Showing posts from September, 2019

The Antlered One

Some years ago I had a dream - I was meditating but fell asleep and this is what I remember on waking up in a heap. There are no known surviving stories featuring the deity known only from a single inscribed (and incomplete) dedication found in France. Similar images of an antlered man with attendant wild animals appear on iconography around Gaul and Britain, though there is no guarantee that they all represent the same divine personage. Whatever the paltry nature of the historical evidence, he is a figure that stands large in modern paganism and has captured the hearts and souls of many.

This story is probably no more than the by-product of a disordered mind, but it may interest some viewers nonetheless as a story with mythic elements to it. I have only told it two or three times since the dream, including earlier today in front of a tree in darkest Suffolk that may have been a portal to Narnia or more likely somewhere much stranger. It was definitely listening.

Astride the River

As a break from wading through research methodologies (a subject designed to cure insomnia and eviscerate the soul) I recorded the tale below at the suggestion of several friends. It is an excerpt from the Second battle of Mag Tured, a great epic of Irish mythology in which the Gods (who have not long knocked the earlier inhabitants, the Fir Bolg, into place) take on the monstrous Fomori who dwell in the ocean depths. This excerpt mostly focuses on the encounter between the corvid goddess Morrigan and the jovial Dagda at the crossing of the River Unius.

Part of a lecture series I am giving later in October to a community group in Suffolk will deal with the topic of titanomachy (wars in Heaven). Cosmic clashes between rival forces can be found in many mythologies. The Irish version is very much centred upon Earth rather than in paradisaical realms. It may be a topic to post about after the lecture series is over and I've had chance to reflect on the specifics of the Irish take rat…

Game of Crones

This Saturday evening, 21st September, I am hosting a storytelling event in Ipswich at the Oddfellows Hall as a fundraiser for Age Concern. Tickets are £5 (you can pay on the door) for an evening of myths and legends centred on old women, be they sweet grandmothers or flesh-eating hags that are mad, bad, and dangerous to know. Stories may not be suitable for young children, so parental discretion advised.

The programme of international stories for the evening is as below, running from 7.30pm to roughly 10pm (car parking is available a few minutes walk away) -

The Cauldron of Ceridwen The Witch of the Woods INTERVAL Frau Holde’s House The Old Woman of Winter Anansi and Enum

Refreshments will be provided, but feel free to bring a bottle and chuck a few coins in the charity tin and get use of the glasses and suchlike in the hall. Spread the word to anyone you think would enjoy attending!

As an update, we raised just over £25 for Age Concern. Not a huge turn out, but a jolly one and people see…


Term is about to restart and I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. I was going to record a philosophical witter, but my remaining brain cell needs warming up first! This poem was written by Charles MacKay, detailing the fate of a fickle article who falls for the charms of a Kelpie. It appears in a book given to me Christmas gone, the Book of Fairy Poems, and was written some time prior to 1872 - though I haven't pinned down the exact year.

The rather charming illustration inset left is by Warwick Goble, whose work appears in the same book that I have the poem in. Most descriptions of kelpies do not seem as pleasant or whimsical as the one in the one Goble came up with - but who can say for sure what they look like (given that few people ever live long enough to tell)?