© 2009 Eric L. Rhodes
he Gnostics were given land for their new community atop a sacred knoll. The knoll was capped by an ancient yew grove and bounded by a small stream. The stream had natural weirs allowing fish to easily be caught to supply the community’s food. Without delay Abba Ioannis and his community of monks and nuns began working. First the circle was drawn around the yew trees, then a trench dug for the moat and soil mounded up on the inside bank. The raised bank was planted with holly, blackthorn and elder to prevent erosion. An underground chamber was dug within the enclosure for storing food. Finally, the tiny round houses or cells were built with wattle and daub and roofed with reed thatch for the monastic brothers and sisters to live in.
Once the Gnostic community was complete, Ioannis asked the wizened old druid Senias to join him in consecrating the holy community. The two holy elders would carve a solar cross integrating the old and new ways, a small cross above and one below representing heaven and earth. The ceremonial stone would be placed at the tip of the serpent’s tongue as the earth mother had instructed.
Abba Ioannis would then carve an ogham prayer on the stone, to guide pilgrims to God until the end of time. All the monks and nuns began praying intently for the Abba, that he would conjure the truth and with purity of intent bring that truth forth into the material world, by placing it lovingly on the stone.