Voices of Albion Revisited: Custom Law and Common Right

Giant's Dance 2

The Giant’s Dance

In the first posting on this newly reactivated thread we looked at the significance of Wally Hope’s Stonehenge People’s Free Festival in terms of its descent from a far earlier festival, rooted in Custom Law and Common Right, the origins of which are lost in the deepest primordial mists of Ancient Time. Many of those involved in the long running Open Access to Stonehenge Campaign have continually attempted to use these facts as the basis for their arguments for greater access, so in this posting I have decided to look at some of the ancient and well established traditions relating to some of the genuinely documented Rites (and Rights) of Assembly that were formerly enacted there as recorded by Ancient Bardic historians.

One of the greatest Medieval repositories of Ancient Welsh Bardic lore are the writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth, whose ‘History of the Kings of Britain’ contains much interesting information about Stonehenge. Although, like many Medieval histories written up by Medieval clerics, openly hostile to the pagan traditions that many of them were so successfully to preserve, Geoffrey’s work is riddled with inaccuracies, there is a great deal of hidden knowledge contained within its pages that Geoffrey himself was unable to understand: and therefore largely unable to interfere with as a result.

Amongst the traditions preserved by Geoffrey in relation to Stonehenge is that it was previously referred to by the indigenous Britons as ‘The Giants Dance’. The fact that gigantic hill figures, such as the Long Man of Wilmington and the Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset, were undoubtedly worshiped by at least some of our remote ancestors, whether as fertility symbols, ancient prehistoric surveyors, or in some other guise, is beyond any questionable doubt. It is therefore probable that at some point during the Solar Year the various priesthoods of the myriad of cults with which these great landscape effigies were at one time formerly associated came together at Stonehenge to commune through music and dance.

As we saw in my previous posting, old antiquarian representations of what are believed to have been the earliest festivals in the vicinity would tend to support this point of view, so it is indeed a credible scenario. Similarly, another of the activities which appears to have taken place on or near the site, at least according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, include manifestations of the ancient Folk Moot, or traditional Parliaments: in many ways a more ancient and uniquely British, as opposed to Norse, version of the old Manx Parliament, or Tynwald, formerly enacted on the Isle of Man.

Elsewhere in Geoffrey’s ‘History’ we are told of how Ambrosius Aurelianus, King Arthur’s direct ancestor, is said to have enacted just such an assembly in the vicinity of Stonehenge itself; shortly before his death, and internment, close at hand. Indeed, according to Geoffrey, Ambrosius Aurelianus’s remains are said to have been buried within the precincts of Stonehenge itself. Regardless of the clear lack of historical accuracy in relation to many of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s statements, archaeology has shown  conclusively that the immediate area around Stonehenge was used extensively as a burial ground for what were almost certainly a dynasty, or dynasties, of Sacral Kings; as far back as the era generally referred to as ‘The Beaker Period’: when the civilization generally referred to as ‘The Wessex Culture’ were the dominant social force in the region.

The ‘Old King’s Barrows’ sketched by the eighteenth century Antiquarian, William Stukeley, whose pioneering field work around Stonehenge and Avebury was to preserve for posterity  a reasonably accurate visual record of many unique landscape features that have failed to survive the test of time, clearly show that the area around the monument itself  was formerly used as some kind of ritual complex directly connected with the internment of ancient primordial sacral kings. On the face of this evidence then, it is probable that these self same rituals were also in some way linked to the election of each sacral king’s successor.

We know from the earliest surviving records that a system of electoral, as opposed to hereditary, monarchy was practiced in Ireland and Scotland right the way down into Mediaeval times. It is also fact that the legend of the Sword and the Stone that lies at the heart of the Arthurian  Tradition makes direct reference to Ambrosius Aurelianus’s descendant, Arthur, as having been elected king in this way. Although Geoffrey makes Arthur’s Father, and predecessor, Uther Pendragon, the brother of Ambrosius Aurelianus, genuine Breton, Welsh and Cornish sources give a different rendition of Arthur’s pedigree altogether.

Taking this into consideration then it is perhaps significant that recent excavations in and around Tintagel have unearthed some sort of ritual complex in no ways dissimilar to that which formerly existed at Dunadd in Scotland: the ancient place of ritual election and enthronement of the Scottish Kings of Dal Riada. Of further significance is the fact that amongst the sacred objects rediscovered at the site was an ancient stone carved with an equally ancient footprint similar to that in which the the successful Dal Riadic royal candidate was made to stand during the course of the Coronation Ritual.

Of further significance still is the fact that amongst the successors of Ambrosius Aurelianus who are listed by Geoffrey of Monmouth as having been buried somewhere within  the Stonehenge ritual complex is Constantine King of Cornwall: a successor of Arthur who features in the writings of Gildas the Wise. It is fact that Tintagel was formerly one of Constantine’s landed possessions, in addition to being the legendary birth place of King Arthur.

So what can we learn from these facts, and how do they relate to current efforts to restore Open Access to the Stones to the people who still venerate them as sacred? Geoffrey of Monmouth’s history is quite clear with regard to the ancient Prophecies of Merlin that the successors of Hengist and Horsa, the Anglo-Saxon invaders whose emblem of the White Horse is identical to that of the German House of Hanover from whence the dynasty of Windsor ultimately descends, would be driven from power in these Islands by a descendant of the indigenous Welsh. Is the deep seated fear amongst those with a vested interest in the present monarchical set up, that the rise of a new royal line, rooted in a heritage of Ancient British Princely descent, would see the fall of the old, as the New Age is ushered in, the real reason for the ludicrous situation as regards Stonehenge? Or is there something even more sinister afoot when it comes to Open Access to Stonehenge?

Celts_6

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Voices of Albion Revisited: The Vision of Wally Hope

‘The Grand Festival of the Briton’ by Charles Hamilton Smith (1815)

As a tribute to the LSX Occupy Group’s New Putney Debates to coincide with the 365th Anniversary of the original Leveller Debates at the end of the First English Civil War, I decided to post the whole of my 2007 film ‘Voices of Albion’ up on the Merlinhedd Youtube Channel, in its entirety, for the very first time. The film itself is essentially an historical examination of the descent of the Stonehenge Free Festival Movement and its successors, including the Anti-CJB Movement, the Advance Party and others, from the seventeenth century Levellers and Diggers: who were ultimately to inspire many of the current participants in the Occupy Movement: and in particular Occupy London.

The original founder of the Stonehenge Free Festival as we all came to know it was the late Wally Hope. In 1974 Wally was to organize the first ever Stonehenge People’s Free Festival. Not so very long after, so the story goes, he was arrested, sent to prison and eventually died under what have been generally referred to as ‘strange and unexplained circumstances’. In an age before the internet, digital media and mobile ‘phones, this sort of occurrence was an everyday reality for people engaged in the kind of activities that Wally and his confederates espoused.

According to the internationally acclaimed author John Michell, whose many published works on Stonehenge were to include ‘Ancient Metrology’, ‘The View Over Atlantis’, ‘City of Revelation’ etc. etc. etc. Wally’s ashes were ceremonially scattered among the Stones during the course of the second Stonehenge Free Festival. My own personal experience of John Michell, who I knew extremely well, was that although he was very in touch with the archaeological, astronomical and mathematical aspect of the Stones themselves, and what they actually represented in both physical and spiritual terms, he had very little genuine down to earth contact with the people who were actually involved with the Festival itself: other than through the odd participant such as the present writer.

It therefore came as something of a surprise and a delight when I was contacted out of the blue by members of the group that Wally was to found before his untimely death, who were to refer to themselves forever after as the Wallies, within hours of putting ‘Voices of Albion’ up on to Youtube. More delightful still was the revelation that Wally’s ashes are presently in their custodianship, and that through them his spirit, and ultimately, his goals, live on. Even more strange and interesting than this, perhaps, was the additional fact that I had been invited to join the Facebook group that they themselves had founded in his honour just hours before the third anniversary of its creation. It was as if Wally was trying to reach out and  communicate with me from beyond the grave.

Wally’s principal aspiration in terms of the Free Festival that he founded was to ensure its perpetuation to the end of time. The fact that in the eighteenth century the Revd. William Stukeley, who, together with the seventeenth century antiquarian John Aubrey, had been amongst the first to recognize the true significance of the Stones, had also concluded that the traditional festival that had taken place there in his day, and was to continue on into the nineteenth century, was almost certainly descended from prehistoric antecedents, only goes to show that Wally was divinely inspired.  This also placed it in the realm of Custom Law and Common Right in terms of the Festival’s legality, something that I shall be looking at in depth and detail during the course of the next several weeks and months in this blog.

The picture at the top of this posting is an early nineteenth century impression of what the eighteenth century festivals at Stonehenge would or could have looked like in prehistoric times. It is based on an earlier, although somewhat less elaborate, artistic impression by Stukeley, whose principal conclusion that the enactment of such ancient rights had been passed down from time immemorial, was to be taken up by the nineteenth century Chartists: themselves in every way the lineal descendants of the Levellers and the Diggers. In due course we shall look at this lineal descent more fully, as well as the link between the Chartists themselves and the earliest Orders of Druids: many of whose principals were equally revolutionary in origin.

Readers of this posting anxious to know more about John Michell’s unique personal insight into the legal controversies surrounding the Festival should check out his Radical Traditionalist Paper Number 6, published back in 1985 at the height of the battle between the Festival goers and the Authorities in relation to who should have rights of access to the Stones and whether or not a Festival should be allowed to go on there. Entitled ‘Stonehenge: Its Druids, Custodians, Festival and Future’, it provides an interesting perspective upon the legacy of Wally Hope.

‘Stonehenge: Its Druids, Custodians, Festival and Future’

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Joe Rush at Portobello’s Mute Gallery

For those of you that missed the screenings of the Merlinhedd recut of JB’s 1988 Mutoid Waste video at this year’s Portobello Film Festival, and the attendant art exhibition at the Mute Gallery, here’s the second part of it from the Merlinhedd Youtube Channel…
 
Check out the new season on Merlinhedd Youtube starting later on in the year. Be there or be square….
 
 
 
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Portobello Pirate TV

With this year’s Portobello Film Festival scheduled for September, the month of traditional Virgoan Harvest Home sees the screening of some 700 new films at one of London’s most important alternative media events. Unbeknown to a large proportion of its audience, not to mention many of its participants, the festival itself grew out of the street level DIY Culture of the nineteen eighties and nineties.
 
 
This month, as a tribute to the Festival’s administrator, Jonathan Barnett, with whom I have been collaborating on videos and other projects for some twenty years or more, Merlinhedd Youtube is releasing an accessible dvd showcase of some of his earliest videos; some of which will be viewable on line to readers and followers of this blog. In the meantime, here’s a quick blast of Spiral Tribe, themselves scheduled to appear in the Video Cafe in a reshowing of my film on the 1994 Criminal Justice Bill, ‘A Hard Act to Follow’.
 
 
 
 
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More on Emin Boztepe….

This month’s better late than never blog is a kind of follow up to my earlier interactive dialogue with world famous Wing Chun Master Emin Boztepe. By all accounts a Merlinhedd exclusive, the long awaited recommencement, or rather commencement, of a regular monthly blogspot tied directly in with the Merlinhedd YouTube channel is due to begin with another genuine exclusive in the coming weeks as I start to go public with my recently re-established contact with Mark Maurice: the mouth and mindset behind the Original Goa Trance Scene: circa 1992: a full four years before the scene went ‘overground’ after its supposed ‘discovery’ by mainstream media House djs Paul Oakenfold and Danny Rampling. 
 
For more about that and a number of related links go to:
 
 
Anyway, for those of you who have looked at the most recent contributions to this blog and are a bit unclear as to who Emin Boztepe really is, check out this videographic blast from the past in which Emin brings an end to the so called ‘Wing Chun Wars’ of the nineteen eighties by felling the self styled and self proclaimed Grand Master of the style, William Cheung. 
 
        
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Emin Boztepe

As promised in the last installment of the heddspace blog here are copies of some exclusive behind the scenes dialogue between the compiler and editor of this space and Emin Boztepe: himself amongst the foremost internationally recognized exponents of the Wing Chun style of Kung Fu. As regular browsers of the Merlinhedd YouTube channel will have noted, this dialogue began after Emin, and his nineteen year old student Aitken, posted some comments on one of the uploaded videos.  

 

  


Subj: Thanx for the comments

Hello There Aitken and Emil,

Sorry for calling Emil ‘Emin’ but a friend of mine bought an excellent video called ‘Explosive Wing Chun’ a few years back, which I had the good fortune to view, and it said ‘Emin Boztepe’ on the front, so apologies on that score.

Further to your invitation to exchange ideas which may be beneficial to us both, here is some stuff about some of the lesser known aspects of Wing Chun that I have researched and how they, and the style in general, relate to all Chinese Sacred Science, from Acupuncture to Feng Shui and from the I-Ching to Astrology:

http://www.nascr.net/~rupertferguson/Fivefold.htm

I hope that it is not too intellectual or too heavy going for you.

Essentially my philosphy of Wing Chun is this: all of the various clans within the style hold something that we can learn from even the man you call ‘Con Man Chueng’. Personally, I think that the only person who Cheung really conned was himself.

More about that in the New Year.

In the meantime, here is a clip which Aitken probably thinks is wrong or rubbish but which I would like to discuss with you to see what you think about my ideas about how this rather strange and antiquated footwork developed even if it isn’t quite up to your wslwerewolf style of fighting.

With All Good Wishes,

Rupert Ferguson. 

 

    

Re: Thanx for the comments

Dear rupert,

I have uptill now researched,tried,rejected,applied kung fu ,shaolin as well as many other forms along with feng shui chinese traditional medicine,massage as well as acupunture.
My way to go about it was learn study live all this aspect one or two at a time for a year see how it benifits as well as harms you.My main stream always beiong wing chun gung fu and health.

Plus you have to understand that what I master I pass down to my students so cannot teach them half baked knowledge.I have uptill now found out wt is best appleid straight direct fast.

the courses i my self went through health wise indian yoga is the best,massage a mix of thai with chinese works well,feng shui does not work and utterly failed me.
To succeed only determination, humility and dedication works.

The video that you sent me has a lot of flaws,bit on the william cheng type.My knowledge of english is limited to explain it.I have worked a lot with one teacher and he works from australia his name is David peterson if you can get hold of his cd on cham kiu and siu nim tao you will understand the difference I am talking about.

I am not critsizing it but just saying it needs more refine ment and you need to go slowly through your form so that your spine not your brain remembers the movement once that happens you will react to any aggression or your reflex will be faster then waiting for the messege to reach your brain and then react.

As Mr.Cheung is concerend my scorn is just because he has sent out about 50 instructors everyone with a different knowledge on the same branch of wing chun who in return teach more bullshit to their students.

Wing chun for me is life religion and spirit all put into one.I hope on my last days on earth I will breathe only wing chun
best regards
train hard
emil

Subj: Ng Mui at Tai Leung Mountain

Hi There Emin,

Apologies for not having replied to you sooner but I have been rather busy over the past few days and have not had the time to do your latest message to myself the justice it undobtedly deserves. First of all let me say that I appreciate you having taken so much of your valuable time to take the trouble to reply to me: something for which I must now deliver the thanks that it so justifiably deserves.
 
Yes, you are right, the short video I sent you is of a form directly linked to the Cheung Clan of the Wing Chun style: a branch of which suffered a considerable loss of credibility as a result of your heroic defeat of its self styled Grand Master. As I made clear during the course of my original message to you, even such antiquated and clearly inferior forms such as this have some kind of value to them; even if they are not as effective or scientifically evolved as your own particular branch of the style: the reasons for this I shall now attempt to explain.

As you will doubtless recall from having studied the history and evolution of the style, after the destruction of the Shaolin Temple the original founder of the style, Ng Mui, took refuge at a location referred to as the White Crane Temple on Tai Leung Mountain according to your teacher Wong Shun Leung. This is the version of the style’s history that is set out in his ‘Wing Chun: the Science of In Fighting’ video which deals with the elementary and intermediate forms.

In the Leung Ting ‘Quintessence of Wing Chun’ video which deals with much of the same level of theory, the exact location of this temple is given as being on the border of Szechuan Province: a far distance away indeed from Yip Man’s own native town of Foshan, to which the style is eventually known to have gravitated. So what is the relevance of this to the video that I sent you?

Essentially, the point of relevance is this: according to the man you refer to as ‘The Con Man Cheung’, Yip Man taught him a version of the original style, as created by Ng Mui, before it was modified and adapted by later generations of masters. If you examine the primitive and antiquated footwork in this style you will see that it is very suited to the kind of broken terrain that you are likely to find in desolate and mountainous areas. Whereas the kind of footwork that Wong Shun Leung employs employs the sort of stance work that you are likely to want use in a modern city streetscape, where the terrain is flatter and the ground can be more easily shuffled across in the style that has become the most popular among followers of the Leung Jan Clan of the art that we ourselves espouse.     

As to how the Leung Ting and Wong Shon Leung style of footwork appears to have evolved, once again the stories relating to the evolution of the art once more give us clues as to how this would have occurred. As you will be aware, during the period of Leung Yee Tye and Wong Wah Bo’s joint custodianship of the various traditions that have now been incorporated into the current versions of the style, the pair are said to have been members of a travelling opera troupe which travelled along the southern coasts aboard a ship called the Red Junk.

Looking at the type of stances that the later versions of the Leung Jan branch of the style have since come to favour, all of them are ideally suited to being performed aboard junks and sampans of the type that Leung Yee Tye and Wong Wah Bo would have been accustomed to travelling around on. The point of relevance here is that comparing the original style that Yip Man taught the individual you refer to as ‘The Con Man Cheung’ and that which you yourself follow through descent through the Mastership of Wong Shun Leung is rather like comparing a seventeenth or eighteenth century musket to an automatic weapon such as a Mac-10.

Although a musket has little defensive value when employed against a weapon such as a Mac-10 it does have an ascetic value in that without the musket the Mac-10 would never have evolved  to the state of refinement that such weapons currently enjoy. And that is why the preservation of the more antiquated version of the style to which Cheung was given largely exclusive access has some sort of historical value, even if its defensive qualities are limited.   

I myself am of the opinion that Yip Man taught Cheung in the manner that he taught him because he knew that Cheung had a personality disorder and would teach what he knew to the sort of people that he himself wouldn’t have approved of. As you know Yip Man was very particular about who should be allowed to learn his art and who shouldn’t. By teaching Cheung an older and inferior version of the style he thereby succeeded in preserving the original system of the art with all of the flaws and unrefined features intact, whilst simultaneously keeping anything genuinely dangerous out of the hands of the sort of people he thought Cheung might be stupid enough to teach.

As well as environmental conditions such as those experienced by the various masters and custodians responsible for the formulation and evolution of the style as it now exists, certain other factors that need to be taken into consideration are those of footwear and clothing. As you may or may not be aware, before the arrival of the horse herding nomadic tribes known as the Hsiung Nu on the north western frontiers of China in the third century BC the Chinese wore robes instead of the trousers we more readily associate with the practise of Kung Fu. The evolution of footwear has had a similar influence upon the art that we ourselves have currently come to practise.

This key and vital ingredient of superior footwear is a lesson you seem to have taught Cheung, as photos and video footage of your fight with him would appear to show. If you look at the kung fu slippers that he had on his feet, which are probably no further evolved in many ways than they were at the beginning of the last century, and the ankle boots that you are wearing, which are ideal for use on the slippery floor that he claimed in a letter to ‘Combat’ magazine in the wake of his own defeat had been his own unfortunate undoing, my point can be perfectly illustrated: in that Cheung never really had a chance when dealing with the situation with which you were able to confront him.

The fact that it took him weeks if not months to work out what had happened though is perhaps the key to his undoing: in that he is not the greatest of intellects. Basically, he should have seen you coming.
 
As you will have seen from my original dialogue with your student Aitken, I thought he was one of his students. Whenever I see any biased and negative comments with an Australian flag on them I automatically think of Cheung. Basically, what Aitken needs to learn is that just because something isn’t as direct as the Wong Shun Leung branch of the style doesn’t mean that it is totally irrelevant. You can always learn from something even if it lacks the street fighting effectiveness of the style that he and you follow.

Before signing off I feel that I should thank you once again, owing to the fact that at the time that Cheung was attempting to we establish himself as the overall Grand Master of the style, the club where I used to train used to get regular visits from the followers of his branch of Wing Chun. After you defeated Cheung all that nonsense came to an end, so we all  have you to thank for being able to get on with the serious business of training in peace.

Thank you also for accepting my offer of YouTube friendship. It is an honour to have the great Emin Boztepe amongst my Youtube friends.

Thank you once again.

With all good wishes for a prosperous New Year,

Rupert Ferguson.

 

Re: Ng Mui at Tai Leung Mountain

Hi rupert,

Happy new year and thank your mail.

Just to share with you what sifu wong and sifu ting shared with me.When yip man
became famous a lot of reporters wanted and exclusive story,at the same time yip man wanted people to become aware of wing chun which was the least practiced style. In those days hung gar etc was practiced more in the south.So yip man invented the ng mui legend and the bully story.It never existed! So far no one has been able to establish a direct relationship of wing chun with shaolin.All we know is that it some how ended up in foshan and the later history of yip man we know.

So sifu ting also does not tell this to students as every human being wants a rosy exotic story to what martial are he has been practicing.Suits me fine.

As forcomming back to my friend cheung there is really very few records he studied loong time with yip man.only in brue lee biography his name pops up..

Secondly wing chun is a concept if the concept does not work for you come back and modify it to your liking same what bruce lee did.

Facts about wing chun simple straight attacks or blocks (with an itention to attack) using your footwork ,using energy from the ground.least amount of muscular force.

you are a very diligent student ,i did not even realize what foot wear i or cheungwas wearing,guess when you get into a bar fight you do not see if you are wearing sandals or mountain shoes.If so everybody will be in army gear all friday and saturday.hahahhaha

problem with cheung is that his technique did not work for him still he teaches it to others even after his defeat.I have been told by some students of mine in australia that his students come over and ask for fights to prove his styles is better.Makes me laugh.

train hard
regards
emil

   

Re: Ng Mui at Tai Leung Mountain

this video is very accurate just i like is a proper jat sau and jejung at the end of each form.

 

 

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Hello…I’m Back…..

 

Back on the Blog after more than three months of silence….Oh well, ho hum. Such is the ongoing situation for someone currently editing three films back to back for inclusion in film festivals later in the year!

 

For more on that, go to the Portobello Film Festival website at:

 

http://www.portobellofilmfestival.com

 

In a few days time there will be some interesting transcripts of an ongoing e-mail dialogue that has been taking place between myself and one of the top level exponents of the Wong Shun Leung sept of Wing Chun Kung Fu, Emin Boztepe, who is internationally recognized as a major player in the field of full contact Kung Fu. What started off as a few isolated comments on one of my YouTube clips by one of his students has now become an interesting a mutually beneficial written exchange, some of which is well worth sharing….

 

In the meantime, for those anxious to download some of the undownloadable clips from my YouTube channel onto the hard drives of their computers without asking me for a dvd, some of the more popular items are now available from the sharing folders embedded in this ‘Spaces’ page…

      


 

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