Battle of the Sommes: Trance and physical circle.

Attended the Northdown trance + physical circle on the 2nd July 2012.  There are instances whereupon someone can speak to spirit; ask and find out information which can relatively make a difference.  It was prior to the sitting that one member asked privately if on this occasion there could be a sound physical which would be heard by everyone.  This would be a vital experience as it would cement understanding about the way in which interaction can be made, and it could also be an event which the circle, everyone witnessed together.  

The Items in the room were checked.  These being the central table, upon which stood two spirit trumpets (the instruments which resemble cones and help sound convey to the room).  The blanket was placed in the corner.  The crystal ball was put upon the table.  The Native American mask was lent up against the table.  It was with curtains drawn, the door closed and the opening words stated that the circle started.  In the room all was calm as the mediums closed their eyes.  It was the next few minutes in which the first signs that people had joined stirred the gathering.  In a flurry of primary activity, the sound of bangs could be heard on the walls from internally.  The white mist started to form.  The sitters watched on as the hazy light was highlighted from the one in the box.  The orbs which are little lights which can be seen and detected lit up parts of the room, soon these blue and darker colours were hovering over and above people’s faces and foreheads.  In a matter of a minutes information was given, and a female form took shape.  This was in the name of one Godiva (Old English: Godgifu, “god gift”), often referred to as Lady Godiva, she was an 11th-century Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry in order to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants. The name “Peeping Tom” for a voyeur originates from later versions of this legend in which a man named Tom had watched her ride and was struck blind or dead.

The person was seen dressed in Ruby robes and with a tassel like frill and belt.  Her hair was blonde and shown as incredibly long, laying in locks by both sides of her face and extended down to bellow her belly.  Her face was astute and focused.  Standing in the corner of the room where a lot and so much of the physical activity from spirits is seen.  This Lady Godiva was an active part of the proceeding.  Even when heard along with taps that reverberated along the walls, more information was not known about her.  After looking up the name and as you will see the statue which has been put up in her honour is also an example of her full billowing locks, it is also a perfect allusion in the lady who was seen in the circle.  Just imagine the lady without the horse and with her appearance with title was exact in that of circle…she was the wife of Leofric, and only found out through searching this Merci which was repeated in circle was due to her husband’s title as an Earl of Mercia. They had one proved son Aelfgar, Earl of Mercia.

Lady Godiva is a historically detailed and referenced person.  Lady Godiva’s name occurs in charters and the Domesday survey, though the spelling varies.

The spirits who come to circle…they do so with particular reason.  In this Lady was an individual who fought for what she thought right.  If she were the same Godiva who appears in the history of Ely Abbey, the Liber Eliensis, written at the end of the 12th century, then she was a widow when Leofric married her. Both Leofric and Godiva were generous benefactors to religious houses, this was also shown in circle through her form near to that of a monk. In 1043 Leofric founded and endowed a Benedictine monastery at Coventry on the site of a nunnery destroyed by the Danes in 1016. Writing in the 12th century, Roger of Wendover credits Godiva as the persuasive force behind this action. In the 1050s, her name is coupled with that of her husband on a grant of land to the monastery of St Mary, Worcester and the endowment of the minster at Stow St Mary, Lincolnshire, this name was also mention in the sitting. She and her husband are commemorated as benefactors of other monasteries at Leominster, Chester, Much Wenlock and Evesham in England. She gave Coventry a number of works in precious metal made for the purpose by the famous goldsmith Mannig, and bequeathed a necklace valued at 100 marks of silver at the time. Another necklace went to Evesham, to be hung around the figure of the Virgin accompanying the life-size gold and silver rood she and her husband gave, in the sitting the mediums were able to see many religious figures.  In St. Paul’s Cathedral London they received a gold-fringed Chasuble…this was from Lady Godiva and her husband.  She and her husband were among the most munificent of the several large Anglo-Saxon donors of the last decades before the Conquest; the early Norman bishops made short work of their gifts, carrying them off to Normandy or melting them down for bullion.

It is thought that she came to the circle to highlight the financial state which is current but more to show that she did as she felt right.  Her actions though deemed by so much of the population in a narrow view or her reputation which is framed by one example of her life was neither the whole or substance of what she stood for…there was much in her life which has been neglected to be mentioned.  The manor of Woolhope in Herefordshire, along with four others, was given to the cathedral at Herefordbefore the Norman Conquest by the benefactresses Wulviva and Godiva – usually held to be this Godiva and her sister. The church there has a 20th-century stained glass window representing them.  She is a part of the English culture.

Her mark, di Ego Godiva Comitissa diu istud desideravi [I, The Countess Godiva, have desired this for a long time], appears on a charter purportedly given by a Thorold of Bucknall to the Benedictine monastery of Spalding. However, this charter is considered spurious by many historians. Even so it is possible that Thorold, who appears in the Domesday Book as sheriff of Lincolnshire, was her brother.  Once more Lincolnshire is important.  Often spirit will show one word as a location, and it is this which tethers together so much of the history of that one person.

After Leofric’s death in 1057, his widow lived on until sometime between the Norman Conquest of 1066 and 1086. She is mentioned in the Domesday survey as one of the very few Anglo-Saxons and the only woman to remain a major landholder shortly after the conquest. By the time of this great survey in 1086, Godiva had died, but her former lands are listed, although now held by others. Thus, Godiva apparently died between 1066 and 1086.

In the circle, her visual look was sure and sound. The place where Godiva was buried has been a matter of debate. According to the Chronicon Abbatiae de Evesham, or Evesham Chronicle, she was buried at the Church of the Blessed Trinity at Evesham, in which is no longer standing any site. According to the account in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, “There is no reason to doubt that she was buried with her husband at Coventry, despite the assertion of the Evesham chronicle that she lay in Holy Trinity, Evesham.” 

In a sitting it is imperitive that things are not dismissed.  Facts or names which are taken down by spirit on the note pads can later show and prove to be of the utmost necessity.  Dugdale (1656) says that a window with representations of Leofric and Godiva was placed in Trinity Church, Coventry, about the time of Richard II.

According to the popular story, Lady Godiva took pity on the people of Coventry, who were suffering grievously under her husband’s oppressive taxation. Lady Godiva appealed again and again to her husband, who obstinately refused to remit the tax. At last, weary of her entreaties, he said he would grant her request if she would strip nude and ride through the streets of the town. Lady Godiva took him at his word and, after issuing a proclamation that all persons should stay indoors and shut their windows, she rode through the town, clothed only in her long hair. This is another illusion of the way in which she represented herslef in circle.  There was just one person in the town, a tailor ever afterwards known as Peeping Tom, disobeyed her proclamation in one of the most famous instances of voyeurism. In the story, Tom bores a hole in his shutters so that he might see Godiva pass, and is struck blind. In the end, Godiva’s husband keeps his word and abolishes the onerous taxes.

Some historians have discerned elements of Pagan fertility rituals in the Godiva story whereby a young “May Queen” was led to the sacred Cofa’s tree perhaps in celebration the renewal of spring was on the way and it was to this that the symbol was born. The oldest form of the legend has Godiva passing through Coventry market from one end to the other while the people were assembled, attended only by two knights. This version is given in Flores Historiarum by Roger of Wendover (died 1236), a somewhat gullible collector of anecdotes, who quoted from unnamed earlier writers.  It is here there was also a reference made to that of Sir Francis, a Knight who was believed could and maybe part of this history.

At the time, it was customary for penitents to make a public procession in their shift, a sleeveless white garment similar to a slip today and one which was certainly considered “underwear”. Thus, some scholarly individuals speculate, Godiva might have have actually travelled through town as a penitent, in her shift. Godiva’s story could have passed into folk history to be recorded in a romanticised version. Another theory has it that Lady Godiva’s “nakedness” might refer to her riding through the streets stripped of her jewellery, and in the trademark of her upper class rank. However, both of these attempts to reconcile known facts with legend are weak; in the era of the earliest accounts, the word “naked” was and is only known to mean “without any clothing whatsoever”.

The modified version of the story was given by printer Richard Grafton, later elected MP for Coventry. According to his Chronicle of England (1569), in “Leofricus” had already exempted the people of Coventry from “any maner of Tolle, Except onely of Horsse (sic.)”, so that Godiva (“Godina” in text) had agreed to the naked ride just to win relief for this horse tax. And as a pre-condition, she required the officials of Coventry to forbid the populace “upon a great pain” from watching her, and to shut themselves in and shutter all windows on the day of her ride. Grafton was an ardent Protestant and sanitized the earlier story.  Yet whatever the case it does not avert from the cause or that Lady Godiva has been remembered in many angles.

The ballad “Leoffricus” in the Percy Folio (ca. 1650) conforms to Grafton’s version, saying that Lady “Godiua” performed her ride to remove the customs paid on horses, and that the town’s officers ordered the townsfolk to unto “shutt their dore, & clap their windowes downe,” and remain indoors on the day of her rideout.

The later embellished episode of “Peeping Tom”, who alone among the townsfolk peeked at the Lady Godiva riding naked, probably did not originate in literature, but came up through popular lore in the locality of Coventry.  The laws Reference by 17th-century chroniclers has been claimed, but in the following all published accounts are 18th-century or later.

Regarding the track record of Godiva’s peeper as recorded in published writings, the English Dictionary of National Biography gives a meticulous account. The historian Paul de Rapin (1732) reported the Coventry lore that Lady Godiva performed her ride while “commanding all Persons to keep within Doors and from their Windows, on pain of Death” but one man could not and this was Tom who didn’t refrain from looking and it “cost him his life”; Rapin further reported that the town commemorates this with a “Statue of a Man looking out of a Window.”

Next, Thomas Pennant in Journey from Chester to London (1782) recounted how “the curiousity of a certain taylor overcoming his fear, he took a single peep”. Pennant noted that the person enacting Godiva in the procession was not fully naked of course, but wore “silk, closely fitted to her limbs” which had a color resembling the skin’s complexion. (In Chester’s time around 1782 silk was worn, but the annotator of the 1811 edition noted that a cotton garment had since replaced the silk fabric.) According to the Dict. Nat. Biog., the oldest document that mentions “Peeping Tom” by name is a record inCoventry’s official annals, dating to June 11, 1773, documenting that the city issued a new wig and paint for the wooden effigy.

It was near the time when information came about the Lady that spirit began to show another form of their physical.  This time through voice.  It was first to speak a man who wanted to greet the circle and stipulate that a recording should be made of proceedings.  It was he felt a suggestion that would help to enhance how spirit were making contacts.  Just before William had also inferred that he wished to speak.  He began to advice on time.   He stated that as on a scale it was linear in the past, present and future form for spirit there was some deviation.  Both spirit wished to embrace the objective and to show evidence of their presence.

The spirit encounter did not halt as next a white substance looked to coat the room.  Members were referring to this as another spirit voice addressed the circle.  He talked of recording too but he stated that in writing about the events which were to take form much understanding would begin.  The name Constantinople (Greek: Κωνσταντινούπολις, Konstantinoúpolis; Latin: Constantinopolis; Ottoman Turkis: قسطنطینیه, Qostantiniyye; and modern Turkish Empire) was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, also came from spirit and it was valid as formed in the Latin and the Ottoman Empires. It was founded in AD 330, at ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine I, after whom it was named. The city was the largest and wealthiest European city of the Middle Ages, and shared the glories of the Byzantine Empire, which was eventually reduced to the city and its environs.  Here, there was a link in circle to King arthur.  King Arthur and the Knights of the intrepid Camelot. 

It was at this interval that Sir Sagremore came into his own.  This was a knight who was born and native to the Constantinople which had been brought into question by spirit.  Having heard about King Arthur and being of a teen age he was drawn to visit and come over Seas by the trip his mother made.  The words via spirit related to we came by sea: this does centre around this individual as he docked in Dover.  This town being very near to that of the sitting and in fact it was here where Sir Sagremore got into trouble trying to fight off an army and in stepped Sir Gewain and his brothers.  The rest goes into history with a Knight being made.  The city of Winchester in England also shown by spirit is where a round table of King Arthur was.

The circle was prone to smelling some items and objects which were not seen.  At first, anaceed smells started to waft around and this followed on with other unmistakable aromas.  It was after this pain was felt by one of the sitters.  A sharp pain in the foot and head.  Then seen was the shape and presence of one Private Allen who had served in the first world war.  Having been a member of the West Sussex Regiment he detailed as a visual display his actions heroic and brave as a man who fought in the Sommes.  The man who was weighted on his back was felt by another medium who stooped.  This carried on until more reference was made and noted down about who he was.  This man who wanted to show his link to West Sussex in England and his presence in World War 1.  It was at this information was shown that a physical rocked everyone in their seats, a tapping started up but in quick rapid fire mode and rather like that of Morse code, it was fast then slow then fast and it was as if it came from one part of the sitting and then another almost like a message which wanted to come through and with this little alluding to existence it can be stated that there was in face battalions of the Royal Sussex South Downs in which 57,400 men lost their lives and the First Day of the Somme was 1 July 1916 only one day before the sitting sat: it was said that this day represents the futility of fighting as so many individuals were mowed down by German machine guns.  The Orange Lilies, the words were divulged by spirit in the form of flowers and name.  It was by this nickname that the West Sussex battalion were known.

It being the sound which also shook sitters, as so poignant to the War and the tapping echoed across the sitting.  People could sense the message and it was with this that as shown in two TV episodes on this day the atrocities of War broke a nation.  Men just as Private Allen had lost parts of their being, and it was another shade on life and how vital in hands it can be.  The next sound came in the guttural cough.  Sounding as it had come via an object, the vacant chair it was examined and once again a coughing noise came.

Spirit were able to show physical oral proof twice. Once in the cracking which radiated as quick popping and now this new noise.

It was a jubilant second, and members rallied about the spot where the spirit voice had been heard.

The red light started to dip as people saw hands and individuals peep in.

The closing words were given and the energies retreated.  It was here the true nature and value of what had occurred became relevant.  Spirits had brought up a link to events in history which had helped to mould life.  Both the fighting in the trenches had given perspective about how people should endeavour in finding common ground and how life even when in a state that is not seen as full can give to comprehension.  This untold experience was lighted and given way to show how things were.

Sometimes spirits commune through their vital being and open up parts of their vision and enhance one’s compassion as a result.

Pics are of Lady Godiva and pictures of the trenches.

Pics are taken from online encyclopedia.