Category Archives: Ancient Sites

Gate to the Land of Youth II…

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… Within the walls of the white-washed house Fin, and his Merry-Men, found an old man lying bent on the edge of the hearth with a sheep tied to the wall alongside.

They sat at table and the old man raised his head and acknowledged them.

‘Little enough chance of sating our thirst and hunger in this hovel,’ thought Dermot.

Just then the old man called loudly for food and drink, and up from the floor below came a strapping young lass who wasted no time in setting the table with a feast fit for kings.

But no sooner had Fin and his Merry-Men put fork to food than the sheep which was tied to the wall broke its hempen rope and rushed toward the table sending the food and drink to the floor.

“By the Gods!” cried Conan, “look at the mess you have made of our supper, and we so badly in need of it.”

“Get up and tie the sheep, Conan,” said Fin.

So, Conan got up and, grabbing the sheep by the scruff of the neck, attempted to drag it back towards the wall.

Try as he might he was unable to do so.

“What’s this,” laughed Dermot along with all the other men, “Conan, the great warrior, defeated by a sheep.”

“I am more than happy to stand aside and let a better man have a go,” growled Conan.

“Get up and tie the sheep, Dermot,” said Fin.

So, up got Dermot and he too tried to drag the sheep to the wall but was unable.

Each of Fin’s men in turn attempted the task and failed until, eventually, Fin himself was forced to stand and tie the sheep but all to no avail.

That sheep was not for budging…

To be continued.

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Bardic Review…

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It has been our policy for some time now to ask Companions to bring readings for inclusion in our Landscape Weekends…

We first tried this on the Glastonbury Walk-and-Talk weekend and were delighted with the results.

The energies of the earth it seems respond favourably to the human voice, especially when it is utilised to bring forth heartfelt emotion.

…Our readings to date have ranged far and wide over a spectrum of traditions and forms although it seems that the shorter pieces, generally, have more effect.

On the now distant ‘Circles Beyond Time: Seeking the Seer’ weekend one of our Companions chose to give a rendition, unaccompanied of a Robin Williamson composition, October Song.

Coincidentally, we were due to attend a Robin Williamson concert later that week and so the opportunity to tie these two events together became irresistible…

It is a relatively old song now, if age has any meaning for a song,  and it was once described by Bob Dylan as ‘quite good’.

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‘I’ll sing you this October song,
Oh, there is no song before it.
The words and tune are none of my own,
for my joys and sorrows bore it…’

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‘…Beside the sea
The brambly briars, in the still of evening,
Birds fly out behind the sun,
and with them I’ll be leaving…’

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‘…The fallen leaves that jewel the ground,
They know the art of dying,
And leave with joy their glad gold hearts,
In the scarlet shadows lying…’

‘…When hunger calls my footsteps home,
The morning follows after,
I swim the seas within my mind,
And the pine-trees laugh green laughter…’

‘…I used to search for happiness,
And I used to follow pleasure,
But I found a door behind my mind,
And that’s the greatest treasure…’

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‘…For rulers like to lay down laws,
And rebels like to break them,
And the poor priests like to walk in chains,
And God likes to forsake them…’

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‘…I met a man whose name was Time,
And he said, “I must be going, ”
But just how long ago that was,
I have no way of knowing…’

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‘…Sometimes I want to murder time,
Sometimes when my heart’s aching,
But mostly I just stroll along,
The path that he is taking…’

October Song, Robin Williamson.

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I rather think that the stones of Carl Wark enjoyed our Companion’s rendition of this song, and I’d also like to think that Robin would have been pleased with it too…

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Old Stones…

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Built by the sea

But not of the sea

These enclosing walls…

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It is a ‘Celtic’ thing

The Spirit tied-to-tide

And it is still understood

By today’s Old Bones…

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There they sit

Lining the sea-front

Huddled together

Under-sun

Within ear-shot

Of the waves

Which lap the shore

And withdraw

On the out-breath

In ceaseless rhythm

Which hints at beyond…

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Built by the sea

But not of the sea

These enclosing walls.

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…Let down your hair!

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… “Oh really… and what are the problems with Rapunzel?”

“It is not possible to climb a tower by somebody’s hair, without breaking their neck, no matter how long it has grown.”

“Then it must be symbolic.”

“If the tower has no door or stairs how did Rapunzel get up there in the first place?”

“Why, then it must be symbolic.”

“There is no location given for the tower, we know only that it has thorns at its base.”

“Oh, then it is definitely symbolic.”

“Symbolic of what?”

“…?…”

“And why does Gothel go to visit Rapunzel on a daily basis?”

“…?…”

“And why does she need to incarcerate her in the tower anyway?”

“Ah, we are told that. It is because Rapunzel is the most beautiful maiden in all the land.”

“Why should beauty alone be sufficient reason for incarceration?”

“…?…”

“Like I said, there are numerous problems with Rapunzel.”

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Buzzards Big as Bears…

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…Some of the roadside Buzzards we pass resemble small bears, which I suppose makes them rather large birds.

A lot has happened since our last visit to Avalon.

A lot has happened this past year.

Will it have altered our reception?

The first thing I notice at the Nine Mile Mark is that the tower on the tor is too square!

“It has always been square,” says Wen, quite reasonably.

“I expect so, I just didn’t notice it before that’s all.”

“Anyway, I’m not sure a thing can be too square, I mean it’s either square or it is not!”

“It needs to be a round tower.”

“A Rapunzel tower?”

“Possibly, or no tower at all.”

“It is pretty iconic these days!”

“Even so, there are a host of problems with Rapunzel.” …

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Mother-Earth-Mound…

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I have it in my mind that we have been to Avalon at least once since our last presentation there which was way, way, back in December Two-thousand-and-fourteen.

But, when I think, it is difficult to say precisely when, and why this other visit occurred, which probably means that it did not happen at all.

Our visits in that year were both frequent and regular which could account for my confusion.

This time, the journey down most resembles our third trip that year.

The one with all the hawks.

The hawks now, somehow, manage to look like they are encouraging us on our way and that they are also entirely cognisant of what is about to befall us.

As well as being impossible, this is both mildly disconcerting yet incredibly exciting.

It means that something is about to happen and if it in any way resembles the happening on that third trip it will be more than well worth the petrol money…

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Mysteries…

mystery

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“You’ll know it,” he said, “by the stone stairs and the hawk’s head over the lintel.”

I was expecting a carving, or a painting, or possibly even, an offering, not half a cliff-face…

Nevertheless, it had still been a bugger to find.

The light was fading when I tip-tipped down the stone steps and stood before the crudely imposed entrance.

I stepped inside…

A dim glow lit the interior and the odour of old incense, clung…

He stood and turned, a huge bull of a man.

“What took you so long?”

“I got here as quick as I could.”

“Coffee?”

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Broken Fortress…

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PC 963 Kraas turned and walked head-long into the sea breeze.

Her hair flicked in the wind like rampant flames.

“You know, I can’t help feeling we’ve missed a trick with this one.”

“It’s mentioned in the book,” replied Jaw-Dark pensively, “and in any case it’s a pleasant enough spot.” He paused and bent down to look through a large eye-shaped ‘blow-hole’ in the promontory.

“What’s that?” said Kraas.

“Well, that depends…” said Jaw-Dark.

“That depends upon what?”

“…Upon your perspective,” finished Jaw-Dark.

“Nothing is ever straight forward with you is it?”

“The Irish name for this and other similar landscape features is Poll na Seantuinne.”

“Which means?”

“‘Hole of the Old Wave’.”

Just then the sea crashed beneath the promontory and the foaming waves, in the mouth of the sea cavern, a hundred feet below could be clearly seen through the ‘chasm-hole’.

“Seems an apt description,” said Kraas, “if a tad un-nerving.” Her gaze followed the slow drag of the tide and then lifted to the sky where wisps of grey cloud scudded on the wind, “in the beginning,” she said, “everything was chasm and chaos.”

“There is though another interpretation.”

“Which is?”

Poll na Sean Tiene means ‘Hole of the Old Fire’.”

“Okay, I can see where that might fit in with some of their concerns. Especially with all this baleful eye stuff.”

“Personally though I prefer the third alternative…”

“Ever the story teller,” smiled Kraas, “Well, I’m waiting!”

Poll na Seantuine,  is the ‘Hole of the Old Woman.”

Kraas’ smile turned to a grimace, “Well, I wouldn’t go shouting that particular preference from the cliff tops if I were you,” she said through the grimace, and then added more seriously, “so which one is it?”

“Unfortunately for us and also quite possibly for them too, it is more than likely that it is all three of them.”

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Into the Hill…

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…And the Wood-Stone started to glow,

White it was…

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And I felt an impetus to take flight,

but only as far as the end of the passage…

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Which is just as well, otherwise, I would have missed the golden glow now emanating from the chamber…

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And all the ‘statuary firing up blue’,

as whatever it was lighting the chamber,

slowly made its way along the passage…

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Passed through me…

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Or around me…

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And then out…

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A short time later, still in the chamber, we found ourselves asking the question to which that had been the answer.

And if you are curious to know, how golden was the chamber?

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It was Liquid-Sun.