Showing posts from June, 2018

Suffolk Day

Today is both the summer solstice and Suffolk Day (a celebration of my home county instituted a year or two back by the local council). Having got up at silly o'clock to see the sun rise over the eastern seaboard - see photo inset showing the Golden Road to the Dawn - and I'm not quite with it as yet. I was going to record a long Lithuanian myth about the fairies of midsummer and the fern flowers (there are quite a few tales from that region of the world involving solstice fairies), but settled on a short local Suffolk tale instead.
A late 17th century account mentions an odd incident in Bury St Edmunds involving the local MP who believed himself under attack by witches. The happening is given as contemporary fact with eye witness testimony, rather than as ancient folklore. The account is quite brief and does not give a reason why the MP thought as he did, nor does it describe what happened next. So, being a typical storyteller, I have padded the gaps. The witches in question…

Dream of Oengus

The Dream, or Aislinge, is an old tale of how the Irish god of love himself finally falls in love with a woman he initially only knows through a dream. It's a lovely, gentle tale which exists as a contrast to all those lusty and bloodthirsty tales of battle and raunchy shenanigans.

When my brain is working again (it's been killed off by all the end-of-term marking and second marking), I'll expand this introductory written spiel with some thoughts on possible meanings behind the story - such as why the swan maiden's surname means aril (the fruit of the yew tree). In the meantime, pasted below is one of my poems about this story which was first published in my book Bard Song.

The Dream of Óengus Óg

Love is not pink, but bright red, Aril bed, where lovers link With chains of gold feather-light, Mute white swan’s wings safe enfold.
Four are my bright winged kisses, That Man’s mate misses, in spite Of the kiss of her “Old Man” ~ How can he compare to This?
I am the heat of the hear…

The Good Old Days

A shortish waffle about the way some modern pagans tend to view a romanticised past and our relationship with history. The past may be another country, but it can also be a blueprint for the future we are trying to create.