Showing posts from September, 2017

Introducing paganism

Following a discussion on social media with a friend who was looking for resources to explain paganism to non-pagans (who may not always want to wade through a book), I recorded this to see if it woud be of use. If it is I may add one or two additional recordings later - if not, I won't!

Excuse the fact that it is all a bit Fanny Craddock, as I was multi-tasking at the time (too many things to do, not enough time to do them in).

National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day. I was invited to attend an event, but got home late and missed the start - so this is my contribution by way of getting my finger out and making more of an effort.
The recording features two of my own poems appearing in the collection Moon Poets - The Song of Mr Tumnus & Setka Waits. I was hoping to write something new for today, but I left my brain on the train so the inspiration may be as erratic as our erstwhile transport network (I still blame Dr Beeching) in terms of when it arrives.
The last poem is by Hilary Llewellyn-Williams, who lives in Wales and writes quite a few poems inspired by the folklore and magical landscapes of the country. Her poem is called Changeling and appears in her 1997 collection Animaculture. She is a great poet and I recommend her work. I'll be including at least one of her compositions in the talk I am giving in December on Celtic poetry at West Suffolk College for the series of Edmunds Lectures.

Equinox tales

The autumn equinox is almost upon us, which has significance for several pagan traditions - though strangely very few ancient myths directly associated with it. From a secular viewpoint, it was the date on which the French abolished their monarchy and became a republic in 1792. I am not a republican myself (world politics is not currently enthusing me as to the joys of following such a political route), but do know of one pagan myth - or legend, at least (inasmuch as it depicts a purportedly historical event with no reference to magical or mystical goings on) - about how a much older civilisation became a republic.
This is the tragic tale of Lucretia, a Roman matron subjected to horrible treatment by the lecherous son of King Tarquin. I rarely tell historical tales, so this is not particularly well told. The events accounted for the Roman historians do not take place at the equinox, so the only tenuous connection to this time of year is republicanism.
The response she takes to the te…

Eisteddfod 2017

On Saturday 7th October, 11am to 4pm, the seventh annual Suffolk Eisteddfod will be held in the long room at PJ McGinty's pub in Ipswich, adjacent to the central bus station. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, an eisteddfod is a contest for poets and storytellers to flex their skills. Our contest is divided into two rounds, one for the poets (who must compose an original work on the theme of A LIFE CHANGING EVENT) and a longer round for the storytellers (who must regale an original - or their personal spin on a traditional - tale on the theme of THE WILD WOOD).

Alongside performers, there is plenty of room for audiences to cheer their favourite (and help them to win, because judges take audience reaction into account), all whilst enjoying a Guinness or two from the bar. The pub provide bar meals as well, so you can enjoy a snack between the rounds.
The two winners get awarded the title of Chief Skald of Suffolk - a skald being rather like the Anglo-Saxon version of a Celtic …