the will of the ancients

Lost Arthurian Kingdom May Be Found

You probably are familiar with Camelot and Avalon. Legendary places in British legends, they were places the Knights of the Round Table and King Arthur visited or lived, sometime in the unsettled 500s between the collapse of Roman power and the coming of Saxon invaders. One of the less-well-known places in Arthurian legend is Rheged. It was home to a famous knight in the legends: Sir Owain, son of King Urian and Morgan le Fay, the man who killed the Black Knight. And now archaeologists may have found Rheged.

The researchers were drawn to Trusty’s Hill, a hill fort in Galloway in Southern Scotland, beccause there are pictish symbols carved into its bedrock. They are unique in the region, and archaeologists (plus 60 volunteers) wanted to survey what they could about the mysterious Picts. And in the course of their examination in summer 2016, archaeologists realized they had accidentally uncovered something else: the Pictish symbols seemed to form a symbolic entranceway, which in many sites in Scotland is associated with royalty. Had they found a royal stronghold? Then the dig uncovered pottery from France, and a workshop exclusively to produce costly fine metalwork and jewelry, which support that the site was a significant trade center at the time.

Putting everything together, it seemed they had accidentally uncovered a royal hillfort stronghold, which flourished sometime around 600 CE under the rule of Britons who lived in Galloway. The region’s wealth, demonstrated by the finds at Trusty’s Hill, make it the strongest contender we have for the legendary kingdom of Rheged.

We are pretty sure Rheged existed, and hence are looking for it, because we have two sources. First, Rheged is mentioned in Arthurian legends dating to the 1100s, and second, Urien of Rheged was praised in verse by Taliesen, a poet we know lived around the 500s CE.

Shrine dedicated to Hathor by Thutmose III, Deir el-Bahari

This small Hathor chapel was made by Thutmose III at Deir el-Bahari between the Temple of Hatshepsut and the Middle Kingdom Temple of Montuhotep II. The chapel is rectangular, with a vaulted ceiling decorated with stars. On the back wall is a scene of Thutmose III offering to the god Amun-Ra, who sits on a throne. At the front, on the left wall, Thutmose is accompanied by his wife, Meritre, before the divine cow and Hathor, while on the right wall Thutmose is shown with two princesses. Scenes on either side of the shrine, in the middle, show Thutmose III being suckled by the divine cow, followed by scenes of Thutmose and the goddess Hathor in human form. The statue of Hathor as the divine cow, in the middle of the shrine, is inscribed for Amenhotep II, Thutmose III’s son and successor. Hathor’s head is surmounted by a uraeus, a solar-disc, and two short plumes. Amenhotep can be seen twice in the statue: once at the front beneath the cow’s head, and a second time presented as a young boy nursing beneath the cow’s right side. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

Inside the Egyptian Museum with Zahi Hawass (Author), Sandro Vannini (Photographer)

The Thema Mundi

          The Thema Mundi or “World Theme” is the mythical horoscope of the creation of the world used by ancient Hellenistic astrologers. The chart shows the supposed planetary configuration that coincided with the birth of the universe. Through the use of this chart some explained the logic behind the rulership of the signs and the meaning of some of the 5 Ptolemaic Aspects. It is highly symbolic in nature, and though the true origins of astrology are a bit more complicated it gives us a glimpse into the mind of some of those ancient astrologers.

The Ascendant of the chart is Cancer 
The Sun is in the Sign of Leo  
The Moon is in the Sign of Cancer 
Mercury is in the Sign of Virgo 
Venus is in the Sign of Libra 
Mars is in the Sign of Scorpio
Jupiter is in the Sign of Sagittarius
Saturn is in the Sign of Capricorn


Some personal notes:

  • With the chart ruler being the Moon due to its Cancer Ascendant we can see a belief that nature is essentially nurturing and kind, and from this line of thinking we can see correlations with the idea of “Mother Nature” and primordial goddesses such as Gaia.
  • The first aspect in the chart is that of the opposition of the Moon and Saturn, which in turn indicates the difficulty of the aspect due to the association with Saturn and blockages or delays.
  • The next aspect would be the square of the Sun and Mars, squares are highly energetic aspects like the two planets involved.
  • Following that we see the trine from the Sun to Jupiter, which represents “God-given” talents and blessings, or an easy and flowing relationship that comes naturally
  • The Sun is sextile to Venus, and we are shown a relationship in which you must reach out and make effort (as one does in relationships) to see benefit. The potential is there for the taking, but does not come with the same ease as the trine.