A sideways look at the apotropaic Marian mark.

Apotropaic or protective marks have featured in much recent historical research, in which NE editor John Billingsley has been active with co-founding the Hidden Charms conference and publishing his book Charming Calderdale, investigating protectives in his area of West Yorkshire. Here, he turns his attention to what happens when a mark loses its contemporary religious significance, […]

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Walking Myth into Place 3: Hebden Bridge Zodiac Capricorn

Our series of self-guided walks continues with Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan.21 approx.). You will need the Ordnance Survey 1:25000 South Pennines map. Please note that routes and their condition were accurate at their time of survey, 2018-2020; updates may be made at later dates. Please be alert to any other quasi-affirmations of Capricorn as you walk!

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#12 Walking myths into place: Is the damned landscape zodiac salvageable?

A few weeks ago, the subject of terrestrial zodiacs popped up in discussions on our e-group, NEReaders. They are definitely a carry-over from our early earth mysteries days, when questions previously deemed beyond credibility were to be asked and reconsidered (like leys), possibilities explored, and new hypotheses of the past and subtle reality to be

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#11 Noticing: The Cleethorpes Liminal Zone

Summer’s passed and the Alt-Antiquarian shares his holiday snaps…                 Sometimes one experiences an object lesson in how closely related the antiquarian instinct and psychogeographic sensitivity can be, in reality as well as in the observer. Still, it can be a surprise… It’s always a pleasure to discover such convergence where one might not immediately

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#10 Honest visions and toxic errors in the neo-antiquarian landscape

Jeremy Harte’s exegesis of placenames [How Placenames Grow, reviewed NE169] is fired by the misuses to which they have been put, and more often than not by adherents of alternative viewpoints such as earth mysteries. In such impressionistic contexts, Balham (for instance) becomes the enclosure or home (ham, OE root) of Ba’al (ancient god, or

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Walking myth into place: The damned landscape zodiac

The terrestrial or landscape zodiac is one of the more outré concepts to emerge from the 20th century discussions of ‘earth mysteries’, and unsurprisingly has not fared well in the more materialistic  intellectual climate of the 21st century. However, NE editor John Billingsley thinks the concept should not be dismissed outright, as it provides food

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Journeys of the Soul: Vernacular funeral paths in Upper Calderdale

Funeral paths, popularly known as corpseways, became a familiar topic in neo-antiquarian research in the 1980s when they entered discussions about leys as spirit roads. The association with leys faded, but they are still recognised as spirit paths of a kind, and often interact with hauntings and other supernatural encounters. In this book, John Billingsley

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