by Andrew Collins

from AndrewCollins Website

'This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth:
As below, so above; and as above so below.
With this knowledge alone you may work miracles.
And since all things exist in and emanate from the ONE Who is the ultimate Cause,
so all things are born after their kind from this ONE.'

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus

(as translated by the elusive alchemist Fulcanelli)

Contents

  1. 'I am One'

  2. The Coming of the Green Stone

  3. The St George's Parry

  4. The Knights Hill Pool

  5. 'Meonia fore Marye'

  6. The Quest for the Green Stone Resumes

  7. The Swan's Neck Discovered

  8. The Rosicrucian Enlightenment

  9. The Catholic Cause in England

  10. The Swan in the Tower

  11. The Green Stone Found

  12. Independent Verification of the Green Stone Story

  13. Lady Mary Yate and the Martyr of Harvington

  14. The Rebirth of Psychic Questing

  15. Meonia and Iona

  16. The Lights of Knowledge

  17. The Seven Swords of Meonia

  18. A New Star in Cygnus

  19. The Influences of Venus

  20. Bride-Bridget - the White Swan

  21. The Cygnus Mystery

  22. Meonia.com

    BookList

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


i. I am One

The name of the Andrew Collins-Questing Conference website, and everything that it entails, is MEONIA (pronounced m as in knee, as in g, nia, as in wire). It is an anagram of 'I am One', with One being the name given to the Supreme Being, the creative force of the universe, in various religions from the Hermetic mysteries of Egypt ('all things exist in and emanate from the ONE'), through to Hebraism ('Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is One', Deut. vi, 4, Hebrew Bible) and Islam ('He is God, the One, God the eternal', Sura cxii).

The One might be seen as the expression of the macrocosm as a whole, reflected in microcosm within nature, within ourselves and within our every action in life. One effects the other, and vice versa, leading to the above Hermetic axiom of: 'As above, so below'.

MEONIA as a word was first revealed by my friend and colleague Graham Phillips under hypnosis during the late afternoon of Wednesday, 17 October 1979. We shared a house in Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, which doubled up as the headquarters for the newsstand magazine STRANGE PHENOMENA, to which at the time we had both dedicated our lives. I arrived home from a meeting with the printers to find him in an agitated state.

 

He felt that something was trying to 'get through', so I offered to put him under hypnosis to see what might occur. After some discomfort, Graham relaxed, and I found myself speaking to a secondary personality who answered to the name of 'Joanna' (supposedly a living person - an old friend of his from his time at Exeter Art College).

MEONIA was offered by 'Joanna' as a name for the Philosopher's Stone, the material substance sought by medieval alchemists to achieve a state of spiritual completion and perfection, cloaked under the guise of the transmutation of base metal into gold.

 

There is no question that the ancients saw the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus as an expression of this stone, looked on as a vehicle that enabled the practitioner to achieve oneness with the Supreme Being, the Hermetic concept of the One. In this way, the statement 'I am One', encoded in the word MEONIA, makes sense of its apparent connection not only with the Philosopher's Stone, but also the Emerald Tablet itself.

 

Back To Contents




ii. The Coming of the Green Stone

That the enigmatic 'tablet' of Hermes, the 'thrice great', was described as 'emerald', a term used in the Graeco-Egyptian language to refer to green-coloured stone in general (such as green granites, green jasper and even green glass) was fortuitous, for 'Joanna' claimed that MEONIA was the name of a fabled green stone glimpsed in mind only that morning by an acquaintance - a talented psychic, named Alan Beard, who lived in Alsager, Cheshire.

 

Unexpectedly, an image had appeared in his head of an oval stone the 'size of a sixpence' suspended in midair. It was green in colour with an unearthly radiance, and around it stood a group of people gazing up at this wondrous object.

Speaking to me on the telephone that morning, Alan admitted that he had no idea what this image meant. However, he linked the green stone with an earlier vision experienced just two days earlier on Monday, 15 October, in which he had seen in his mind's eye the same or a similar object, without any colour on that occasion. It had appeared initially the size of a loaf of bread before shrinking down to the size and shape of an egg, before finally it became an oval-shaped stone, a cabochon, worn in a ring by a woman.

Accompanying this imagery, which had occurred whilst on the telephone to me, had been the sight of a stone plinth or table-like slab, recalling, as we were much later to realize, the Emerald Tablet of Hermes. Indeed, there had been no reason whatsoever why Alan should have been glimpsing the strange green stone before 'Joanna' had implied, quite unexpectedly, that it was a real object that we now had to find using whatever means were at our disposal.

 

Back To Contents




iii. The St George's Parry

We were told to start our quest by visiting Harvington Hall, the moated medieval and Elizabethan home of Sir Humphrey Packington. He was a recusant, a Catholic subject to legal and social penalties through refusing to convert to Protestantism, who was around in 1605 when the sons of several local Catholic families lost their lives in the ill-conceived and ill-fated Gunpowder Plot. Packington had apparently taken possession of the Meonia Stone around the time of the arrest of the main conspirators, hiding it somewhere that no one would find it.

Andrew Collins & Graham Phillips
outside Harvington Hall
 

This information led us to note potential clues among the remaining murals in a first-floor corridor of the hall which portrayed the Nine Worthies, nine great heroes of history (usually three biblical, three legendary and three historical).

 

They drew us to consider the importance of a distinctive sword stance displayed by at least two of the 'worthies', the strong man Samson and the giant-slayer David. Known as the St George's Parry (where the weapon is held horizontally above the head to block an attack), it persuaded us to research the possible relevance of knighthood, chivalry and the saga of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table to the Green Stone story.

 

We even felt that the St George's Parry might be a clue pointing towards the importance of the familiar image of King Arthur's sword Excalibur held in a horizontal position by the Lady of the Lake. Perhaps we were looking for a concealment place on an island in the middle of a lake, somewhere in the Worcestershire landscape.

 

Back To Contents




iv. Knights Hill Pool

Our historical detective work led Graham and I to focus our attentions on an isolated pool on the estate of the Earl of Coventry, beneath Knights Hill, near Severn Stoke in Worcestershire. About to inspect the site first-hand, believing that the Green Stone (as it became known) was to be found there, Alan unexpectedly rang. We had not spoken to him for some days, and he knew nothing about the latest developments.

 

Without saying a word of what had been happening, he spoke of experiencing another vision, the first since glimpsing the Green Stone. He now felt that we were looking not for the stone at this time, but an 'indicator' that would eventually lead us to the stone, and this would be a sword.

 

This baffled us, as prior to this time there had been no indication that anything else other than the Green Stone was on offer here. However, we took on board what he said, and headed immediately out to the Knights Hill Pool, a journey of about an hour from Wolverhampton.

 

Back To Contents




v. Meonia for Marye
 

The Knights Hill Pool
 

The date was Monday, 23 October 1979, and that night, after some effort, Graham and I retrieved a short steel sword from behind an age-old dry stone wall holding up the bank next to a small brick footbridge at one end of the pool. It was covered in ivy and protected by thick undergrowth, making it extremely difficult to access. There is no way that anyone had been there for a very long time indeed.

The sword was found in a small cavity, behind the ninth stone down and along from the bridge (nine was a recurring number in the quest). It was hermetically sealed in a thick bobbly layer of brown-green resin, which on removal revealed a pristine sword with an inscription along the blade that read 'Meonia fore Marye'.

The 'Marye' implied in the inscription was thought to be Mary Queen of Scots, the Catholic monarch imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth after being accused of plotting against her. For the remainder of her troubled life, Mary Stuart was frequently moved between castles in the north and Midlands of England, until finally she reached Fotheringhay in Northants, where she was executed in 1587.

 

'Joanna' claimed that Mary possessed the Meonia Stone, wearing it on a ring, before passing it on to a young Robert Catesby (1573-1605), the leader of the Gunpowder Plot. Apparently, he had been taken to see her with his father Sir William Catesby, himself a recusant, when she was imprisoned in the neighbouring county of Staffordshire two years before her death.

 

Following the collapse of the Gunpowder Plot, Catesby supposedly gave the stone into the care of Lady Gertrude Wintour, the wife of Robert Wyntour of Huddington, another of the leading conspirators. She in turn has passed it on to Humphrey Packington at Harvington Hall, who was not implicated in the plot, and thus could be trusted with the stone.

 

Back To Contents




vi. The Quest for the Green Stone Resumes

So just six days after the name MEONIA had first been revealed, its independent existence was confirmed through the discovery of the sword, but the quest did not end there. Following four straight days delivering thousands of copies of STRANGE PHENOMENA's second issue, Graham and I returned to Wolverhampton and resumed the quest, which 'Joanna' implied had to be completed by 31st October, now just four days away.

 

One day was wasted in the proximity of Meon Hill, a mysterious location associated in the past with a gruesome witchcraft-linked killing, drawn principally by its tantalising place-name. 'Meon' had seemed to imply MEONIA, but we were being drawn away from the true quest.

 

We had forgotten that Alan Beard had said that the sword would be used as an 'indicator' to find the stone, and so during the mid evening, about to spend a night in a hotel at Moreton-on-the-Marsh in the Cotswolds, we were convinced by a friend named Marion Sunderland, who lived in Flint, North Wales, and her teenage daughter Gaynor, a high profile UFO contactee, that we should return as soon as possible to the Knight's Hill Pool, where they would help us find the illusive stone.

So this is what happened the next day, Monday, 29 October. Standing on the footbridge next to where the sword was found, Gaynor used the ceremonial weapon (found to be of nineteenth century manufacture) as a divining instrument, rotating it clockwise until she felt drawn to a particular direction. Here, she said, some 'two miles' away, we would find a 'ruined building', an 'abbey' perhaps, which held an important clue to the quest.

Sure enough, there was a 'ruin' exactly where she had indicated. It was located at a place called Dunstall Common. Yet it turned out to be not an 'abbey', but a sham castle, built in the eighteenth century by the landscape architect Capability Brown as part of the estate of the Earl of Coventry. The folly bore impressive square and round towers, one of which was accessible, enabling Graham, Gaynor and I to climb its spiral staircase.

 

We trod carefully in the partial darkness, but then became concerned by the sound of beating wings above us. It was accompanied by the fall of loose debris which came cascading downwards on to our heads. Assuming that a large bird blocked our way to the top, we turned back and headed out of the mysterious tower (it was probably only pigeons!).

 

Back To Contents




vii. The Swan's Neck Discovered

That night, at Marion and Gaynor's home, a small group gathered around an OS map of the Worcestershire landscape looking for further clues to the quest, feeling like our luck was finally running out. Fred Sunderland, Marion's husband, narrowed down the search by ringing an area that included those sites already singled out as important in some way. It was here that we should concentrate our efforts to find a location, he suggested.

 

About to give up, Marion flicked through a book on Mary Queen of Scots and noticed how the Catholic monarch embroidered pictures of waterfowl (she said 'swans'), with their necks in an unusual U-shaped position. Marion mentioned this out aloud, at which Graham's eyes fell upon a bend on the River Avon called the Swan's Neck located firmly within our designated search area. Stabbing the map he exclaimed that he had found 'it', and now felt sick inside.

 

We all looked and saw the Swan's Neck marked. It was important not simply because of the tangential link with Mary Queen of Scots, but because a new star (actually a supernova) that had appeared in the year 1600 within Cygnus, the celestial swan, was seen by those awaiting a new age of enlightenment as a divine sign of its imminent arrival.

 

Back To Contents




viii. The Rosicrucian Enlightenment

As ill-conceived as the Gunpowder Plot might seem today, it sprang from the vented anger and frustration of suppressed English Catholics, who were being fined and penalized simply for refusing to recant the faith of their ancestors. They expected emancipation when Mary Queen of Scots's son James I (James VI of Scotland) succeeded Queen Elizabeth to the throne in 1603.

 

Yet not only did this not happen, but James became even more fanatical than Elizabeth, tightening his grip on the Catholics and initiating terrible witch persecutions up and down the country. He even wrote a much-reviled book on how to find out whether a person was a witch, or in touch with demons, devils and spirit familiars.

It was a dark time, and the swan became the symbol of a hoped for new age not only among free-thinking Protestants, united under the mystical symbol of the Rose upon the Cross, but perhaps also the Catholics of England, Scotland and Ireland, who now looked towards James's eldest daughter Elizabeth Stuart as their only hope of salvation.

 

At the time of the Gunpowder Plot she was staying at Coombe Abbey in Warwickshire, and the conspirators had hoped to place her on the throne of England and Scotland following the murder of her father.

Frederick V, Elector Palatine, and Princess Elizabeth Stuart,

who became the Winter King and Queen of Bohemia.
 

The Catholics imagined that, if coached by the right tutor, Elizabeth Stuart would become like her grandmother, tolerant towards both Catholics and Protestants, embodying the spirit of the divine, seen by them in terms of the Virgin Mary, the Catholic intermediary between God and Earth. None of these ideals ever came to anything, and the Catholic dream of emancipation would have to wait for another two centuries (it came finally in 1829).

 

However, Elizabeth's special place in history would be realized when in 1613, just eight years after the failed Gunpowder Plot, she married Frederick, elector of the Bavarian province of Palatine, and earned the title 'Queen of Hearts'. In 1619 Frederick was offered and accepted the crown of Bohemia, and together he and Elizabeth reigned as the Winter King and Queen of Bohemia.

Frederick and Elizabeth's court at Heidelberg in Germany became a centre for like-minded mystics, alchemists, artists, poets and free-thinkers who saw the royal couple as the fulfillment of a deeply mystical tract known as 'The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz', anonymously written and printed in 1616.

 

This recognized the union of the ideal king and queen, i.e. Frederick and Elizabeth, bringing forth the anticipated new age of enlightenment, marked, according to another 'Rosicrucian' (i.e. adherents of the Rose upon the Cross) tract entitled 'Fama Fraternitatis' (1614), by the appearance of two new stars, the one in Cygnus and another, which had appeared in 1604 (Kepler's Star), in Ophiuchus, the serpent holder.

 

The Rosicrucians practiced a magical philosophy based very much on the Hermetic teachings, including the Emerald Tablet, which, as we have seen, speaks of the One as the Supreme Being.

The Invisible College of the Rose Cross Fraternity

from the 17th Century showing the new stars in Cygnus and Ophiuchus.
 

Back To Contents

 

 

ix. The Catholic Cause in England

Graham and I strongly suspected that even though Rosicrucianism was primarily Protestant in religious persuasion, in England prior to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 it contained elements of Catholicism, an assumption borne out by the fact that some of the earliest Freemason lodges, particularly those in Yorkshire, where Guy Fawkes hailed from, were strongly Catholic in nature.

 

Remember, during this age it was the Catholics of England, Scotland and Ireland who kept alive an interest not only in the Grail mysteries, but also in ancient and sacred places, such as wells, hills, shrines and chapels, through their devotion to the saints and saints' days, something that was gradually being stamped out by fundamental Protestants known as Puritans, who were tightening their political and religious grip on the country during James' reign.

 

Both the English Catholics and the more liberal-minded Protestants recognized what was going on, and so their individual aims in the British Isles were not exclusive to each other.

It was during the reign of James' second son, Charles I, that the Puritans under Oliver Cromwell and his Parliamentarian Government would finally bring the country to its knees and decimate all surviving beliefs and practices associated with more traditional forms of Christian worship, including the celebration of Christmas and other annual festivals, such as May Day. Only with the death of Cromwell in 1658 and the Restoration of the monarchy under Charles I's son, Charles II, would all of these religious beliefs and practices reappear in Britain.

 

Charles and his circle of friends and colleagues were unquestionably responsible for Britain's real age of enlightenment, which was heavily supported by free-thinking Protestants, Rosicrucian apologists and loyal Freemasons, united up until this time under the name of the Invisible College, or the Philosophical College. In 1662 it became the Royal Society of London, which went on to pave the way for the age of scientific reason, with great thinkers such as Sir Robert Boyle, Sir Christopher Wren and Sir Isaac Newton at its helm.

Unconfirmed psychic information has suggested that Sir Isaac Newton was a member of a Meonia-linked secret society, and played a major role in crystallizing Meonia's inner philosophies concerning the nature of the universe. Indeed, it has been implied on more than one occasion that he employed the term 'Meonia' to refer to the highest principle of the transmutation process.

 

In the knowledge that Newton was a practicing alchemist with a great interest in unorthodox religious ideas, such an idea remains a possibility. With the gradual placing of his alchemical diaries online over the next couple of years, perhaps the matter can be resolved one way or another.

 

Back To Contents




x. The Swan in the Tower
 

Dunstall Castle, nears Knights Hill Pool, subject of Gaynor's
swan in the tower dream.


The following day, Tuesday, 30 October 1979, Graham left early to find out what he could about the Swan's Neck from the Worcester County Records Office, and as I waited patiently to hear from him at the Wolverhampton flat with Alan Beard and another friend Terry Shotton, who had arrived that morning, Marion Sunderland called. She said that Gaynor, who had retired to bed early, and so was not privy to the latest information regarding the Swan's Neck, had experienced a powerful dream overnight. Putting her on the line, Gaynor explained how she had seen Graham, her and I ascending the tower at Dunstall Castle once more.

Again, we had heard the sound of beating wings above us, but this time instead of making a hasty retreat we had continued on up and come face to face with a mighty swan, its wings outstretched as if in a defensive position.

Around its neck was a pouch held in place by a cord that Gaynor was convinced contained the Green Stone. As it took flight, we had run back down the spiral staircase, with the bird in pursuit, and after exiting the tower the swan had continued its flight across the landscape to a location by running water, 'and this,' she said, 'is where you will find the stone, on the neck of the swan'.

It was information that made sense of earlier psychic thoughts from both Marion and Gaynor. Marion, for example, on holding the Meonia Sword following its discovery, had seen an avenue of popular trees close to running water, feeling that this might be where the stone was concealed, while Gaynor had seen a figure in seventeenth-century style clothes running across open country towards a bridge over a river or stream.

 

Around his neck was a pouch, the one now worn by the swan, out of which he had removed a casket containing the stone ready for burial nearby. Quite separately, both Alan and Terry had drawn pictures of an arch-topped casket in which they believed the stone would be found.

 

Back To Contents




xi. The Green Stone Found

Graham, still unaware of Gaynor's dream, was worried that a large group of people tramping across open farmland towards a location on the River Avon, was going to attract adverse attention. So he made a difficult decision. He travelled out to the Swan's Neck, where after walking on foot from nearby Eckington Bridge he saw that on the approach to the bend was an avenue of poplars, like those seen in mind by Marion.

 

Realizing that this was indeed the right location, he deduced a suitable place of concealment and began digging. With only a hole to show for his efforts, he moved on to another location nearby, but this also produced nothing. Finally, he dug at the summit of a low knoll out in a nearby field and at no great depth Graham said he came across a casket, inside which was a small green cabochon stone, close in size and appearance to the one seen in vision by Alan Beard just thirteen days beforehand.

The casket, caked in earth, was found to be made of brass, and matched the descriptions of the stone's predicted container as drawn by Alan and Terry. Its appearance with arched lid and conical-shaped legs was suggestive of a style popular during the second half of the seventeenth century, although this was never confirmed.

 

The Green Stone is thought to be made of agate. Its age cannot be estimated, even though it looks to have been hand polished. Whether or not it is linked with the Philosopher's Stone of the alchemists is open to speculation. Following the completion of the quest, both the stone and casket were given into the care of Marion Sunderland, who championed the Green Stone story throughout her life.

 

Sadly, following her death in 2005, Gaynor inherited the items and sold them to an unknown bidder. Their whereabouts today are unknown.

Graham Phillips with the sword and casket

 

Back To Contents

 

 

xii. Independent Verification of the Green Stone Story

Several years after these events I was put in touch with an elderly couple who came from Eckington, Worcestershire. They lived in a cottage just a few hundreds yards away from the Swan's Neck.

 

In a letter (which I still have), the gentleman claimed that his father had farmed the land adjacent to the Swan's Neck (although on the opposite bank to the location associated with the Green Stone), and one day, whilst out helping him in the fields, he was told the story of the Green Stone.

The Meonia Stone


It had been owned by a Catholic martyr attached to Harvington Hall who was put to death for refusing to reveal its whereabouts. Apparently, this priest had been protected by a member of the family, who placed geese on the hall's long drive so that whenever the Sheriff of Worcester's troops came to search the house the birds' commotion would provide the household with enough time to hide the priest in one of its many priest-holes.

I interviewed the elderly man, by then aged 90, at his home. He was completely blind, and had only come to hear of our interest in the Green Stone from his wife, who read an account of its discovery in a local paper. He was actually quite incensed that we had distorted the story told to him all those years beforehand.

Back To Contents




xiii. Lady Mary Yate and the Martyr of Harvington

Historical research indicated that the Catholic priest and martyr in question was John Wall (1620-79), 'the martyr of Harvington'. He regularly stayed at Harvington whilst ministering locally. Wall was finally arrested, tried and executed at Worcester for practicing his faith. Indeed, he became the last Catholic martyr in England. His patron was Humphrey Packington's daughter Lady Mary Yate (nee Packington), wife of Sir John Yate of Buckland, who inherited Harvington in 1631.

 

Like her father, she remained loyal to the Catholic faith, and went out of her way to harbor John Wall, who is commemorated in a stained glass window at the hall. Lady Yate died in 1696, the same year that she founded the Harvington Secular Clergy, which by the mid-eighteenth century already contained over 1,700 items on Catholic recusants. After her death, the estate passed into the hands of the Throckmortons of Coughton Court, a family intimately associated with both the Catholic cause and the Gunpowder Plot.

If the elderly couple's story about John Wall was authentic, then there seemed every likelihood that the real Green Stone was indeed attached to Harvington Hall in Worcestershire. However, it was not Humphrey Packington who concealed it, but most probably his daughter Lady Mary Yate, perhaps with the help of John Wall.

 

Whatever the reality of the story, it verified once and for all that the Green Stone saga was not, as some might think, simply the creation of a few individuals during the autumn of 1979. What is more, it seemed definitely to be linked with Harvington Hall, a place first revealed by 'Joanna' just hours after Alan Beard experienced his initial vision of the Green Stone.

 

Back To Contents




xiv. The Rebirth of Psychic Questing

The writing up of these events in my book THE SWORD AND THE STONE (1982), as well as within Graham Phillips' own book THE GREEN STONE (1983), caused such a furore among the earth mysteries and paranormal communities, that it single-handedly catalysed the commencement of the modern-day revival in what I term psychic questing.

 

This describes the spontaneous quest for answers to mysteries presented through either dreams or more obvious psychic means, such as automatic writing, meditations, mediumship or visionary experiences. It is nothing new. Tibetan Buddhists had a complete magical system in place for finding hidden religious artifacts called termas, using similar processes.

 

It was practiced mostly by the red-hatted Nyingma-pa monks and taught as part of the mystical teachings known as Dzogchen. Derived most likely from the pre-Buddhist, shamanic based Bon-po religion of Tibet, terma hunting probably survives today in places such as Nepal, North India and Mongolia.

Yet we know that psychic questing was once popular more closer to home. There are plenty of accounts of Christian holy men or women being led to retrieve relics through dreams and visions. Among them are

  • Peter Bartholomew, the visionary monk of the First Crusade who found the Spear of Christ following the siege of Acre

  • Joan of Arc, the French Maid of Orleans who was led by St Catherine to find the sword of French folk hero Charles Martel

  • Mormon founder Joseph Smith, who was instructed by the angel Moroni to retrieve gold tablets from an Indian mound.

It was also a practice found among the alchemists and mystics of the Middle Ages, who would invoke spirits to tell them where objects were buried, Elizabethan magus and scholar Dr John Dee and his sidekick the alchemist and medium Edward Kelly being obvious examples. In Glastonbury, they were led by spirits to a local churchyard where they apparently retrieved phials containing the red and white tinctures used in the alchemical process, as well as a hand-written work on alchemy penned by a tenth-century abbot and saint named Dunstan.

Also at Glastonbury, at the beginning of the twentieth century, new age pioneer and mystic Wellesley Tudor Pole received a vision suggesting that a holy vessel was to be found in a local holy well, which was subsequently searched by his daughter and a friend. Here they came across a sapphire-blue glass bowl of Venetian or Arabian manufacture. Strangely, it transpired that the item had been deliberately placed in the well only shortly beforehand by a man who claimed that he was compelled by spirits to conceal it there so that someone else might retrieve it.

Staying with Glastonbury, we must not overlook the psychic archaeology of architectural historian Frederick Bligh Bond, who whilst excavating the abbey during the 1910s and 1920s employed the services of mediums who believed they could communicate with long dead monks.

 

They instructed Tudor Pole on where to dig in order to uncover previously unknown extensions of the medieval building, including its lost Edgar Chapel and Loretto Chapel. All of this is psychic questing, and it continues today. Aside from our own website, check out psychicquesting.com for the latest news and information, as well as detailed discussions on the subject.

 

Back To Contents




xv. Meonia and Iona

MEONIA was used by us as a catch-all terms to describe those people of the past whom unconfirmed psychic information suggested formed part of a 'heritage' involving interlinked groups and individuals connected in some way with either the Green Stone of the Meonia Sword.

 

It is an incredible story spanning nearly 3,500 years, and is outlined in our books. The term MEONIA has also been applied to groups and individuals who have come together over the years in order to further our knowledge of those involved in MEONIA's past; indeed, we see it as carrying on from where they left off. It has become like a banner, a flag of recognition, and embraces everything from historical and field research to psychic questing, meditation groups, and public events.

 

MEONIA thrives today with a core group, made up of people who have had first hand experience in psychic questing activities over the years.

Sun setting off the coast of Iona, May Day 1980,

as seen from Dun Bhuriag, with the Meonia Sword in view.


Interestingly, MEONIA was found to be the Latin for Mn, or Mona, an island off the coast of Denmark (a merchant ship was named 'Meonia' in honour of this particular island in 1927). More significant is the fact that both Anglesey in North Wales and Iona in Scotland were once called Mona (and thus bore the Latin name Meonia). As you will see below, the holy island of Iona plays a special role in the Green Stone story.

Early in 1980, Graham and I worked out that MEONIA was an anagram of 'I am One', and that it could further be broken up into two components ME, as in I, and ONIA, which is an anagram of IONA. The single letter 'I' was also an ancient Celtic name for the holy island. Moreover, the founding saint of Iona's famous abbey, St Columba (AD 521-97) was originally known as the Swan (Gaelic eala), even though his name actually means 'dove'.

It was with such information that the first modern-day Meonia group visited Iona for May Day 1980, conducting a two-part meditation at sunrise and sunset in the name of St Michael the archangel of fire in the belief that we were somehow activating the Green Stone.

 

Back To Contents




xvi. The Lights of Knowledge

As a consequence of this perceived activation process, the stone was employed in January and February 1981 on a two part psychic quest in an attempt to understand the wisdom of the megalithic peoples of Britain, who built the stone circles, long barrows and standing stones. This involved a monumental trip along a line of ancient and sacred sites from Dorchester in Oxfordshire to the Hurlers double stone circle on Bodmin Moor.

 

We subsequently came to realize that many of the sites we had been guided to visit on the Lights of Knowledge quest, as it was known, resonated with the Michael Line (after St Michael). First highlighted in the late 1960s by earth mysteries writer John Michell, it features an avenue or corridor of sacred and ancient sites, many of which are dedicated to the dragon-slaying saint. They fall on a straight line between Hopton-on-Sea on the Norfolk coast and St Michael's Mount in Cornwall.

 

This fact was made apparent following the publication in 1989 of a key book on the Michael Line entitled THE SUN AND THE SERPENT by Paul Broadhurst and Hamish Miller.

 

Back To Contents




xvii. The Seven Swords of Meonia

Beyond the Meonia story told thus far is the fact that in August 1985 a practicing Mormon named Colin Paddon started to receive vivid dreams in which he saw an angel enshrouded by a blue haze who stood in a wooded clearing (Joseph Smith's Moroni?). In its hands were two identical swords, held by their blades point downwards. After the dream had recurred a couple of times, Colin finally felt he recognized the woodland in question as Brickhill Woods, near Woburn Sands in Bedfordshire (where my biological mother lived when I was conceived back in 1956).

Following a meditation at the Buddhist pagoda on Willen Lake, just outside of Milton Keynes, Colin travelled out to Brickhill Woods one Sunday afternoon with his family, which consisted of his wife Angela and their two children, along with another family of two adults and two children. In an attempt to locate the clearing seen in his dream, Colin asked each of the adults to choose an azimuth bearing between 0 and 360 degrees. One of the four angles was then followed until it brought them to an obstacle.

Colin Paddon in Brickhill Woods

holding the two swords as shown to him in a dream.

 

Another angle was then chosen and followed until the same thing happened again. This continued until finally, whilst following the fourth and final trajectory, the party broke through knee-high bracken and found themselves inside an untouched clearing, recognized by Colin as the one from his dream.

In the centre, they removed the thick carpet of moss and immediately saw two shiny sword pommels. On pulling at these, two untarnished steel swords were slid out, much to the party's jubilation. They were identical to each other, and the same as the same short swords seen in the hands of the angel featured in Colin's recurring dream.

 

Only the following year did they realize that these were identical to the one found by Graham and I at the Knights Hill Pool back in 1979 (indeed, they had never even heard of the Green Stone story until the Meonia Sword was featured on a BBC documentary about the Glastonbury zodiac, a subject very much associated with psychic questing activities).

As Colin had touched the two swords for the first time, he felt that others existed, seven in all, and that one day they would be brought together for a very special purpose. And this was indeed what happened. Four more swords, all identical to those already described, would eventually be found in England under mysterious circumstances. It is the search for the seventh and final sword that became the subject of my book THE SEVENTH SWORD, published in 1991.

Marion Sunderland (centre) holds the Green Stone,
in the company of Colin and Angela Paddon with their two swords.

 

Back To Contents

 

 

xviii. A New Star in Cygnus

Even after this time we discovered that the new star which had appeared in Cygnus, the swan, back in 1600, heralding for some an impending new age of enlightenment, appeared in the neck of the swan. When its position in relation to the rest of the celestial swan was overlaid on to a map of the Swan's Neck, where Graham said the Green Stone was found, the two positions corresponded perfectly.

 

Not only did this connect the stone with the influence of Cygnus, but it also indicated that there was a relationship between its place of concealment and the new star of 1600. This was a startling revelation which made me recall Gaynor Sunderland's remarkable dream about the swan in the tower, experienced during the Green Stone quest.

 

Back To Contents




xix. The Influences of Venus

The planetary influence of Venus, expressed in alchemy by the metal copper and the colour green, governs Cygnus, the swan, which is located centrally on the celestial river known as the Milky Way. Venus features in alchemical philosophy, where her symbolic marriage to the alchemist as Mercury, or Hermes, creates the androgynous Mercurius, the culmination of the magical art.

 

All this suggests that those behind the Green Stone's concealment were familiar not only with alchemical ideals, but that the stone reflected the green influence of Venus, connected with the sphere of Netzach in the Tree of Life, the mystical religious system of the Hebrews adopted by the Rosicrucians.

A second cabochon stone, an orange-red carnelian known as the Eye of Fire (or Red Stone), was found subsequently in 1982 by Graham and his friends (the quest occurred after I had withdrawn from the group), and this unquestionably reflected the influence of Mercury, the sphere of Hod on the Cabbalistic Tree of Life.

 

Venus and Mercury, Netzach and Hod, green and red, are equal and opposites in alchemical philosophy, creating a cosmic balance, reflected in dualistic symbols such as the swan and the dragon, the bird and the serpent, intelligence and matter, order and chaos, light and dark, God and the devil, Cygnus and Draco. These are basic dualistic principles still acknowledged today by those active in the psychic questing community.

 

Back To Contents




xx. Bride-Bridget - the White Swan and Black Serpent

East of the Swan's Neck is Bredon Hill, a gigantic elevated plateau that was once very likely the site of a British Iron Age (c.700 BC-AD 43) cult of the dead. This conclusion comes from the gruesome discovery there of a whole series of skulls thought to have been placed on spikes over an entrance gateway. It takes its name from the suffix '-don', from the Old English dun, meaning 'hill', and the prefix 'bre-', from the Welsh bre, also meaning 'hill'.

 

However, this same word root gives us Bride, Bridget, Brig, or Bree, the name of an ancient British and Irish goddess, worshipped under the name Brigantia by the Brigantes, a powerful warrior tribe who at the time of the Roman conquest inhabited much of northern Britain from Hadrians Wall in the north down to Staffordshire's Peak District in the south.

 

So powerful was Bride-Bridget as a pagan deity that even with the arrival in Britain and Ireland of the earliest Christian missionaries in the fifth century her cult could not be quelled, and so instead of ignoring her, the pagan goddess was transformed into a saint with a life of devotion to Christ.

One of Bride-Bridget's greatest totems is the white swan, and around the time of her feast day, 1 February, an observer standing on the hill's summit looking west will see a swan in flight formed by the inundation of pastures around the Swan's Neck bend on the River Avon. Such naturalistic phenomena would unquestionably have been important to the geomythic beliefs of our ancestors, and expresses once more the significance of the swan to the events surrounding the story of Meonia.

The Philosopher's Egg of the Rosicrucians.


As late as the seventeenth century in Cornwall and the nineteenth century in Scotland, offerings of eggs, swan's down feathers and even whole birds were made in the name of Bride-Bridget, and so it is intriguing to find that the swan is renowned for laying green eggs. Once again, we are reminded of Alan Beard's original vision of the stone shrinking in size from that of a loaf of bread to an egg, before becoming a ring stone worn on the hand of a woman.

 

The egg was also an important symbol in alchemy and Rosicrucian philosophy, with one picture showing a man in armour about to cut open a giant egg with his sword. It represents a form of the Philosopher's Stone, known as the Philosopher's Egg.

Bride-Bridget's other main totem is the snake, which in Scottish folklore was said to rise annually out of its hollow hill on the feast of St Bride. Thus within her is the perfect balance between the swan and the serpent, the green and the red, light and darkness. In many ways, she is a patron of psychic questing in Britain. Bride-Bridget can be pictured holding a casket in which are two stones, one green and the other red.

 

The rising energies from these stones combine to form a double spiral in green and red, like the DNA double helix, one of the most powerful symbols of human evolution. Bridget, as Brigantia, might be seen in her warrior aspect with long, flame red hair, wearing a green smock-like dress and holding a bronze sword and shield.

In psychic questing lore, Brigantia is equated with a mythical Bronze Age warrior queen named Gwevaraugh (pronounced gwev, as in kevin, a(r), as in car, and raugh, as in martha) the prefix of whose name derives from gwen, 'bright', the same as brig, or bric, the root behind the name Bride-Bridget (Gwevaraugh can also linked with the name Gwenhwyfar, or Guinevere, King Arthur's wife and consort in Welsh and medieval tradition).

 

Unconfirmed psychic information offered by 'Joanna' in October 1979 indicated that Gwevaraugh ruled the Midlands of England around 900 BC from a fort called Bury Ring near the town of Stafford. It was later implied during the Eye of Fire quest of 1982 that Gwevaraugh possessed a magical sword on the hilt of which the Green Stone and Red Stone (i.e. the Eye of Fire) were affixed, creating a cosmic balance between the green and the red.

 

The stones are said to have been removed from the sword at a place called the Dovedales, an isolated valley in the Peak District, noted for the appearance of mysterious lights and other strange happenings. In many ways, Gwevaraugh has become synonymous with Brigantia, the goddess of the Brigantes, who although an Iron Age tribe, probably amalgamated with an existing Bronze Age ruling family.

 

Back To Contents




xxi. The Cygnus Mystery

Much has happened since the nave days of 1979, which unquestionably inspired the prolific writing careers of both Graham Phillips and myself. It is therefore not strange that the Cygnus constellation should become the focus of my book THE CYGNUS MYSTERY, released by Watkins Publishing in autumn 2006.

 

Even though this is strictly a scholarly work, the main basis for the research project came from a single, extremely weird night on 5/6 June 2004, following my recent return from southeast Turkey, where I visited not only the oldest temple in the world, which dates to 9500 BC, but also the remains of Harran. This ancient city of the star-worshipping Sabians is celebrated as the birthplace of Hermetica, the philosophy based on the Graeco-Egyptian writings of Hermes Trismegistus, such as the text of the Emerald Tablet.

For nearly four hours that night I scribbled down inspired thoughts and ideas, and those which have not inspired THE CYGNUS MYSTERY are to be found in a mystical tract I wrote at the time entitled THE CIRCLE OF CYGNUS. Its contents relate to the MEONIA story, and I hope to publish this book in due course.

In THE CYGNUS MYSTERY I propose that cosmic rays from a binary star system called Cygnus X-3 effected human evolution, catalyzing the emergence of the first universal religion and cosmology as early as 15,000 BC, and arguably earlier still. I suspect very much that our Palaeolithic ancestors were aware of Cygnus's influence on their lives, and even attempted to enhance this through cyclic initiations and ceremonies in caves deep underground, where its signal is clearer.

 

It is an influence that came to be personified in the heavens as a cosmic bird of creation, variously seen as a swan, vulture, hawk, dove, heron, magpie, eagle or bird of paradise. It was the basis behind concepts of the Supreme Being, such as God, Yahweh, Allah, the One, etc, as well as Cosmic Mothers, such as Nut (or Nu-it), Hathor, Saraswati, Allat, al-Uzza, Venus, and Bride-Bridget.

There is something very special about the influence of the Cygnus constellation on the human mindset. It was seen in the past as the source of cosmic life and death. Our most distant ancestors actually believed that life came from this region of space, and that the souls of the righteous would return there in death.

 

In many ways it was the first location of heaven. Its counter-balance and rival in the night sky is Draco, the celestial dragon, which symbolizes the abysmal realms of deep space, the void, or abyss, seen in some ancient mythologies as a place where souls can be lost forever. As Cygnus is the green ray, Draco signifies the red ray and together they form a necessary cosmic balance in our own perspective of the universe.

 

Back To Contents




xxii. Meonia.com

Cygnus exudes the influence of MEONIA more than any other stellar source in the night sky. It is therefore not surprising that echoes of its greater importance found their way into the discoveries of 1979. Somehow, we were drawn intuitively to the Swan's Neck, where the Green Stone was supposedly buried by Catholic sympathizers in the seventeenth century, and an elderly man of ninety years of age was told the story of the fabled stone in his youth.

 

Whatever people might think about the reality of these events, no one can deny the strange manner in which they all came together, and no better word than MEONIA expresses them, the reason why I have chosen to honour the site with this name.

The Seven Swords of Meonia brought together
at Whiteleafed Oak on the borders of Herefordshire,
Gloucestershire and Worcestershire in August 1992.

 

Back To Contents

 


Booklist

Modern books dealing with psychic questing:

  • Carey, Grace, Web Quest (1996)

  • Collins, Andrew, The Sword and the Stone (1982); The Black Alchemist (1988); The Seventh Sword (1992); The Second Coming (1993) and The Twenty-First Century Grail (2004)

  • Gale, Jack, The Circle and the Square (1997)

  • Langstone, Alex, Bega and The Sacred Ring (1992)

  • Phillips, Graham, and Martin Keatman, The Green Stone (1984); The Eye of Fire

  • Smith, Michael, The Sun and the Moon: The Hill and the Well (1997)

Back To Contents