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Apotropaic Ethiopia: Early Examples of Spiritual Protection from Christian Africa

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The following website about Apotropaic Ethiopia, is a co-authored project by Vincent Reed and Charles E S Fairey, about Apotropaic Symbols and Protective Devices, as well as Witch Marks, which were found in the early Christian Churches of Ethiopia.

It lists each protective device by type, with photographs, interpretation and wider meaning. In some of the examples, UK parallels have been used to compare and contrast, and show us the cultural and international use of symbols to 'ward off evil'.

Some, especially the St Andrew's Cross or Saltire, have important historical ramifications about their actual origin, with this type, also being found in Ireland, stretching back to 3,200BC. It shows that this protective device has been used for at least 5,000 years, and is pre-Christian in origin, with artefacts from the Roman period also using this device to protect folk from evil.

The examples found in Ethiopia, some of which are also found in Europe and in the UK, also show us the un…

The Memento Mori Graves of Barthomley

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by Charles E S Fairey & Michael ‘Jarl’ Oakes, February 2018
(Artwork by Michael ‘Jarl’ Oakes)
Grave Locations Direction: Churchyard: From South of Tower to East of Chancel.

At St Bertoline's Church in the picturesque South Cheshire village of Barthomley, there are a number of Memento Mori graves. Memento Mori is imagery or text which reminds us all, that we shall die, so prepare for Death, in our lifetime.

The following six gravestones depict symbols of death, and one even has a Memento Mori poem inscribed upon it.
The graves are described and the inscriptions stated, along with the interpretation of the symbols below.


Grave 1



Ledger Gravestone
Central Image: Hourglass (symbol of mortality, representing the passage of time)
Left Side Inscription:  “memor esto mortis” Latin: Translation: “be mindful of death”
“Here / interred the / Body of Hugh / Skerrett of / Gorsty Hill / who Dyed / August the 21st / Anno Dini / 1719 / And in the 71st / year of his / age”
Right Side Inscription:
“Here / li…

The Puzzle of the Garway Font: St Michael’s Church, Garway, Herefordshire

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Hidden Numerology and The Perfect Prime
St Michael’s Church in Garway, Herefordshire, was originally a Knights Templar Chapel with a defensive tower and preceptory.

It was later taken over by the Knights Hospitaller who removed most of the circular Templar Nave and replaced it with a rectangular nave. However the Chancel and the ornately decorated Templar Chancel arch remained, with its own unique horned green man carving, to its left hand pillar capital.

The Hospitallers also built a dovecote behind the preceptory, which was reputed to have 666 dove holes, before another doorway was inserted.

The church hosts many odd and interesting symbols, many of which are linked to the Knights Templar, the Knights Hospitaller or the Freemasons.

It is thought that the church site and Templar Complex was chosen due to the pre existing spring, which is still situated to the north-east of the church, dedicated to Saint Michael.

As well as the many carved symbols existing inside and outside, there is a puz…

History & Mystery on Charles E S Fairey's Historian Website

History & Mystery on The Mystic Masque Main Website