant clairvoyant perceptions and spiritual experiences as measured against the guidelines offered in such works as Rudolf Steiner’s Knowledge of the Higher Worlds: How is it Achieved?, and The Philosophy of Freedom, that is also titled Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path. The fact that such books must be self-published, often at great sacrifice and expense to the authors, points to the emergence of a new genre, specifically in spiritual scientific literature — a new genre often meeting, predictably enough, with obstacles on its path, such as skepticism and irrational or hostile criticism. The heart requires the utmost interest on the part of others for all that it is prepared to share, as well as wholesome understanding that the exchange of spiritual content has barely begun. Yet, never fear …
We may be able to anticipate a second edition of this little book in the future, perhaps an enlarged and expanded edition with additional photographs and more of the author’s delicate, unique illustrations, all in full color. — Review by Martha Keltz
The Spiritual Hierarchies: Their Reflection in the Physical World, 10 Lectures by Rudolf Steiner, 1909
The Writing of the Heart, Book II, by the Brunnen von Christus Group, 2011