A Moon that created Life?

Extracted from Precessional Time and the Evolution of Consciousness, Inner Traditions, 2011. There is a long history of speculation concerning the origins of our Moon which is still not fully settled but an early impact seems most likely and a key proponent has been William K Hartmann of the Planetary Institute (also space artist, see below). The Moon has played so many important functions for the development of both the Earth and its Biosphere, that it is worth noting some of these when considering the Moon’s relationships to the synodic periods of the outer planets through its lunar year.

Over 4.5 billion years ago the inner solar system was a jumble of would be planets and planetoids. It is thought that Earth shared its orbital zone with at least one other planet about the size of Mars, similarly composed of a heavy metal core and outer mantle. Both would have been mopping up smaller bodies but eventually the two collided with each other.


Figure 1 The Collision of Earth and Thea (©William K. Hartmann)
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William of Malmesbury’s History of Glastonbury

This in preparation for a post on the significance of St Mary’s Chapel in early Christianity and in particular the small round wattle-and-daub building with an intricate pavement, contemporaneous with the Westminster Abbey sanctuary pavement but of a design and a date unknown. Important but often speculative twentieth Century sources are Bligh Bond, John Michell and Keith Critchlow, whilst the earliest historian to record its history was William of Malmesbury.

William’s history of Glastonbury was significantly changed in the century after it was written, to suit the Abbey’s pilgrimage business. Fortunately, the main body of that history lived on unaltered in William’s revision of his History of the Kings of England. The notes below were made using The Glastonbury Legends pages¬†26-41, by Professor (of History) R.F. Treharne (1901 – 1967), Aberystwyth University.

Introduction

William of Malmesbury wrote a large-scale history of England (Kings of England) by 1125. In it he stated that Glastonbury Abbey had been founded , on the advice of St. Aldhelm, by Ine, King of Wessex (688-726), a statement which he repeated in his Ecclesiastical History also finished in 1125. Later, when writing a Life of St. Dunstan (undated) he realised Glastonbury was much older than that since “Glastonbury had already passed under ecclesiastical authority long before the time of St Patrick, who had died in A.D. 472”. So, impressed by what he had seen and heard at Glastonbury, he wrote a separate monograph on the antiquity of that great abbey, completed by 1135.

Figure 1 Frederick Bligh Bond’s vision of the first church at Glastonbury, based upon the story of Joseph of Arimethea added to William’s History in the century after it was written, as explained below.
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