Sequani (Coligny) Calendar

Introduction

When the Romans invaded Gaul, they made it law for the people to use the Julian calendar. Despite this the Sequanii tribe, kept the old lunisolar calendar of the ancient Celts alive right up to the second century. How do we know?

In 1897 at Coligny (near Lyon) an amazing discovery was made. The Coligny calendar is a peg calendar made in Roman Gaul circa 2nd century AD, giving a five-year cycle of a lunisolar calendar with intercalary months. It is the most important evidence for the reconstruction of an ancient Celtic calendar. It is written in Latin inscriptional capitals in Gallic.

It was discovered in 73 fragments, along with the head of a bronze statue of a youthful male figure. It has been painstakingly restored, forming a 5 foot wide, 3.5 foot high bronze tablet. When assembled, it displays a lunisolar calendar, which follows both moon phases and the time of solar year.

It is believed that the calendar, dating back to the 2nd century AD, had been banned by the Romans as it indicated druidic practices. It is likely that the calendar was discovered by the Romans, who broke it up to prevent its use. The calendar can now be found at the Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon. Since months were repeated, the missing months appeared at least once, enabling researchers to complete the missing pieces of the calendar. The restored tablet contains sixteen vertical columns, with 62 months distributed over five years.

The age of the calendar has been estimated based upon the styling of the letters and images it contains. French archaeologist, J. Monard, has speculated that the Celts created the calendar as a means of preserving the Celtic tradition of timekeeping at a time when the Julian calendar was being heavily promoted throughout the Roman Empire. Druids were members of the educated, professional class among the Celtic peoples of Gaul, Britain, Ireland, and possibly elsewhere during the Iron Age. The Druid class included law-speakers, poets and doctors, among other learned professions, although the best known among the Druids were the religious leaders.

A similar calendar found nearby at Villards d’Heria, but only eight small fragments exist of this.

Importance to us today

This calendar is relevant to us today. Since the ancient Celts placed such importance on the calendar and used it in defiance of the Romans, then as custodians of ancient traditions, we have a responsibility to preserve the calendar for future generations. The Druids were Astrologers and links have been made between stone circles aligning with the summer solstice (e.g. Stonehenge) and features of the night sky (Tara aligns with the moon in Scorpio) and the Coligny calendar. We know that lunar and solar phases were very important to the Celts and should be to us.

Knowth Calendar Stone

This stone engraving is found at the Knowth site in Ireland. According to Martin Brennan author of ‘Stones of Time’ it is a graphical depiction of a lunar calendar operating on the same principle as the Coligny Calendar found in France. It shows all 29 phases of the moon. The spiral covers up those three days when the moon is not seen. The included diagram shows how the centre squiggle in the drawing could be used to measure the 62 month span of the Coligny calendar. The author is only guessing that this calendar begins with the spring equinox.

Druid Months and their Meaning

In spite of its fragmentary state, the calendar can be reconstructed with confidence due to its regular composition. Each month is marked either MAT (complete) or ANM (incomplete). The first half of the month was always 15 days, but the second half would be 14 or 15 days. MAT months are 30 days, and ANM months are 29. An exception is the 9th month Equos, which in years 1 and 5 is a month of 30 days but in spite of this still marked ANM.

The middle of each month in the Coligny calendar is marked ATENVX which means ‘the returning night’. In fact, the splitting of each month in two is the precedent of the modern day fortnight.

There is much debate about when the Celtic months started. I have personally reached the conclusion that the month began with the moons first quarter. This is because the second half of the month would be darker when the moon is never more than a crescent. Other ancient lunar calendars start with the first visible crescent after the new moon, such as the Hijra calendar and this seems to be pretty universal in the ancient world.

Other ancient calendars, such as the Hebrew lunisolar calendar (still used today to calculate religious holidays, such as the Passover on Nissan 14th), which was also a lunisolar calendar also started the months on the first crescent. This calendar was heavily influenced by the Babylonians, with months being named after Babylonian Gods such as Tammuz. See link for further details.

However, Pliny the Elder says the following about Druids; “Mistletoe is rare and when found it is gathered with great ceremony, and particularly on the sixth day of the moon…. Hailing the moon in a native word that means ‘healing all things..” This indicates that the month was hailed in on the sixth day (compared to other ancient cultures), which would be the first visible crescent.

The Coligny calendar actually has markings that indicate that held holy festivals were held in the middle of the month (at the time of returning night) after the second quarter moon. The Coligny calendar marks a three day festival starting on the 17th day in the month of Samonios.

The total of 1831 days is very close to the exact value of 62 × 29.530585 = 1830.90 days, keeping the calendar in relatively good agreement with the synodic month (with an error of one day in 50 years), but doesn’t reconcile the lunar cycle with the tropical year. This meets with poor accuracy. Over five tropical years there is an error of 4.79 days (corresponding to 5 × 365.24219052 = 1826.21 days).

However, Pliny’s Naturalis historia (book 16) mentions a 30 year cycle used by the Celts. If one intercalary month is dropped every thirty years, the error is reduced to one day in 195 years. This would be addressed by reducing the month of Equos to 29 days in year 195.

Meanings of the Months

Whenever you look into the meanings of the months and when the year started, you face a huge debate.

Peter Schrijver in Studies in Celtic Historical Phonology states that the common Celtic root of Samo is “summer”, and Samonios is related to the old Irish Cetamuin “Month of May”, “First of May”, “May Day”. So the dates marked on the Coligny calendar mark a mid month celebration of the start of summer, corresponding to Beltane. Other scholars such as Professor Ronald Hutton concur that Samonios marks the beginning of summer.

However, looking at the meanings of other months, such as Ogronnios, which would subsequently tie in with October, means “Cold Month”, I think it is more likely that Samonios means “Summer’s End” and is the month in which Samhuinn would be observed. This is still a three day observance today, with its Christianised counterpart All Hallows Eve or Halloween. Interestingly, the Coligny calendar starts with an intercalary month. The Celts saw time in cycles. A circle has neither beginning nor end. It is continuous, so although modern pagans celebrate a New Year at Samhuinn, the wheel of the year is without beginning or end. It is a perpetual cycle, so New Year would be meaningless, but the celebrations were marked out.

These then are the months and their probable meanings in the Coligny calendar: –

These translations draw from a number of sources, but are not infallible.

In summary: –

  • the Coligny Calendar was a lunisolar calendar used by the ancient Celts and it is likely that Celts in other areas used a similar calendar with intercalary months every two and a half years.
  • The calendar month was split into two parts, the first being from the first quarter of the moon up to the second quarter moon on the 15th day of the month. The second half of the month was either 14 or 15 days.
  • There is a lot of difference of opinion about the calendar, but the ritual noted in Samonios indicates a 3 day festival around the moon’s second quarter and ties in with the modern day Samhain (or Halloween).

The Dream of Oengus(Aengus)

This particular legend was found in the Book of Leinster surviving from the 15th century and maybe familar to theWelsh ‘How Culhwch won Olwen’. It is also the primary source of information that is behind WB Yeats ‘ The Dream of Wandering Aengus’. I am not going to reproduce the original prose as you can look it up for yourselves and enjoy it better but I will give a shortened version.

Oengus was asleep one night and saw a young girl at the head of his bed. She was the most beautiful woman in all of Eiru. He extended his hand to bring her under the covers with him as he greeted he but she vanished. This troubled him all night and during the day he ate nothing. The following night, she visited him again with a musical instrument and played for him. Again when he extended his hand, she vanished. This went on for a year where Oengus ate little to nothing by day yearning for the mystery woman gradually falling in love. As his health waned and fell to sickness, many physicans were called upon but none could diagnose the source of his ailment. Finally, the wise Fergne of Cond, arrived and made his diagnosis.

F “No meeting this, but love in absence”

O “You have divined my illness”

F “ You have grown sick at heart and not dared tell anyone”

O “ It is true. The most beautiful woman has come to me each night playing such sweet music”

F “ No matter, for love for her has seized you. We will send for Boand, your mother, so she may come and speak with you “

Boand came and tended to her son. Fergne explained everything to her. She also searched the entire island for the form in her sons dream. Nothing became of this quest so Fergne was called upon again. He asked for Oengus’ father, the Dagda to be at his side.

D “Why have I been summoned”

B “To advise your son. It is right that you help him for his death would be a great pity. Love in absence has overcome him, and no help for it has been found.”

D “Why tell me. My knowledge is no greater than yours.”

F “ Indeed it is, for you are the king of the Shidhe of Eiru. Send messengers to Bodb, for he is the king of the Shidhe of Mumu (modern day Munster), and his knowledge spreads throughout Eiru.”

Messengers were sent to Bodb and he honoured the Dagda’s request. After another year, news was brought to Oengus’ sick bed. Her likeness was found at Lough Bel Dracon at Cruitt Cliach. Oengus was sent via chariot accompanied by Bobd to see if he recognised her. The chariot arrived at Sid ar Femuin where a feast was prepared in honour of Oengus that lasted 3 days and 3 nights (the people knew how to party). After Bodb explained to Oengus that they should go to the lake and search for the girl. He also explained that he had no power to hand the girl, if found, over to Oengus. After seeing a multitude of the women that resided by the lake, Oengus recognised the one he sought.

B “ Do you recognise that girl”

O “ Indeed I do”

B “ Then I can do no more for you, then”

O “ No matter, for she is the girl I saw. I cannot take her now. Who is she?”

B “ I know her of course: Caer Ibormeith daughter of Ethal Anbuail from Sid Uamuin from the province of Connachta”(Caer is also the Goddess of Dreams)

After Oengus and Bodb returned to the Dagda and Boand with news at Broic ind Maicc Oic. The Dagda decided that they should all visit Ailill and Medb, rulers of the Shidhe of Connachta. They arrived with an army of 3 score chariots(60) and were welcomed at once with a feast that lasted a week. The Dagda explained Oengus’ plight to Ailill who also responded that it was not in his power or his right to hand over the daughter of Ethal Anbuail. Aillill’s sent his steward to Ethal who replied that he would not come before the Dagda nor give up his daughter. Ailill in conversation to the Dagda “ No matter, for he will come and the heads of his warriors with him.” After this, Ailill and the Dagda formed an alliance and rode to Sid Uamuin where they collected “3 score heads” and confined Ethal at Cruachu.

A “ Give your daughter to the son of the Dagda”

E “ I cannot for her power is greater than mine”

A “ What great power does she have?”

E “ Being in the form of a bird each day for one year and being in human form for each day of the following year”

A “ Which year will she be in the shape of a bird?”

E “ It is not for me to reveal this to you”

A “ Then your head off, unless you tell us”

E “I will conceal it no longer, then, since you are so obstinate. Next Samhain she will be in the form of a bird; She will be at Lough Bel Dracon and beautiful birds will be with her, 3 fifties of swans about her, and I will make ready for them”

D “ No matter that since I know of the nature you have brought upon her”

An accord of peace was brought between Ailill, Ethal and the Dadga. The Dagda brought this news to his son back at Broic ind Macc Oic. “ Go to Lough Bel Dracon next Samhain and call her to you there”. The Macc Oic travelled to the lake and came across 150 swans with silver chains around their necks and plumes of golden feathers. Oengus in human form went to the edge of the lake.

O “ Come and speak with me, Caer”

C “ Who is calling to me”

O “ Oengus is calling”

C “ I will come if you will promise me that I may return to the water”

O “ I promise you that”

She went to him and he put his arms around her and in turn changed to the form of a swan where they slept together. They circled the lake 3 times and flew to Broic in Macc Oic.Here they sang until the people fell asleep for 3 days and 3 nights. Caer remained by Oengus side hence in both forms and this cemented the aliance beteen the Shidhe Macc Oic and the Shidhe Connachta.

Like all legends, this one serves as a teaching tool to us. How we see it is up to us as we all have different perceptions. If you desire to reach a goal, it will not fall into your hands just like that. You have to work for it. You have to fashion your tools to suit your goal and use your strength of will/magick. But if you force too hard then breakage occurs and the goal is lost. Another lesson we can learn here is empathy. Walking a mile in another’s shoes serves us the knowledge of what it is like from a different perspective. Seeing both black and white but understanding the grey between.

Go raibh maith agat as do chuid ama ag léamh seo agus tá súil agam go bhfónfaidh sé mar fhoinse inspioráide cosúil le gach finscéalta aosta.

Seán Ó Tuama.

The Resonation Within

A few days ago, I was in a Celtic Spiritual shop called ‘Believe’ in Youghal, county Cork. I go in there now and again to have a chat with the owner who is involved in Youghals ‘Ban Uisce’ festival which is held every Samhain  for the past number of years, alt may not go ahead due to the global pandemic but talks are in progress to comply with the Irish Government guidelines. It’s a great family weekend out in the medieval town and my family has enjoyed it as a tradition that we have. I had a browse and something just stood out and for a better description ‘sang to me internally’. It was a beautiful detailed statuette of the triple goddess aspect.

One of the main Irish archetypes that I internalise as part of my personal decompressions is the Goddess Brighid of the Forge and her Triple Aspects of Lasair ( flame)/Imbolg/cailín na neamhchiontachta(girl of innocence),Inghné Bhuídhe ( yellow hair in old Irish)/Béaltaine/máthair thorthúil(fertile mother) and Latiaran/Lúgnasagdh/Cailleach(wisewoman). Samhain is represented by the sheaf and an Dagda’s cauldron of plenty. The tree to me is hazel, an crann Coll, representing life and wisdom (you may think it is oak but that is up to you). The base is circular and the back of the tree is detailed but has nothing there. Or is it a symbol of a new beginning in the cycle of nature and the nature within? To me it is. To you, the reader, it may mean something completely different and personal to you and this brings me to the title. Resonations of within.

With the advent of the world wide web, we have access at the touch of a key to a vast array of endless libraries as well people who give advice both good and bad depending on your perspective. Your paradigm/personal philosophy/spiritual path is the road that only you can walk for yourself. What resonates from information and knowledge that you gain as you progress makes you grow as an individual. Always ask for advice but choose on a rational level what works best for you. There are many out there who want you to believe and think as they do ( the Abrahamic faiths are the best example of this but it also occurs in other religious/philosophical organisations as well). If you don’t do as they say then you are out creates a herd like mentality and stifles your personal growth. The way I see it is that if some aspect feels right to you then go for it. This aids in the decompression/ritual  as then you have no doubts when internalising/invoking your personal archetype(s). If it doesn’t feel right then the whole decompression/ritual becomes a sham and becomes a total waste of effort.

If something resonates with you, it sings out to you and you are listening internally. Never ignore it.Go raibh maith agat as do chuid ama ag léamh an phíosa seo agus éist amach don cheol.

Seán Ó Tuama

The Cycle

As Lúgnasadgh approaches, it is time to reflect on the past and prepare for new beginings. We have toiled on the feilds of life and have reaped what we had sown at Imbolg, nutured at the feast of Shéileagh na Gaoithe, lit the fires of Béaltine, danced at both feasts of Lúgnasadgh, danced and toiled while reaping at the céiliúradh Oíche agus Lá cothrom san Fómhair and look forward to the new cycle beginning at Samhain.

In all our personal endevours, we have followed the Cycle of Anú or Nature herself and as she prepares for her slumber, we meditate on the future and learn from the past while keeping the present at hand. Slumber is not just a period of inertia but the preperation of a new cycle just as Boann was swept away by the rushing waters of the Well of Segais but became part of the cycle of the newly created Boyne river, fertilising the lands, creating life, as the river forged a path to the sea and returning to the source thus begining the cycle anew.

Roughly 20 years ago, I trained in tae kwan do and competed nationally and once internationaly and still am proud of my achievements. A change in career ended that unfortunately. When I started the Philosophers Accreditation course with an philosophical organisation that I am affiliated, I realised that how I worked out physicially during that period shaped how I approached achieving goals workand life wise.

Over a year ago, I bit the bullet and stopped procrastinating about cycling to work and keep myself physically fit to some degree. Okay, for those who know me, I bit the bullet but the bug bit me and hard. I really got into it and go on endurance cycles as well as training to cycle the length of the country from Malin Head to Mizen Head as part of fund raising for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind (blame my missus for that one, she thinks I am nuts for trying to kill myself as she lovingly puts it but not only did she suggest it, she signed me up for the 2021 trip). One small goal that I have for myself once a week is a 2 hour endurance test. Now bear in mind that my bike is a mountain hybrid that has a heavy frame comapred to a lightweight racer.

If you have travelled Irish roads, you will know that you need less maintenance as the mountain bike is more enduring and I have seen a lot of other cyclists on the side of the road repairing their wheels regularly. I try to get between 35 to 50 km distance covered in that set time frame. Last year, I reached a goal and hit 57km but that was over the 2 hr limit but took two attempts (I got a puncture 40km into the first go and there was plenty of profanities used ). Why this is a part of my physical part of my personal paradigm is simple. Firstly, I am in my 40’s and need to take care of myself healthwise for both my sake and the sake of my family. Secondly, it becomes a regular time for decompression/ meditation outside of my ritual dempressions on the Gaelic Celtic Cycle.

When departing, I use mediatative and inspirational music on my headphones (dungeon synth) and a homemade isotonic drink. And as they say, I’m out the gap. I view this time the same as I view how to achieve my goals. I decide and plan on a route. None of them are the same as they have different rises and falls, surfaces and openings (wind factor plays heavily here). One thing they have all in common is there are a lot of ways to cut the route short and the temptation is huge. But then it can also give you the option to go a longer distance as well as being more of a difficult challenge that you may want to take up if so desired.

One thing never changes and that is the unexpected can happen, there are dangers and that you are to be aware of your surroundings and keep your eye on what is ahead. When you finally complete the task, you get/fall off the bike and relax. You are panting, sweating profusely, legs about to collapse under you but you feel great, look at the GPS monitor/app, knowing that it’s a job well done and you did it.

Go raibh maith agat as do chuid ama, Seán Ó Tuama.

Segontium

Area around Caernarfon


Segontium (Old Welsh: Cair Seiont) is a Roman fort on the outskirts of Caernarfon in Gwynedd, North Wales was founded by Agricola in 77/ 78 CE after he conquered the Celtic tribe of the Ordovices. The fort survived until the end of the Roman occupation of Britain c. 394 CE. It was garrisoned by Roman auxiliaries from Belgium and Germany.


According to Nennius “Here, Constantius the Emperor died.” Constantius Chlorus, the son of Constantine the Great, however, actually died at York. The Welsh monument could, however, be referring to Constantine, son of Saint Elen, a Celtic saint.

The original timber structure was replaced by stone in the first half of the 2nd century CE. Following the Norman conquest in the 11th century, they built a motte-and-bailey castle nearby and this settlement formed the centre of ancient Caernarfon.

Caernarfon Castle

After further Edwardian conquest in the 13th-century, this was replaced by Caernarfon Castle. Unlike the former fort, which was constructed on higher ground, the castle became a sea fortress and still looks impressive to this day. Some of the stones were actually removed from the fort to construct the castle. However, the remains can be seen to this day.

Remains of Segontium Fort

Segontium is referenced in the prose of the Mabinogion In “The dream of Macsen Wledig”, Macsen (Emperor Magnus Maximus) dreams of a beautiful woman (Saint Elen) who turns out to be at “the fort at the mouth of the Seiont”.

If you ever plan a visit to North Wales be sure to check out Segontium Fort and Caernarfon Castle.

Solstice blessings from the Order of Celtic Wolves

Solstice blessings to you all.

Artwork by Andy (Filtiarn) Gibbons

“Solstice” (Latin: “solstitium”) means sun-stopping. The point on the horizon where the sun appears to rise and set, stops and reverses direction after this day. On the solstice, the sun does not rise precisely in the east, but rises to the north of east and sets to the north of west, meaning it’s visible in the sky for a longer period of time.

The tropical seasons

This year the exact moment of the Summer Solstice (Winter Solstice in the Southern hemisphere) is 22:43 British Summer Time (GMT+1). At that precise moment the Sun is in line with the most Northerly point, the tropic of Cancer.

For those following the tropical zodiac, it is the point in which the Star Sign of Cancer is entered. However, because the Sun takes up 1 degree of the sky it is a one day transition. So people born in that transition are said to be on the cusp. So they may show influences of both Gemini and Cancer. This happens every month, so about 1 in 30 people are born on the cusp.

However, during the week either side of the Solstice there are merely seconds between the length of days, which gradually darken or lighten more and more towards the Equinox, depending on how far North or South you live.

Stonehenge is aligned with the Solstices

One of the world’s oldest evidence of the summer solstice’s importance in culture is Stonehenge in England, a megalithic structure which clearly marks the moment of the June solstice.

On the June solstice, the midnight sun is visible throughout the night, in all areas from just south of the Arctic Circle to the North Pole.

On the other side of the planet, south of the Antarctic Circle there’s Polar Night, meaning no Sunlight at all, on the June solstice.

A tropical year is the time it takes the Earth to orbit once around the Sun. It is around 365.242199 days long, but varies slightly from year to year because of the influence of other planets. The exact orbital and daily rotational motion of the Earth, such as the “wobble” in the Earth’s axis, also contributes to the changing solstice dates.

For many in the Northern Solstice is Midsummer, a time of magic when much of the land is alive with colour. Pale saplings are now vibrant and alive. It is no wonder then, that it is the setting for the most wonderful of Shakespeare’s plays and one that gives a real insight into the folklore of our ancestors.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

I have had a most rare vision. I had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was… The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was.
(Bottom, Act 4 Scene 1, A Midsummer’s Nights Dream)

The Solstice has special meaning for me. Back in 2014 I was in a bad place. I left a religious cult and made some bad decisions in my life. I wanted to get it back on track. I tried going to a mainstream church, but it wasn’t for me. But then I thought about the Druids and, like many, I did associate them with the Solstice. So me, my wife and son went to our first Druid ritual celebration with the Setantii Grove in Heaton Park, Manchester. It was a wonderful sunny day and for the first time I actually felt enlightened by spirit.

I help organise my own small Seed Group now and founded the Order of Celtic Wolves, after another personal moment of inspiration. I miss them dearly since lockdown, but as an asthma sufferer have been in self isolation. Tonight, though, like many I am joining the English Heritage Virtual Event at Stonehenge. For many, who haven’t managed the trip, it is a wonderful opportunity to share in a joint experience. If you can, I urge you to join us.

The Sun is Further North on the Solstice

For several years Inuit native Americans have observed that the sun is rising and setting further north on the June Soltice and further south on the December Solstice. The Earth’s axis tilt wobbles and many theorise that this has caused catastrophic effects due to climate change at least four times in Earth’s history.

Indeed, the tilt of the Earth’s axis is not constant and normally varies between 22.2 degrees and 24.5 degrees, which causes a natural change in climate. Think of the Earth as a giant spinning top that wobbles. Some even believe that at some time in Earth’s history the poles were shifted so far that they were Equatorial.

This would explain why woolly mammoths in Siberia have been discovered with tropical vegetation in their stomachs. However, this does not excuse humans for the pollution and increase in carbon emissions that has contributed and accelerated climate change.

The ozone depletion at the poles is purely due to CFC gasses. The ozone layer blocks out harmful radiation from the sun. Added to this is the effects of deforestation and burning of fossil fuels, which causes not only pollution, but an increase of Carbon Dioxide.

You can read more about the Milankovitch cycle by clicking here.

As many of us celebrate the Solstice under restrictions due to the current pandemic, let us think about the Earth and our contribution towards it. Plant trees, contribute towards rewilding and play your part in helping the Earth.

The English heritage site is going live on Saturday 20 June 2020 on Facebook to watch the sunset at Stonehenge. And then the sunrise the following morning. Join them if you can and make a pledge to play your part is reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

A Beltane Tale of Unrequited Love

Gwydion and Math worked together creating a woman using flowers of the oak, broom and meadowsweet and gave her the name Blodeuwedd (Flower-Faced). She was destined to be Lleu’s wife.

However, love cannot be forced and Blodeuwedd loved another and whilst her husband Lleu is away, she falls in love with Gronw Pebr, Lord of Penllyn. Blodeuwedd and Gronw plan Lleu’s murder so that they are free to marry.

Bloduewedd tricks Lleu into revealing how he may be killed. He tells her that the only way he can be killed is at dusk, only if he is wrapped in a net with one foot on a cauldron and one on a goat. And only with a spear forged for a year.

Gronw only acts upon part of the information provided by Blodeuwedd. He strikes a spear at Lleu, who transforms into an eagle and flies away. Gronw and Blodeuwedd seize Lleu’s land.

Gwydion, however, tracks Lleu down, discovering him high in an oak tree. Gwydion sings an englyn (a short Welsh and Cornish poem) to lure him down. He uses his magical powers to transform Lleu back into human form. Lleu is in poor health, but with nursing care from Gwydion and Math he soon recovers. He musters a loyal Gwynedd army and reclaims his land.

As Blodeuwedd flees, Gwydion transforms her into an owl, and curses her to be harassed and despised by all other birds. And from that day Blodeuwedd became the name of the owl.

Gronw, however, escapes to Penllyn. He sent emissaries to beg Lleu’s forgiveness. Lleu refuses and demands to face Gronw by the bank of Cynfael River and deliver a blow from his spear. Gronw asks his army if anyone will take his place, but all refuse. Gronw agrees to Lleu’s terms as long as he could place a large stone between himself and Lleu. Lleu agreed, but so powerful is Lleu’s throw that it pierces the stone and kills Gronw.

The stone remains to this day in Ardudwy. Lleu eventually becomes the next king of Gwynedd.

The ending to this tale is a sad one, but it is a tale both of true love and loyalty. Beltane blessings and thank you for reading.

Be Responsible

Hope everyone is coping as the lockdown continues. Even though you may feel well, you could be a carrier. Yes, we all want freedom and to exercise our rights. But we have responsibilities too. Everyone feels they are medical experts and have a cure. Scientists may already have a cure, but until it is tested and proven it cannot be rolled out.

95% of the world’s population is abiding by the advice of their medical experts and government. The sooner we all comply, the sooner it will be over. The disease can’t spread if it is isolated.

Bear with it and may you and your households be blessed with good health. Once this is all over, we all need a massive hug.

And a massive thank you to ALL frontline workers, who are putting themselves at risk on a daily basis. A thank you to the vulnerable for self isolating. A thank you to the carers who ensure that the vulnerable are looked after. And thank you to everyone who is lying in their bed, or on their couch because you are stopping the spread of the virus.

The entire pagan community, by and large, have stopped outdoor meetings. It doesn’t make you less devoted, but those who continue to have religious meetings, protest gatherings or social gatherings just one request. You are being selfish, so please STOP. Isolating is an act of LOVE. Most faiths/beliefs “teach” us to love one another. This is putting YOU to the test right now.

Blessings to all ❤🧡💛💚💙💜

Myth busting – King Arthur’s Castle

Castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries, after the fall of the Carolingian Empire resulted in its territory being divided among individual lords and princes. After the death of English King Edward the Confessor and the subsequent Norman conquest of Britain and Ireland, the first castles were built in Britain.

In about 1138 Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain contains the earliest written mention of Tintagel in the tale of how Arthur was conceived there by Uther Pendragon, King of Britain, the result of his magically assisted seduction of Queen Igerna (Igraine), wife of Duke Gorlois of Cornwall.

Tintagel

However, the castle wasn’t built until 1290, over 700 years after Arthur’s death and placed there to mark his birth place.

The ancient Celts didn’t build castles, the conquering Romans built fortresses and Saxons built towns, so King Arthur never did have a castle.