"I have held up a light in the obscurity of Philosophy, which will be seen centuries after I am dead. It will be seen amidst the erection of Tombs, Theatres, Foundations, Temples, Orders and Fraternities for nobility and obedience — the establishment of good laws as an example to the World. For I am not raising a Capitol or Pyramid to the Pride of men, but laying a foundation in the human understanding for a holy Temple after he model of the World. For my memory I leave it to Men's charitable speeches, to foreign Nations and the next Ages, and to my own Country after some Time has elapsed." -- Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning (1605), Bk II.


Join me to explore the hidden tenets of arranged alignments of architecture and art. Structures as diverse as the Great Pyramid, Baalbek, The Tower of the Winds, Hagia Sopia, Basilica San Vitale, The Dome of the Rock, St. Peter's Square, Gisors, The Newport Tower, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest, and the Georgia Guidestones all may have a common origin.

Three reproductions of the Tower of the Winds in England help to display how this age old value is viewed through time. Along the way many legends and myths associated with the Holy Grail and other relics are examined.

Treasure myths such as the Oak Island Legend and The Beale Treasure Legend may have a common origin and hidden meaning. The tale of The Bruton Parish Church Vault (a.k.a. "Bacon's Vault) may also be a copy of an already existent mystery at Stirling Castle.

The Isles of Scilly, King Olaf, Longfellow and the Newport Tower

The Greatest Story Ever Told. Priscillian, King Olaf of Norway, The Truth of Santiago de Compostela, The Cathars, The Michael Line, Star Castle, and the Newport Tower. All part of of a single saga.

What is so interesting about the Isles of Scilly? This small archipelago southwest of mainland England is home to several historical events that may have a direct bearing on historical mysteries in North America and Europe. Could an examination of the history of the Isles of Scilly show us how the secrets of Arcas and the Pole Star were used to define lost history? Or was all of this lore cooked up as a result of a given party being aware of these hidden tenets? Is the key to pre Colombian Norse occupation of North America exposed by this speculation?

Scilly is home to a variety of megalithic features including standing stones and dolmens. The isles of Scilly are situated so as to be included on the famous Michael Line of aligned historical structures and features that seem to have been intentionally arranged. The Michael Line is one of these alignments that many refer to as a Ley Line. These types of alignments may be slightly different than those that were arranged strictly to define a spiritual or physical domain and may represent attempts during the megalithic era to define time and space using the stars. As this science or theology developed later we see cultures that value these alignments in a spiritual sense meant to include the definition of the domain of a ruler or ruling political entity.

The Navigational overtones of such alignments may have been discovered in antiquity yet there is evidence that these tenets were lost and found over vast periods of time. Later when navigational instruments were discovered or redeveloped some of these cosmographies or map projections extended to greater distances and may have been used to define the globe from a given point much as the famous Greenwich and Paris Meridians have in recent history.

Amazingly there are some interesting and potent links between the Isles of Scilly and the Cult of St. James in Santiago de Compostela. This includes the presences of gnostic Christians there at a very early date that practiced a form of faith similar to Arians and Cathar beliefs a little later in history. Those that were exiled on Scilly may have spread these gnostic oriented Christian ideas to other parts of England such as Cornwall. Cornwall does include legends of including the presence of Christ and Joseph of Aramathea so these stories may even be associated with the philosophy of early Spanish Christian Priscillian. Gnostic and Eastern Christianity themes seem to run throughout the story of many of these places and the story of Priscillian even has Egyptian overtones from the era in which is was ruled by Greece.

Later we will examine how this hidden gnostic faith may have influenced famous Norwegian King of the tenth century Olaf. Olaf spent time in the Isles of Scilly and even adapted the Christian faith during his stay there. The influence of Olaf may even be seen in the many theories of the Norse occupation of New England later in the nineteenth Century. Olaf was king during the span of time that Leif Ericsson and Eric the Red were making their voyages of discovery in North America so it may be that Olaf had been aware of the true scope of new lands there.
His association with the Isles of Scilly may have also led as we will see to a kind of hidden view of the sepulcher of St. James in Spain. Santiago de Compostela would go on to hold a special place of importance to Norway, Scandinavia at large, and the Norwegian influence on Scotland in families such as the famous Sinclair family of Rosslyn Chapel fame. Olaf may be the key to either verifying or debunking the notion that the Norse had built the Newport Tower as well as created a colony known in legend as Norumbega.

The Elizabethan era sees the construction of Star Castle on the Isles of Scilly. Star Castle represents a point on earth that has been designated an Axis Mundi or point from which a meridian was created in relation to the Pole Star thus allowing display of other points on earth in time and space in relation to Star Castle on the Isles of Scilly. This is of interest in that the saga of Scilly involves both Norse King Olaf and the fact that the octagonal array of Star Castle may be used to create an arc on the globe that extends to the Newport Tower in Rhode Island.

Star Castle may have been a kind of hidden monument to the idea that the Norse had claimed North America whether true or not. Star Castle’s date of construction in the late sixteenth century may belay the fact that the Newport Tower is not as ancient as many theories present. During subsequent eras there may be reasons why a given party may have promoted this idea as a way to lay claim to these eras in the face of French and Spanish claims of the same region. 

Buildings like Star Castle may have been used to tie claims into an axis that was used for this specific purpose. This does not include every octagonal structure on earth but a select few with regard to the legends and sagas involved in these treasure myths. In theory only this is a more primitive form of the legal description of property that had been agreed upon by royal entities that felt they had the right to claim various regions of the earth. Star Castle may also be related to how Captains Archer and Gosnold claimed New England for Queen Elizabeth during their 1602 voyage to the Massachusetts and Rhode Island area. Star Castle also “points” directly to the famous Newport Tower claimed by many to be related to ancient Norse voyages to North America. Does this relate to King Olaf’s time on the Isles of Scilly? Star Castle “points to” sites where Gosnold and Archer had visited as well as the future site of the signing of the Mayflower Compact in Provincetown Harbor Massachusetts. Someone may have know how the story of King Olaf could tie into a Norse tower in Rhode Island. Just who that person or group of people is may have been subject to its source being intentionally concealed for political reasons related to rite of claim.

Though we may be tempted to ascribe the existence of the Newport Tower to Norse associated with King Olaf it may be that later people were privy to the very history exposed here and used it to make it appear as if they had a more legitimate claim to North America. A series of Stewart family monarchs were executed or exiled in a one hundred and fifty year period beginning with Mary Queen of Scots and ending with James II in 1699. This family group did in fact have a more legal and legitimate claim to the crowns of England, Ireland, and Scotland. Unfortunately, their Catholic faith coupled with their unwillingness to cooperate with the Parliament led to their family being exiled to France and Rome. This family also had very strong family and genetic ties to King Olaf himself as well as the several other Norwegian Jarls that made up the early gentry and ruling class of Scotland. This of course does include Norwegian Jarls William and Henry Sinclair who are both the subject of many legends and strange history associated with the very mysteries being discussed here.

As we have discussed in previous works Charles I and II were among these monarchs who had great disputes with the Parliament of the country. Charles I was eventually beheaded for his lack of cooperation and Catholic beliefs. It was during the civil war surrounding his dethronement that the last vestiges of his forces occupied the Isles of Scilly. It may be at this time the Cavaliers or body guard troops of the King himself had heard all of the above history from the time of Priscillian to the construction of Star Castle. Since they were confidants of Charles I they may have even been privy to the story of Olaf and the true purpose of Star Castle. This would make sense as Star Castle may have been related to England’s claim to New England thus making Charles privy to this hidden history that only may have been understood by gentry and royalty during this era.

During the end of the reigns of both Charles I and II many of their body guard or personal troops exiled themselves in both Virginia and Rhode Island. It may not be until this era that the suggestion of the Norse origins of the Newport Tower were promoted by this Scottish affiliated band of ex body guards of Charles also known as the “Cavaliers.” This is indeed the origin of the name of sports teams of the University of Virginia. The Cavaliers or what at this time would have been considered loyalists would go on to be known as “Jacobite's” during the era in which James II was finally exiled from the British Isles for good thus creating the exiled Jacobite monarchy that would later include his son James III and his son Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stewart). Both Cavalier and Jacobite supporters would play a strong hand in the creation of the United States and its value of the freedom of religion later. Some would even later tout Bonnie Prince Charlie as possible “King of America.”

It would have been the Cavaliers and Jacobites who would have been privy to the reality of the stories of Star Castle and the Newport Tower. In fact many strange mysteries such as Oak Island, The Beale Treasure, The Bruton Parish Church Vault of Williamsburg and others were created by these people and their descendants. Originally when these men were persecuted in the colonies for having supported Charles they had formed a kind of mystery school in which these navigational concepts were used in an intelligence service manner. Sometimes messages or valuables may have been hidden in relation to places like the Newport Tower in a navigational scheme understood only by initiates loyal to the cause. This would include the intentional creation of man in the mountain mythologies which in turn would lend themselves to the development of lost treasure stories like Oak Island and architectural enigmas like the Newport Tower. Though valuable items may have also been stashed by using this navigational mystery school aspects of the history one learns in the quest also reveal many surprising and pertinent insights lending to a true understanding of the history surrounding this phenomenon.

All of these quest legends and historical oddities may have also included aspects of a more modern form of the Knights Templar that had been a Jacobite creation. Note here also how the word “Jacobite” also refers to St. James or Santiago. Many early Scots nobles were named in veneration of of Santiago including Sir James “the good” Douglas, and his uncle James Stewart. Many members of Scottish families of this stature were also Knights of Santiago thus leading us to the mysterious Priscillian and St. James himself.

Many historical mysteries are confused through time into meaning something much different than the actual events reflect. At points, as one wanders through the labyrinth of folklore and treasure myths that accompany this history wrong turns within the rabbit hole are made thus leading the seeker to a dead end or intentionally contrived conclusion. By examining the ways different mysteries may be linked together much is exposed that may assist us in seeing the big picture as opposed to each individual happening or concept. Given this many “clewes” have been left behind to help us decipher our way through the legends and folklore to a rational theory about what really had happened. The Isles of Scilly comprise a kind of nadir or center to several different stories associated so an examination of this place may reveal many things about history at large.

Here we will examine the history and mythology of early Spanish Christian Priscillian and his influence in subsequent historical curiosities that may even lead to the mystery school overtones that went along with the creation of the United States and beyond. The Gnostic oriented type of Christianity espoused by Priscillian may have had a far reaching impact on the development of several aspects of strange history that at first glance aren’t connected or associated with one another.

The Saga of King Olaf, The story of Santiago (St. James) in Galicia and its associations with Scottish Culture, The Cathar “heresey,” The famous Michale Line, Star Castle, The Cavaliers of Virginia and Rhode Island, The Gnostic sensibilities of Empress Theodora, and the enigma of the famous Newport Tower may possibly all be related to a single space of history that is all related to the exploits of Priscillian who in turn may have held similar beliefs to those of Empress Theodora Augusta of Justinian I who lived just after the time of Priscillian during a period in which his cult was still very much active.

The Pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago or Way of St. James leads to the crypt of St. James and has been an active pilgrimage route for over one thousand years. Followers of the Latin Church from many different countries value St. James and the Camino reaching far back into the earliest days of Christianity in Europe as well as the conversion of Scandinavian people to Christianity later in about 1000 A.D. (CE). By examining the origins of the cult of St. James one may be surprised to find that the real reason for a value of Santiago de Compostela may be due to the influence of an obscure Christian mystic Priscillian who had been persecuted and beheaded near the end of the fourth Century. Priscillian’s remains are said to be interred at an unknown location in Galicia northern Spain.  

Priscillian preached a doctrine that many of his accusers compared to the gnostic teachings of Manichaeism. His beliefs included a system of “perfection” that both men and women could attain easily. Priscillianists were vegetarian and abstained from sex though allowances were made for those that were married. This concept is very similar to aspects of the Cathar “perfecti” later in history involving the same region. The ideals of Priscillian were very popular in Galicia and Spain overall and spread to other regions as time went on. Amazingly later in the thirteenth and fourteenth century the Cathars of France and the rest of Europe where accused of practicing a very similar faith to what Priscillian had advocated. Both sects were wiped out by the church for practicing a faith that had Manichean overtones and associations though this could be argued in the case of Priscillian who condemned Manichaeism in his own writings. Still his beliefs did have much in common with the Manichean’s and also includes a value of a variety of apocryphal volumes and gospels. In short Priscillianists believed in Jesus as a man and not divine in the same sense as God. This also resembles some of the beliefs of the Arian faith that was also very popular during this era. All of these belief systems were considered heretical by the Latin Church and one by one were exterminated using brutal and barbaric means. Many of these concepts are also associated with the saga of Mary Magdalene.

Eventually as in the case of other heretical movements the main portion of the clergy of the Church as it were at this time persecuted and beheaded Priscillian. Emperor Maximus at that time sides with Bishop Ithacus and others agreeing to persecute Priscillian. Interestingly Maximus’ wife Helen who was from England is often cited as the reason many people believe that Constantine’s mother Helena was English. Other sources state that Constantine’s mother never visited the British Isles. 

Eventually Priscillian’s remains were returned to Galicia and were entombed in an unknown location. Here we are presented with yet another “Man in the Mountain” mystery as to the real location of the remains of Prisciallian. Given this it is amazing that some scholars have speculated that Priscillian’s remains are indeed those that are entombed at the Cathedral in Santigo de Compostela and his cult is the real reason for a veneration of the town and St. James in general. Though this may seem bizarre it is also possible that the remains thought to be those of St. James were added at a later date to cover up the true and original reason Santiago de Compostela is a place of pilgrimage and veneration to all Christians. In turn this may also explain why later Gnostics such as Fulcanelli and Nicolas Flamel describe alternate beliefs in association with Galicia, the Camino de Santiago and Santiago de Compostela.  It may also be that at this time the followers of Priscillian had formed a mystery school to help their persecuted faith survive much as the Cavaliers and Jacobites would later also do for their own reasons.

The remains of Priscillian if they are indeed located at Santiago de Compostela may have been the real reason any pilgrimage or value of this place had existed prior to the eighth century when the cult of St. James originated as we see it today. In turn this hidden secret may have also contributed to the reasons that Scandinavians, Scottish people, and others valued this place to such a large degree at an early date. Is it possible that these Gnostic views are part of later similar concepts like Catharism, Arianism, and the strange type of faith that Empress Theodora had learned in Alexandria Egypt?

Even Priscillian was said to have learned his beliefs from an Egyptian mystic named Marcus from Alexandria. This is somewhat foreshadowing how Empress Theodora had leaned similar alternate beliefs in the same city which was also her place of origin. What we are discovering here may have associations with other seemingly intentionally contrived mysteries that display alternate Latin, Orthodox, and Protestant views and values thus leading even possibly to the kind of silent war surrounding the image and truth of Mary Magdalene.

There is nothing about the story of Priscillian that suggests a bloodline or association with Mary Magdalene but his life and the mythology surrounding his death may also lead to several concepts that would later be considered “Rosicrucian.” In more modern times some of these Man in the mountain overtones seems also to have been applied to the remains of Mary Magdalene with any number of theories espousing her being the wife of Christ. Indeed a heretical concept that would have been viewed by the Latin Church in a similar manner the philosophy of Priscillian.

Here at an early date in Christianity we see a man that may have even somehow been emulating Constantine and any conundrum he intentionally left behind involving his own remains. These beliefs would have compelled many to search for the hidden or lost remains of these people which they may have also believed included hidden information or “treasure.” These searches may have in fact been designed and implemented by the “perfecti” of these secret mystery schools that had been designed to keep this information only accessible to those that had learned how to follow the clues.

Priscillian lived in the era just after the life of Constantine in the mid fourth century. Even today no one can state with certainty where the sepulcher of Constantine is located. Later this same technique would be used by Charlemagne in association with a mystery he seemed to have left for subsequent Holy Roman Emperors that were descendant of him. It may be that Constantine was interred beneath the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem while Charlemagne created a copy of this structure in the form of Aachen Cathedral and was entombed beneath it in a similar manner. It is also interesting that future Emperor Arcadius and his father Theodosius I origins were in the very part of Spain where all of this took place.

Is it possible that by the late tenth century that King Olaf of Norway was exposed to some form of Christianity that had been affected by the mores of Priscillianist thought? It is clear that the story of Olaf on the Isles of Scilly includes a story that has him consulting a strange mystic that lives in a cave. Stories involving hermits such as this are not rare but is this kind of fortune telling tale meant to infer that he had been exposed to a mystery? This is around the same time that Olaf decided to be baptized in the local Christian Church that would have by this time likely been of the Catholic variety. The story then goes on to suggest Olaf was baptized again on mainland England as some aspect of his original baptism was not to the correct standards of the day.

It is true that only this author is speculating any association between Olaf and goings on in Newport Rhode Island that involve a strange tower. Given this the story of Olaf could be connected to any real occupation or construction of the Newport Tower by Norsemen during this era of history. Olaf did rule at close to the same time that L’ Anse Aux Meadows Viking site in Newfoundland was said to have been occupied. As king Olaf would have been privy to this information and possibly any directions, charts, or sagas that would indicate its true location. If the Norse origins of the Newport Tower are valid then this is one possible scenario.

Star Castle if even truly built as a claim marker does point the way to the Newport Tower yet this structure was not built for nearly six hundred years after the time Olaf had been to Scilly. This aspect would involve those who built the tower regardless of its real date of construction having possibly been privy to this Norwegian history of the Isles of Scilly. Any possible suspects would include Cavaliers who had even lived on the Isles of Scilly for a time that had later exiled themselves in Rhode Island and Virginia.

This Cavalier and Jacobite theory of involvement may more likely be the source of all of this mythology and is even present later in American history in the exploits of people like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Eben Horsford who espoused the actual existence of Norumbega as well as the Norse origins of the Newport Tower. Longfellow had even written a passage that would come to be known of as “The Saga of King Olaf” which even mentions his time on the Isles of Scilly. In fact Longfellow has produced several works including “A Skeleton in Armor,” “Evangeline,” and “A Ballad of the French Fleet” seem to refer to Oak Island, French Acadia, and the Newport Tower. All of these works of poetry may also have some hidden or interpretive meanings to those in early America who still held some Jacobite sentiments later.

The one common thread through all of these stories is the involvement of the Scottish Stewart family and their compatriots the Cavaliers and later the Jacobites. It is their history more than any other that ties all of this strange history together. It is only natural that these people helped to create the United States of America. They did not do this alone but they made a large contribution to the new country while also compromising some of their ideals for the common good. Both the concepts of freedom of religion and separation of church and state may owe their existence to the struggle of these people that also included business associates and related families that were not of the Catholic faith. In a strange way the creation of the United States may reflect the exiled Kings retaining some of their former holdings if not in spirit alone.

This will be the subject matter included in my next book. Stay tuned for more coming soon. All of this is going to reveal how “the mysteries” are all connected to the creation of the United States. This is somewhat similar to concepts espoused by Masonic spiritualist and mystic Manly P. Hall and his wife Marie Bauer Hall. –Cort Lindhal Jan. 30, 2018.

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