Polytheist Epistemology

Finally a visit to the barber today, so I look less like someone who sleeps in a ditch and shouts at pigeons. To mark the day, here is a meander through some philosophical concepts around epistemology from a polytheist stance - how do polytheists know what they claim to know? How can the truthfulness of claims be assessed (and what do we even mean by truth anyway)?

There will be a follow-up to this at some stage, as there are other ides that I want to explore - and if anyone has any questions or reflections of their own, it will help to shape where the next video ramble goes.

Archetypal Psychology

This seminar (conducted as part of my day job) gives a basic introduction to some ideas from within Analytic and Archetypal Psychology, which might be of interest to some of the people who subscribe to this blog. If there is sufficient interest, I'll do a more in-depth one next year.

The Wolf Girl

This story is set in Ireland but combines a number of different elements from various cultures - particularly French rural tales. A woman encounters a faoladh - one of the werewolf-like creatures of Irish folklore - and eventually has a strange child. The story is also partly inspired by the visual image of Danielle Dax as the wolf girl in the brilliant 1984 film "Company of Wolves".

There are a number of Central and Eastern European traditions of wolfherders - sometimes people with magical powers over wolves, or sometimes werewolf-like creatures which occasionally brush up against humanity. At some juncture I will record stories about the volcko, lloberus, dzgyrag, Puldu Kaldana and others.

The rather stunning artwork inset is, I believe, by Caitriona Maire MacDougall.

This is recorded partly to celebrate the summer solstice and partly because this weekend would have been the Wolfshead Pagan Camp (which has been running for several years in Suffolk). Unfortunately the drea…

Connor and the Wolf

A short story that I found in one of Lady "Sperenza" Wilde's collection of Irish folklore. An impoverished Irish farmer loses two of his cows only to be recompensed by a family of werewolves. The story illustrates the somewhat different nature of lycanthropes in Ireland. The legend is somewhat like an Irish counterpart to Androcles and the Lion - whether this was deliberately so or simply reflects a common theme encountered in many cultures around the world.
This is recorded partly to celebrate the summer solstice and partly because this weekend would have been the Wolfshead Pagan Camp (which has been running for several years in Suffolk). Unfortunately the dread coronavirus has put paid to out ability to meet up at the White Horse pub in Finningham for the gathering (at least for now). There is a strange tradition of wolf imagery running through Suffolk history, which I will highlight at some point on this blog.

Pantheon - The Egyptians

A couple of days ago my publisher let me know that the latest book had been completed (in terms of cover art, lay out etc.). "Pantheon - The Egyptians" will be in the shops for May 2021, which is some positive news for me amidst the sea of gloom in the world at present. The book explores Egyptian mythology, history, theology, ritual and so forth - details on how to purchase will be added once the book becomes available for retail.
To mark the event I have finally found time away from work to make a short recording of a prayer to Tehuti, the ibis-headed god of writing, which is given in both English and a reconstruction of how it may have sounded in the language of Kemet. There on ongoing discussions between linguists as to exactly how early Egyptian may have sounded, which is partly a problem of vowel sounds which readers were expected to know rather than having made explicit to them in reading hieroglyphs. The people who carved the letters clearly never envisioned a day wh…

The One Day War

There is a tale within a tale that appears in the myths of Herakles, told to him by a thief - whom he lets go after he finds the story amusing. In Greek it is called the Batrachomyomachia - the War Between the Frogs and Mice.
Authorship is disputed, but Homer is a likely candidate. The piece is a comic aside and widely believed to be a satire, both of the overblown Epic poetry style of many Greek writers who somewhat ladled it on with a trowel, but also perhaps of much human politics and how the Gods might actually view our endless disputes and fractiousness. What to us is so massively important may to them seem really quite petty.
This is my much shortened version of the story, just as a bit of levity in times of stress (both personal and global). The beard will soon be full Dumbledore if the barbers do not open in the next few weeks.

The Priest and the Bird

This story is one that I made up (mostly as I went along, as you may notice!). However, it draws on a number of folklore traditions about robins, both accounts of how they got their red breasts, but also their curious and magical behaviour. The Church has accrued a number of traditions about this bird, such as the redness coming from Christ's blood as the previously brown bird tried to pull out either the thorns from the crown or the nails from Jesus' wrists during the crucifixion, or that it was a burn mark from hell fire as the bird tried to bring water to those in torment. In either case the redness results from an act of mercy.
There are suggestions of a link to the mythology of Thor, but this has proved elusive to pin down beyond endless repetition of the same vague reference on websites. Irish myth states that Queen Medb has a pet robin and a pet squirrel, and one of the Welsh triads gives the robin as amongst the most blessed of animals.
I wanted to record a story abou…