I’ve been doing some research on Dunstan for my new book, Stories in the Land. Dunstan was abbot at Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset, England, in the 10th century, and went on to assume the mantle of the Archbishoprics of London and Canterbury. I’m quite fascinated by this painting of his, within which he has written:
“Remember, I beg you, merciful Christ, to protect Dunstan, and do not permit the storms of the Underworld to swallow me up.”
So he didn’t use the word Hell, but the more shamanic term of the Underworld, which fits in with the pre-Christian cosmology that was based on the Three Worlds of the Tree of Life.
I can clearly see the zodiacal coding in this painting – the four-armed cross within the halo of Christ representing the cross formed by the equinoxes and solstices and also slightly tilted, as our Earth is, and which causes the precession of the equinoxes.
I think that Dunstan must have deliberately placed himself praying in the far bottom right corner, which, on the zodiac, is where the initiate or hero falls down into the Underworld at Sagittarius, after being bitten at Scorpio.
I’m also wondering if the diagonal line going across the body of Christ is the Milky Way – it certainly could be a more stylised version of the Milky Way as it is shown on zodiacs going back to early Alexandria, running diagonally downwards from between Gemini and Taurus to between Scorpio and Sagittarius.
Dunstan was an alchemist and so he would surely have been an astrologer too, because alchemical operations are, and always were, timed according to the zodiac.
I explain in my book Stories in the Stars (available on Amazon) all about this astrological-alchemical system and show how it comes down to us through the codes buried in ancient myths. The book I’m currently writing, Stories in the Land, explores how these stories with their Mysteries sub-texts are found in the earthworks, as well as the art and architecture of the churches, in the land of Avalon.