What I’m Working on


At the moment I’m working on a quatrain (an Irish poem with four lines, polysyllabic rhyming and other constraints) for the Midwinter Solstice. I wassail the trees at the Midwinter Solstice and this is to help, as the wassailers would sing something to the tree.

I find rhyming difficult, but on the other hand if I write a spell, it means that I really need it. I try not to consult rhyming dictionaries, as I’m of the opinion that it doesn’t help me build skills in rhyming, but I will do if I’m stuck.

There are some good free ones on the net, but one unforeseen problem is that I’m British and some of the dictionaries are American English. For example, an American English dictionary gives myrtle as a rhyme for fertile. In British English we pronounce the e at the end of fertile (fer-tile) so it will not rhyme with myrtle for us. In American English they don’t pronounce the e at the end of fertile (fer-til) so it does rhyme with myrtle.

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Celtic Exhibition


A few days ago we went to The British Museum for an exhibition on the Celts.

The exhibition was about what the Celts were and are. I knew most of it already, but what was there was accurate except for lumping Picts in with Celts, when they were a separate race. The reason for this is the artwork, which they say is similar, but I can pick Pictish art out from Celtic at one hundred paces.

The highlight was seeing THE GUNDESTROP CAULDRON (excuse Caps) and was certainly worth the £17 admittance fee alone. They also had The Battersea Shield, so were pulling all the stops out to get exhibits.

I wasn’t surprised they had The Battersea Shield, as that was found in The Thames, but The Gundestrop Cauldron is something that I’d really wanted to see, but thought I’d never get anywhere near it. All I can say is that the photos don’t do it justice.

Deities with Problems with one Another


Even within a pantheon deities can have problems with one another. For example, The Morrigan never likes it when I speak to Siannon in a meditation. Usually you can find a reason in the texts, but on this occasion I have found nothing. I could ask The Morrigan, but I really don’t want to get involved as I have enough problems of my own.

Samhain


The day before Samhain I bought turnips for turnip lanterns and started carving them. As with everything, you get better with practice and this is no exception as I’m now able to do more detailed carving on the lanterns.

I made two; one for the front door and one for the back and put a protection spell on each. I’ve recently learnt that the protection spell isn’t needed, but since I went to all the trouble of writing it I’m going to keep using it.

I did a ritual where I honoured The Dagda and The Morrigan and gave tribute to the land, as the Tuatha De Danaan did to the Fomorri each Samhain. In the tales Samhain is a time of destruction, usually by fire, but I could not find a way of re-creating this. If I had researched into the festival more ahead of time instead of the day before I probably would have found something.

We also watched the Doctor Who classic “The Daemons” which was appropriate for Samhain even though the action takes place at Beltane! I don’t know why it was relocated in the script as they mention Samhain. This story also features a witch (who says she’s white) and is seen muttering a successful spell again the forces which are trying to knock her out.

I made Homity Pie and Apple Dappy, which are traditional foods my mother’s ancestors would have eaten and both have apples in them. I also try to use imperial measurements which I know they used as Mum taught to me cook using imperial. Converters can be found for free on the net, it’s just a matter of typing the amounts in.

I had trouble with the pie, as I was using gluten-free flour to make it for the first time as hubby has been put on this diet by his doctor’s surgery. If you roll the pastry out as normal when you try and put it in the receptacle it fragments. After three times trying this I just bunged it in and stuck it together with water. It worked, but I’ll try making more pastry and making it thicker next time.