Season’s Greetings

This year’s card is from a painting by Andrew Walton, inspired by an ancient chalk figure on the Dorset Downs known as the Rowley Round Ring (Roll Around Ring), named for the surveyor John Rowley who, in 1710, first recorded another antique geoglyph, the Long Man of Wilmington.

The significance of this particular design is not fully understood but it recalls similar turf-cut labyrinths called Troy Towns, after the deliberately confusing construction of their walls, perhaps intended to keep unwelcome spirits trapped within.

Each winter, at the full cold moon, a blessed cheese is rolled around the circle by an eminent local cheesemaker in a ritual offering to the gods, celebrating the newborn baby cheeses.

Frames of reference

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