PREHISTORIC LONDON #8
Continued from the previous page:
events that occurred in country and nation, to preserve the
records of genealogies, marriages, nobility, privileges and
customs, of the nation of the Kymry. There seems therefore no
reason to dismiss as untrustworthy, and, as we have been so
repeatedly told, "not worth the parchment they are written on,"
the genealogies of the British kings and the historical events
recorded in the Welsh "Bruts," events which furthermore we find,
for the most part, imperishably crystallized in the traditions of
the localities where they occurred.
Having satisfied ourselves from original sources preserved
in the original Kymric tongue, the "oldest living language in
Europe," of the value of the Gorsedd institution as an organized
"governing body," we must see what Sir Norman Lockyer and other
scientists of our own time have discovered with regard to the
scientific construction of these prehistoric open-air Sanctuaries
which prove conclusively that these Circles were used by the
ancients not only as places of worship, dedicated to the service
of the Most High and as Courts of Justice, but were also
Observatories. The Rev. J. Griffith in an article in "Nature"
(May 2, 1907) has been the first to set forth the scientific
significance of a Welsh Gorsedd circle and to explain the meaning
of the three stones pointing outwards that one sees lying on the
ground at the entrance to a Gorsedd circle today. He states that
"the present Gorsedd circle consists of twelve stones, 300 apart,
with a larger stone in the centre. Outside, on the East, three
stones are placed to indicate the solstices and equinoxes to an
observer at the central stone"; and he quotes the following
nomenclature of the stones: "The stones forming the circle are
called the White Stones, or Stone of Testimony; the circle itself
is sometimes called the White Circle." The middle stone, or
altar, is termed Maen Gorsedd, i.e. Presidential Stone.
"The stones pointing to the Equinoxes and Solstices are called
Stones of the Sun. The Bards stand unshod, uncovered, within the
circle; the Presiding Bard, who must be of the Primitive Order,
stands by the Presidial Stone. All the other Bards attend around,
standing near the White Stones or Periphery of the circle."
Mr. Griffith's researches enable him to prove that the
Solstitial Stones have really replaced others so located that the
sunrise places in May and November were indicated. In Gorsedd
history, then, the May year came first and was indicated by the
position of the stones.
The sign which Mr. A. L. Lewis (Nature, June 6, 1907)
associates naturally with the "broad arrow" is really a
"miniature May Gorsedd."
Even more than the ancient codes of Welsh laws, says Mr.
Griffith, the Bardic traditions of the Gorsedd are the most
formally authenticated of any Welsh literature. Since the tenth
century 1 the former have had to take care of themselves
apparently, but the Bardic traditions were always recited at
every proper Gorsedd.
"From the twelfth century to the first quarter of the nineteenth
we have accounts of a series of great Gorsedds (or Eisteddfods,
the same thing) every one of which was convened for the chief
purpose of re-codifying or otherwise dealing with the Bardic
traditions. We have nothing so well and faithfully guarded in
Welsh literature as our Bardic traditions."
"Mr. Griffith," says Sir Norman Lockyer, "has rendered
another service to archaeology in its widest sense by pointing
out in a subsequent article the enormous number of Welsh and
English fairs held on the festival (quarter) days of the May
year. These, doubtless, are the modern representations of the
assemblies at the festivals of places where circles existed, or
where fires were lighted or Gorsedds erected; so that it may be
said that fairs as well as many old churches mark for us the loci
of the original circle worship, and the fact that we are dealing
with the May Year and not the solstice shows that we have to do
with a very high antiquity." "We are able to see," Mr. Griffith
remarks, "at the Welsh National Eisteddfod in this twentieth
century, the actual use to which the temple observatory was put.
If such a broad assertion causes surprise it is considerably
lessened by what seems to me to be an incontrovertible fact, that
instead of having one
1 In the tenth century A.D. Howel the Good of Dyfed constituted
and gave laws to be kept through his dominions, which were used
in Wales till such time as the inhabitants received the laws of
England in the time of Edward I.
Gorsedd, and that in Wales, a true survival from late Neolithic
times (to fix a downward limit), we have in Britain thousands of
Gorsedds, the pedigrees of which are as unimpeachable as that of
the Welsh institution. I refer to fairs still held on the quarter
days of the May Year. To a student of the Welsh Gorsedd this at
once dispels any priori doubt as to the antiquity of that
institution . . . the Gorsedd and the popular fair is one and the
same, constituting a true monument as ancient as a temple
observatory in stone. A better way of putting it is, the temple
observatory has survived in (1) stone, in (2) tradition, and in
(3) festival. The Welsh Gorsedd presents this three-ply
evidence." (See Sir Norman Lockyer's "Stonehenge and Other
British Stone Monuments Astronomically Considered.")
Those of my readers who desire to recall a Druidic assembly
on the site of St. Paul's, the Abbey, or within the precincts of
any other of our British circles, cannot do better than be
present at one of the National Gorsedds in Wales. The locality is
chosen always at the Eisteddfod of the previous year - usually a
meadow, just outside the town - large enough to afford standing
room for the thousands of all sorts and conditions in life, and
of all denominations who assemble to take part in these popular,
purely educational contests, as they now are.
A circle is formed of 12 unhewn stones symbolic of the signs
of the zodiac. In the centre is the large Maen Llog or Logan
Stone, symbolic of the "Rock" which is Christ. Druidism itself
was ordinarily known as "Y Maen," the stone. The Maen Llog must
be placed in a central position and must be untouched by any
tool. It is supposed to have the same symbolic significance as
the sacred rock on Mount Moriah, that rises from the rocky
platform of Mount Sion. The Dame Sion signifies stone, and Mount
Sion, the Mount of the Stone, has been regarded from the time of
David and Solomon as the most sacred ground in Jerusalem. The
stone is still here on the original site. Before the Holy City
came into the possession of the Mussulman, the Christians
regarded this curious monument of old Jerusalem as the "Rock of
the Holy of Holies, and it must have formed an essential feature
of the Temple Area," says Dean Stanley. The great unhewn mass of
rock is believed to rest on one point of junction only, with the
rocky platform of the Mount. Immense stress is laid by the
Mohammedans on what they consider the miraculous suspension of
the Stone above the Mount. There is little doubt but that the
venerable relic on the Temple Area in the Holy City was at one
time a rocking stone, rocking in imitation of the movement of the
Sacred Ark, and on this account was regarded by the Ancients as
the type of the Ark; hence the origin of the term "Logan Stone"
as applied to the rocking stones of Great Britain, and the Maen
Llogan of the Welsh Gorsedd Circle!
Twelve Bards, one by each stone, guard the Gorsedd Circle
today as in times past, and two Keepers of the Gate are stationed
at the entrance, which is on the East side. The ground plan of
the Welsh Circle is similar to that of Stonehenge. At the
entrance of the Circle may be seen three prostrate unhewn stones
pointing outwards from the central "Maen Llogan"; these represent
the ancient Kymric symbol of the Awen, or Holy Wings, the three
rays or rods of light signifying the Eye of Light, or the
radiating light of the Divine Intelligence shed upon the Druidic
In the Iolo MSS. (a selection from the ancient Welsh
writings, published by the Welsh MSS Society) the origin is given
of this ancient hierogram, which analyses into the three bardic
letters of the "ineffable name," "I AM," JHVH, JEHOVAH, answering
to the Christian device of I.H.S., the emblem that has come down
to us along the ages in the "Holy Wings," the "Logos" or the
"Voice" of the Supreme God. On three occasions only in God's Word
do we find the utterance of the Divine Name mentioned - at the
burning bush, in our Lord's words, "Before Abraham was, I am,"
and in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Our Lord said to those who
had come to take Him, "I AM HE," 1 and the men and officers "went
backward and fell to the ground."
"The announcement of the Divine name is the first event
traditionally preserved and it occurred as follows: "God, in
vouchsafing His Name, said III and, with the Word, all worlds
1 Exodus iii. 14. John viii. John xviii. 5.
and animations sprang co-instantaneously to being, and from their
non-existence, shouting in ecstasy of joy III, and thus repeating
the Name of the Deity. Still and small was that melodious
sounding voice (that is the Divine Utterance) which will never be
equalled again, until God shall renovate every pre-existence from
the primary utterance of which emanated all lays and melodies,
whether of the voice or of stringed instruments; and also all the
joys, ecstasies, beings, vitalities, felicities, origins and
descents, appertaining to all existence and animation. . . .
Co-impulsive with the blessed were all animated beings, and God
placed them in their innate order and primitive state, within the
expanse of felicity, 1 but He Himself existed in the expanse of
felicity, where the blessed perceived Him in one communion of
glory, without secrecy, without number and without species, that
could be ascertained, save essential Light, essential Love and
essential Power, for the good of all existencies and vitalities.
Then the maxim, 'God and Enough' became established as the basis
of truth and oral tradition, and it was the second principle of
all realities and sciences transmitted by memory."
The sacred symbol of the British Gorsedd, the three rays or
rods, survive in two forms, in the three "feathers" of the Prince
of Wales, and in the "Broad Arrow" of the Government. When Edward
III refounded on the Windsor Table Mound the British King
Arthur's Order of the Round Table as a reward for those knights
who had won for him his victories in France, he adopted the
Gorsedd symbol, the sign of spiritual and temporal power of the
ancient Keltic kings and priests, as the cognizance of his son,
the Black Prince. In the form of three ostrich feathers, the
three golden rays have been borne from that time by successive
Princes of Wales. As a mark of the Royal Household, they first
appear in 1386, and after 1693 were stamped on all Government
stores. In our own day, we find the Awen, or Holy Wings, stamped
by the Ordnance Survey as a landmark (in the form
1 The Kymric word "Cyleh" (circle) is rendered "expanse" in some
instances in this translation, the reason being that "circle" is
far too limited a term for the residence of the Ominpotent Deity.
"Cylch" is Druicidally used merely in the sense that state is
applied in the expressions - state of felicity, state of
infinitude, and state of inchoation - except that it is the
symbol of Eternity.
of the Broad Arrow) alike upon solitary mountain peak and
kerbstone of crowded alley - the sacred symbol that proclaims
from generation to generation the national faith in the eternal
overshadowing of the Divine Wings.
The sign is still sacred among at least half of mankind.
It is called the "Sul" throughout Judea. In India, it is found
employed as a caste mark, the trisul; "and his name shall be in
their foreheads." In earliest days every Druid wore the symbol of
the ineffable name of the Deity, in gold rays on the front of his
Proceeded by the Regalia of the Order, the members assemble
in the market-place, and, marshalled in procession according to
their different degrees, wend their way to the Circle. The
Arch-Druid, an impressive figure, takes up his position besides
the Maen Llogan, raised above the others. Like the High Priest of
old, he is clad in white, and wears a golden crescent-shaped
breast-plate, symbolic of the Ark or Sacred Boat. He wears a
crown of bronze oak leaves round the linen cap upon his head,
representing the sacred tree of the ancient Druids. The Druid
priests, like their chief, are clad in white, the Bards in blue,
symbolic of celestial love, the Ovates in green, signifying the
growth of the human intelligence in the circle of the arts and
The Welsh Bards thus characterize the Druidical Orders in
reference to their costume. They describe the Bards as "wearers
of the long blue robes"; the Ovates as "having a place in the
assembly with their robes of bright green"; and the Druids as the
"splendid race-wearers of gold chains - the eminently white."
So conservative is the Order that to this day the same
coloured vestments continue to be worn.
Nor must we omit to describe the magnificent Regalia of the
Eisteddfod borne in the procession of the Order, before the
Arch-Druid. In commemoration of the late Queen's Jubilee the
original Regalia, which had disappeared, was replaced on
traditional lines under the direction of Professor Herkomer. Next
to the Sword, surmounted by its crystal and emblematic dove, the
most striking object is the Hirlas Horn of most ancient symbolism
and significance. The Hirlas bore three attributes, viz.
authority or might, the loud voice of the sun and its beneficent
effects of causing abundance upon the earth. The Hirlas was the
chief emblem of the strength of the Creator through the sun,
which, at the time of the institution of the Order, rose in
Taurus. The sun's rays were represented by the horns of a buffalo
pattern. In Welsh, a horn is called "corn," and a crown is called
a "crown." In the Bible the horn is alluded to as the emblem of
might and power and as the cause of the juice in fruits. The
Hirlas Horn was used by the Druids as a sacramental vessel, out
of which they drank the first fruits of the sacred Apples, viz.
Cider, and afterwards wine, and as each drank out of the Hirlas
Horn he bowed to the sun his thanksgiving. One of the Bards of
the Neath Valley alludes to the ceremony. There is no doubt our
custom of drinking healths is a survival of the holy ancient
Bardic custom. In this we have also the origin of passing the
wine in the path of the sun. The most historic Hirlas Horn was
presented to Henry Tudor by Sir Rhysap Thomas and the Gentlemen
of Wales, who had been instrumental in placing him upon the
throne of his Keltic ancestors. It is reputed to be the work of
Torrigiano, the Italian artist, who designed the Tomb of Henry
VII in Westminster Abbey, and is now in the possession of the
Earl of Cawdor, a lineal descendant of Sir Rhysap Thomas.
When all have taken up their respective positions within the
circle, four long blasts of a silver trumpet announce the fact to
the vast concourse. The Arch-Druid, with uplifted, outstretched
arms, then proceeds to open the congress with the Gorsedd prayer,
reputed to be as old as the Institution.
The translation of this magnificent invocation gives no sort
of idea of the rhythmic grandeur of the sublime utterances, as
petition after petition is poured forth in the sonorous tones of
the Welsh language. With Arnold we may find here, and in Keltic
literature generally, "traces of a kinship, and that the most
essential sort of kinship, spiritual kinship, between us and the
Kelt, of which we never dreamed."
GWEDDI'R ORSEDD (The Gorsedd Prayer).
Dyro Dduw dy Nawdd;
Ag yn Nawdd, Nerth;
Ag yn Nerth, Deall;
Ag yn Neall, Gwybod;
Ac yngwybod, Gwybod y Cyfiawn;
Ag yngwybod y Cyfiawn, ei Garu;
Ag o Garu, Caru pob Hanfod;
Ag ymhob Hanfod, Caru Duw.
Duw a phob Daioni.
Grant, O God, Thy Protection;
And in Protection, Strength;
And in Strength, Understanding;
And in Understanding, Knowledge;
And in Knowledge, the Knowledge of Justice;
And in that Knowledge of Justice, the Love of it;
And in that Love, the Love of all Existences;
And in the Love of all Existences, the Love of God.
God and all Goodness.
At the moment of prayer all the twelve Bards, the guardians
of the twelve stones, bow the head towards the Arch-Druid, and
the resemblance of the scene to the Great White Throne described
in the Revelation is most startling. The mysterious reverence,
awe and silence that holds the vast multitude spellbound, whilst
the historic "solemnities" of the Order are proceeded with, gives
one an idea of the influence that such "solemn assemblies" must
have exercised upon the nation at large in past times.
"DUW A DIGON"
(God and Enough)
Y GWIR YN ERBYN Y BYD"
(Truth against the World)
AND SO WE HAVE MUCH OF ANCIENT LONDON AND BRITAIN AS PRESERVED
IN WELSH HISTORY. FOR FAR TOO LONG A TIME THE ENGLISH (ANGLO-
SAXON) HISTORIANS WANTED THAT HISTORY TO BE COUNTED AS NOTHING,
SO THEY COULD LAY CLAIM TO BEING THE ONES THAT BROUGHT
"CIVILIZATION" TO BRITAIN. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE
TRUTH OF THE MATTER. TODAY THE ENGLISH HISTORIANS HAVE RESIGNED
THEMSELVES TO THE FACTS OF WELSH/SCOTISH/IRISH HISTORY AS BEING
IN THE MOST PART THE TRUE ANCIENT HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT BRITISH.
AH WHAT THE MODERN CHILDREN OF THIS 21ST CENTURY DO NOT KNOW, ARE
NOT TAUGHT, ABOUT THE ANCIENT HISTORY OF THEIR DESCENDANTS. SUCH
BOOKS AS THIS ONE, CANNOT BE FOUND IN THE COMMON LIBRARIES OF OUR
TOWNS AND CITIES.
SO DEAR READER, IT IS UP TO YOU, USING THIS WEBSITE, TO GIVE YOUR
CHILDREN SOME OF THE ANCIENT HISTORY, THAT HAS JUST ALL BEEN
FORGOTTEN ABOUT IN OUR SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES.
WE WAIT FOR THE AGE TO COME, WHEN INDEED THERE WILL BE A
RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS, AND TRUE HISTORY WILL AGAIN BE TAUGHT
TO THE WORLD.