Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday 24th April

Hot water flowing from the Roman well at Bath

I want to get back to writing about Celtic stuff, but other things have to be done.  So, my favourite story of the Otherworld, this is taken from The Mabinogion,

'Peredur rode on towards a river valley whose edges were forested, with level meadows on both sides of the river; on one bank there was a flock of white sheep and on the other a flock of black sheep.  When a white sheep bleated a black sheep would cross the river and turn white and when a black sheep bleated a white sheep would cross the river and turn black.  On the bank of the river he saw a tall tree; from roots to crown one half was aflame, and the other green with leaves'  

This is the balance of duality in the Celtic world, you pass from a state of death to a state of life, simple really, the duality in the Christian church is of course  between heaven and hell, a much scarier prospect.  That is why the Iron Age cauldron is so important, and why it is depicted on the Gundestrup Cauldron of a man being held down in the 'cauldron of life'

For an excellent description of the Gundestrup cauldron, John Hooker in Past and Present Tensions fills in the details...

The above photo is of a Roman conversion of the hot spring, but the local inhabitants of Aqua Sulis before the Romans arrived would have seen a steaming hot spring, coming from the depths of the underworld, perhaps it is a stretch too far of the imagination to see the hot springs as a renewing force but its magic would have made this spot a religious sanctuary.

There they are the pair of them, Mark and Ephraim, thought the Mafia had arrived! First time I had seen them dressed in suits, (expensive American stuff I was told but bought in a sale) seems the meeting went quite well, and after a lot of chatter they drove back to Bristol, sad to see them go.


  1. No, be end of May I would think. LS is having kittens over it ;)

  2. Been here for thirty years Pat.

    What’s struck me (as we chuck all this stuff away) is that everything has a memory attached to it. A little four foot wooden ladder in the shed for example... totally useless but it was the ladder attached to my two boy’s bunk bed when they were five or six.

    What does clutter mean? Material rubbish or a reminder of things gone and never to return. Or... an opportunity to clear away the cobwebs... :-)