Tag Archives: mythology

Feeling Beyond Form…

The Silent Eye

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We certainly hadn’t intended to talk about Arthur, let alone Merlin when we pencilled in Penrith as the starting point for our weekend workshop.

But the land has a way of communicating it’s own ‘sweet terror’ and when we came across a Welsh Triad referencing Penrith or ‘Pen Rhionydd’ as one of the ‘Seats’ of the legendary British King the ‘cogs’ had inevitably started to turn…

Our June workshop in Dorset had thrown up some poignant ideas with regard to how the ‘ancients’ might be regarding their kinship with Mother Earth…

The constellation we now know as Orion, with its mid-summer rising over the Cerne Abbas hill figure may well have gone under a different name in former times and we still have Arthur’s Wain or ‘Waggon’ illuminating a course across the night sky, better known today as The Plough…

Since our research for the very first literary…

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Dear Wen: Dark Sage…

France & Vincent

breedon (134)Dear Wen,

Weather no better here… but an improvement is forecast… hope so or it will be wellies and waterproofs for our Fin Cop trip…

Simon’s inclusion in such a ‘heavyweight’ window seems a little OTT for a mere visit… and he is carrying a very green staff…lincoln 001 (299)

Looking forward to examining the credentials of all the New Testament Simons for the next one…

I have a vision of Simon the Essene skulking about the sand dunes of Nag Hammadi burying things…

london 008I can see Veronica’s veil, leading us a merry dance and into all kinds of muddy water… so we may have to leave the wellies on.

We could call that chapter, ‘the dance of the seven wellies’… or maybe not.

I never really got on with White, although obviously an important author Matter of Britain wise…

Strange that he taught at Stowe, which we visited. His writing is…

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Overkill Hill…

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Never look back!

It is good advice, unfortunately, in story-telling this advice, when given, is never adhered to.

Orpheus…Lot…Dr Faustus…

They are all concerned with Soul.

The Soul that turns to look back is caught in time.

It may be an ‘intention thing’, like trying to serve two masters, do not walk one way and look the other.

There are any number of mythological monsters depicted in this way to prove it.

Tiamet…Nergal…The Dread Beast of Mercia.

The hero ‘slays’ them all, by moving forward.

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But going back to take another look, that is different.

That is part of going forward.

And it is also inevitable.

This time we inadvertently found ourselves following our own advice from one of our books.

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We started at Hordron’s, that hoary old receptacle of time, went on to Strines, the ‘Peacock Pub’, and finished up at the Old Horns Inn.

And this time when we got to Bradfield, ‘Castle Hill’ was illuminated.

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No need to wonder where we will be heading next then.

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But first, we had another encounter with one of our mounds to experience.

We needed more photographs.

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And photographs…

Were duly forthcoming.

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Once we had braved the curiously over friendly sheep…

Of Trolls and Sustenance…

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Tomf, the Troll, rises from the river bed after a long, long, sleep.

He is feeling grumpy but only because he is hungry.

Off in search of chocolate, cake, liqourice, orange juice, tobacco and cough sweets he goes…

Oh, and bananas too, I nearly forgot the bananas…

Where grub is concerned he is not  too particular…

Just in case you missed him, here is a close up…

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P.S. He does not look quite so grumpy, since we have been feeding him.

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Names Matter: gonned…

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Well, the next day, har husband he took her inter the room, an’ there was the flax an’ the day’s vittles.
‘Now, there’s the flax,’ says he, ‘an’ if that ain’t spun up this night off goo yar hid.’ An then he went out and locked the door.
He’d hardly goon, when there was a knockin’ agin the winder.
She upped and she oped it, and there sure enough was the little oo’d thing a settin on the ledge.
‘Where’s the flax?’ says he.
‘Here te be,’ says she. And she gonned it to him.
Well, come the evenin’, a knockin come agin to the winder. She upped an’ she oped it, and there were the little oo’d thing, with five skeins on his arm.
‘Here te be,’ says he, an’ he gonned it to her.
‘Now, what’s my name?’ says he.
‘What, is that Ben?’ says she.
‘Noo, that ain’t,’ says he. An’ he twirled his tail.
‘Is that Ned?’ says she.
‘Noo, that ain’t,’ says he. An’ he twirled is tail.
‘Well, is that Don?’ says she.
‘Noo, that ain’t,’ says he. An’ he twirled his tail harder, an awa’ he flew.

Well, when har husban’ he come in: there was the five skeins riddy for him. ‘I see I shorn’t hev for to kill you tonight, me dare,’ says he. ‘Yewll hev yar vittles and yar flax in the morning,’ an’ away he goes.
Well, ivery day the flax an’ the vittles, they was browt, an’ ivery day that there little black impet used for to come mornin’s and evenin’s. An’ all the day she set a tryin’ fur to think of names to say to it when te come at night. But she niver hot on the right one. An’ as that got to-warts the ind o’ the month, the impet that began for to look soo maliceful, an’ that twirled that’s tail faster an’ faster each time she gave a guess.

At last te come to the last day but one. The impet that come at night along o’ the five skeins, and that said, ‘What, aint yew got my name yet?’
‘Is that Nicodemus?’ says she.
‘Noo, t’ain’t,’ that says.
‘Is that Sammel?’ says she.
‘Noo, t’aint,’ that says.
‘Ah well, that’s sure to be Methusalem?’ says she.
‘Noo, t’aint that norther,’ that says.
Then that looks at her with that’s eyes like a cool o’ fire, an’ that says, ‘Woman, there’s only tomorrer night, an’ then yar’ll be mine!’ An’ away te flew.

to be continued…

The Marsh King’s Daughter…

 

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‘…Hi-ho the Carrion Crow, Fol-de-rol-de riddle…’

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Although the second longest of Anderson’s Fairy Tales, The Marsh King’s Daughter is relatively little known and perhaps, even, considered to be one of his ‘lesser’ tales.

It is a huge, sprawling epic of a yarn, which like most of his stories draws liberally from the ancient sagas, legends and folk tales which Hans imbibed in his youth.

Unlike some story tellers, although Anderson approaches the traditional devices with free reign, he never loses sight of their psychological and spiritual import and consequently, whilst sometimes apparently piling device upon device in wild profusion, there is always a satisfying, not to say, profound pay off to his seemingly more fantastical meanderings.

In these posts then, rather than retell the story, we intend to focus on aspects of the tale in order to investigate and elucidate the psychological and spiritual components of the story as a whole.

The Marsh King himself, though central to the plot, plays a comparatively minor role in the story, appearing just once, initially disguised as a tree stump.

It is a cunning disguise which gives the foul fellow the opportunity to drag an unsuspecting princess to her apparent doom beneath the marshes.

But wait, how did such a delicate, pretty one find herself on the edge of a marsh in Denmark?

She was sent from Egypt by her dying father to look for the antidote to his wasting disease.

And how did she get there?

She donned a feathered cloak and flew there as a swan.

Then, why didn’t she simply re-don the cloak and fly away when the Swamp Man revealed himself to her?

Because her jealous sisters, who had flown with her, stole her cloak and destroyed it…

Spatially, the construct is no less dazzling.

Here, as in most traditional stories the horizontal polarity of Egypt and Denmark constitutes a world and its other-realm.

The Outer, wasteland, can only be re-invigorated from the Inner depths which appear to be somewhat murky.

The healing herb reputedly grows in a bog, the domain of the Marsh King.

Already, the mix of natural metaphor and deep psychological insight  begins to weave its ancient magic.

But there is more…

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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

Wortley Mens Club

Wortley

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And should you need to bone-up on

What, precisely, is involved here…

Some reading matter

In the form of four rather fantastic graphic novels

may help…

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All available to buy on Amazon…

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Get there!

The Celebration of Mister Fox: more and less…

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…More, because our Foxes are one-third Man

And also less, because our Foxes are one-third Man.

Huh?

Man’s individuality makes them more yet,

By its very nature,

That individuality has to be less than whole.

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Unlike Animals all the species of Man,

And there are many, can be traced back to one common ancestor,

And they have named her Lucy, which means ‘light’…

‘We did too, see Foxes,’ objects my Companion, ‘proper ones!’

Well, quite…

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The Celebration of Mister Fox: bestial cluster…

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Bear and Wolf,

And Dog and Fox are all closely related.

It is tempting to imagine a common ancestor;

Bigger than Wolf but smaller than Bear.

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But the official line has something

Much less rapacious originally slink down from the trees.

To replace what?

The Dinosaurs whose more agile brethren had taken to the air.

I wonder what Linnaeus would make of the Mister Fox procession,

As it snakes its way through the alleys and walkways

Of the Saturday night revelers, encouraging all to join its wake.

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“We saw Foxes!” says my companion.

Well, yes and no…

We saw something less

And something more than Foxes…

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