Category Archives: Mythology

Curse of the Hay-Collar: Lame-Buck…

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Now, that night at meat was an uncomfortable one for the Lord

of Dyved, for his companions found sport in ribbing him about

the day’s proceedings upon the Fair-Mound of Arbeth.

 

“So, was it blows and wounds or were wonders seen today?” asked Idig Arm-Strong.

“Why, I saw a great wonder,” said Tyrnonos. “A woman of uncommon looks rode past that

hill today, only to pull away from our chase without varying her pace.”

“And there’s some who’d say, they saw no looks at all either that way or this,” said

Caradawg-the-Hound.

 And all the company laughed.

 “And there’s others who’d say, that such a slight was no wonder at all but a blow,” said

Hevydd Broad-Back.

And the company laughed louder.

And so it went…

Until even Talyssinthe-Bard stood up and sang a ribald lay about a lame buck.  …

Excerpt from, Crucible of the Sun

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Crucible of the SunCrucible of the Sun: The Mabinogion Retold

By Stuart France

“I will dazzle like fire, hard and high, will flame the breaths of my desire; chief revealer of that which is uttered and that which is asked, tonight I make naked the word.”

Once upon a time we gathered around the flames of the hearth and listened to tales of long ago and far away. The stories grew in the telling, weaving ancient lore whose origins lie somewhere in a misty past with tales of high adventure, battles, magic and love. In Crucible of the Sun this oral tradition is echoed in a unique and lyrical interpretation of tales from the Mabinogion, a collection of stories whose roots reach back into the depths of time, spanning the world and reflecting universal themes of myth and legend.

These tales capture a narrative deeply entwined through the history of the Celtic peoples of the British Isles, drawing on roots that are embedded in the heart of the land. In Crucible of the Sun the author retells these timeless stories in his own inimitable and eminently readable style. The author’s deep exploration of the human condition and the transitions between the inner worlds illuminate this retelling, casting a unique light on the symbolism hidden beyond the words, unravelling the complex skein of imagery and weaving a rich tapestry of magic.

‘The author’s creative and scholarly engagement with the material and enthusiasm for the original tales is evident throughout.’ The Welsh Books Council

‘I found it very inspiring!’ Philip Carr-Gomm, Former Chosen Chief, Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (O.B.O.D.)

Available worldwide via Amazon, in paperback and for Kindle.

ISBN-10: 1494785137

ISBN-13: 978-1494785130

 

Curse of the Hay-Collar: Wonders and Wounds…

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… So, the Lord of Dyved climbed the Fair-Mound of Arbeth,

and the seven chieftains of Dyved climbed with him…

 As they sat in counsel on the top of the Fair-Mound, they saw a woman, wearing gold

brocade, riding by, on a pale white horse.

Of comely bearing, and fair in face and form she was, and a fine, fitting, match for any young man.

She was approaching along the highway which ran past the hill.

“Men,” said Tyrnonos, Thunder-of-Water, “does anyone here recognise that woman?”

“No, indeed, Lord,” they all answered.

“Then let one of you go to find out who she is,” said Tyrnonos.

 

Caradawg went but by the time he had reached the highway, despite her

steady pace,  the horse-woman had already gone past without so much as

a look to the left or to the right of her. He followed on foot as best he could

but the greater his speed, the farther ahead she drew and when he saw

that his pursuit was in vain he returned to the Fair-Mound and said to

Tyrnonos, “Lord, it is pointless to follow the horse-woman on foot.”

Now, Tyrnonos, who was a prince among princes, was not used to such treatment from

woman kind.

“All right,”  he said, “but there is some meaning in this, let us return to the hall

and see if she rides past this way tomorrow.”

“A wonder indeed, we have seen today,” said Unig-the-Tall to Hevyd Broad-Back,

“a woman who will not stop for the lord and his company!” …

Excerpt from, Crucible of the Sun

***

Crucible of the SunCrucible of the Sun: The Mabinogion Retold

By Stuart France

“I will dazzle like fire, hard and high, will flame the breaths of my desire; chief revealer of that which is uttered and that which is asked, tonight I make naked the word.”

Once upon a time we gathered around the flames of the hearth and listened to tales of long ago and far away. The stories grew in the telling, weaving ancient lore whose origins lie somewhere in a misty past with tales of high adventure, battles, magic and love. In Crucible of the Sun this oral tradition is echoed in a unique and lyrical interpretation of tales from the Mabinogion, a collection of stories whose roots reach back into the depths of time, spanning the world and reflecting universal themes of myth and legend.

These tales capture a narrative deeply entwined through the history of the Celtic peoples of the British Isles, drawing on roots that are embedded in the heart of the land. In Crucible of the Sun the author retells these timeless stories in his own inimitable and eminently readable style. The author’s deep exploration of the human condition and the transitions between the inner worlds illuminate this retelling, casting a unique light on the symbolism hidden beyond the words, unravelling the complex skein of imagery and weaving a rich tapestry of magic.

‘The author’s creative and scholarly engagement with the material and enthusiasm for the original tales is evident throughout.’ The Welsh Books Council

‘I found it very inspiring!’ Philip Carr-Gomm, Former Chosen Chief, Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (O.B.O.D.)

Available worldwide via Amazon, in paperback and for Kindle.

ISBN-10: 1494785137

ISBN-13: 978-1494785130

 

Curse of the Hay-Collar…

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Tyrnonos, Lord of Dyved, ruled the seven townships in a dark land.

 

Tyrnonos was known as the Thunder-of-Water,

for his mother found him in a cavern, behind a water-fall,

and there was no braver man in all the realm.

 

Tyrnonos had a mare in his household and he regarded her as the best horse in all nine

worlds.  Every May Eve, she foaled, but no one ever knew anything more of the foal,

so that the Lord of Dyved said to his Master of the Horse, “We are fools to lose the foal of

this mare every year.”

                        “But, what can be done about it?” asked the Master of the Horse.

                        “Three days hence it will be May Eve,” said Tyrnonos, “and I intend to find out

what fate the foals have met with.”

 

 So, Tyrnonos went with the seven chieftains of Dyved to hold counsel upon the

Fair-Mound of Arbeth, and to see what could be seen.

 

The seven chieftains  of Dyved who were to sit in counsel  with Tyrnonos where these:

                        Caradawg-the-Hound, Hevyd Broad-Back, Unig-the-Tall, Idig Arm-Strong,

Hwlch Bone-Lip, Ynawg-the-Small and Gruddyeu Long-Head.

 

Said Talyssin-the-Bard to Tyrnonos before he set foot on the Fair-Mound, “Lord, the ancient

lays are clear as a scryed lake and on one point they all agree; it is the property of this hill

that whenever a man of royal blood sits upon it, one of two things occurs: either he

receives blows and wounds, or else, he sees a wonder.”

 

 “Well, I do not expect to receive blows and wounds in the company of such a host as this,”

said Tyrnonos, Thunder-of-Water, “but I should very much like to see a wonder.” …

Excerpt from, Crucible of the Sun

***

Crucible of the SunCrucible of the Sun: The Mabinogion Retold

By Stuart France

“I will dazzle like fire, hard and high, will flame the breaths of my desire; chief revealer of that which is uttered and that which is asked, tonight I make naked the word.”

Once upon a time we gathered around the flames of the hearth and listened to tales of long ago and far away. The stories grew in the telling, weaving ancient lore whose origins lie somewhere in a misty past with tales of high adventure, battles, magic and love. In Crucible of the Sun this oral tradition is echoed in a unique and lyrical interpretation of tales from the Mabinogion, a collection of stories whose roots reach back into the depths of time, spanning the world and reflecting universal themes of myth and legend.

These tales capture a narrative deeply entwined through the history of the Celtic peoples of the British Isles, drawing on roots that are embedded in the heart of the land. In Crucible of the Sun the author retells these timeless stories in his own inimitable and eminently readable style. The author’s deep exploration of the human condition and the transitions between the inner worlds illuminate this retelling, casting a unique light on the symbolism hidden beyond the words, unravelling the complex skein of imagery and weaving a rich tapestry of magic.

‘The author’s creative and scholarly engagement with the material and enthusiasm for the original tales is evident throughout.’ The Welsh Books Council

‘I found it very inspiring!’ Philip Carr-Gomm, Former Chosen Chief, Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (O.B.O.D.)

Available worldwide via Amazon, in paperback and for Kindle.

ISBN-10: 1494785137

ISBN-13: 978-1494785130

Field-Mouse…

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Field-Mouse was out gathering wild-beans for winter when Buffalo came down to the meadow to graze.

‘He will mow down the long-grass with his prickly tongue and there will be no where left to hide,’ thought Field-Mouse, ‘I will offer him battle, like a man would do.’

“Ho, Buffalo!” squeaked Field-Mouse, “I challenge you to a fight.”

Buffalo went on grazing.

Field-Mouse repeated his challenge but still Buffalo went on grazing.

With his third challenge, Field-Mouse laughed contemptuously at Buffalo’s inaction.

“You had better keep still, little one,” said Buffalo, still grazing, “or I will come over there and step on you.”

“You can’t do it!” squeaked Field-Mouse in defiance.

“If you don’t be quiet I will certainly put an end to you,” said Buffalo, quietly.

“I dare you!” said Field-Mouse.

Before Field-Mouse had quite finished, Buffalo charged at him…

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Mister Fox and the Demon Dogs…

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Something untoward is about to happen

on the edge of Langsett Forest…

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The Langsett Foxes have their Fire Festival

usurped by a Pack of Hellish looking Hounds…

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And you think Charles James Fox will be okay with that? …

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fox demon dogs collage

Bone-white winter gleams in the moonlight. Silent shadows hunt in the night…. The Hunter’s Moon sails above dark hills, caught in the empty fingers of the treetops. A mysterious company gathers to kindle the flames of the dance; arcane patterns of fire woven in the blackness to the beat of the drums. Silent as ghosts in the darkness, others follow their trail, lurking in the night to watch… and wait… seeking their chance to usurp the forest throne… Old Fox wanes with the fading year, his fur touched by the silver of frost. Can he hold his realm against the ghostly challenge of the Demon Dogs? Yet all is not lost. They have seen it in the smoke… three magicians use their arts to breathe life into the spirit of Fox…

demon dogs cover front.do

A  Graphic Novel from France and Vincent

featuring the elusive Mister Fox.

Available on Amazon UK, Amazon US and worldwide.

For more details of Mister Fox, visit his earth…

The Marsh King’s Daughter II…

 

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‘…The Earth will see you on through this time…’

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…There always is.

The Marsh King sinks back beneath the waters with the unnamed Egyptian Princess in his thrall.

Some time later a green shoot with a water-lily bud appears above the slime.

The bud unfurls to reveal a small girl-child.

The child is spotted by a watching Stork and is taken to a barren Viking couple who, quite naturally, are enthralled with the gift and immediately besotted with the child.

Children normally display both the physical and temperamental characteristics of their ancestors, predominantly their parents, and usually in more or less equal measure.

Here, these tendencies are pronounced.

Helga, for this is the name the Viking couple choose for her, is a beautiful girl-child during the day, albeit displaying a strong blood-thirsty streak, whilst as the sun sets she turns into a compassionate, toad-like monster!

Is the name significant?

How important is it that Helga is the only named character in the story?

Could any device be better chosen to make us consider the diurnal polarity of Day and Night and their profound affects upon our consciousness and its natural tendencies?

Cold mountain…

Warm earth…

If we are in any doubt as to what we are to make of these devices we are introduced to the somnambulistic nature of both Denmark and the nether regions of Marsh-Land later in the tale.

To make matters worse, Helga’s apparent beauty beguiles all those who gaze upon her and blinds them to the reality of her brutish day-time nature.

It is only her adoptive Viking mother who witnesses and begins to see and realise the true nature of the problem presented to both her, and by extension us, in the form and expressions displayed via the mysterious Marsh King’s Daughter.

There is more…

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Infinite Regress…

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THE INFINITE HIGHWAY

If one always returns to where one came from,

then one’s destination is halfway between where

one came from and where one is going to.

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HALFWAY TO INFINITY

Every step along the infinite highway is simultaneously

an equal distance between an infinite future

and an infinite past, that is, it is halfway to and from infinity.

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EQUAL PARTS OF INFINITY

To find the halfway point of any distance,

one first splits the distance into equal parts then,

when the number of equal parts remaining is equal

to those that have passed one has one’s halfway point.

The equal parts of infinity, however, are all infinite.

Infinity is the only thing that can be split into… infinities.

This is known as counting the for evers of forever.

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FOREVER YOURS

Reflecting upon all this it appears…

‘The Ancient of Days’

Is a good poetic name for infinity.

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THE INFINITE HOTEL

A Traveller approaches the Infinite Hotel and asks The Ancient of Days for a room.

Now, there are an infinite number of rooms in the Infinite Hotel, however, the Traveller is informed by the Ancient of Days that all the rooms in the Infinite Hotel are taken.

Q: How does the Traveller get a room in the Infinite Hotel ?

A: The Ancient of Days asks the occupants of Room 1 to move into Room 2 and the occupants of Room 2 to move into Room 3…and so on… and on… Infinitely, thus making room for the Traveller.

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INFINITE EXPANSE

At any one time in the Infinite Hotel then, there will be any number of people on the corridors moving from one room to the next, and this number will be dependent on how many Travellers are seeking a room in the Infinite Hotel…

Consider this…

All the rooms in the Infinite Hotel have a name…

All the rooms in the Infinite Hotel have the same name…

The name of all the rooms in the Infinite Hotel is ‘After-Life’.

Consider this…

All the corridors in the Infinite Hotel have a name…

All the corridors in the Infinite Hotel have the same name…

The name of all the corridors in the Infinite Hotel is ‘Life’.

By extension…

The occupants of each room in the Infinite Hotel have names…

The occupants in the room before yours are called ‘Parents’

The occupants in the room after yours are called ‘Children.’

The act of moving from room to corridor is called ‘Birth’.

The act of moving from corridor to room is called ‘Death’.

‘Life Duration’ in the Infinite Hotel can be defined as,

the amount of time spent in the corridor

 before moving into the next room…

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IN FIN…

Once one

Never none

Forever one.

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Stanton Drew…

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Names matter.

For practical purposes they are like elephants and flowing water.

They follow the shortest, flatest path to wherever they are going, and en route the jagged edges first get smoothed and then get worn away.

In this particular case we are on the path to understanding…

‘Standing Stones of the Druids’

‘STANding sTONes of the DRUids’

STAN-TON-DRU

Stanton Drew…

There are a number of ‘Stantons’ in England with an attendant ancient site, and for a long time these places were associated with Druids although we now know that they were around a lot earlier than the period normally associated with those infamous ‘Old-Time-Sages’.

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HM15 150

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This ‘fella’, could easily be a druid, although he could just as easily be a she, in which case one would be tempted to call her a witch.

It is the first stone that greets you at the site.

If you look closely at the first photograph you can see some of the other stones lurking in the background.

On our first visit to this site we were struck by how utterly ‘other’ the stones appeared in relation to their environment.

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Pieman…

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When Pieman was very young,

and living at the beginnings of time,

he often slept with the Cave Bear Clan during stormy weather.

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Over the course of many such nights,

Big Brown Bear who was also very old,

taught Pieman the nature of his belly-roar.

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To this day,

Pieman makes use of his roar in dreams,

but only to pacify strangers and to quiet the rowdy,

and those of us who have difficulty understanding the Ancient Tales.

Thor’s Cave…

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Had there been any doubt about where we were going next…

Which there wasn’t.

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For once, our destination proved quite easy to get to.

A car park was suggested by the guidebook and in the car park were easy to follow directions.

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Not too far away to be too uncomfortable.

But just far enough away to deter commercialisation.

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These are all metaphors.

And the metaphors continued at the mouth of the cave.

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Whose approach to the interior provided an effective deterrent against the casual tourist.

But not to us because we are not.

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The thing about caves…

You never want them to end…

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But they always do.

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Which is why we deal in metaphysics.

The way beyond the end of the earth is Geometry.

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Which does not so much measure the earth.

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As inform it…

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