Category Archives: Folk Tale

Free Time…

earthwalker

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‘…all the great thinkers recognise the importance of rational thought and also the importance of getting beyond the rational and that’s where the myths and fairy stories come in…’   – The Heart of Albion

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Ancient terms of measurement are fascinating not least because many of them successfully encompass the apparently yawning gulf between the microcosm of the human body and the macrocosm of the universal…

It is quite possible that the humble barley seed, or kush,  whilst representative of one second in time was also the basis for the staple of our first civilisation.

They have the ‘ring’ of authenticity about them these terms which must once have stood at the pinnacle of the human endeavour to comprehend.

To ‘fathom’ means to measure but also to understand and is roughly equal to the length of a ‘grown man’s’ outstretched arms.

Six Feet.

Finger tip to finger tip…

Something which is ‘fathomless’ then means something too big for you to get to grips with, quite literally.

It is also the preferred length measurement for sounding depths.

Why?

Perhaps, because the outstretched arms span the heart?

There is an inherent value judgement here which must be very old.

Depth is harder to understand than length and harder to measure.

So it must be worth more in terms of expended effort.

The vertical carries more weight than the horizontal.

A yard is not quite so hard to compass.

Three Feet.

Finger tip to heart…

Because of the nature of league tables we had always assumed that leagues were a depth measurement but apparently not, they too refer to length.

Three miles.

But what of ‘Seven League Boots’?

Sensibly, they should allow a stride of twenty-one miles or perhaps a jump of forty-two but they do neither.

In the Folk Record they are used to keep pace  with Giant’s who step from hill to hill or from site to site which map out the lay of the land.

In real time such sites appear to mark the natural thresholds of eye-sight, and the daily trek on foot…

In other words they make the step up from feet to miles.

The distance they cover then is far vaster and their ramifications even more so but not without possible compass for the finely tuned mind to consider.

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Geometries 136

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‘…The Demon Lord Bali had overcome Indra, Lord of the Gods and was enjoying the Empire of the Three Worlds.

The assembly of the Gods, distressed with fear, went to the Hermitage of the Perfect where Vishnu was engaged in contemplation:

‘Bali, the son of Virocana,’ they said, ‘is performing a sacrifice, what benefit for the gods is there in this?’

Thus petitioned, Vishnu adopted a Dwarvish form approached the Demon Lord and begged from him the boon of three small paces which were granted him.

With the first step Vishnu re-assumed his normal aspect and occupied the Whole Earth, with the second step he broached the Eternal Atmosphere, and with the third, the Everlasting Sky… He made Bali, the son of Virocana a Dweller in the Underworld and gave the Empire of the Three Worlds back to Indra…’

If anyone does ever come across a pair of Seven League Boots, we’d be grateful were you to let us know!

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Geometries 135

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Time Frame…

 

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‘The concept of ‘darkness’ was revealing.
It is where light ends. But I also realised that darkness is not the absence of light but the antithesis of light. In other words, they are aspects of each other. Light and dark are not only metaphors but the means by which we perceive and understand.’
– Vittorio Storaro

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“He says he wants to investigate my vision.”
“Who does?”
“You haven’t been listening to a word I’ve been saying.”
“Oh Ned, you mean…well, what you have to ask yourself is, do you really want your vision investigating?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Or even, does your vision want your vision investigating?”
“I’m not sure I even know what he means by my vision.”
“Presumably he’s referring to all those stories you make up.”
“But he hasn’t read any of those stories and I don’t make them up,” says Wen, reaching for her Gazetteer of Mysterious Britain and brandishing it.
“I know you don’t, dear, I’m just teasing. Vee has read them though and she’s probably told him all about it, or at least enough to get him interested and you were dancing with him in Oxford last May Day.”
“Yeah, that’s true I was dancing with him, him and about thirty other people also. I think he thinks I’m still working in Buckinghamshire.”
“He’s in for a nasty surprise then…”
“If he does agree to come up here do we take him to Devil’s Drop?”
“We could, it would certainly make for an interesting experiment but we would have to give him some sort of warning if we did.”

Devil’s Drop is our new name for Gib-Rock.

Wen has been doing some more research on the story and I have to say, our theories on legend notwithstanding, the bare facts of this one alone are rapidly approaching mythological proportions.

Get this…

On the way to the gibbet the cart carrying the body got lost and had to pass over the territory now known to us fondly as Chat. Now, at that time there was not actually a thoroughfare over the land, but passage to the dead has to be given when requested.

“Why does passage to the dead have to be given when requested?”
“It’s an Old English Custom.”
“It becomes a law simply because people are accustomed to doing it?”
“Don’t you just love it?”
“It’s utterly bonkers but beautiful!”
“It’s nothing less than a road of the dead.”
“The road that passes through Chat is a Corpse Road.”
“I mean this is quite recent, yeah, within living memory?”
“It was in the Eighteenth century, so almost within living memory.”
“I think that’s part of an older tale that has got mixed up with an actual occurrence. It could only happen in Derbyshire.”
“Is that also why huge standing stones as big as any you’ve ever seen also go missing there?”

I have to say that the last remark was a little below the belt…

Dark Sage

Long, Hot Summer…

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After a long, long, hot summer,

The mornings have finally turned autumnal.

Which must mean,

That Mister Fox,

Cannot be very far away…

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Saturday October 27th

Night of the Hunters Moon

Waggon and Horses

Langsett

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And should you need to bone-up on

What, precisely, is involved here…

Some reading matter

In the form of three rather fantastic graphic novels

may help…

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All available to buy on Amazon…

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Get there!

Proud Angel…

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“The Peacock Angel fomented a rebellion

among the Angels of Heaven,

where he had been a leading light.

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He declared that he would go

and establish a kingdom for himself.

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When going out at the Gates of Heaven,

the Peacock Angel brought ‘prickly lightning’

and ‘biting lightning’ from the posterns with his talons.

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Many of the Angels in Heaven followed him.

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So many, in fact, that the Son cried out,

‘Father, Father, our city is being emptied!’

The Father ordered the Gates of Heaven and the New Kingdom be shut.

The gates were shut.

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Those who were in, were in,

those who were not, were out.

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Those who had left Heaven

but not yet reached the New Kingdom

flew into the Holes of the Earth, like storm petrels,

and were doomed to live underground for ever after…”

 Ruaraidh-mac-Dhomhuil

Glimpses Beyond…

The Silent Eye

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‘A wonder of a land,

the land of which I speak.

We behold but are not often beheld.’

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Perfected art can accentuate things,

and make them more attractive to the eye and mind,

but it cannot enhance the innate spirituality which men of all ages have held.

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There seems never to have been a time

when tribe, race or nation did not hold

some sort of belief in an unseen world

inhabited by unseen beings.

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Everything which can be said to exist is natural,

yet the Holy-Man who experiences the spiritual condition of ecstasy

cannot adequately explain it to the man who has not known it.

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If the Ancients possessed an arcane language

to encompass such psychical experiences,

it still remains a secret.

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But the natural aspects of the countryside impress Man

and awaken in him the Subliminal Self

which in turn inculcates an…

View original post 85 more words

A Voice Called Can’t III…

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… “The Matter of Britain!”

“I know,” muses Wen, pensively, “People think it’s just Arthur and all that.”

“But before Arthur was a king or a British War Hero, ‘he’ was a constellation.”

“I know,” says Wen, again.

“The Great Bear.”

“The Head Dragon.”

“It’s all star stuff.”

“It’s all star stuff tied to the Earth.”

“And what ties it there?”

“We do, when we sanctify the earth-urge.”

“By George, you’ve cracked it!”

Albion…

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…And then we come across the church.

Cue mass excitement as we take in all the
Giants, which appear to sprout from every orifice…

The body of the church you see is an education in itself.

You probably already know about consecrated ground and unconsecrated ground.

It is the Inner and the Outer, pure and simple.

And this symbolism is carried into the structure of the building.

The gargoyles, the Sheila-na-Gigs, the Green Men, the Giants, the Dragons and the like, they are all on the outside of the church building.

They do not make it into the ‘ark’.

The inside is for all the saints and angels. Do you see? It is the same symbolism.

The Inner and the Outer.

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…They do have something of the ‘otherworld’ about them these places.

Not so much Giant Hill itself perhaps although it may have been different had we gone into the Trendle.

It fact I am pretty damn sure it would have been different in the Trendle.

Wen was all for it… even with the helicopter buzzing us overhead. And her logic was very persuasive.

‘No unauthorised person beyond this point,’ said the sign.

‘But we are more authorised than anyone ever could be,’ said Wen.

It is difficult to disagree but then the village of Cerne Abbas is in itself quite otherworldly too.

I got exactly the same feel from it as when I first went to Glastonbury.

It felt like we had left England and gone abroad, perhaps to France…

‘Albion!’ smiles Wen, ‘The whole of these Blessed Isles used to feel like this…’

Excerpt – The Heart of Albion by Stuart France and Sue Vincent

Of Truth and Legend…

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‘The Silver Well: Legend says that St Augustine once visited Dorset. While there he met some shepherds grazing their flocks and asked them whether they would prefer beer or water to drink. The temperate shepherds replied ‘water’ whereupon St. Augustine struck the ground with his staff, crying, ‘Cerno El’ as the water gushed out. The words were supposedly a pun on Cernel, the old name of the village and meant ‘I perceive God.’

It is thought that the above legend was invented by the Benedictine monks of Cerne Abbey to serve as an attraction to pilgrims.
Closer to the truth perhaps is the story of St. Edwold, a member of the Mercian Royal Family who one day had a vision of a silver well. He went wandering through the countryside and when he came to Cerne he gave some silver pennies to a shepherd in return for bread and water. The shepherd then showed him a well where he could drink and St Edwold recognised it as the well of his vision. He built a small hermitage by the spring and lived there until his death in 871…’

Information Plaque, Cerne Abbas

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‘Are the monks responsible for the Legend of Silver Well such villains if they tweak the truth in order to entice pilgrims to their shrine?

People who have embarked on a Pilgrimage always get something, even if that something isn not quite what they bargained for.

And how true is the earlier story of St Edwold for that matter?

There was doubtless a hermit and a hermitage at one time.

How he actually came to be there is quite another thing altogether.’

Excerpt from, The Heart of Albion by Stuart France and Sue Vincent