Of Beltane, Basilisks and boulders…

Of seedy CDs….

To the left of the seld is the door to the kitchen – and to its left, a pleasing but modern cabinet in which most of my CDs hum quietly in their cases.

I say my CDs… but point quickly to the top left hand corner where ‘Abba Gold’ leads off the alphabetical parade whilst whispering ‘oh, that’s Tom’s’

‘You know all the words…’ he whispers back.

Muttering ‘yes, but cholera’s catchy too’, I mentally pick out the others I won’t admit to owning…

I’d like to nominate anything that claims to be ‘the best of’ or someone’s ‘greatest hits’, but know that I was instrumental in purchasing most of them. Apart from the Very Best of Elton John, that is, which the fairies left in the night….

A couple of months after our home was flooded twenty years ago – well after the insurance company’s ‘full and final settlement’ – we discovered that the industrial heaters used to dry the place out had warped our entire, beloved and extensive LP collection into interesting variations on fluted bowls. With holes in the middle.

Contemplating replacement on a very limited budget then, it was quite interesting to conclude that ‘greatest hit’ collections probably covered most of that which we wished to retain from the late 70s and early 80s. Punk and the New Wave gave birth to many gems but also spawned a lot of so-so tirades and tracks that went just a synthesiser too far. Oh, on the subject of which, all the Jean Michelle Jarre is Tom’s too, along with Mike Oldfield’s complete catalogue, the Billy Joel and the two Dire Straights. The name says it all really…

Can I pass the four Genesis discs off as his? Well no, not really, but I can point out in my defence that they all date to pre Phil Collins days and that I can only just still recall every single word of the 23 minute long ‘Supper’s Ready’. Ready? Yes, and gone cold by now too…

Nor can I deny that the Keane is mine – but they’re one of those bands that are so much better live than recorded, and that’s how I first met them. Well, live on TV anyway. Mew? Ah, they were supporting Elbow and I have this thing about needing to know the tracks I’m going to hear at a gig… The Jesus Jones? Oh, I picked that up by accident in Glasgow when buying a couple of Jesus and Mary Chain CDs…

There are quite a few one-off mistakes actually – albums bought on the promise of a single track which then so failed to deliver. Supergrass are the ones that bemuse me though. I really don’t like them and yet somehow seem to have managed to acquire three of their offerings. It would seem that as with my spelling, I am at least consistent in my mistakes…

Of maybes and May Days…

Speaking of which the particularly observant among you will, no doubt, by now be muttering ‘Hang on, ‘Left?’ ‘To the left of the seld is the door to the kitchen? Weren’t we travelling right around the room?’ Well, yes, we were… but with the day of intended posting for this blog being May Eve, it seemed only fitting to turn the way of the fairies…

For at sundown today, the veil between worlds grows thin once more and the power of the fey and the enchanting reaches its peak. Witches cackle, ghosts throw off their chains and spirits raise a glass to their half-yearly outing ‘twixt Hallowe’ens. I grab ‘The Best of T Rex’ and ride a white swan like the people of the Beltane…

Across Europe bonfires will be lit – to mark Walpurgisnacht in Germany and Holland, Valborgsmassoafton in Sweden, Volbrioo in Estonia, Vappu in Finland and Valpurgi in Latvia. British Beltane fires will be fewer – in fact few burned beyond the eighteenth century. They are, however, re-kindling here and there, most notably in Edinburgh where the Beltane Fire Society now marks each of the year’s cross-quarter days with a blaze.

Not much has changed then; start poking around in the ancient ashes of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh and you begin to get the feeling that the festivities of our forebears could get a tad formulaic. Ooh, there’s a big day coming up… what shall we do? I know – let’s build a bonfire

Samhain and Beltane had a particular resonance with each other though; indeed an alternative name for Beltane is ‘Cetsamhain’ meaning no more than ‘opposite Samhain’. Between them, the two festivals marked the see-saw of summer and winter. In late October the cattle would be gathered in to spend treacherous months close to habitation; by the end of April, both the worst of the weather and the dangers of calving had passed and the livestock could return to pastures refreshed.

The fires associated with the two festivals echo each other too – both set to burn on raised ground, on nights of the year on which people ritually allowed their hearth fires to go out. The next morning they could be re-lit from the embers of the pyre, but after sundown no flame must burn, for whilst it did, it would prove impossible to kindle need-fire, force fire or tein’ éigin.

Need-fire – a concept known across much of Europe – is fire literally made ‘from scratch’ through nothing but friction, often specifically using pieces of oak. Beyond that the ‘instructions’ vary widely; in some areas it must be made outdoors, sometimes at a crossroads, elsewhere it starts life in a darkened room, or on a tiny island surrounded by running water. The people responsible for its kindling are often specified too – varying from ‘an old man and an old woman’ in Bulgaria to nine times nine first-born sons on North Uist or eighty one married men in the Western Isles. That’ll be one to kindle the flame and four score to discuss the football then?

Trevelyan’s Folk Lore and Folk Stories of Wales tells how ‘nine men would turn their pockets inside out and see that every piece of money and all metals were off their persons. Then the men went into the nearest woods and collected sticks of nine different kinds of trees. These were carried to the spot where the fire had to be built. There a circle was cut in the sod and the sticks were set crosswise. All around the circle the people stood and watched the proceedings. One of the men would then take two bits of oak and rub them together until a flame was kindled…’

I can’t read her account without recalling failed woodland fires of my youth. Even armed with matches and a fairly responsible adult or two, I still associate our Sunday afternoon ‘picnics’ with hunger.

‘There’s nothing like the taste of food cooked outdoors’ mum would comment brightly as my father got hotter, crosser and smokier. And she was absolutely right; very often there wasn’t. My brother’s ‘so, taking sausages for a walk again today are we?’ observations added to the friction without aiding the flames.

Still, we had the luxury of a cooker at home. The anxiety surrounding the lighting of the need-fire – in a smoke-free district – must have been considerable and the relief once it caught immense.

Besides the ‘big’ blazes of the year, need-fire was also called upon at times of sickness amongst both humans and animals. Affected livestock would be driven through the still-smoking ashes of ritually-kindled bonfires whilst the human sick were treated with water which had either been boiled on a hearth lit with the magical flames or that had ashes from a need-fire added to it. The same actions and benefices were associated with Beltane fires, but the cattle drive was apotropaic rather than curative, warding off evil influences for the coming season.

In some accounts two fires were lit and the cattle driven between them rather than through their embers; a rather more humane practice and one less likely to meet with serious resistance from cows guarding their young and bulls keen to evade barbeque this side of slaughter. Even today, armed with nothing more threatening than GortexTM cagoules and sawn-off backpacks, one walker is killed and another five injured by cows in Britain each year.

Bovine themes, in fact, ran throughout the Beltane festivities – in many areas the fires were prepared by the local cowherds and in others, milkmaids played a significant role; ‘On the first of May and the five or six days following, all the pretty young country girls who serve the town with milk dress themselves up very neatly and borrow abundance of silver plates, whereof they make a pyramid, which they adorn with ribbands and flowers, and carry upon their heads, instead of their common milk-pails…’ recorded Henri Mission in the late seventeenth century. An early version of Cow(e)s week?

The food associated with Beltane was imbued with a dairy theme too. In some parts a cheese would be made which was kept right through the year to the next May Day and many accounts mention a communal pot of egg and milk ‘custard’ being cooked over the Beltane fire. In fact I can’t help but wonder if perhaps this wasn’t traditionally the first time that cows’ milk was consumed in the year. Milk production reaches a peak five weeks after calves are born (usually in March/ April) – is it possible that in most communities there was milk ‘to spare’ for the first time by Beltane? An Irish name for Imbolc, ‘Óimelc’ means, after all, ‘ewe’s milk’… Might not the coming of the cows’ milk have been similarly revered?

Of oats and offspring…

The cooking of some sort of oatcakes on the fire is also widely documented, as is the practice of blackening one with charcoal. The cakes would then be offered round ‘blind’ in a ‘bonnet’ and he who drew the marked portion would be pilloried as a fool and variously be required to leap over the fire three times or to run through the flames. Some collections of folklore – including J G Frazer’s The Golden Bough – suggest echoes of darker forfeits here. Where’s the dairy connection? Well, apparently the oatcakes were decorated with little raised ‘nipples’.

Oats were sown as well as consumed at Beltane; oats of the wild variety that is, the norms of chastity and fidelity being well and truly suspended for the night. During Puritan times it was recorded – with distaste – that ‘men doe use commonly to runne into woodes in the night time, amongst maidens, to set bowes, in so muche, as I have hearde of tenne maidens whiche went to set May, and nine of them came home with childe.’ Malory though paints a more romantic picture; It was the month…. when lovers, subject to the same force which reawakens the plants, feel their hearts open again, recall past trysts and past vows, and moments of tenderness, and yearn for a renewal of the magical awareness which is love.’

But whether with the spur of lust, love, or both, children conceived at Beltane were considered particularly blessed and in some traditions to be gifted with the second sight and/ or powers of prophecy. By contrast babies born in May were believed to be particularly unlucky – to be sickly, difficult to wean and much prone to ill health. It would be interesting to know whether there was actually a basis in fact for this belief; whether perhaps the more limited diet and lack of ‘fresh’ food available to mothers-to-be during a largely winter-time pregnancy could actually have resulted in babies born during these weeks having lower birth weights or weaker immune systems…

But the ‘ill-born’ belief extended to some animals too. It was believed that May kittens should always be drowned, for if kept they would bring nothing but bad luck. Not only would they catch snakes instead of mice and rats, they would also draw the breath from babies in their cradles. As recently as 1957, R.M Lockley writing of Pembrokeshire mentions: ‘A ‘maychate’ he possessed which brought many vipers from the hill into the house…’ Colts born in May were considered prone to both ‘splaying’ and lying down in any water through which they were ridden and in 1889 the Dorset Field Club recorded that ducks hatched in May ‘are more liable to sprawl’… Small wonder given all the horses lying down…

These beliefs seemed to apply throughout the month, but in others it’s the beginning of May which is considered particularly dangerous; in 1646 it was recorded that ‘men conceive a peculiar danger in the beginning days of May, which are set out as a fatal period unto consumption and cronicall diseases’ and in the 1825 ‘Fairy Legends of Southern Ireland’ it is potrayed as ‘a time of particular danger when the ‘good people’ are said to possess the power and inclination to do all sorts of mischief’… The November 1818 edition of the Edinburgh Magazine however warns of the whole month, commenting ‘I have heard it said by the old women, that both fairies and witches have more influence, and take a greater delight in playing their pranks in the month of May, than at any other season.’

Throw in hundreds of cautions against ‘casting a clout before May (be it the month or the blossom) is out’ and the belief that if someone who was ill survives May they will survive the rest of the year and a picture begins to emerge of a pretty treacherous few weeks. ‘March will search, April will try, May will tell if you’ll live or die’

I suppose that for communities whose whole survival depended on their crops and their livestock prospering, May was a make-or-break time; a time when feed stores were running so low that animals had to fend for themselves or not at all… a time when a late frost or heavy hailstorm could pulp tender seedlings just emerging from the earth… a time when people’s constitutions were at their lowest, post-winter ebb. An early summer like last year’s wouldn’t just have given everyone the blues, it would have killed.

Given the powerlessness associated with such a ‘lap of the gods’ existence, it must, actually, have helped communities to believe in the threat of malevolent forces whilst hand-in-hand believing that there were things they could do to protect themselves. ‘Whilst there’s life there’s hope’ goes the saying, but I so often feel it should be turned on its head.

I can understand then why people gathered spring flowers and the branches of specific trees and ‘protected’ the portals to their homes with them… why they gathered to light the fire with magic and why they scapegoated one amongst their community to pay a penalty for all…

Dancing round a big stick though, I find harder to comprehend.

‘It’s a phallic symbol off course, associated with the fertility rites of the season’ many would exclaim… but is it? Just because a Maypole’s taller than it’s wide and young men from neighbouring villages vied to have the most impressive one doesn’t necessarily make it so…

Of gallows and gods…

An interesting alternative is offered by the Yggdrasil or ‘world tree’ of Norse mythology, the mighty ash which stood at the centre of the Universe. From this tree Odin hung without food or water for nine nights to gain knowledge of the runes – a self sacrifice still commemorated on May Eve in the lands of the Norse. As the earliest references to maypoles are found in Germany – and German pagan tradition had close links with Norse mythology – it seems not unlikely that the pole might be a symbolic representation of Odin’s gallows.

Where the ‘Bel’ of Beltane is linked to a deity it is usually to Belanus – the bright, shining sun god of the Celts. Others associate elements of traditional Mayday celebrations with Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and spring; a case of may your May god go with you, then…

Mayday was also a significant date in early Irish and Welsh literature, appearing several times in the Book of Invasions and the Mabinogion. In the Mabinogion the tale of Lludd and Llefelys recalls how the brothers, between them, freed Britain of three plagues, the second of which was a ‘terrible shriek’ which came on every May-eve, ‘over every hearth in the Island of Britain. And this went through people’s hearts, and so seared them, that the men lost their hue and their strength, and the women their children, and the young men and the maidens lost their senses, and all the animals and trees and the earth and the waters, were left barren.’

And at that point a shriek issued over a hearth in west Wales, for I’ve just realised that it’s gone midnight on Saturday, I’m several pages deep in blog and have yet to touch on the subject I meant to address…

The lead-in was to be tangential, subtle even… Three quarters of the way down the CD cabinet, I was going to stumble upon the chunk of Stones CDs (Tom’s – but only on the condition that the Beatles ones are mine…) and then start exploring ‘stones’ in their wider context, with a brief mention of Beltane celebrations via the stories surrounding stone circles. Well it would have had some subtlety had I had the time to write it properly, I promise…

Continuity or lack of it aside then, I’m sure we’re all familiar with cautionary tales of rings of dancers petrified for continuing their revelries on into Sunday. Amongst the most famous is the Merry Maidens of Cornwall, said to be 19 young women fossilised in a near-perfect wheel for cavorting and carousing on the Sabbath. The two ‘piper’ monoliths stand apart at a short distance. Actually, the tale brings to mind a long train journey through Belgium many moons ago (and I’m sure that Belgium made it feel longer…) during which a young man taught me the phrase ‘mono lithos dual avicide’ – or ‘killing two birds with one stone’ – only there were nineteen each of these.

Of rings and rocks…

The photograph of the Merry Maidens, above, is provided courtesy of Jim Champion, one of the best photographers I know when it comes to stones, sky and special places. This – and much more of Jim’s work – can be found at ‘The Megalithic Portal’ (link below) – an excellent website for those with an interest in maens, menhirs and monoliths. It’s also a vast one though, so go in with time to spare and through Firefox if you can!

Despatch through petrifaction (from the latin – ‘petra’ for rock and ‘facere’, to make) wasn’t of course the preserve of these isles. Medusa of Gorgon fame is probably the best-known ‘lady with a stony stare’, and then there was the Basilisk or Cockatrice, the mythical king of the serpents which could variously petrify, poison or de-flesh its prey with nothing more than a glance. Niobe turned to stone whilst weeping for her slaughtered children whilst Lot’s wife was turned to a pillar of salt against the backdrop of fire and brimstone raining down on Sodom and Gomorrah. Vulcanologists, no doubt would offer an explanation.

Returning to stone, I was chatting with a colleague the other day when we realised we both shared the common childhood experience of ‘going to rocks’ as a form of family entertainment. Children these days get taken to theme parks, aquaria, castles, wildlife centres and urban farms… we got taken to outcrops on Welsh mountains. Sharon’s outcrop sounds quite posh though, because it also boasted a ‘lonely tree’.

Amusements whilst there would include I-spy (often something beginning with ‘r’ – and presumable ‘t’, too – in the Amman Valley version… Oh and then there were the white fluffy things that either started with ‘c’ – if they were in the sky – or ‘sh’ if they were on the hillsides – unless it was particularly overcast in which case the sky ‘c’s could become something beginning with ‘f’ and you might as well give up trying to spy anything). Another favourite pastime was sliding down the rocks (repeatedly – having been told not to – until one day I made a hole in my brand new dungarees and was smacked for the second and penultimate time in my life). And when you tired of those there was always ‘finding faces in the stones’. And yes it did freak three year old me when my thirteen year old brother told me that they belonged to people who’d sat there for too long and got swallowed. Still, he fell from the top of a crag later that day and fractured his skull.

It didn’t have a lasting effect – although it obviously did make an impression – for he went on to study geology at A level and then at University; more trips to rocks for little sister then, until I got to know the geomorphology of North Pembrokeshire inside out. Quite literally, too, at times; I learned, for example, that Garn Fawr – the pile of stones familiar from toddlerhood – was actually the remains of volcanic activity… and then tramped the hills to the coast path, seeking other evidence of extruded igneous rock. Splitting slates at Abereiddy yielded fossils of tiny cutthroat razor-like graptolites; I was probably the only 8 year old in north Pembrokeshire who could both say ‘Didymograptus bifidus’ and recognise one. Inland the spotted dolerite outcrops at Carn Menyn whispered ‘bluestones’ and ‘Stonehenge’… it was a magical and ancient landscape in which to grow.

It’s also a landscape bounded on three sides by water, and the constant play of sea on stone has produces its own wonders too. The continual drag and drift of the tides tumbles rocks both ordinary and semi-precious and then strews them, glistening, pebbled treasure at your toes. And oh, how much heavier – and oh how much duller – they always seem by the time you get them home…

Fissured cliffs, undermined by currents too long in their flow to measure, give at last at their foundations and open, crashing, into natural archways and bridges. Millennia upon millennia caves are carved into semi-submarine catacombs, licked smooth by waves and haunted by the occasional dove. I know a place where you can stand and feel the suck of the sea beneath you; a place where its green-tongue gulp devours.

And as if the natural rock formations of the area aren’t enough, my home patch is also littered with standing stones, cairns and cromlechs – not to mention burial mounds, ancient churches and ogam scored early christian monuments. I got a map out once and tried drawing ley-lines on it using the criteria laid out in ‘The Old Straight Track’; it ended up looking like a cross between the Nazca Lines and the national grid. Pembrokeshire, it would seem, truly rocks…

It’s in my blood and under my fingernails too; my grandfather was a stonemason… his father was a stonemason… My darling garden nestles in an old sandstone quarry. Little wonder, really, that I offer up ‘stones’ if ever I’m pressed for a list of my interests – I’m ground in them.

It wasn’t until today though that I discovered that I even share a birthday with the founding father of modern geology, James Hutton…

Of tides and time…

To appreciate the impact of Hutton’s work fully, you need a picture of the beliefs commonly held about the origins of the earth in the late eighteenth century. Most western scholars believed our world to be some 6,000 years old and that at first it was entirely composed of water with bits in it. Most also adhered to the ‘Neptunian’; school of thought – that the rock of our planet formed due to the action of sedimentation, shaping first the earth’s core and then building up the land masses in a series of layers born out of flooding. Fossils dated only from the age of Noah and the great flood, the pterodactyls, triceratops and trilobites stubbornly refusing to come in two by two when called. A less influential group of thinkers favoured ‘Plutonism’, arguing that rock was formed by the effects of heat and fire.

Hutton – a son of Edinburgh born in 1726 – developed a third theory – that the rock of our planet was continually being formed. His Great Geological Cycle suggested a perpetual process of eruption, erosion and compaction, volcanic activity throwing up mountains which are, in turn, eroded by the elements into sediment. This sediment, when washed away and deposited once more on the sea bed, is eventually compacted into bedrock – and so on, ad infinitum. Hutton retained though his belief in a creator God, delighting in the self sufficiency and sustainability of His design.

He was revolutionary too in postulating an age for the earth eons older than it was commonly held to be. Within his Theory of Uniformitarianism he suggested that the forces shaping our planet in the present must work in much the same way and at much the same rate as they did in the past. By using current observation and measurement then, he argued, one could begin to compute the almost inconceivable measures of time required to form, erode and re-form our land masses. Even our oldest rocks, he wrote, must be made of ‘materials furnished from the ruins of former continents.’

Siccar Point on the Berwickshire coast, pictured below courtesy of Angus Miller, was, for Hutton and for others, the proof they required, the juxta-positioning of clearly visible strata indicating the action of unimaginable forces over a vast time-scale. ‘What clearer evidence could we have had of the different formation of these rocks, and of the long interval which separated their formation had we actually seen them emerging from the bosom of the deep? wrote his travelling companion….

(Incidentally Angus, who took this shot, runs Geowalks – see the link below- and also teaches courses on geology at Edinburgh University. Should your footsteps take you in that direction, he will be able to tell you about Hutton with far more authority than I can…)

He’ll probably also tell you that Hutton wrote about natural selection 50 years before Darwin did – but that very few people noticed, for Hutton’s outstanding talent was for painstaking and astute observation and deduction, not communication. In fact it was his friend, John Playfair who, after Hutton’s death, popularised his geological theories by presenting them in more accessible form. Hutton, wrote Playfair, “was in no haste to publish…for he was one of those who are much more delighted with the contemplation of truth, than with the praise of having discovered it”.

Of squiggles…

I, however, am in a haste to publish – or to post my blog at least. Beltane draws on apace! But Sunday dawned fair and bright, tugging me to the garden to contemplate butterflies and murmur ‘bliss‘. I wasted at least an hour trying to get a photograph of my robin feeding his mate, but have nowt but fuzzy blurs to show for it. I also spent far too long thinking about the time scales involved in processes geological ‘The mind seemed to grow giddy by looking so far into the abyss of time’… wrote one of Hutton’s friends – and I know just how he felt.

In fact the size of the universe, the number of stars and the age of the earth were amongst the things mum used to caution me against contemplating when I was a child. Although on the whole utterly committed to encouraging and expanding enquiring minds, she had very firm views about ‘questions that might make your head go funny’.

Allow me though, before I press ‘post’ just to tell you about a couple of recent geological discoveries of my own.

Discovery number one is that cement does not ‘set’, it ‘goes off’. I tell you this just to establish that I do listen to the builders working on the replacement for the shed demolished in the storm.

Returning from work one Friday evening after dark I was delighted to notice that not only had they completed the construction of the breeze block walls, they’d also covered them with a layer of cement. It wasn’t until I got out there on Saturday morning that I noticed that they’d also added decorative, random squiggles all over it.

Eek! I wanted it sort of smooth… and knew that I had explained that to them. Well sort of smooth but bumpy in fact – as if it were real stone beneath. But could I get hold of them? No. Well, it was the weekend after all.

But happily the cement had not yet ‘gone off’… so all was not lost. I grabbed a water spray in one hand, my grandfather’s plastering trowel in the other and set about smoothing out the squiggles…

Ok, I can hear those of you with even a hint of building knowledge yelling ‘NOOO! DON’T! The squiggles are a key for the next layer of cement to stick to…’ You know that… and so do I, now.

Happily the builders are blessed with a sense of humour. I’m not sure how much longer my own will last though, because at every step in every stage of the process I now get asked ‘and would you like that with squiggles or without?’

I had to smile today though; I’d texted a friend explaining that I’d been blogging about Beltane, Basilisks and concrete. Like a shot the answer came back… ‘if you have a Basilisk you don’t need concrete…’ Now I must pass that on to the builders…

And so, at last, May Eve is here, the sun has set and Beltane has begun…

I assume that the sun has set anyway; it’s been obscured by clouds for three days now, and the only thing ‘appropriate’ about it is that it’s actually been “beltin'” for the last 24 hours. I spent last night tending five separate saucepans under five separate rivulettes running through the ceilings.

So I’ve kindled the ‘Bel tane’ indoors for once – for it’s a real ‘need fire’ night – and nodded hommage to tradition whilst doing so by using only half a firelighter. Come dawn I’ll poke my head outside, ‘gather in the summer’ and ponder how you sort the dew out from the rain…

In the meantime, may your Beltane burn bright, long, and be utterly free from squiggles…

Links:

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/

probably the most comprehensive collection of information on megaliths and prehistory online

http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=118

Jim Champion’s photograph of the merry maidens, along with other contributions. Clicking Jim’s name takes you to more of his beautiful images

http://www.geowalks.demon.co.uk/

Angus Miller’s geological walks, talks and teaching

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/b/basilisk.html

Discover the Basilisk… before the Basilisk discovers you…

http://www.beltane.org/

Light up the skies of Scotland…

http://www.james-hutton.org.uk/

More about… surprise, surprise, James Hutton…

Advertisements

~ by Jude on April 30, 2008.

8 Responses to “Of Beltane, Basilisks and boulders…”

  1. I came for the Merry Maidens and I stayed for the rest of your blog… beautiful writing, I want more!!

  2. Hi R – I’m sure the Merry Maidens would be pleased you found pleasure through them – as am I 🙂 There will be more, I promise 🙂

  3. An early start to the end of the week, looking for something to explain a bit more of the diverse – yet unimaginably slow – power of mother earth to create pieces of herself and offer glimpses from out of the soil such as Carn Menyn; and found your blog. Thank you for the peace you created, just by sitting here before sunrise, reading your flowing descriptions. And certainly can relate to “going to the rocks” as children; there must be a tug felt by parents, too, that brings us along on a family adventure. May your head be funny all your days.

  4. Jaa, that’s so very kind of you – who could ask to be able to create anything more than peace? And my funny head is more than happy to accept your blessing 🙂

  5. Lovely memories for me. Thanks. I regularly fished needle rock for lobster in the 1980’s and still visit Carn Meini on a regular basis. You should read The Tome of Seus, it contains many references to Bluestone and Carn Meini, once you have cracked the code that is. Check it out at: http://www.freewebs.com/thetomeofseus/
    All the best, Tengel

  6. Thank you Tengel 🙂 I was watching the waves around Needle Rock after Saturday’s storm – I’m sure you can imagine!

  7. Beautiful Post and wonderful pictures thank you:D
    thought you might enjoy my Beltane Blessing machinima film

    Bright Blessings
    elf ~

  8. Thank you elf 🙂 I’ll watch with interest…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: