Tag Archives: mythology

Dear Don: Sheaves…

France & Vincent

Nick Birds SE Ilkley 2015 uffington avebury cropton Helmsley 049Dear Don,

Good trip, wasn’t it? Once again time seems to have been obliging and stretched itself to fit with our meanderings. We are going to need to go south again though, with all I am reading about Marden Henge lately. Do you recall me mentioning it some time ago? The site on the line between Avebury and Stonehenge? The excavations are revealing another huge complex.

While I was reading up on it a bit, I came across this pic of a brooch found close by… What would you say at first glance? Early Christian?

v0_master © Wiltshire Museum

Apparently not. It’s a Bronze Age sun disc, dating back around 2,400 years before the Christian era, found in a burial mound none too far from Stonehenge. It just goes to show what we have been saying for a while… the symbols that speak directly to the inner being don’t belong to…

View original post 250 more words

Caladur: Dark Wood…

*

…So, Ewan walked on alone into the high wood,

and for a time the sun was obsccured

by the thick pines which clustered above his head.

*

As he walked it came into his mind

that he was now a new man

and he thought again of the strange child

that had come into his world and led him from it.

*

It seemed to him then that the child

still danced before him along the forest path

which wound its way this way and that…

*

The Hobbler’s Hovel…

*

… “Strength of my sword-arm,” continued Fiachna, “destitute and decrepit though I now am, I have a treasure hidden away. I never dared dream I would live to pass it on to Cuill’s son.”

“Fine will be the gift of one who honours my father. Describe it to me.”

“It is the spear that Cuill stole from the Crafty Ones. I secreted it away wrapped in its cloak of darkness even as Goll and his clan sacked your father’s dun. I buried it and built my hovel over it. Tonight, should you wish it, it shall be yours.”

“Fiachna, my father-friend, with that spear this night I hope to win back my birth-right. It is in my mind to test my might against Alain, son of Mithna.”

“Terrible that spear, son of Cuill, I would not tempt you to your death with it.”

“My mind is set with or without the spear. Tonight I shall stand guard over Tara.”

“You have a chieftain’s way with words, Fin. Hasten to Tara now. Say nothing of the spear. I will bring it to you when you have chosen your ground.”

“Fiachna,” said Fin, “if I win victory tonight, I will be your foster-son.”

“Win victory for Tara, son of Cuill, and think no more on me. Win victory for your father and all his broken men.”

“For Cuill,” said Fin, and set off at pace along the High-Way to Tara.

*

Falling into Step…

 

*

… “Fiachna, son of Conga,” shouted Daatho, “there is a man here who wants a word with you.”

“Let him who wants a word with me, fall into step with me, replied Fiachna.

“Spoken like a true champion,” said Fin, falling into step alongside the old man.

“A name before a word,” said Fiachna.

“I am Fin, son of Cuill, son of Trenmore, son of Bassna,” said Fin.

The old man stopped in his tracks then and his hands began to tremble and to shake.

“Do you say this to mock me?” he asked.

“I speak truly,” said FIn, “do I not resemble my father?”

The old man looked more closely at Fin.

“You have Cuill’s eyes,” he said, “but if you are his son then you will know what mark he wore upon his sporran.”

“The mark on the threshold stone of the Brugh na Angus is on his sporran,” said Fin.

“And how is the sporran marked within?” asked Fiachna.

“It is marked with the secret name of the Four Treasures,” said Fin.

“May the sun and moon protect you Fin, son of Cuill,” said Fiachna, “and may the earth open up safe passage for all your wanderings. But do you have the sporran of Cuill?”

“I have the sporran,” said Fin.

“Then I have a gift for you,” said Fiachna. …

*

to be continued

Sleep-Strain of Alain…

*

… “Has Goll tried his hand at it?” asked Fin.

“Goll has tried his hand, and Conan Maul before him, and the king too. They have all chanced their arm and they have all slept.”

“Slept?” said Fin, aghast.

“Aye, slept,” said Daatho,” slept like bairns that have been sung a lullaby.”

“How so?”

“When Alain, the son of Mithna, comes he brings the music of sleep with him on his Fairy Harp. Men in the throes of torture would sleep at the sound of it. The hounds in their kennels sleep. The vermin in the fields sleep. All sleep until Alain has once more burned Tara to the ground. No sword he brings that one, but the sleep-strain of the Crafty-Folk.

“If Cuill, son of Trenmore were still here he might find himself in need of a sword,” said Fin, grimly.

“Cuill, who failed to keep his own head upon his haughty shoulders,” countered Daatho.

“Who treats the name of Cuill, son of Trenmore, so lightly,” bristled Fin.

“One who benefited from his largesse on more than one occasion,” said Daatho, “but if you wish to speak with a clansman of Cuill’s youth, then that there Hobbler’s yer man.”

Just then a large, heavy limbed man, bowed yet not cowed by age, was walking lamely along the road.

“That man,” said Daatho, “is Fiachna, son of Conga, a man still loyal to Cuill’s memory. Rather than submit to the sway of Goll he lives a pauper’s life in a lonely hut.

“I would speak with that man,” said Fin. …

*

to be continued

Caladur: Gone…

*

… Then Lord Turkin stood,

holding the keys and spurs,  in silence,

he gazed upon his brother

and the strange, green-clad child:

for all their difference in years

Lord Ewan’s eyes and those of the boy were identical!

*

As he gazed Lord Turkin’s heart became heavy,

and he envied his brother and feared for himself.

In fear his hands twitched

and the keys clanked and the spurs clinked

and his heart leapt again in joy for his new possessions.

*

All this Ewan saw as if it were happening a life-time away.

He smiled and immediately forgot it.

The child took his hand

and they walked the length of the hall together.

*

When they reached the door the Steward stood there.

He bowed low and spoke gravely to Ewan

reminding him of the day’s itinery.

*

But Ewan and the green-clad child merely laughed,

and the Steward realising they laughed at him became enraged…

*

Then, Lord Turkin caught up to Ewan in haste,

and laid his hand upon his brother’s arm saying,

“What is this that you do?

No man leaves all he has, departing suddenly, taking nothing!”

But Ewan and the strange, green-clad child went from him in silence.

*

They passed swiftly along the road,

under the woodside,

quickly disappearing from sight…

*

 

 

 

Caladur: Leaving…

*

… The steward, casting a sly glance back into the hall

through the great hinges on its doors

saw that his Lord and the boy were now

conversing in the child’s own outlandish tongue.

*

Then Ewan rose to stand and called to him as of yore

when they had fought together at war.

*

The steward immediately ran to his Lord

Who made him summon the whole household.

*

So, the household were summoned and they gathered before the dias,

on which stood Lord Ewan and the strange, green-clad child,

with at their head Lord Ewan’s brother Turkin.

*

Lord Ewan bade his brother kneel

and taking his sword from him and laying it upon both shoulders

he made him a knight there and then, and he took the keys

from his own belt and the gold spurs from his own feet and he said aloud,

“I call on you all to witness the transfer of my knighthood

and the honour of Fulnay to my brother Lord Turkin,

and by these actions, my house, my goods and all of my lands.”…

*

Bent-Black-Sun-Day…

 

*

“There is one thing that still troubles me,” said Wen who really seemed to have the ‘Rapunzel’ thing stuck in her craw.

“Yaas,” said Don, in his most irritating drawl.

“Shouldn’t the seasons be sisters?”

“On what grounds?”

“Well, I’m presuming that Mother Nature is an Enchantress precisely because of things like her ability to transform the world through her seasons.”

“This is true, Little Grub,” said Don with the kind of tired air which suggested he would not be around for very much longer, “but the seasons are really contrived in so far as they are useful for sustaining our life through crops. Agriculture is a technology. A very ancient technology but a technology nonetheless. In that sense the seasons are man made.”

“And that’s why we can have the debate over whether or not there are really three or four seasons,” said Wen.

“Or even two. In the four season year there are really only two pivotal points and their inverse or reflection.

Wen considered this idea for a bit and then pressed on with her original line of thought, “so the brothers are really alchemists?”

“The first alchemists, adding their art to nature, I like that, Little Grub, can I go to sleep now?”

“Only if you give me something to ponder while you’re gone.”

“You seem to be doing rather well in your pondering without me.”

“But it’s not the same.”

“Why, oh why, my Little Grub, would the day of the king’s death be now known to us as Bent-Black-Sun-Day?”

*

A short time later Don re-entered the temple room somewhat bleary-eyed.

“Better?” asked Wen doing a poor job of camouflaging her excitement.

“You have been grubbing,” stated Don by way of an answer.

“The bent twig of darkness grows the petals of the morning and shows to them the birds singing just behind the dawning.”

“Ah, Little Grub, ’tis music to my ears.”

*

Parsley and Partiality…

rs-268

*

… “I’ve answered two of the questions,” smiles Wen.

“You mean you’ve found solutions to two of the problems, and which would they be then?”

“I know where the tower is situated.”

“Ah, I thought you had the air of one who has been grubbing about in old books about you.”

“If by ‘grubbing about’ you mean research, I feel no sense of shame about that,” says Wen.

“Petrosinella!”

“You already know about it?”

“I know of it, yes, but I wouldn’t like to steal your thunder.”

“The tower is built in a wood.”

“Would your second ‘answer’ have anything to do with how the tower was constructed, by any chance?”

“It might,” says Wen, “and we needn’t have done any ‘grubbing’ for this one, we could have worked it out.”

“Ah, Little Grub, ’tis music to my ears… Pray explicate! Pray explicate…”

“As the Old Woman is an Enchantress, in the Grimm version, and an Ogress in Basile’s, the tower was constructed around the girl and then raised by enchantment.”

“A woman wearing a tower, naturally, I know not how I missed it, but why is the owner of the herb garden… the Enchantress… the Ogress, or even, the Sorceress, an Old Woman, and without resorting to names, who is she?”

“More problems,” says Wen.

“I am afraid so.” …

*

…and Red-Fox.

*

…In another part of the meadow Red-Fox was hunting mice for breakfast. He saw one and jumped on him with with all four feet but the little fellow got away.

In his disappointment Red-Fox heard a distant call, “Bring a knife!”

He started in the direction of the call and as it got louder he continued.

By and by he came across the body of Buffalo lying on the ground with Field-Mouse still standing atop it.

“If you dress this Buffalo for me I shall give you some of the meat,” said Field-Mouse.

“Very well,” said Red-Fox, and he dressed the Buffalo while Field-Mouse sat on a mound nearby looking on and giving orders.

“You must cut the meat into small pieces.”

When Red-Fox had finished his work Field-Mouse paid him with a small piece of liver. He swallowed it quickly and smacked his lips, “May I have another piece?” he asked.

“Why, I gave you the largest piece,” said Field-Mouse, “How greedy you are. You may have some of the blood clots.”

So poor Red-Fox took the blood clots and licked the grass. He really was very hungry, “I have six little ones to feed at home, may I take some more meat?”

“You can take the four feet of Buffalo,” said Field-Mouse, “that ought to be enough for your little ones.”

“And what of my wife,” said Red-Fox.

“Why, she can have the head,” said Field-Mouse.

Thereupon Red-Fox jumped on Field-Mouse who just had time to let out a faint squeak before he disappeared.

*