Saturday, 25 July 2009

The Wicker Man

I've watched "The Wicker Man" again....the 1973 ever.

Stirling performances by Edward Woodward as the overtly xian policeman, Christopher Lee as the heathen Lord Summerisle and of course; the beautiful, alluring Brit Ekland as Willow, the landlords daughter!

The film is full of pagan/heathen imagery, with music especially written for the film; which adds to the atmosphere as all good music for good movies does.

Apparently, the film ran out of budget early on in the shooting of it and Christopher Lee; by then a very much sought after actor, agreed to continue and finish the film for free!

I find the film quite powerful- in story line and performances, and wonder how many actors (if any at all) were affected by the meaning of it......indeed if any were pagans to begin with!

I recommend you all to watch it....and then compare it with the latest version (with Nicolas Cage, 2006) - in my opinion a poor relation; as much as I admire NCs movies this one did not quite cut it for me.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

So it's been a long time since I was here last.....again! Nothing much going on (as usual)...

However, I've been 'studying'...leisurely...the art of Seidr (pronounced 'saithe'; meaning "to seethe"); being the native English & Northern European shamanic tradition. It can be described as trance-work and is useful for meditation and healing. In saying healing I mean spiritually, not necessarily physical (though perhaps advanced practice may encompass this aspect.)

There are numerous ritual tools used in the practice; mainly the usual Heathen 'must haves', e.g. drinking horn, seax (single edged knife), blowing horn, hammer, staff; maybe a cloak; and definitely a rattle and a drum.

It is said that the practice of Seidr is to 'journey' into the 'other-world' to seek advice from the inhabitants; be they human form or animal, Fae-folk, elves....even plants or trees (and why not?...since all contain spirit.)

I see this act as a kind of self-hypnosis to begin with; where you imagine taking a prescribed route and end up in the 'other-world'...and as you get deeper into your trance/meditation/journey, your sub-conscious mind take over and you feel that you are 'there' for real.

Now, one way of 'getting into the zone' is to produce a rhythmic drumming sound with.....wait for it.....a drum! There's a music shop near me and every time I passed it I would ask if they had a Bodhran (Irish frame drum) ...eventually they got one..a fine 18in with a bag and a tipper (beater) was cheap(ish) so I bought it.

It's amazing how many different sounds you can get from one of these instruments! I love it! I've never played one before and have been messing around with this bodhran for several weeks and getting quite familiar with the skin.

They say that each drum has a 'spirit' which could be described as a particular reverberating sound that happens when you hit a certain part of the skin. I'm happy to say that I have found the one residing in my drum.

When I've got my head sorted out from the daily grind, I'm going to find time to study & practice this art of Seidr/Journeying/Pathworking.

Oh.....and dedicate more time to this ole blog!

BTW...if you are interested, here are two books on the subject.....

The Book of Seidr by Runic John:

Shamanic Links by Adam Bear:

Monday, 4 May 2009

May Day

Today I met with some Heathen friends from HFP to celebrate May Day. I hadn't seen them since the Plough-Charming in January, so it was nice to meet again (most of us are scattered around South East England, so we don't meet much outside 'major' events/blots/celebrations).

130miles later I arrive at the agreed meeting place in a large expanse of public parkland and help to set up the "Jack-o'-the-green"/Green Man. The parade was acompanied with music played from a hurdie-gurdie and a drummer, which brought smiles from passers-by who whipped out their cameras and some asked questions about what we were doing. (Which shows how much of English tradition has been removed from the education curriculum in this country!)

After the parade we sat down to a hurried picnic and an equally rushed blot (due to the inclement weather!) calling upon the gods and goddesses of the sun/warmth/heat/light/spring/summer to do their stuff and make the season a good'un.

Although we packed up in light rainfall and a blustery wind, a good time was had by all!

and dammit.....i've mentioned the weather.....twice!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Away...but not with the faeries!

I've been 'away' seemed to be a mini-crisis where I was making up my mind as to whether or not I was or even wanted to be a heathen anymore!

Stuff like:
Gods and Godessess didn't seem to 'speak' to me anymore.
Wights seemed to have abandoned me.
Ancestors had taken a back seat.
Runes don't work for me.
Pathworking/seidr never happened or even got off the ground.
I've not 'worked' with G&Gs for a while (if ever)
Science & technology better explains life than attributing certain aspects of it to a deity (or more).
Modern life does not demand the 'cushioning' effect of G&Gs.
I'd been reading Marx & Engels literature.

Then I thought of you lot.....friends I've made.....friends I have yet to meet....and came back to my senses!

Crisis over!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Why do we moan...

...about the bloody weather!? I don't know what it's like where you live but, here in England most conversations start with/end with/consist of this...

"Too cold.....too hot.....urg, it's raining again.....can't wait til Summer.....windy, innit!?"

Like there's nothing important to worry about (Recent economic crisis springs to mind!)

My answers to the above grumbles are:

"It's's summer.....we live in the Northern Hemisphere.....I prefer Winter.....there's a giant eagle lives in the North who's flapping his wings!" (well.....not quite - I'd be laughed out of town with the last one...but you get the idea)

I can only think that this is a relatively recent whinge in the course of the history of conversation. I would imagine that our ancestors had much more to worry about 1500 years ago, however..... (LOL).....imagine this.....

"Crops failed again this year!"
"Yeah.....bloody weather!"

Monday, 12 January 2009

The Recession Hit More Than My Pocket!

Oh, yes! Tighten your belts, folks...the global recession will surely get worse before it gets better!?

Over here they're calling it the "Credit Crunch"...lucky for me, I have no credit cards to 'crunch' and my credit history is shot to pieces.

But, I still have my fingers which the greedy money-men are gleefully but slo-oowly turning the thumb-screws on...LOL!

As the title says, the recession hit more than my pocket...perhaps on a lighter note, my hairline has taken a beating, too! HANG ON!.....That's been receding for years!

Oh! The joys of middle-age! ( it anyway!)

Here's a thought.....perhaps they should stop spending (our!) money on needless wars (Afghanistan, Iran, etc.) and funding pointless war-mongers (Israel) and then there might just be enough to go round!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Made it to Hazel Wood

Early up and out to the archery club. Shot 2 dozen arrows at a 60yard target, pulled out 5 arrows in total from the boss...hunted the 19 on the floor 40-50yards further on and decided it wasn't my day, packed up and went home! That's the trouble with the's all 'hit-and-miss'! Mostly miss, but I wasn't in the right frame of mind, today! So, I've got the rest of the year to chase my 'Second Class' archer status (they only last one year, then you have to 're-earn' them from January!)

On the way home I thought I'd check-out Hazel Wood..and took some photos on my crappy mobile-phone (cellphone), which didn't turn out too bad, actually! As I mentioned the place in a post earlier, I thought I'd share them with you.

This must be the 'Guardian of the Wood'.
Standing sentinel-like at the entance, it seemed to be the
largest of all the trees in the area (roughly 5-7ft diameter trunk).

This avenue
just as you
walk in must
be beautiful
in full leaf!

This Old Fella looks
like something from
'The Enchanted Wood'!

At the top of the hill stands
this magnificent example,
in what I can only describe
as a grove
. (I will investigate
further in the Summer!)

A pathway leading
an icy slope.
Nice arched
overhang, tree!

And we are greeted by
this view on
exiting Hazel Wood!

All in all, I was quite pleased for going there! No ritual, ceremony or spiritual cleansing took place - too cold - and I wasn't really in the mood for it either. I seem to be in the 'Down-in-the-dumps' mode all too often recently, but felt a lot better for my little excursion to Hazel Wood!
.....Perhaps I should get out more?!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

A Day of Renewal?

Today was supposed to be a day of a spiritual sense.

The break from work over Yuletide was busier than I expected, or wanted, and although I've rested from my paid labour since December 19, I guess I should feel refreshed and ready to bounce back full of vitality and vigour.....but I don't!

On a 'spare' day last week or so, I took a leisurely stroll along the river that flows through this town. I stumbled upon a public footpath (not literally!) quite by mistake (I've only lived here 2 months) and discovered that it meandered through the countryside nearby and a fair distance, too.

(When I say I've lived here 2 months, I've actually worked in and around the area for several years, so I actually know it quite well...but you know what it's like when you're haven't the time or the ability to gaze at the view too much, lest you have an accident!)

So, about an hour or so into the walk....lovely it was, beautiful trees, long stretches of heathland, a few polite dog-walkers and wildlife galore.....I came across a sign that declared, "Hazelwood. NO Fires. Keep to the Footpaths. Take your litter HOME".

'Cool', thinks I, 'a wood'. But, due to the lateness of afternoon and knowing I had at least an hour to walk home, I decided to continue on the footpath to the next meadow and then make my way back.

In the days since, I have longed to return to "Hazelwood" and expected today, to do so. The purpose being to find a place close to nature to sit and reflect on the past year, my hopes for 2009, renew my spirits, seek counsel with my gods & goddesses, introduce myself and invite the landwights to join me...(YES, I TALK TO THE TREES!.....But only when there's no strangers in sight!...LOL...sometimes I hug them, too!)

But as lifes drudgery (clothes washing [by hand!], cleaning, tidying, recycling, food shopping) prevented me from doing so, I hope to tomorrow - it's my last day off because I have to wait in for a furniture delivery AND my Dad's coming over to help me to move a fridge into an awkward position, I hope above all hopes that the bed's delivered early and my dear old Dad's gone just after lunch!...(as much as I love hime, of course!)

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Decisions, decisions...

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this blog...there are so many blogs on similar topics but with varying slants, it would be nice to be different. And as I agree with many posts from various sites (or can see their point of view, at least), I don't want my comments to them to be simply 'cut&paste' from my posts (or vice-versa).

Yup, I reckon it'll be a record of my own actions and experiences throughout all aspects of my life....once I've got past bumbling around with the look of this place!

Hel, I might even throw in a few pearls of wisdom!.....(when I find some!)

I've been tagged.......................already!

So, I've been lazy(!?)...but I still read other blogs. Several I've been hooked on, others I've floated in-and-out of, so to speak.

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. The person who tagged me was Hrafnkell from A Heathens Day

2. Done it (you just read them!)

3. Six random things about me:
  1. I spent my most informative years (yes, in the mid '70s/early '80s) living and schooling in Kuwait & Bahrain. This was split twice by having to return to the UK and continue 'education' here, in different schools. It was a great but sad time mixed together (if you read my last post, you'll understand when I say, "things come round full circle"!)
  2. My sister lives in Melbourne, Australia. She's been there about 10 years and I've never afforded to visit her. (One day!)
  3. I drink far too much coffee!
  4. Used to think Communism could work! (LOL!)
  5. Still thinks Capitalism doesn't work!
  6. Should of gone to Uni. (Would have done if I'd had the opportunity....but with todays options, it's a possibility)
4. LOL.....I don't even know six people! But here are 2 folk I have communicated with on the blogosphere and I guess I can add more later?

late addition (new friend!)...Hammerkast