Thursday, 22 August 2019

Gold Days are here

The Guldize, Goel Dheys or the Feast of (hay)Rick's is approaching.  The rick being a type of haystack. The change in the season from Summer to Autumn is starting.
This pic reminds if the Long Man of Wilmington...if only I had 2 staffs.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Lughnasadh Seed Thought - Regeneration and Pilgrimage


Going back to my post on Pagan Pilgrimage and it's reference to Druidcast's talky bit from the Pilgrimage Trust. Lughnasadh is a good time, in my experience for Pilgrimage. At the beginning of my Bardic journey, before I was married (and I don't think my wife would tolerate being my back-up driver after 15 years), I rode a Pilgrimage along the Ridgeway. You can only Mountain Bike the part, starting from Princes Risborough, the end is at Avebury. It was a 2 day journey starting with leaving early to drive upto Princes Risborough then riding to Streatley, the crossing of the River Thames where us young lovers spent the night in the back of the car. Romantically we watched the sunset backwards...rather than the sun setting we saw the creeping forward of Night drawing her blanket over the land.

My experience of Avebury was at the end of a long hot day in the saddle. I had an ear of corn that had somehow attached itself to my handlebars as my mascot. I felt comforted having John Barleycorn with me. My second day of cycling the Ridgeway had been hot and sticky. By the time I'd got towards Avebury I'd miscalculated my water and salt requirements. This meant that I was completely exhausted, perhaps a little delirious, by the time I found the Bridleway turning off the Ridgeway that dropped into Avebury.
So I felt purely personal emotions arriving there to do with my pilgrimage along the Ridgeway and the places I had visited; Maiden Castle, Weylands Smithy, the White Horse and of course the magic of watching the sun set backwards. There was no special feeling, as I passed them, from the stones. Just an impression of a West Country tourist village - with bikers, hippies, wiccans and a motley crew that appear to have crept out of one of Ankh-Morporks wizard pubs all blinking in the sunlight. I immediately loved the Red Lion, only because my love was sat there waiting for me with a pint of cold beer!
Sipping beer wondering why Avebury left me cold, a flat feeling at the end of my pilgrimage. I laughed as I overheard my favourite quote (from an individual fully regaled in heavy velvet with a skulls head staff)
"Well I was talking to this Druid down the pub an 'e sez I must be a Druid too 'cos my spirit 'ad developed enough to be one. So instead of gettin' another Athame I think I'll have a Sickle instead."
I realised that timing is everything, I wouldn't mind going back and sitting with the stones when it was a bit quieter though.

I have vague plans of riding or walking the Wessex Ridgeway section from Avebury, or Marlborough, down to Lyme Regis. Lyme Regis is not far from my paternal ancestral lands. I have the route planned, although from an MTB perspective the off-road is very broken up with road sections. Now we have the dogs maybe it should be a walking route.


My poem on the death of Old Man Willow a couple of posts ago was my sadness at this old tree being ripped down. However, today I walked the field I regularly walk with the dogs and noticed (and why I'd not noticed last week or the week before I don't know) the swarthe of young willow plants

The regeneration of the Willows in that area brought Lughnasadh joy at the magical nature of the Willow to regenerate. It has been a glorious, warm and still day. The leaves on the Poplar, normally creating a sea like sussuration, were silent. Just the cackling laugh of the Green Woodpecker disturbed the peace.

Pilgrimage can be a form of regeneration, it can heal and change your worldview by stepping outside the boundaries or ruts of your everyday life. When I get time I will mark up a map for a circular Sussex pilgrimage of mid-Sussex sacred places. Mid-Sussex, from the River Ouse to the River Arun, is a liminal place between East and West Sussex and because of that full of mystery, fairy tales and wonder.

Litha - on my way to Thundersbarrow

I saw this on the path to Thundersbarrow, a bright little sunny dot of a plant I'd not noticed flowering before.

This is Thunor's time coming upto Litha. His wheels can be heard rolling along the South Downs Way travelling East, bringing the summer rains to the dry land. The ground has been hard for the past month, the winter and spring was much drier than last year's muddiness. The Thunor brings the rain to raise John Barleycorn's head up and fill his golden beard.
This is our local field, with the Grey Poplar's at the end, although I associate them with the Mythology of the White Poplar which, via the associated with Herakles, is also linked to Thunor.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Old Man Willow

I saw his trunk dismembered
Scattered pieces across the Water Meadow,
Chunks of trunk discarded.
Old man Willow is dead.

During the long Summer balms
I used to seek my children
To find them in his arms,
Singing un-remembered charms.

Striding across meadow deeps
Lines of destructive tracks
Signs of oil and chainsaw creeps
Across black pools as meadow weeps.

The dogs racing rabbits hunted
Weaving amongst his branches,
No more tails excited 
Old Man Willow is dead.

To the men who did this
No doubt a job finish
No profit in his branches
No wealth within his trunk.

I remember,
Old Man Willow is Dead.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

9 Bole Sycamore

Beautiful day at my favourite tree on Newtimber.  A great place to sit and have tea with a tree.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Lunar energy

The full moon is what most pagans seem to focus on, or rather the commentary in books and the web suggests so.  For me, whilst the full moon is the peak of that Lunar month's energy it is the pregnant dark of the No-New moon before the sliver of light that is the new moon appears is when the energy changes.

This is when the stars are at their greatest, in the winter on a cloudless night.
At other times when the cloud is low the dark is deepest.  In rural spaces so dark that that even black seems light in comparison as black needs light to show it.  This absence of any light has a visceral quality and is worth experiencing.

Pagan pilgrimage

After a long, busy period at work when I couldn't listen to Druidcast I have been commuting by train to the City and catching up.

Druidcast 130 has been an inspiration

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Happy New Lunar Year

So an appropriate time to visit the Mithraeum under the Bloomberg building in London.  Little is known of the religion but this article has some interesting links  with Taliesin.
There is another article, at WhiteDragon that discusses the 7 levels of initiation, their astrological links and how you progress from Raven to Father, with Mithra as All-Father.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Imbolc: Seed Thought

Shuck Winter

Winter's cloak, mizzle wrapped
Mental, low, mis'rable fusk:
 My gloomy Gytrack hoodie. 
Oestre shuck my morose husk
Imbolc Sunna bloom me.