Showing posts from May, 2015

The Ipswich Witch

I wanted to write a glowing review of a book on Goodreads, but it's not even on their system, and Amazon won't let me write a review until I have purchased a book via them (which I do not wish to do). So I have decided to post it here instead, and hope that it circulates to a decent-sized audience who will rush forth to buy the book and keep the author's in the public consciousness!
'The Ipswich Witch' by David Jones (someone I also happen to know via his involvement with the interfaith movement) is a fascinating and smoothly written account not only of the trial of Mother Lackland, but of witchcraft trials in general within Suffolk in the 16th and 17th centuries. The historical research is excellent and goes into far greater depth than any other book I have looked at on the subject. The author draws reasoned conclusions based on the evidence, and challenges some of the conventional thoughts surrounding both Lackland herself and also Matthew Hopkins, the infamous …

Wolf Star

Having spent an absolutely lovely day down at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust ( in Reading, walking with the wolves in the company of two friends (and various strangers), I thought I would round the day off with a wolf story.
This is the shortest wolf myth that I know, and comes from the Skidi-Pawnee nation of North America. It tells of how the Wolf Star (called Sirius by Europeans) took an unexpected role in the creation of the world. It's an interesting tale which has echoes to other stories from other parts of the world.

A Fish Supper

Happy Beltane everyone. My hawthorn tree is yet to blossom, so I haven't lit my two fires as yet - but many other people around the world are celebrating the start of summer in their own locales, so here is a story set at Beltane for you to (hopefully) enjoy.
It's the story of the youthful Fionn Mac Cumhail and how he comes to eat the Salmon of Wisdom and so gain both vast knowledge and magical powers. It's a tale of blossoming adulthood, self-discovery, burgeoning passion, and the personal sacrifice of both a mother who gives up her baby to keep him safe, or two druid women who likewise give up the boy they have raised and loved to keep him safe, and an old druid sage who gives up the wisdom he has spent a lifetime searching for in order for a callow youth to have it.
There is much more that could be said about this simple tale, but maybe I'll save it for some other time.