The Ilkley Implex

My just-published book North largely originated in a period of intense
research into and exploration of Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire during
1996 - 98. I became obsessed with the 'cup-and-ring' petroglyphs
there, especially the anomalous 'Swastika Stone'. I discovered there
was a Romano-Celtic altar to a goddess called Verbeia in Ilkley
itself. As I delved further, I found that the interactions between the
landscape, its history, and my ideas began to spin an unfathomable web
of connections between Verbeia, the moor's petroglyphs, and my own
inner images. Around this time I also made contact with Julian Cope,
who was working on The Modern Antiquarian, and we fueled each other's
research into goddesses and speculative etymology. Now that North - a
long-term evolution of the ideas which originated in Ilkley - has been
published, I'd like to revisit that seminal period of research. I'd
like to outline how the process of threading personal 'gnostic'
experiences on the moor through my scholarly research created a
beguiling mesh of synchronicities, as well as generating genuine
historical insights.

Gyrus is a writer, editor and publisher who has been exploring
prehistoric landscapes, art and consciousness for 20 years. He edited
and published the acclaimed journals Towards 2012 and Dreamflesh, and
is the author of the collection of essays Archaeologies of
Consciousness, the booklet War & the Noble Savage, and North: The Rise
& Fall of the Polar Cosmos, published by Strange Attractor.