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Posts Tagged ‘Mythology’

Lily Wight

     Updated 09/10/2014

     Another full-length prose novel from (the admittedly deceased) J.R.R. Tolkien is too good to be true and infinitely more satisfying than all those collected fragments with endless footnotes.

     It’s business as usual with The Children Of Húrin as ancient oral-storytelling traditions pervade Tolkien’s reliably rich and evocative prose.

     Húrin has much in common with Norse dragon slayer Myths and is almost unbearably tragic.  It’s a great place to start with pre-Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings’ history and the maps and glossaries are essential – although why Tolkien is the only author who can get away with such things remains a mystery.

     It is a book to make you homesick for Middle-earth all over again.

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Lily Wight

     Updated 23/09/2014

     The Wheel Of The Year calendar comprises four Celtic fire festivals interspersed with two solstice and two equinox celebrations.  September’s Equinox denotes the height of the Autumn season.

     The Autumn Equinox is named variably as Modron (Mother Goddess) or Mabon (Divine Son) – deities from Welsh Mythology who can be found in The Legends Of King Arthur.

     Modron is a harvest and fertility goddess who shares characteristics with the Roman Ceres.  On the agricultural calendar Lughnasadh (August) is The First Harvest (grains and cereals) and The Autumn Equinox (September) is The Second Harvest (fruits and vegetables).

     At the Equinox the year wanes, yet the harvest is plentiful.   The ancient tribal people of The Western Hemisphere believed their Mother Goddess entered the third trimester of her pregnancy whilst her…

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Lily Wight

     Updated 24/06/2014

     The ancient seasonal calendar – known as The Wheel Of The Year – has reached Litha (meaning “wheel”) also known as The Longest Day, Midsummer and The Summer Solstice.

     Litha marks the height of the sun’s powers at the middle of the year before the inevitable shortening of daylight hours.

     Midsummer has been observed since Neolithic times.  It held special significance to the Scandinavian, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon people and is still celebrated throughout The Northern Hemisphere today.

     Litha was a time to urge the growth of crops in the hope of a plentiful harvest.  A wheel would be set on fire and rolled downhill to “warm” the fields, a practice first recorded two thousand years ago.

     Golden-flowered  Midsummer plants, such as Calendula and St. John’s…

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     Updated 23/09/2014

     The Wheel Of The Year calendar comprises four Celtic fire festivals interspersed with two solstice and two equinox celebrations.  September’s Equinox denotes the height of the Autumn season.

     The Autumn Equinox is named variably as Modron (Mother Goddess) or Mabon (Divine Son) – deities from Welsh Mythology who can be found in The Legends Of King Arthur.

     Modron is a harvest and fertility goddess who shares characteristics with the Roman Ceres.  On the agricultural calendar Lughnasadh (August) is The First Harvest (grains and cereals) and The Autumn Equinox (September) is The Second Harvest (fruits and vegetables).

     At the Equinox the year wanes, yet the harvest is plentiful.   The ancient tribal people of The Western Hemisphere believed their Mother Goddess entered the third trimester of her pregnancy whilst her divine consort prepares his descent to the wintry underworld.

     According to Arthurian Legend the fallen King Arthur is transported to Avalon, the “Isle Of Apples” to await his rebirth – an echo of the story of the dying god.  The Autumn Equinox is the best time for apple-picking and the fruit has come to have many sacred and mystical associations.

     Apples are used for a variety of regional folk customs, games and recipes at this time of year.  Slicing an apple across the middle reveals a pentacle or star – the symbol of man in harmony with the elements.

     Why not celebrate your Harvest Festival with some apple bobbing or by indulging in some candy apples?

 

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     If it has been a while since you visited The Arcade of Arts & Arcana Gallery then here is a naughty peek at what you’ve been missing!

     The Victoriana album is just one of a series of permanent features which are regularly updated and available to view via the Gallery tab at the top of the homepage.

Click to visit the Gallery

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     Updated 29/07/2014

     Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-na-sah) is one of eight festivals celebrated on the ancient Wheel Of The Year seasonal calendar.  It marks the midpoint between The Summer Solstice and The Autumn Equinox.  It was once observed when the first sheaf of corn was cut and now, most commonly, on 1st August.

     The First Harvest is named for the Irish Sun God, Lugh, who also lends his name to the Modern Irish name for August.  In Gaelic Mythology Lugh held a funeral and athletic games to honour his foster-mother, Tailtiu who died of exhaustion after clearing the land for agriculture.  Tailtiu represents an earth or harvest deity whose labours feed and nurture the people.

     At Lughnasadh tribal people throughout Western Europe and The Northern Hemisphere gave thanks for their grain and cereal harvest and sought blessings for next year’s crop.  The birth, death and rebirth of the cornfield was symbolic of the eternal cycle of all life.

     The Anglo-Saxons referred to The First Harvest as Hlaef-mass, meaning “loaf mass”.  Loaves would be baked in the shape of a corn god then broken and consumed to represent the blessings of his sacrifice.  The practice was adopted by modern Christians who refer to this festival as Lammas.

     Corn dollies, or spirit cages, are traditionally crafted at Lughnasadh to lure and capture crop spirits.  Combine this with the often misconstrued concept of sacrifice and you have the plot for The Wicker Man!

     It was common in agrarian societies for a god and goddess to marry at Beltane (1st May) and conceive a child to represent the new year and it’s harvest cycle.  In Folklore the father god “John Barleycorn” is “sacrificed” at Lughnasadh to nourish the bountiful goddess, her child and the people.  This is still reenacted today via the burning of a cornstalk effigy (not Edward Woodward).  Sometimes a bull would be sacrificed in the fields for a celebratory feast. 

     Today the people of Ireland still honour Lugh’s prowess by climbing closer to the sun, at the summit of Croagh Patrick in County Mayo, to gather bilberries for celebration foods and wine. 

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     Fairies, Fey, Phaeries, Fay… call them what you will because we love them all at The Arcade of Arts & Arcana.

     Return To The Faerie Realm Of Lily Wight, first posted on 31st May, was this year’s top post; the one that featured a very alternative Alice and earned this blogger the nickname “Macabre Cutie”!

     Click the link for another peek and rummage through the May 2012 archives for more fairy treasures.

     https://lilywight.com/2012/05/31/return-to-the-fairie-realm-of-lily-wight/

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