Summer Solstice

by Jenny Chapman Diary

Around these parts a lot of people go to Glastonbury Tor to greet the Summer Solstice. It was Burrow Mump which called me, and Livvy Adams, however. Burrow Mump is one of a line of hills dedicated to St Michael, that mark the Great Dragon or Ley line stretching from St Michael’s mount off Cornwall. From the top, weather permitting, you can see the pyramid-shaped Tor, and imagine all the people up there.

Below, is the Girt Dog’s face constructed by the old waterways on the Somerset levels.Take a step or two to your right and Aller comes into view. It was here, Alfred baptised Guthrun, his defeated Danish enemy into Christianity and the ancient Mysteries. Local myth tells of a spear used to kill the dragon[1] which lived in Athelney Fens. Step around once more and you overlook the meeting point of rivers, the Tone with the Parret and the old course of the river Cary. Burrow Mump stands at a strategic location.

Sirius[2] or the Dog-Star, sets on Burrow Mump or the Girt Dog’s nose. As the brightest star, visible from any part of Earth, it often appears to flicker with many rainbow colours. Sirius was used by the early Egyptians to predict their annual flooding (and fertility to the land), the summer solstice and to mark the start of the New Year. It is associated with the goddess of agriculture and of motherhood. She acted as a guide in the afterlife showing the pharaoh ‘goodly roads’ to help him become one of the imperishable stars.



[1] Symbol of transmutation, energy and mastery

[2] “Sirius” is derived from the Ancient Greek Seirios (“glowing” or “scorcher”)