Description: Landscape Zodiacs are representations of the zodiacal signs and symbolism found in the texture and morphology of rural and urban landscape which broadly mirror the zodiac in the constellations of the ecliptic. The most famous of these, Glastonbury Zodiac, was first described by a remarkable artist and mystic, Katharine Maltwood in the 1920s, but since then over fifty other zodiacs have been described in Britain and Europe. These zodiacs are widely recognised as being associated with rich synchronicities of history, legend, place-names and personal experience which recall the phenomenology of sacred space. Are these mysteries of the British landscape ancient constructions or a modern enthusiasm? Are they simply effusions of a heated creative imagination, projections of pure fantasy, or do they have a more secure status in some dimension of imaginal reality? After a long period of neglect, landscape zodiacs are once again attracting the attention of serious researchers and there are several special interest groups springing up around Britain. In this illustrated presentation Anthony Thorley will review the origins and history of landscape zodiacs and explore some more radical approaches to explaining their unique characteristics.
Biog: Anthony Thorley is a retired psychiatrist and medical policy advisor who has been researching earth mysteries for over 30 years. In 2006 he gained an MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at Bath Spa University and is currently studying for a PhD on the conceptual basis of landscape zodiacs as sacred space. He is slowly completing a book 'Sacred City, Secret City' on the Masonic vision of the development of eighteenth-century Bath. Together with his wife, the writer Celia Gunn, he has developed a particular interest in pilgrimage and ritual journeys which honour ancestral traditions in the sacred landscape and revitalise our relationship with the wider environment.