Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wednesday 4th Feb.

The weather has been cold the last few days and we have had  fires in the sitting room to cheer the place up so life is quiet, nothing much to talk about.  There have been rumblings from Stephen Fry a humanist on what a 'wicked' God we have, allowing such terrible things to happen in this world.  But I myself would rather blame it on the humans, who interpret belief writings to their own advantage in the pursuit of power, and also the uncompromising natural world that allows us to prey on each other.

The good news is that the beavers in Devon have been given a stay of execution, if they behave themselves and do not cause disease to others, the powers that be 'Natural England' have given them time to settle in.  So when are we going to see the wolves and bears roaming Britain, not any time soon is the answer that comes back ;) but the beavers ability to turn their ecosystem  into a lively corner of the world to encourage other insects, birds, plants etc is of course how nature expands....

George Monbiot of course explains it in his video 'How Wolves change Rivers', it is called the 'trophic cascade', that elusive butterfly's flutter of wings causing chaos in some far distant corner of the world, as nature ever hungry fills the vacuum with verdant growth.

My first intention was to write about neo-paganism, the new found 'religion' of last century, though of course it followed on through earlier centuries, the myth of a mysterious otherworld travelled through the eyes of those great mystics 'The Druids'.  For this I turned to Stuart Piggott's 1968 book on the subject and to quote...

"The Druids make comfortably comprehensible, historical people like the Roundheads, the Crusaders, or the Romans and to attribute Stonehenge to them makes a sort of sense, as a welcome cliche grasped because it avoids the necessity of thought"

Such a dry wit as Piggott probably reflects my own view on the state of paganism today, it never quite makes it to the intellectual side of any belief and his last paragraph looks forward to a future such as the following...

"Can we dare hope that the Druids will once more come into their own, backed by a fine confusion of Hyperborean myth and the lasting bronze of the Coligny Calendar, and that our own age too may may have the druids it desires, who, white robes exchanged for white laboratory coats, will be astronomers writing computer programmes in Gallo-Brittonic?"

Well Piggott is long gone and what we do have today are 'tribes' of neo- pagans arguing the toss about 'ownership' of ancient monument sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury, though 'King Arthur Pendragon' has of course a seat at the table of English Heritage when it becomes time for the discussing of Solstice at Stonehenge

So a few photos I took at the opening of the Visitors Centre on the 18th December 2012, of that troublesome lot, in bleak, grey winter with their druidical robes whipped by the wind,  I still admire them though, I find them so outlandish in the grey world of the politically correct....

Marching away

There is something totally brave about people gathering together to make a statement

Alighting  from the car with a banner

This is another demonstration at the back, monitored by the police. I think these were the 'travellers' who lived next door to the stones on the 'green lane'.

And why did this come to mind is because we have just passed the day of Imbolc, or St.Brigids Day,
and as I have just laid the twigs and coal for a new fire in the hearth, the promise of spring seemed to beckon in the sun...

Imbolc was believed to be when the Cailleach—the divine hag of Gaelic tradition—gathers her firewood for the rest of the winter. Legend has it that if she wishes to make the winter last a good while longer, she will make sure the weather on Imbolc is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood. Therefore, people would be relieved if Imbolc is a day of foul weather, as it means the Cailleach is asleep and winter is almost over. At Imbolc on the Isle of Man, where she is known as Caillagh ny Groamagh, the Cailleach is said to take the form of a gigantic bird carrying sticks in her beak.


  1. Enjoyed this post Thelma - anything that points to Spring gets my vote - and I do agree about folk meeting to make a peaceful personal statement.

    1. Yes, this meeting by the incorrigible King Arthur was about the display of the bones their 'ancestors', which happened to be the Bronze Age 'Amesbury Bowman,' a foolishness that needs a lot of explaining. But there is an argument against such displays of skeletons in museums, a degree of respect I suppose. I for one don't mind the displaying of skeletons to the public. Each to his own...

  2. An interesting post. Sadly, to my mind, modern-day Druids (and of course they are here in good numbers when it comes to the Welsh Eistedfodds) stand out like a sore thumb and are not the force to be reckoned with they were in their own time - just modern-day posers. Still, at least they are harmless and try to keep a lost tradition alive.

    George Monbiot has his own axe to grind, and does it well, but knowing from Archaeological records how climates change happily without the influence of mankind, I don't buy into Global Warming, ooops, sorry, Climate Change being caused by man (although the melting of the Himalayan glaciers IS due to the emissions from Indian industry, but that is a local, not a global, phenomenon.) I'm with Christopher Booker on this one.

    1. Your well read on climate change Jennie, haven't read Booker on this so can't comment. As for Monbiot, he is a good 'ranter' in this day and age though it is always wise to take him with a pinch of salt.
      I had forgotten the druids of Wales, they even have their own stone circle just outside Cardiff. Of course Iolo Morganwygg (spelling could just possible be wrong!) was a fraudster par excellence...

  3. Did spell it wrong......