Daily Archives: December 4, 2017

Stones of the Night II…

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…As the ferns thin you spy a wooden stile up ahead and descend the grassy-knoll rather too quickly for the conditions underfoot, trotting to the stile side, precariously, and resting awhile to catch your breath.

A road runs to your right quite close to the stile with a stone bridge beyond, under which you can hear water as it rushes and gurgles.

The thought of traffic impels you over the stile and into what remains of the wooded slope which has taken you this far.

As you again begin to climb towards a moorland vista, tree stumps and root systems lie exposed along either side of your path, resembling swarthy, grinning, woodland faces, which seem to claim a more intimate knowledge of your terrain than you can.

You continue your climb and leave the cover of the trees completely.

Again unsheltered you are met by another, now invigorating, blast of cold air.

Far to your left, the stone face watches serenely. Far to your right the shark-fin peak is hidden by the slopes of two hills which form a classic v-shaped valley.

Before you rises a steep sided plateaux which holds the object of your quest. You know you can go left or right to reach the top of the plateaux but a point mid-way along the false horizon draws your attention.

From  your vantage it looks like a pointed stone and leading up to it though the seasonally ravaged remnant of the bracken runs something resembling a path.

You head for the rudimentary path and set off along it towards the pointed stone…

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Doe, A Deer, A Female Reindeer: The Spirit of Mother Christmas

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Oh wondrous headed doe… Amongst its horns it carries the light of the blessed sun…” Hungarian Christmas Folk Song

Long before Santa charioted his flying steeds across our mythical skies, it was the female reindeer who drew the sleigh of the sun goddess at winter solstice. It was when we “Christianized” the pagan traditions of winter, that the white bearded man i.e. “Father Christmas” was born.

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Today it is her beloved image that adorns Christmas cards and Yule decorations – not Rudolph. Because unlike the male reindeer who sheds his antlers in winter, it is the larger and stronger doe, who retains her antlers. And it is she who leads the herds in winter.

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So this season, when we gather by the fire to tell children bedtime stories of Santa and his flying reindeer – why not tell the story of the ancient Deer Mother of old? It was she…

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