My open blog for people who want to read my books,articles, and any other things that I might produce, keep track of storytelling engagements, listen to my less demented rantings, and generally play nice (or naughty, I'm easy... as is widely known).
This is my first venture into children's poetry, which first appeared in 'Bard Song'. I have since written a follow up for the nameless children's next adventure with their eccentric uncle (yet to appear in print) and have a third planned. Carbuncle is based on one of my childhood cinematic heroes, Peter Lorre. The story was originally written for my godson Oscar as part of a hand-made book of stories, some of which I may one day send off to my publisher. The dog that appears in the poem is one of Oscar's real life pets, and the journey up White Horse Hill did actually happen many years ago (though not quite in the way it appears here).
I've no idea if children actually like this poem (never having read it directly to any), but it has received some positive response from adults so far. Maybe someone could read it to their sprogs and let me know the response?
I've been meaning to post a review of this book for some while, as it is one of the recommended reading texts on the Classical Polytheism module of the Religious Studies degree that I run. Brendan Myers' "The Earth, the Gods and the Soul" is an excellent resource in the study of both early pagan thought and its more modern expressions. The author summarises the key beliefs of a wide range of philosophers who either were pagan (such as Pythagoras) or whose writings have had a strong influence upon the development of pagan philosophies (such as Rousseau and Graves).
Myers' precis of the central beliefs is both accurate and succinct, and he ties the assorted ideas together to build an overarching set of arguments around the necessity for institutional structure to help in the building (or rather rebuilding) of a cohesive philosophy of the world, weaving together such strands as animism and Neo-Platonism.
The author also addresses such issues as the enchantment of t…
Today is the eve of Calan Mai - the first of May, Beltane in the Gaelic calendar. The story below is the tale of Rhiannon's child. She is described as a magical queen in the Mabinogion, but some historians and many pagans believe that she is the euhemerised form of an ancient British horse deity, Rigantona. She certainly has a presence in ritual.
The story was recorded in two halves, due to an interruption, so I have learnt how to splice them together - hopefully without causing too much discordance. Calan Mai, or Beltane, marks teh start of summer - hope you all have a peaceful, productive, and joyful one.
There's a chap who lives a few streets away from me and whom I sometimes bump into whilst walking the hounds. He is always very pleasant and seems well informed on many issues. He's also a devout Christian (not sure which denomination), and often talks about religious matters. Recently he spoke to me about the destruction of antiquities by Daesh in what is now Islamic State territory. He sympathised about how horrified I must be by their historical loss, but then suddenly said that - as some of the temples were associated with "Baal worship" - maybe their loss was a good thing as it would save people from being tempted into devoting themselves to Baal.
It was an awkward moment where I wondered whether to laugh, cry, or rage. By the time I'd made up my mind, he'd already gone on his way. I don't even know where to really begin with this sentiment - it is horrifying when members of one religion crow about the destruction of the sites sacred to another, more…