~ weird and wonderful blogging from the Welsh Marches ~

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  • Featured Image -- 3132
  • By H.-P.Haack - Antiquariat Dr. Haack Leipzig [1], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4087289
  • Hekate: personal devotional art work.



Dear Siobhan…

Dear Siobhan,

in your latest(1) attack (2) on me you said:

“I also have full contact information so if you have anything to say about me SAY it to my face you nasty web goblin!”

I would say it to your face but you have switched off comments on your blog – so here is my right to reply.

  • Can you prove your books were written by you, and you alone?
  • Can you prove that Andborough did not remove your book from publication?
  • Can you prove that you did not stalk harass and attack each and every one of us who helped to out you as a plagiarist, using multiple fake accounts none of which were in your real name until just recently?
  • Can you prove that you did never threaten legal action to anyone, from the author of DeBlog through to myself, and others across a period of ten years plus.
  • Can you prove that you never scammed anyone in your life?

Really, I’m sorry that this has caused you so much concern. Clearly, you are not well. You project your issues onto others, expecting them all to be as devious as you, apparently are. But it is you who is responsible for your own actions; no one else, and certainly not me, or any of the others you are harassing.

So I am asking you, nicely, to stop this madness – you, in your attempt to make me and the others who outed you as a plagiarist seem to be other the one’s at fault, are only revealing your true self.

Be kind to yourself.



Before you hurt yourself permanently.

By the way, comments here are open – so you do have the right to reply directly to this post. I can promise you, hand on heart, that if you do choose to reply here, it will be posted.

Update 26/10/2016: it has been noted that some posts on SMW blog have had commenting turned ‘On’ as of this morning. I have also had yet more of my content removed thanks to WordPress.

(1) WP removed the content due to a successful report by myself (see Screen Captures below) but Ms Whelan removed the post.

(2) After Ms Whelan removed the original post WP had taken down, she duplicated. She seems to think taking my content and personal information is the right thing to do; sadly, she is mistaken, which is why I have multiple successful reports against her.

Obviously her ability to know right from wrong is skewed, for some reason not known to us. However, the little band of friends who have come to be known as the Fluffy Bunnies and I see that she is not well. This is no excuse though. Especially when she has already shown she can and will spread lies, misinformation across the internet about us, including our private emails, addresses and other personal photo’s of family and friends.

These have all in the past been dealt by professionals, and I see no reasons to use her alleged illness as an excuse to stop reporting her now.

So Siobhan, honey, when you read this, please for your sake – get some professional help sweetheart. Seriously, you need to reach out to someone who can help you – I can’t do it for you sorry.

Be well.


Image source

As someone said to me – you’d think a 5*psychic would have seen it coming eh?ūüėČ

One last update for today:


Wake up…

Warm lips upon his cheek; red, the colour of blood… she whispered something he did not quite hear, so turned slightly to put his ear closer to her lips… but she laughed and rose up from his bed, leaving him half awake… shifting, he rose to see her sitting in the sunlight of the window seat, sewing.¬†

“What have you there, my Love, that needs the attention of your nimble fingers so early this morn?”

“Why, ’tis the Cocks-comb my sweet…”

He stared, perplexed at her reply…

“Look… ’tis so bright!” Her hands made to hold up her stitching…¬†

He woke, in darkness from the deep slumber to hear the cock crow, heralding the dawn!

Rising from his warm bed, urged on by his dream, he went to the window, and drew back the curtain… beyond, the land stretched out before him, mists rising from the river which crossed the land as if it were some silent primordial snake, slithering through the flat plain, winding its way onto the rolling distant hills.

The sun rose, scattering red hues and golden rays across the land – touching, as it grew higher, all before his gaze.

A movement caught his eye in the fields below, a Maid walked across the freshly turned earth, her hair loose, crowned with a garland of flowers… her gown a simple shift… a bag slung across her shoulders, her hand dipped into it, casts seeds onto the fertile earth – her movements, rhythmical, as if in time to some ancient beat…

As if she sensed his eyes upon her, she turned to meet his gaze… she did not miss a beat, but smiled and raised her arm to beckon him to her … her eyes bright but her lips so very red…¬†

…and the cock crowed…

He woke with a start, aware that this time he was really awake – the alarm heralding the day… he rose, and went about his morning ritual – washing and dressing while eating toast and drinking coffee, ready for the madness of the commute into the city.

While finishing his breakfast, looking out of his window, he saw a young woman walk past, her long hair loose, her walk in time to some ancient beat, and in that moment the sight of her broke his dream… and the Maid in the street turned to his gaze and¬†her red lips parted in a secret smile.


Rosslyn Chapel’s Ancient Bee Sanctuary

One of my favourite Chapel’s – this discovery surely points to yet more Occult knowledge known at the time – the building is a treasure trove of Gnosis hidden in plain sight and this is yet another gem. Click through to read more ->


Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel, founded in 1446, is a mediaeval treasure in stone located at Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland.

eclipse above Rosslyn Chapel pinnacles Rosslyn Chapel’s pinnacles during an eclipse

Back in 2010,  when the chapel was being restored, workers found surprises among its pinnacles. When they took the  pinnacles apart for repair, two of them enclosed hollow spaces the size of a gas tank. One of them also had an entrance through a carved stone flower on its exterior. And inside that pinnacle was a deserted bee hive. (The other hollow pinnacle had no stone-flower entrance.)

carved-pinnacle I imagine that carved flower facing the camera is the entrance

No-one knows why this sanctuary was purposefully built in a place where the bees and their honey are inaccessible.

One stonemason, Allan Gilmour, said that he had seen bees create hives within soft sandstone. They buried into the sandstone and created honeycombs. This weakened the stone. In the 15th century, hives were usually woven…

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Re-blogged: The Ring of Arte~ A Witches Compass

From the Maid of Clan Tubal Cains own blog; a wonderful description of the Witches Compass – one that I hope will encourage all of you who read my humble offerings here to journey across the bridge, over¬†the moat into the Castle and lands anewūüôā

People of Goda, the Clan of Tubal Cain


“The information about the nine foot magic circle sounds a bit false. I am very disinclined to believe it as a possible historical event. Everything in the theory points towards a laboured nineteenth century hand, inventing primitive man all over again. No twentieth century man likes to admit the possibility that it has all been done before. But in a different way with different means. However, this is literally what a witch’s compass is, a highly efficient and scientific machine, and it requires science to use it properly.

This is the Key of Kings.‚ÄĚ

                                                                                                      (Robert Cochrane)

A scientific machine? The Key of Kings? Robert Cochrane wittingly beguiles us with these intriguing descriptions in deference to ~ the Ring of Arte. Upon reading them, we could be forgiven for thinking these two comments oppose one another, or that they suggest a paradox in linear time. Sounding…

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Prayer to Helios: A Charm to Restrain Anger and for Victory and for Securing Favour

By original file by Gryffindor - File:Pergamonmuseum - Antikensammlung - Relief 39.JPG, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6554085

By original file by Gryffindor – File:Pergamonmuseum – Antikensammlung – Relief 39.JPG, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6554085


(None is Greater): Say to the Sun (Helios) 7 times, and anoint your Hand with Oil and wipe it on your Head and Face.

Now the Prayer is:

“Rejoice with me,

You who are set over the East Wind and the World, for whom all the Gods serve as Body-Guards at Your Good Hour and on Your Good Day,

You who are the Good Daimon of the World, the Crown of the Inhabited World,

You who arise from the Abyss,

You who Each Day rise a Young Man and set an Old Man,


I beg You, Lord, do not allow me to be Over-Thrown, to be Plotted Against, to receive Dangerous Drugs, to go into Exile, to fall upon Hard Times.

Rather, I ask to obtain and receive from You Life,








Favor with all Men and all Women,

Victory over all Men and all Women.

Yes, Lord,


accomplish this Matter which I want, by means of Your Power.”

[PGM XXXVI.211-30]


By H.-P.Haack – Antiquariat Dr. Haack Leipzig [1], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4087289


Pray to the Moon; honour her by her many names.


“Come to me,¬†O Beloved mistress,

Three-faced Selene; kindly hear my secret chants;

Night’s ornament, young, bringing light to mortals,

O child of the morn who ride upon fierce bulls,

O Queen who drive your car on equal course

With Helios, who with triple forms

Of triple Graces dance in revel with the stars.

You’re Justice and the Moira’s threads:

Klotho and Lachesis and Atropos!

Three-headed, you’re Persephone, Megaira,

Allekto, many-formed, who arm your hands

With dreaded, murky lamps, who shake your locks

Of fearful serpents on your brow, who sound

The roar of bulls out from your mouths, whose womb

Is decked out with the scales of creeping things,

With pois’nous rows of serpents down the back,

Bound down your backs with horrifying chains

Night-Crier, bull faced, loving solitude,

Bull-headed, you have the eyes of bulls, the voice

Of dogs; you hide your forms in shanks of lions,

Your ankle is wolf-shaped, fierce dogs are dear

To you, wherefore they call you Hekate,

Many-named, Mene, cleaving air just like

Dart-shooter Artemis, Persephone,

Shooter of deer, night shinning, triple-sounding,

Triple-headed, triple-voiced Selene

Triple-pointed, triple-faced, triple-necked,

And goddess of the triple ways, who hold

Untiring flaming fire in triple baskets

And you who oft frequent the triple way

And rule the triple decades, unto me

Who’m calling you be gracious and with kindness

At night, before whom daimons quake in fear

And gods immortal tremble, goddess who

Exalt men, you of many names, who bear

Fair offspring, bull eyed, horned, mother of gods

And men, and Nature, Mother of all things,

For you frequent Olympus, and the broad

And boundless chasm you traverse. Beginning

And end are you, and you alone rule all.

For all things are from you, and in you do

All things, Eternal one, come to their end.

As everlasting band around your temples

You wear great Kronos’ chains, unbreakable

And unremovable, and you hold in

Your hands a golden sceptre. Letters ’round

Your sceptre Kronos wrote himself and gave

To you to wear that all things stay steadfast:

Subduer and subdued, mankind subduer,

And force-subduer; Chaos, too, you rule.


Hail, goddess, and attend your epithets,

I burn for you this spice, O child of Zeus,

Dart-shooter, heav’nly one, goddess of harbours,

Who roam the mountains, goddess of crossroads,

O nether and nocturnal, and infernal,

Goddess of dark, quiet and frightful one,

O you who have your meal amid the graves,

Night, Darkness, broad Chaos: Necessity

Hard to escape are you; you’re Moira and

Erinyes, torment, Justice and Destroyer,

And you keep Kerberos in chains, with scales

Of serpents, serpent-girded, who drank blood,

Who bring death and destruction, and who feast 

On hearts, flesh eater, who devour those dead

Untimely, and you who make grief resound

And spread madness, come to my sacrifices,

And now for me do you fulfil this matter.”

Source: PGM IV 2785-2870

The above prayer is from the Greek Magical Papyri in Translation, (inc the Demotic spells; edited by Hans Dieter Betz) more commonly known as the PGM – which is a mine of information for the discerning Witch.

PGM IV 2874 to 2890 deals with the suitable offerings and a protective charm for the rite.

The offerings are of sweet perfumes – storax, myrrh, sage (not white…!), frankincense and a fruit pip, though it does not say which fruit – these are to be used if the rite is for ‘doing good’; if not, then something more baneful is needed…. “[…] offer magical / material of a dog and a dappled goat.” I will leave the readers imagination to run wild at what this ‘magical material’ might be… the entry does go on to mention an alternative, “[…] in a similar way, of a virgin untimely dead.”!

The protective charm, which I assume is to be worn, over the heart as usual, and maybe also useful for Selene to know the person calling her is of a serious nature; it’s made from a lodestone, upon which a three faced Hekate has been carved; the face of Her-Herself, is to be looking outwards, wearing horns; the head of a dog to the left, the head of a goat to the right. The whole is then cleaned with natron (salt) and water, then dipped in the blood of “one who has died a violent death.” … Perhaps the blood from a nice steak would suffice? Or a drop from your own finger?¬†An offering of food is then made to the charm, usually bread and fruit in season.

The translation then goes on to instruct “[…] and say the same spell at the time of the rite.” with a footnote leading to another incantation to Helios to be said over the charm. If you have a copy of the PGM, I’ll leave you look that one up.

What interests me, are the numerous names for the Moon; lets call on her by all her known names to make sure she’s listening to us – names, as we all know, like words, have power – the older the name, the more the power? I’d say yes, as many have called on this name in the past… but what if it’s an unknown name, lost in some ancient hieroglyph covered stone tablet?

Hands up who noticed an unknown¬†name in the above? Did you shrug, and move on? Or did you stop, and look it up? Do you do your own research, or expect to be spoon fed by others? Or perhaps a bit of both? Don’t get me wrong; inspiration comes in many forms, many, many forms, why else do we have creative peoples who’s works speak to us on a deep Soul level, if not to inspire us? Selene or what ever other name you know her by, is the source of inspiration, urging us to find our artistic, poetic voice, from deep within us – she leads us through the dark to find that beautiful star, shinning forth, in dazzling brilliance, that leads to that realisation; the one that resonated with our Soul, birthing forth our own gnosis, which calls to our deep memories, held within our own blood; our own DNA.

We have to do the work to benefit from it – no good relying on others to do it for you – how many are the books I’ve read, over the years, with notes scribbled in the margins, and pages marked while I run off and look a certain something up – something that has hit that inner bell, who’s chime vibrates annoyingly loud until the answer is found! Sometimes, the answer takes years to reveal it’s self. When you have it, if it fits in with your ethos, apply it to your praxis, being creative with your adaptation… for example – one of the names above hit that chord with me, as if She had taken up the hammer Herself… oh so much lies in that name which I can, if I should so wish, use… and shall, if needs be.

Thus the Path we walk is long and crooked.


Queen of the Witches.

Medea’s prayer to Hekate:
“O night, faithful friend of mysteries; and you, golden stars and moon, who follow the fiery star of day; and you, Hecate, goddess with threefold head, you know my designs and come to strengthen my spells and magic arts; and you, earth, who offer your potent herbs to magic; and airs, winds, mountains, streams, and lakes, and all you woodland gods, and all you gods of the night: Be present now.‚ÄĚ
~ Ovid, The Metamorphose

Hekate: personal devotional art work. ©Cymraes2016

Hekate: personal devotional art work.  Mixed media on canvas.
Partly inspired by Hrefngast’s wonderful painting of Hekate.¬©Cymraes2016

The Dove: a symbol of peace or paganism?

Reblogging this, as there is much to ponder on – truths that lie hidden in plain sight, confounding the senses unless the heart, eye’s and mind are open… or opening….

Mythology and the Seasons

The dove in Christianity is often thought to symbolise hope and peace.

‚ÄėAnd the¬†dove¬†came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluck off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.‚Äô¬†Genesis 8:11

As in Genesis, when Noah sends a dove to search for land, when it returns with an olive leaf it has a deep symbolic meaning attached to it. The dove is believed to symbolise a hope of a promised land, but it could easily symbolise catastrophe and death by the flood. That in essence baptises the world, riding it of its sins. The olive leaf in the doves beak is symbolic of the riches of ancient civilisation. Today we don’t think much of olives as a sign of divine prosperity but to the Ancient Greeks it was ambrosia, the food of the gods…

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The Joys of Pine-resin!



The golden rule of foraging; take only what you need –¬†of what there is available, take one third, leaving two thirds behind.


There is nothing quite like going out and foraging locally for your supplies. One of the first for me is always a trip around the local pines trees for some of their sweet smelling resin. They give up their gifts so easily; no need to ‘tap’ the tree’s (though I have in the past) – I just wonder over to where they are, which is part of the old estate grounds, the house, now long gone.

It’s best to find the resin at this time of year, as it can take a whole year to ‘mature’. Fresh pine resin is very very sticky, and even after a year, it can still be tacky – but hot soapy water usually cleans any sticky hands. Because the sap rises from the roots of all trees in the spring, (resulting in the buds bursting forth into blossom and leaves) looking for pine resin in the early part of the season¬†will assure a gathering of a mature harvest, and the fresh emanations can be thus avoided.



The tree’s I use are Scots pines, and have been for many years; it is they who ‘called’ me, and who’s spirit I work with. The relationship is a long and healthy one; I ask – they give – I give back with thanks. So my advice is to cultivate your own relationship with the spirit of the pines (there are many genius across the continents) – taking time to get to know the trees on all levels; both on the physical and the spiritual. It’s a personal thing between you and the tree; work at it and you won’t regret it. Just don’t expect to go out on dates togetherūüėČ

So how do you know it’s resin?

Well for one thing, you will smell it. It may amaze you when this happens, because it will sooner or later – usually when you least expect it.



The trees I gather from, usually bleed from very feminine fissures – seriously – they do – see the photo’s – amazing eh?



Sometimes the resin takes a greenish tinge, almost a mossy mouldy type crust over it – sometimes this crust is a brownish yellowish or redish colour – sometimes, the resin, when fresh literally bleeds down the bark of the tree – once you get your eye in, you’ll be seeing nuggets of resin all over the place … but not on all pine trees… lest than half of the pines I go to, give up their resin. But that’s fine – I keep looking and noting where they are.




Once you think you’ve found some nuggets, gently, and carefully prise some out with a pen knife or ritual blade… if some wood comes with it, no problems, but the resin should be yellow when broken open, and grows darker with age. A year old, it it will be the colour of primroses; older and it will mature to a golden colour.



The scent will be heavenly!




Pine, according to Culpepper, is ruled by Mars Рgo figure which day to harvest on and your half way there to using it magically. Work with the pine spirit and you will have your own gnosis. Combine the two and you may come to see why it is so prized by some cultures, and is thé traditional resin for the witches of the past who chose it over the exotic resins from the Far East.



As you burn some on a little charcoal, envisage a cottage, stone built walls; thatched roof; a fire in the hearth, a gun behind the door – and I can well imagine you flying up the chimney on your broom… in fact I challenge you to imagine it too.

Become that little old bent lady, shawl over her shoulders, head scarf knotted under her chin when you go out, bag and knife in basket, covered with a clean t-towel, so no-one can see what you’re at. Be her, as soft footed she enters the area where¬†her pines grow – her kisses are your kisses as they float through the air to the tree tops; her hand is your hand as she gently caresses the rough bark, sensing the roots deep beneath her feet – her smile is your smile as she scatters the seed for the birds that live in the pines branches; you are as one as you watch them flutter down – you both smile as a little squirrel comes to steal some… you lift your nose to the air and follow the scent – to the tree who’s tops blow gently in the wind; as you take out your blade, and slowly sink it into the¬†yielding¬† rich yellow resin, you whisper words of incantational gratitude. The wind caresses you softly, as if in reply, lifting your skirts, the tail of your shawl and your scarf slips from your head, leaving your long loose hair, writhing like gorgon like, around your¬†shoulders. ¬†

In that moment you are at one with Mother Nature and all her children… far above you a bird of prey calls and you know, all is well within your magical world.¬†





Seasons Greetings!

Winter Solstice 2006

It’s here again,

this time of year,

when the sun stands still,
then turns and beings to grow.

As should we, his/her children…

Deck the Halls the Solstice is here!

Gladsome cheer to one and all!



It’s the little things that count.

The way to a man’s heart,

lies in his stomach”¬†

Old wives tale.

There’s so very often more than a grain of truth in some old wives tales!

The witches…. sorry, women in my family learn this one at a very early age, around about the time they first learn to cook…

To cook from scratch with wholesome ingredients is something generations of us have done, and my generation, and the generations after mine, are also taught to do the same.

It’s the little things that count.

Season your food with herbs, spices and salt; there is much magic in this very action – the salt blesses the food, clears out impurities and therefore all kinds of nasty subversive energies.

Herbs, even culinary one’s have both medicinal and magical actions ~ herb salt is a must on my table!

As is pepper, white, black, pink, green, not to mention Allspice.

Spices too, add a touch of the exotic…

By now it’s clear that we have all been excellent cooks in my family, using fresh ingredients, some of which we have either reared, or grown ourselves. This stretches back, as I said for generations; farmers wives mostly, with the odd butcher, and more than a fair sprinkling of Blacksmiths, all hard working men who needed good wives, who could cook food to feed them, and big families to feed too, sometimes so large that there would be two sittings at the table!

My Grandmother used to churn the most amazing butter, laced heavily with sea salt – to preserve it. As a small child I’d sneak into the pantry, where the butter would be kept on an old earthen ware brown plate, on the cold slab. I remember the door used to squeak, so opening it was a risky thing to do if she was in ear shot, but worth it, just for that finger full of creamy salty butter!

When she retired from the farm, I asked for her butter pads when she had ‘finished’ with them… I’ve kept them all these years, even though I now am a Grandmother. They’ve graced my kitchens in all my many moves and often I have had to put down a firm foot to keep them in my possession!

Now I have found a practical use for them.

I make pasta, yes, fresh pasta – it’s so easy too and far more tasty than shop bought.

One large egg, to 100g strong white bread flour, with a pinch of salt of course!

(I double this for two to three people, depending on how hungry they are!)

Simply mix to a dough (with a little water if needed) and kneed till smooth ~ though I use a mixer with a dough hook these days to save my hands!

You can then either roll the dough, with a rolling-pin, or use a pasta machine… expensive them things! But they do come up in charity shops, and I’m all for second hand, as you will know!

Recently, I’ve learnt how to make these.IMG_4396

Note the shape…¬†very feminine shall we sayūüėČ and what better way to honour the feminine energies of our Mothers than with our food?

Especially at this time of year, as Mother Nature lies dormant, asleep, awaiting the kiss of warmth from her lover as he rises from his dark depths of midwinter ~ a time when we need to nourish ourselves too, with good food and company, to brighten the long winter nights.

Plus, the implement I need to make them was right under my nose!

Yes, my late Grandmother’s butter pats!


Showing that heirlooms are not only full of old memories, but sometime, they can make new ones tooūüôā Hands long gone, live on in these hands, and the hands of my children, and my children’s children… there is much magic here, in this simple act of creation.

I have a nice big pan of rich Bolognese (my own creation) on the stove too!


Let me know if you’d like the recipeūüôā

The kitchen truly is a place where magic happens, in so many ways, to make life just a tad better in so many delicious waysūüėČ

Happy cooking, and remember to add that extra dash of something special to your dishes too.


Midwinter at Maeshowe, Orkney.

Maeshowe © Frank Bradford

The Ancients built Maeshowe burial chamber to align with the Midwinter Solstice Sun Set in the Stone age ~ the exact reason why they did this has been lost, but we can imagine the reason, and it’s clear to see that it has a great deal to do with the Solstice when the sun is reborn to rise again.

In our modern age, of computers, webcams and the internet, we can share this experience as it happens; if it happens… weather up in the far north is chaotic and on Orkney, surrounded by sea, it changes every five minutes sometimes!

Still, the process of the sun’s traverse of the passage way into the inner chamber is a fascinating thing to observe, live, as it happens.

We can try to imagine the ancients and the rituals that must have taken place at this time.

With the recent finds on the Ness of Brodgar, only a stone’s throw away from Maeshowe, there is evidence of great feasting in the latter phase of the complex. Further more, if the site is a ritual complex, then what part did it play in the Midwinter Solstice Celebrations?

To watch the process of the Suns journey into the heart of the tomb follow this link

If you wish, leave your musings in comments ~ be interesting to hear what you have to sayūüôā


Leche House.

Chester, the palatine of Cheshire, is a small, but beautiful city with a rich wealth of history stretching back to the Romans and beyond.

It”s well worth strolling through it’s streets on warm sunny days, just absorbing the history and romance of yesteryears.

One particular particular and unique medieval feature are the Rows, a level of shops, along a covered walkway, above street level.





These galleried walk ways extend along four of the main streets, affording shoppers, of the past, present and future, the ability to go about their day in relative comfort, sheltered from the elements.


Leche House from Water gate Street. ©Cymraes2014


Down Watergate Street, we find Leche House (pictured above) a grand old house, built on a 14thC undercroft – the majority of the upper building dates from the 16thC onwards.

It is one of the best preserved houses in the city, and as many find when they visit – it’s a place where the veil can be lifted… no doubt it has it’s ghosts, some, with many a good tale to tell I should imagine!

The first thing that hit’s you as you walk into what is now The Sofa shop is the amazing space before you – rich with symbolism the fireplace stretches up into the ceiling in a most unexpected way.




Note how the crests have been removed.




Under the mantelpiece are three man made holes, but what¬†were they for…? Perhaps the timber was reclaimed and these are peg holes? Or little niches¬†in which to hide something or other?




The coat of arms is interesting too…




It’s clear, through out the building that other coats of arms have been removed though, suggesting that the family fell from grace at sometime.




The coat of arms here though, is most intriguing – at sometime during the buildings history, it was a drinking house called The Snake in Hand… but the history of the family reveal that this is not a snake, no, it’s a leech!

The Leche family originated in Derbyshire and had their seat in Carding, just outside of Chester. I assume Leche House was their town dwelling.




The interior, both upstairs and downstairs has been nicely preserved, with many original features for the curious to stand and stare at, wondering what secrets are hidden here in plain sight?



Little rooms beckon, some have a definite atmosphere too!



Old windows with modern views; I wonder who looked out of here in years gone by when the house was in it’s hay-day?



The stairs my be modern, but the rail has had many a hand run over it.



The sofa’s for sale sit well with the history of the house; now visitors can once again sit and chat, all be it fleetingly, the welcome is warm.



This door way must lead down, and even with the modern trappings of fire safety, the temptation was to open it and look down… to who knows what, or who!



Wattle and daube; the original sustainable building materials!




That corner was very ‘busy’ and I present it here for the ‘viewer’ who may be sensitive to what was there.



The back courtyard, the gate would lead down the street towards the river, and the busy port.



The fire place in the back room, with crests removed.




“Come sit a while by the fire, warm yourself and rest”





So many portals to another world!




















I hope you enjoyed the tour?


Hidden in plain sight!

“Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”¬†Annon.

I have found that often, certain things are hidden in plain sight, as if the folk of yesteryear, left clues for us to follow.

The Green Man often graces many a church.


Even the owl, a classical symbol of wisdom the ancients was still used.


Could this be a Woodwoose?


 Are these just pretty flowers or is there an unspoken meaning behind them?


 A King but who? Powys had many could this be one?SS851015 SS851016

These rather poor images above are of roof bosses in St Aelhaiarn’s Church, Guilsfield, Powys.

The one’s below are of the font there.SS851017

The figures, around the font are of interest.


A horned head? Or the saints eyebrows?SS851019 SS851020 SS851021

Around the Church it’s self grow twenty two yews.

The retaining wall is raised and circular, suggesting this could have been a pagan site, of either a henge, or stone circle.

Photo copyright under Creative Commons ~ Jennifer Luther Thomas

Photo copyright under Creative Commons ~ Jennifer Luther Thomas

St Aelhaiarn’s feast day is November 1st.

The clues are there, for those with the eye’s to see… or perhaps for those who look beyond the veil?

In times gone by, much of the congregation would have been illiterate; pre-reformation, Churches were highly decorated with paintings showing biblical scenes. In these modern times, we see very little of these frescos, but what is left can be most interesting. IF the observer truly opens their eyes. So what if this IS a Christian site now? The fact that it is still a place of worship, matters little in the grand scheme of things. Much can be seem here, I think, of the religion it replaced. Just how that religion took form we do not know; we know it existed though, but there is no un-broken thread from pre-Christian days to the present… only clues.

With that in mind, it might be time to look at Churches in a different light, remembering:

  • Obfuscation comes in many forms. Sweep it away and what is left, is the truth, no matter how improbable!
  • Look at things with a different perspective and those who have gone before us, speak, sometimes with pagan symbols.
  • Nothing is ever forgotten.
  • Question everything and everyone; only the ignorant are afraid of asking questions… the answers are out there!
  • Seek out these little gems of information, and a different understanding will blossom like flowers in the spring.SS851007

Swan song.

With winter due to arrive (properly) this week, I took a tour around my little garden in the weak winter sunshine today ~ this little garden has changed so much this year; gone is the former occupants rather formal garden, to be replaced by my own style of growing as much food as you can, while looking after Mother Nature by not using chemicals.

To me, having learnt the basics when there were hardly any chemicals, this is still the natural way.

You feed the soil, encourage helpful insects, lay lashings of compost from the heap to nourish the soil and the worms, rather than apply chemicals… the result is a garden that will look after it’s self, with just a little help.

Mentioning compost I can never have enough!

All home made with the help of wriggly worms ~ nothing from the kitchen or garden ever goes to waste; it goes in the compost bin at the bottom of the garden, watched over by the fairies…ūüėČ


I also have my name down for an allotment; fingers crossed that will be this next year.


I think the nasturtiums will be the first to go when Jack Frost finds them; as usually they have been wonderful this year, all of them self seeded from the year before – they’ve gone into salads all summer and the seeds have been pickled too; the bumblebees love them too as does blackfly! Better them than my beans though! So I’m willing to sacrifice a few to the sticky little buggers!


Talking of beans, the broad beans are still flowering, though I doubt there’s much about in this cold wind to pollinate them! They too have been wonderful this year; I can never grow enough of them!


Nearly all the berries on this bush have gone; the blackbirds and the squirrels have been at them already! It does look pretty – especially with the light on it. This one is stayingūüôā


Thought I dare say it will be stripped soon, it’s charm lifts the spirits.


Even the nasturtiums are heading for it – they won’t get there though, but the forsythia will cradle them from ole Jack hopefully…. I do love them so.


Already the double feverfew is feeling the chill; bright and upright until this morning, I bet she has a headache…


Some see Welsh Poppies as weeds and don’t want them in their gardens, which is sad – they are beautiful and the bees love their simple flowers, helping to set the seed that gets everywhere! I look forward to meeting the children of this one next spring.


Winter Jasmine – she does not have the heady perfume of her exotic sister, but her beauty is just as lovely; she reminds me of my Grandmothers, she grew near the gate there, giving a cheery welcome to visitors on even the greyest of winter days.


This nasturtium lasted all through last winter – but it wasn’t as cold as usual, just wet! She has been beautiful all year, coming into flower early in the spring. An usual colour too; blood red and smaller than usual.


Around the front, the garden is more formal, and will stay that way, though I do need to soften it. One thing I am grateful for are the number of roses planted before I took over their care. Just two buds remain, clinging on to the memory of last summer.


The buddlea my Father gave me as a cutting has grow well this year as if in celebration of his return to good health – now the leaves are that winter grey that looks so inviting in the sun.


Soon the days will be their darkest, their shortest as the year slowly dies, and then the celebrations of re-birth begin once again and the days grow longer – this really is my favourite time of year, when Mother Nature sings her swan song…



A Midwinter Ritual.

Holm sunset

It might sound a simple thing to do, but this observation has existed since ancient times.

Choose that which you wish to do, you may of course, wish to watch sunrise and sunset over several days. Though I speak of the dawn, some things will also apply to the sunset.

To rise before dawn to see the sun rise, you will need to prepare.


Check times of the dawn in your location as it will differ, of course, depending on where you live.


Marking the spots where the sun rises and sets will bring you into the flow of the time and seasons, and thus align you with the ebb and flow of life and death, bringing you close to those who’ve not only gone before you, but those who mark things this way as well.

Rituals outside may or may not be accompanied by ritual grab, actions, and tools – again, use that which you want; or not … the over riding theme of every ritual is the magical mystery which accompanies it. Some find ritual tools are a hinderance at times. Others that they add to it. Each to their own, but, I do suggest a simple offering, with a prayer of your own making either from the heart, read, or recited from memory. That is up to you to perform, only if you wish, as you give your offering or pour your libation.

Simple observations are often the best.


Meditate on them – even draw, paint or photograph them.


The rewards will be many.

Runcorn Bridge

Depending on where you live, choose a place that draws you – some will watch the sun rise over the sea, from the beach; or over a river,lake or stream. Some will go to a mountain top, other’s to a sacred site, stone circle or standing stone; a castle, a park or simply stay at home.

Winter Solstice 2006

Do not worry it you don’t yet have a place to go.


Where ever this is, if you start today you will have plenty of time to find that place that speaks to you – where you feel comfortable, assured and at home.


Make sure, where ever your special place is, that you can see the horizon.


It is the first rays of the sun on the solstice morning, that liminal place, at that liminal time that is when the magic starts happen!

Orkney sunset

Some musings on the dying year.


Midwinter, a time of death and rebirth, feasting and merriment!

The Land lies dormant, mists rising, rivers and streams run icy cold.

The Ancients knew this time was important, marking the liminality point of tradition from one to another ~ Mother Nature waits for the return of the Sun to warm her, and now, as the year dies down, death and decay is all around us.

The trees are naked, all save the ever greens – is it no wonder the customs of bringing holly and ivy into the house are still followed?

So deep in our collective memory are these things, that for some, the true meaning of this time of year not forgotten, but re-remembered?


Cascob: the Dragons Lair and St Michael.

Cascob map all

The map above charts the five St Michael’s Churches set in a ‘ring’ around the area of Radnor Forest, said in the legend to be keeping a sleeping dragon at bay.

As I said in The Cascob Charm¬†earlier, this looks more like an inverted pentagram than anything else… the Churches beginning with the southern¬†one and moving clockwise are:

Llanfihangel Nant Melan

Llanfihangel Cefnllys

Llanfihangel Rhydithan

Llanfihangel Cascob

Llanfihangel Discoed

Here is a link to the Bing Maps of the area – I suggest you change the view to OS maps from the default of Road at the drop down menu at the far left top pf the map. You will need to scroll in and out to find the Churches, and please note only two have Llanfiahngel (Welsh for St Michael) in their title on the map.

So there we are – seems the legend has a grain of truth in it – though I doubt it was a Dragon of the Hollywood sort that sleeps there – dragon energy perhaps, or an Old God of the people? A place of power, a sacred site? Certainly something that had the local clergy worried.

*I’d like to give a shout out to Sean MacDai who helped me with a few digital technical problems I had; Sean – you’re the best – thank youūüôā

The River Dee – Thoughts on Aerfen Part One

As you will know, Dear Reader, the Romans equated Minerva with this Goddess and built a shrine to her on the banks of the Dee at Deva/Chester which is still in-situ … and visited by your’s truly on a regular basis.

Hence this re-bogged post is very valuable info; I having traced the Dee to her source, as well as the quaint folk lore that her waters didn’t mingle with those of Llyn Tepid/Bala Lake, but flowed straight through, remaining pure (and untainted?) on course for the estuary at the Wirral.

Dee Valley Archaeology

River Dee near Carrog River Dee near Carrog

Water Deities haven’t lost their power over us .

Along¬†¬†the Dee Valley this is especially true ,¬†one of the goddesses strongly associated with the River Dee is Aerfen who is said to have had a shrine or grove near Glyndyfrdwy ¬†. The¬†River Dee was occasionally known as Aerfen in Middle Welsh. Today nothing remains to indicate where or what this shrine was . It‚Äôs¬†reasonable to suggest that the shrine was a ‚Äėgrove‚Äô on the bank of the river or in a wooded area near it .

If Aeron , as some have suggested  is a version of  name Aeron the war goddess which derives from  from Agrona a  Goddess of Slaughter then the link to  war and sacrifice is more easily explained

Ian Pegler in his work Valle Crucis and the Sunline suggests that Aefen’s shrine was near to the sunline and this is of symbolic significance for the…

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“Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.”

 Romeo and Juliet. Act 3, scene 1. William Shakespear.


The only thing we all have in common, it is said, is death.

The rites and rituals surrounding the dead and dying are as diverse as the human race it’s self.

The Irish have their wakes.

The Catholic their last rites.

The Ancient Greeks their penny for the Ferry Man, and I like to think this is echoed by the Victorian’s placing pennies on the eye lids of the deceased.

More interestingly there is a lot of information to be gleaned from the folklore of the British Isles on the subject of death – enough, I expect to fill a book! So for now, Dear Reader, I shall be writing of the more interesting little titbits I come across, as this is subject I love to ramble on about!

My earliest memories outside of the family farm, are of visiting the graves of my maternal Great-Grandparents with my own Grandmother. There it began, amongst the head stones and curb stones, the fascination with not only graveyards, but my own ancestors and the folklore of which I write now.

Needless to say, within my own family, if someone had died recently, all the curtains in the house would be closed against the day – perhaps to veil the grieving from the eye’s of passer by’s, or, more likely to inform the neighbours or unexpected visitors. How long they remained closed, I cannot say.

Also within my own family, was the foretelling of a death, if a bird suddenly entered the house, be it a Robin or a Starling, it was known that ‘someone was on their way’, and true to form, news of a recent death would reach our ears within a few days!

Mirrors where given the same treatment as when a thunderstorm was about; they would be covered, or if small enough turned over, face down. This can only come from the ‘superstition’ of mirrors holding images… as ‘we’ know, mirrors are magical objects – more so with age, even more so if silvered… as I can attest to, when as a bride looking into my Grandmothers mirror, which had been her Mother’s as well, I caught a glimpse of many Brides behind me going back many generations.

Windows and doors were opened to let out the dead – the soul had to fly free, not hang around to scare the living – this has regional variations with some opening the window when death was near to other places leaving the back door ajar over night!

Then there was sin-eating.

Whether this took place in my own family at any time I cannot say, but it is a Shropshire tradition, as shown in ‘Precious Bane’ (by the Shropshire author Mary Webb) when the son is too tight with his money to pay the local sin-eater, to ‘eat’ his fathers sins… no good befalls the family after this.

The Last Sin-Eater,¬†Richard Munslow, who died in 1906, is buried in, in Ratlinghope,¬†Shropshire, down by Church Stretton, where, incidentally the Regency Coven ended up. Sin eating was a very interesting custom. The rite would take place with the ‘eater’ taking on the sins of the dead person, in a rite which took place over or on the body; bread, beer and salt would be consumed after resting on the chest of the dead person – the symbolic rite is also described in one of Fiona MacLeods works, offered here for you, the copyright having now run out.

The story is an interesting description of such a rite, but the poor unfortunate sin-eater has not the whit to throw off the sins he’s taken on.

There is also the tradition of guarding the graveyard; it’s said that either the first, or the last person buried in a graveyard is the spirit who appears to others, sometimes as a black dog or a Lady in White.

I know of several such head stones, both interestingly in municipal cemetery’s opened in the Victorian era, when the Church yards were over following and disease was rife; one of the solutions was to bury the dead six foot under! Before this, burials were in shallow graves in reused areas. Only the rich could afford head stones that would last the passage of time. Only the rich could afford to be buried on the sunny side of the Church, or, within the Church it’s self – the more rich and important they were, the closer to the altar they went; in the crypt of course! The poor paupers were buried around the colder northside, were most of the plague pits are to be found, most with out a marker of any kind. To the East, went the folk who had a little money, who could afford a marker, but made of wood, which would eventually decay – the South had the best stone monuments and the West would have a good amount too – all good Christian burials are facing East, ready for the resurrection.

The amount of burials on the warmer aspects of a Church yard is usually evident by the retaining wall – usually quite high to keep in all those bones! Municipal cemeteries did away with the need to reuse graves, so are quite flat in comparison.

Now back to the two grave stones that mark the first burial in Ellesmere and Oswestry, dated the¬†8 Aug 1865 and¬†December 26th 1862. Then there is the first grave in the cemetery in Chester, which I have also spoken of – I cannot but help notice the dates of these burials as being close to certain festivals we modern day folk celebrate. I speculate if this is coincidence or not…

I also recall the ‘hoo-har’, when a closed Church yard in a small isolated village close to my home town on the Welsh Marches was re-opened for the burial of the Vicar’s wife. The locals were up in arms about it! Again, I speculate as to the real reason why…

Winter Solstice Walk Moel Ty Uchaf Stone Circle Sunday 21 December

So many times I see people online moan about the lack of community, and/or what they can do on the Winter Solstice.

For a good few years now, I have climbed up to the highest point I can find in the landscape (weather permitting!) to either/and/or watch the sun set the night before the solstice, and then rising early to watch it too rise up over the land; reborn again…

Old lore says that those who do this, gain a certain something – it’s certainly true that the experiences are never forgotten; even the one’s that don’t quite go to plan…ūüėČ

So after my sunrise vigil, this year I’ll be going over to Wales, to meet up with this lot and walk up to a stone circleūüôā

If you, Dear Reader, are in the area why not join us?ūüôā

Dee Valley Archaeology

One of our favourite places ,high above  the beautiful landscape of the Dee Valley is the stone Circle  Moel Ty Uchaf.  Meet at Hendwr Bridge at 11.30 . Suitable footwear and outdoor clothing is essential.

OS reference :SJ 05613717.    The circle consists of 41 surviving stones and is around 12 meters across.

CADVAS  Moel ty Uchaf1CADVAS Walk to Moel Ty Uchaf

CADVAS Walk to Moel Ty Uchaf

Moel Ty Uchaf  is thought to date to the Bronze Age . It is presumed that the monument was the focus for  significant ceremonial and ritual  activity . Lack of evidence from any excavations on the monument hamper further analysis , however the surrounding landscape reveals possible funerary monuments in the form of at least two cairns and at least four possible cists. A platform is clearly identifiable down slope  south of the stone circle

Platform Cairn near Moel Ty Uchaf Platform Cairn near Moel Ty Uchaf

The raised , circular platform cairn  identifiable as belonging to the Bronze Age . It…

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The Cascob Charm.

There is a legend down Radnor way, that a dragon, perhaps the last in Wales, sleeps under Radnor Forest; he sleeps an unnatural slumber, kept at bay by a ring of Churches, all dedicated to St Michael – he who defeated Lucifer, in the battle in Heaven… In Wales, there were many dragons once, so the legends go.

One of those Churches, dedicated to St Michael, is to be found at Cascob, out in the middle of nowhere… or so it would seem…


St Michaels and All Angels

The first thing you notice when going through the gate is the peaceful setting, it seems like you only have sheep in the fields around the Church as company… oh and the dead.

When I was there, some summers ago now, the tower was being restored… maybe the dragon snored too loudly and shook the foundations…? Who knows.

The Church is kept locked, a sad sign of the times we live in, but the key is kept nearby and always available¬†to anyone who dares to knock. It’s large, as all good keys should be, turned by many a hand, it’s weight is not just in it’s metal… once inside, it’s clear the Church is a simple place, much like Pillith, but not so feminine, for this is Michaels lair – he who is found at the tip of the land of Britain on St Michaels Mount


and his¬†warm request is felt here too, as in all his Churches; come join me…

St Michael within his Chapel on the Mount named after him, down Cornwall.

St Michael within his Chapel on the Mount named after him, down Cornwall.

he beckons… but I, we, were not there that day to pray.

We were there to see the Cascob Charm.

Strangely, this charm is not held in some museum, as is the Glyn Charm, but instead it hangs on the wall of the Church opposite the door… try as I might, I could not get a good photo of it:/ but will direct you here, Dear Reader to a photo which is very good indeed.

What is interesting about this charm, is it’s not the only one! A similar charm is held in the museum at Welshpool! I’ve heard talk of a third too – all of the same format. Who could have been casting such charms and could who ever it was, have a connection with the one at Gelli, up the Nantyr? Even if it is a long one… Charming seems to flow along family ties, so who knows.

But back to the charm at Cascob; or as it’s sometimes known, the ABRACADABRA charm… it is, of course, an ant-witchcraft charm, to keep one Elizabeth Loyd (sic) safe. Apparently it was found in the Churchyard after some 200 hundred years buried there!

It says:

“In the name of the father,son and Holy Ghost amen xxx

and in the name of lord Jesus Christ I will delive (relieve)

Elizabeth Loyd from all witchcraft and from all

Evil spirites and from all evil men or women or wizards or

hardness of hart Amen xxx

(follows doggerel Latin)

And into that universal nature God will interpose

against skill diabolical Amen xxx 

He raised up my hart, I indite a good matter touching the king.

O Lord open thou my lips and my tongue shall shew forth

they praise, to turn aside the grass of the wicked

and the malignant. Lord Jesues Christ saviour

of mankind I breach the preserver of 

Elizabther Looyd from all witchcraft evil men or women

and from all spirits or wizards evil men or women

and from all spirites or wizards or hardness of the hart

Amen xxx and this I trust in the

Lord Jesus Christ my Readeemer and Saviour

from all witchcraft and from all other

men or women and from all assaults of the Devil

and that he will relive Elizabeth Loyd

from all witchcraft and from all evil spirits by the same

power as he deid cause the blind to see, the lame to wake,

& the dum to take & that thou finest with unclean spirits

to be in there one mines Amen xxxxxxx

pater pater pater Noster Noster Noster ave ave ave

Maria Creed ro paclorn X onX AdonayX

Tertragrammaton X Amen & in the name of 

the Holy Trinity & of Hubert preserved the above mind and body

from all deceases & from all witchcraft & from all other

salts of the Devil, Amen. O Lord Jesus Christ

we beseeth thee fro thy mercy grant

that this holy charm ABRACADABRA

may cure thy servant Elizabeth Loyd

from all evil spirits and from all there desesis

Amen xxx


Jah Jah Jah.”

Following on from the narrative comes the astrological symbols for the sun, moon, Jupiter and Venus. The latter two planets are considered benevolent, and with them are found two more ‘good’ astrological symbols; trine – a triangle and sextile in the form of a star… it would seem poor Elizabeth Lloyd was not well at all, and possibly, as she worsened, despite all attempts to cure her, a ‘Cunning Man’ was sought to cast the charm.

It’s interesting that no Welsh was used, as in the Glyn charm, the text is in English, with a little Latin, probably for good measure as it would seem the kitchen sink of magic resides in this charm, leaving no chance for them evil spirites – I wonder if it worked? Or was it buried with or near Elizabeth when she died?

Lastly we find a symbol which looks allot like something from the Seal of Solomon, a talisman which can be found in many a grimiore of the period this dates from; 1700AD.

Perhaps the reason why the charm is still in the Church is that someone my think it helps keep that dragon at bay; or, perhaps more likely it protects the church from any attempt to raise the dragon by witches? Who knows, but if you’re ever down Radnor way, it’s worth setting the satnav for Cascob…

Oh, by the way, did I mention those Churches, you know the one’s set in a ring around Radnor Forest?

It’s not a ring at all… when I plotted¬†it on my OS map of the area it looked more like an inverted pentagram…..


Charms, Charming & The Charmed. G. St.M. Nottingham.
Myths and Legend of Britain and Ireland.


13th September 2016 ~ an update.

As so often happens, I was browsing through a digital copy of an old book on Welsh folklore, when I came across this very charms exact wording Рunder the heading of Cattle Charms I found a rather interesting snippet; namely that a version of this charm was also effective against Foot and Mouth, but, and slightly more of interest the written charm was often worn by the cattle, and even sometimes, the charm was rubbed over the animals, a certain number of times as if the protective nature of the charm could be transferred by contact. It was then folded carefully and kept somewhere safe in the cow house.

The two charms from Llanidloes are mentioned – these are now kept at Welshpool Museum – but the publication also goes on to mention a charm used in Llansillin, written in Welsh. The first time I have seen or heard, mention of a charm for cattle in this language; interestingly Llansillin is only a few miles inside Wales, and not far from my home town, where the book I found it in was printed.

For those of you who like to peruse such things the link to this page can be found HERE.

Happy readingūüôā

The Freezer Spell.

The day was dull, with a damp chill in the air; still I drove on, hoping that by the time I got the the area, the sun might have come out… no such luck! The closer to the vale of Llangollen I got, the lower the clouds seemed. In the distance, even Dinas Bran had his hat on, as the local Welsh say, when the tops of hills and mountains cannot quite be seen because of low cloud.


No trip up the Nantyr for me then! I had hoped the weather would be clement enough for a few photo’s around the area of Gelli farm to illustrate a future blog post, to go with the one about the charm found there in 1930… no such luck today; my journey continued on.

Familiar roads, changed over the years by speed restrictions, improvements and so on, set my thoughts on days gone by; of lock-ins at the Bryn Howell; of the nights out spent in the Sun-Trevor, the laughter¬†shared between good friends – happy days, and not so happy days…

The time four of us climbed the steep path up to Dinas Bran (or Crow Castle as the English call it) to cut the ties with others who’d done us wrong; to send out a shout, not a curse, of no more…

The bone chilling wind at the summit – how foolish we were to be surprised it had snowed up there… a¬†virgin¬†white carpet for us to walk over to our chosen points of the compass… how we raised our faces to the winds, so cold we could hardly move our jaws to form the words we wished to say; how the winds caught those words; how the steel of the bade flashed in the moonlight, dazzling us with it’s ice like scar in the Unseen… the raw, achingly beautiful, moment when it was done, and we all felt the fetters fall away, the thorn in our side gone.

We four; never to work together again… it was never needed.

Ice cold; the work was done!

Ice cold…

Years later, someone mentioned ‘The Freezer Spell’ and curiosity got the better of me and I asked, “What’s that when it’s at home….?”

Turns out TFS was akin to working up Dinas Bran that night; you freeze a person/thing into in-action! The beauty of it, it does them no harm, just renders them well… frozen; unable to act…

I had to try it… so, I asked how, what, where, when, etc expecting a long complicated version, which might have mentioned dry ice… and other chilling things!

I was told it was easy. You simply put the person, or the action, habit what ever you wanted to stop on a piece of paper (i.e. write it down) and throw it in the bottom of the freezer… along with your frozen peas and forgotten TV dinners!


No moon phases?


No, er particular day of the week?


Oh… ok.

So I tried it… bam in went the paper with a few hastily scribbled words; I had no cravings for chocolate that week… nor the week after, in fact I lost the taste altogether…

So… I slamed in another spell; and guess what – that worked too.

I was hooked!

Me being me, refined the basics… cold means ¬†frost – can’t collect frost, but you can snow… yes, it melts, but you can freeze the water (see where I’m going…) into ice cubes and then add the cubes to a bag with a charm or sigil in it to stop an action, person, habit etc – I distill the snow water; essence of snow (ūüėČ ) and I can use that, a drop or three at a time to further action… or rather freeze unwanted action.

Now for the big one; I make it no secret I suffer from insomnia – have done all my life, and it’s at it’s peek during the new moon week; come the new moon I now make a charm and slam it in the freezer till the following week … so far so good. I’m sleeping well during the period I normally wake two or three times a night. It’s been three months now too and Im hopeful… it works like, er… a charm! Here

I’m a convert… TFS works and it works well… whether it works on politicians though…. we will have to wait and seeūüėČ

Try it – start off simple, and refine the process as you go.


Janet Stephens: mistress of historical hairstyles.

Once in a while, along comes a gem; Janet Stephens is one such person ~ she recreates, in her spare time, hairstyles from antiquity and for us mere plebeians, she videos the creations.

Yes, she’s a pure gem!

This is her youtube channel.

Below is just a one taste of her talents.

The Glyn Ceiriog Charm.


Charms, amulets and so on are well know to have been put into old houses in the far distant past, as guards against malefic witchcraft, demon spirits and general bad luck.

They take all kinds of forms, from the written word, to clothes, to shoes and even mummified cats! To the curious they are weird relics of the past, but to folk of our ilk they are little gems, containing nuggets of information and if one is sensitive to these things, they contain a trace of something; someone lingering on.

Always they are best left to do what they do best; what they were intended to do, and it is best to put them back exactly were they came from if possible. If not then somewhere close – preferably with a few heart felt words of apology!

One such instance is the Glyn Ceiriog charm, found in 1930 at Gelli Bach farm house up in the Nantyr, above the village. ¬†The charm, written on a square of paper is now held in the National Library of Wales, were experts think it dates from roughly 1800. It seem to be warding the perimeter of the farm land against witchcraft, as well as the farm animals and the owner of the farm at the time; one H. L. Hughes. The charm calls on “…the virtue of his Holy Name Immanuel (sic) to sanctify¬†unto myself the circumference of one mile…” then references, by name notably the four points of the compass around the farm. The whole is “sealed” by the Star of David.

What is interesting about this, is the resulting fire, all be it, some 40 odd years later that occurs at the farm, recorded here. Proof, perhaps, that such charms really do need to be left well alone.


All Hallows 2014


For me, this time of year has always been about ‘those that came before me’ as well as a time for divination; the apple peel thrown over the left shoulder was always a childhood favourite. The problem was not which was the left shoulder, nor the danger of a sharp knife in a childs hand (knife skills came to me early, as I owned a penknife long before a pen) but the peeling of one long strip of apple peel, from stalk to faded bloom! Still, I practised allot before I got it right, and then it was never on the right night! But when I did, at the time of my Bloom into adulthood, (was that an M or an S?) it was not the letter I wanted! A lesson, early on taught me that it’s often not what we want that does us best…

As to those who came before me, as the years roll on, they are with me more and more… those grey shades I saw that moonlit night, rising up from the field and walking towards we two, now have names and stories rediscovered to give a sense of belonging to the land I love and know so well.

This year, the year I turned to greet my 60th decade, I found my Irish ancestry.

It would seem I am an 1/8th Irish, perhaps this is were my love of spinning and weaving comes from, for the family lived in the north of Ireland, famed for it’s linen.

This then, means more to me this year than it has before – as I now know it speaks to the Irish Blood in me and calls on them, those who went before from the beautiful Emerald Isle.

I remember you,
my beloved many,
Who’s names I know and who’s names have long gone unspoken,
I remember you,
Your breath I breathe,
Your body and blood has mingled with the sacred soil,
I remember you.

Traditional Irish poem.

The Lark… ah, the Lark…

“It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
…¬†Look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.
Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops”

Romeo and Juliet: Act 3, scene 5.

How many times have you or I, Dear Reader climbed up hills, or traversed soggy moorland to reach sites, that to us and many others have in one way or another been sacred? Always alone, remote, but not always lofty – these sites, be it standing stone, henge, or circle always have their larks! Sweet is their song, a well known greeting for the traveller at their destination. At least it has always been so for me… so the lark holds a place in my heart, for singing his heart out, a herald of those who walk along the Crooked path, seeking the truth of what was once, now gone, it’s glory never to return in full, but glimpsed, as fleeting as the larks song, by the soul, the deep memory, of things long past.

In the far northern reaches of this Hallowed Isle lie my Soul’s Land – there the lark is held in high esteem, for no-one would consider eating one, as this bird is seen as Holy, known as ‘The Lady’s Hen’ and ‘Our Lady’s Hen’ [1]. As I believe much of the Pre-Christian ways, are hidden in plain sight within the Roman Catholic Church, it is quite natural to see the Lady with her blue mantle, as the Goddess of Old, the True Mother of (the) God/s… and what better way to honour the Lady than in songūüôā

The nest too lay undisturbed by boys, long turned to dust now, who took delight in fetching wild birds eggs home, to gently blow and keep safe, wrapped in cotton wool in a match box within a drawer – a practise, which I believe has Occult significance, but has long been outlawed.

The people in Shetland saw the three dark spots on the larks tongue as a sure sign they would be cursed x 3, if ever they did harm to her, or her brood. [2]

There is a tale, from Aesop’s Fables of the lark and her brood – the moral of this story [3] is one of self-reliance… a valuable lesson to learn.

To conclude, I posit the lark is a joy to behold, and to muse over her message/s as her song is enjoyed – a sign that Our Lady speaks to us in the language of our Soul; which is not of the written word, nor of those sounds traced with the eye and mouthed to fruition by the lips, but of something more raw; an ineffable thing, that speaks silently to our collective memory and bring fertile songs to the lips of our inner voice.

Protected: Journey to the Lake of Memories.

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Tincture of Rosemary; remembering there of.

Upon the day of the Sun when the moon is dark, (for our purpose it is to see into the dark reaches of the Soul) seduce the Spirit of Rosemary to further aid our cause, with offerings and sweet delights in accordance with the said spirits request. In reverent ritual take thereof a goodly sprig, and with care and goodly duty preserve the spirit diligently.

Having prepared yourself, the working area prior to undertaking the ritual of dutiful harvest, remove yourself and your gain back to the place were fumigations of frankincense billow and the profane exist not.

With reverence to the grape, fume your vessel and dedicate to your deed here. Into your vessel place the hallowed herb and cover with the finest brandy your pocket can buy; seal with a prayer to our cause and remove to a place where the energies of the heavenly orbs may shine their might upon it; checking daily to vigorously charge with intent.

After the Moon has waxed to her fullness, and diminished to nothing, take your vessel, once again to a place where the profane has been banished, and by the gentle care of filtering without metal, for metal profane, banishes all that we want. Strain into a another vessel, fumed and dedicated to our Arte and purpose.

Take of the herb, more material gathered in a suitable rite and burn to an ash – over which rain water is gently flowed, and removed with fire, returning the ashes once more, repeatedly until pure white.

Taking these hallowed salts, within a dish fumed and dedicated to our rite, place under the moon light, three days hence to the full.

The Angelic waters procured then take and reunite with the liquor holding the spirit of the herb with much joy for this is the end of this rite!

Seal, and store in the dark.

When needed take nine drops in the Waters of the Moon and drink down from a silver cup.




MNEMOSYNE – Goddess of Memory – Mother of the Muses!

A Prayer.



Orphic Hymn 77 to Mnemosyne (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
To Mnemosyne (Memory), Fumigation from Frankincense.

“The consort I invoke of Zeus divine;

source of the holy, sweetly speaking Mousai nine;

free from the oblivion of the fallen mind, by whom the soul with intellect is joined.

Reason’s increase and thought to thee belong, all-powerful, pleasant, vigilant, and strong.

‚ÄėTis thine to waken from lethargic rest all thoughts deposited within the breast;

and nought neglecting, vigorous to excite the mental eye from dark oblivion’s night.

Come, blessed power, thy mystics‚Äô memory wake to holy rites, and Lethe‚Äôs (Forgetfulness) fetters break.”


Source: Theoi.com




Overleigh Cemetery, Chester ~ some history and musings.



This is a complimentary post to the visit I paid to the old part (north) of Overleigh Cemetery, which can be found here ~> Overleigh Old Cemetery, Chester. 

Tip~hover your cursor over the coloured words for further info Рclick through for sources.

In the 1830’s it was decided Chester needed a new cemetery; the Church yards were full, and with the advent of the Victorian epidemics (caused by insanitary conditions) must have been a huge catalyst in the siting of the cemetery outside of the city, across the river far away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. The fact that the site chosen (and kindly donated by the Grosvenor¬†estate) across the river is not lost on me or those of you, Dear Reader with the eye’s to see! Nor is the consecration date, of 12th November 1850[1] (the 12th being old All Hallows). Traditionally, this is the time of the Wild Hunt [2] ~ when the old Saxon God Woden (and regional variants) rides out with his hounds to claim the Souls of the departed marked by the first of the winter storms. The northern site was originally laid out to a romantic style, complete with a lake (now sadly filled in) furthering the old folk lore of coffins carried over water meant their occupants couldn’t return over the water to bother the living. During my visit I found what I can only assume was the bridge across the lake that was once part of the original design!



I cannot help but see a romantic connection with the classics; in Greek myth, the departed soul pays the Ferryman to take them across the river to the Otherworld, where they are made to drink from the waters of the Lethe [3]¬†in order to forget¬†their former lives. The symbolism of the lake nor the river Dee, could not have been over looked by the Victorian’s, who loved their classical myths and legends. Indeed the local customs and folklore were still prevalent in the folk memory of them as well, no matter how the Church sought to depress the ‘Old Way’s’ they found their way into the folklore and customs of the poor as the folklorists of the era recorded! For those of you who have read the part about my disturbing the Watcher, I shall go into more detail here: as I said, I was in a dream-like state, walking along in the warm sun – I need to explain the day was still with not a breath of wind. Suddenly I was aware of a vague shape to my left, and as quickly as I was aware of it it evaporated in a swirl of (localised) wind and as if someone had tripped, the undergrowth next to the path and across three graces shuddered as if some one had fallen and then got up i.e. flattening and then springing back up! The over all psychic impression was that I had disturbed a man, tall and lanky, dressed in back with a white collar, holding a tall hat in his hand, as he stood – face in the sun, enjoying the warmth of the day… he’d jumped, startled as I went by, and fell backwards and to his left slightly, landing on his hand, catching his hat with his free hand and then over balancing completely before scrabbling to his feet away from me (and the puppy dog) and watched me go by, huffing as I murmured something to him. By the physical eye, all I saw was undergrowth disturbed by a gust of sudden wind; an air phenomenon. Now, I find this: “The cemetery opened on 12 November 1850 with the consecration of the Church of England burial ground by the Bishop of Chester Diocese. The first burial, of a Mr Ayrton, took place on the afternoon of the same day.” [4] I wish I knew where he was buried! I’m sure he’d like a nice bunch of sweet smelling flowersūüôā as a thank you. There is a body of thought, and indeed the folk lore to accompany it, that the first buried in a grave yard or cemetery act as the Watcher or Guardian of the site, until it’s closed when the role goes on the shoulders of the last person to be buried there. In Cheshire, as well as other parts of the country, these souls are often seen as black dogs; which interestingly are sacred to the Goddess Hekate, who leads the dead out of the underworld and is the Queen of Ghosts and graveyards. Sadly, I did not (as yet) find the graves of Mr & Mrs Christmas, who are in there somewhere as this picture shows! Nor Mr Langtry’s – the long suffering husband of the infamous Lilly, but I’m sure I will in future visits as well as visiting the rest of the cemetery to the south.

Overleigh Old Cemetery, Chester.

On a warm sunny summers day I took a walk with the dead of the city – the air was warm and the graves well packed in, some with hardly a space between them.





It was strange walking around with all the head stones pointing away from me… tall and small, they spoke of the good folk of the place, long gone, but not forgotten… I did not tarry long to stand and stare for it felt as if I was, in some strange way a stranger in their midst!



No bones lie here who’s blood once ran in veins fashioned out of the same ancestry as me!

So I walked around in the sun, taking photo’s and in a half dreamy state observed the shades dimly with out much notice. Once, one made its self known upon this mortal coil, as I disturbed it – the Watcher perhaps, taken aback by my passing him by; indigent in his attitude that such a thing as I, should walk on Hallowed ground!

Amused, I muttered low and carried on walking with a wave of the hand – not for this fellow the ’round of life’ but staid, certain, watchfulness.

Then I came to the spot where everything changed – no more the clipped lawns and edges of tidy folk, but the wild edges in which graves once (when the earth was clear) had a clean view over the river, dark and brooding ready to claim what she could…



















Here steps down to a bridge over the ghost of lake evoked superstitions of crossing water and spirits, coffins carried feet first, corpse roads and ancient customs still remembered when this place was anew.

Here as I crossed, the veil was thin, but it was but the memory of the veil, as if those buried here knew it and passed through it and now where separated in death (as they could have been in life) from the others, certain in the resurrection of their own one God.

Here lay, those who in the dim distant past, were once kin to my ilk… they bid me, one day to return and drink from the cup of memory with them as they lie, in sweet slumber by the river they once crossed, on the sunny side of the lake, where the Castle stands, and the roses bloom filling the air with their sweet perfumes.

“Mother of this unfathomable world!
Favour my solemn song, for I have loved
Thee ever, and thee only; I have watched
Thy shadow, and the darkness of thy steps,
And my heart ever gazes on the depth
Of thy deep mysteries. I have made my bed
In charnels and on coffins, where black death
Keeps record of the trophies won from thee,
Hoping to still these obstinate questionings
Of thee and thine, by forcing some lone ghost
Thy messenger, to render up the tale
Of what we are.
In lone and silent hours,
When night makes a weird sound of its own stillness,
Like an inspired and desperate alchymist
Staking his very life on some dark hope,
Have I mixed awful talk and asking looks
With my most innocent love, until strange tears
Uniting with those breathless kisses, made
Such magic as compels the charmèd night
To render up thy charge:…and, though ne’er yet
Thou hast unveiled thy inmost sanctuary,
Enough from incommunicable dream,
And twilight phantasms, and deep noon-day thought,
Has shone within me, that serenely now
And moveless, as a long-forgotten lyre
Suspended in the solitary dome
Of some mysterious and deserted fane,
I wait thy breath, Great Parent, that my strain
May modulate with murmurs of the air,
And motions of the forests and the sea,
And voice of living beings, and woven hymns
Of night and day, and the deep heart of man….”

“The spirit of solitude”.
Percy B Shelly

A friend suggested this poem, which does indeed ‘fit’ the space perfectly ~ thank you Marieūüôā

Note: a complimentary post can be found here with further info on the site.

Landewednack Cross – a moving tale

Rebloged from The Heritage Journal:

This is an interesting article illustrating how ancient artefacts can and are re-sited over time, much as The Stone That Was Stolen – which I am still researching for further information.

THJ is a blog well worth following; well written and informative, I can highly recommend itūüôā

The Heritage Journal

We like to think of our ancient monuments as silent, unchanging sentinels, but this isn’t always the case, sometimes they go walkabout!

One of the delights of visiting Cornwall is the chance to catch up with friends who live in the area and on a recent trip Philip, a friend of ours who knows of my penchant for old stones, presented me with the gift of an old Francis Frith postcard. In a slight diversion from my usual prehistoric focus, the postcard depicts the old cross at Cross Common, Landewednack, a short distance east of Lizard town.

For those that don’t know, Cornwall is littered with old crosses of various forms, many of which date back to medieval times (9th-15th centuries). Whilst many remain in, or near their original positions, many crosses have been discovered in various odd situations: used as gateposts, fireplace lintels and church benches or built into church walls, hollowed out and used as feed…

View original post 594 more words

When spirits call…. Part two

I visited the site of the Gallows, one windy day in April, armed with nothing but a modicum of psychic protection and my trusty phone to take grainy pictures of the site. At times the wind was so strong the phone was rocked as the winds tried, unsuccessfully, to rip it from my grasp.

If you’ve read part one, you’ll know that summat was up…

At the time, I just blindly carried on.

My visit to the strange little public park where the Gallows were once sited, down at Boughton, not far from Barrel Well Lane and St Paul’s Church was over, but the lane down behind the memorial to Gorge the Martyr called me.

Barrel Well Lane.

Barrel Well Lane.

I’d been reading Roy Wildings, excellent little book, morbidly entitled, ‘Death in Chester’ (recommended to me by Charley of The Mystic Masque). So knew that the lane was on the way to the site of St Giles’s and thought I’d take a gander.

This whole bank of the river Dee has large, impressive houses built on it (except for the site of the Gallows… ) and walking down the lane I could see why it was marked as a private road; many impressive doorways lead off it, into expensive homes. But it was St Paul’s, towering above that was the most impressive!


Part of St Pauls from Barrel Well Lane.

Part of St Pauls from Barrel Well Lane.

St Paul's from Barrel Well Lane.

St Paul’s from Barrel Well Lane.

I retraced my steps up Barrel Well Lane…


…noting as I climbed back up to the busy road how my sense of smell had returned to its usual nothingness – as I stopped by the monument to George Marsh, it struck me for the first time, that the sickly sweet scent, with an underlying aroma of death, might not have actually been in the air at all, but come to me through the veil … But I swept that thought aside, convinced I had done enough to stop ‘anything’ getting through that shield I’d put up around me!

Turning right, past the monument, walking on a short distance, I spotted the fork in the roads, mentioned in the book along with the water fountain, Victorian I should imagine and for one short moment I hoped there was water still in it…


No, it was dry, no doubt caped by Elf n Safety or Environmental Health for unsanitary reasons. Disappointed to say the least, it had occurred to me that a water source here would be an excellent resource – but that was not to be.

Resigned I walked on around the wall, wondering where the graveyard would be. The book gave an indication, but no photos. It turned out I was walking next to it.


A raised round(!) wall about four or five foot high – a sign perhaps of a pagan site?

St Giles's Graveyard.

St Giles’s Graveyard.

Who knows, but no way in, other than to clamber up the wall, something I didn’t really want to do that day…. On reaching the main road again, I found the wall plague pictured.


St Giles hospital and Chapel, was founded by Earl Ranulph III of Chester (1181-1232) as a refuge for the lepers of the area. It’s exact site being on the crossroads where the old Roman road forks. Today, the black and white building pictured behind the graveyard, sits on the very site.

Today, only the graveyard remains, the hospital (which gave the area the name Spital) and Chapel being raised to the ground during the Civil War of the 17thC. It was outside of the city walls, and therefore could have been used by the opposing army, so it was destroyed in 1643 as a preventative measure.

So this was the place poor George’s supporters bought his remains. I shuddered at the thought of his death, and hoped there was someone there to put his soul to rest – the wind whistled around me, not as strong as it had been, but though I didn’t want to admit it then, it seemed to say he was not at rest at all… Quite the opposite in fact if my recent dream was anything to go by.

Since then, musing on the events that have followed this visit, I remember a discussion with David Furlong once. A group of us were considering helping a Soul to move on, and the subject had moved onto the faith that Soul had held in life. David explained that they would be in purgatory if that’s were they believed in life, especially if certain rituals, such as the last sacrament, were not performed. I wondered where George had expected his soul to go when he died that fateful day in April 1555… If he was considered a martyr, would the living hold his soul to the place of his death?

I also considered the conversations I’d taken part in on the Traditional Witchcraft group on FB; about a soul, either the first or last person buried in a graveyard becomes the sites guardian… Could George, the Martyr, be one of these restless souls?

There is a local tale, which I read about in Roy’s book, that the street by St Giles’s was cobbled (paved) with the skulls of Welshmen, killed in the Welsh Wars, by a Normal Earl.

Truly, this seemingly innocent spot of Chester, had seen some awful times.


My ‘visit’ over, I took the opportunity to window shop in a few antique shops along the way, to earth myself, and muse over the events.


Little did I know how this ‘visit’ was to affect me over the next few days! But I unexpectedly decided to take a few more photos at the Gallows Hill park, but from the road… I think this could have been when ‘something’ followed me home… In retrospect, I could feel it, tagging along until I got to the canal bridge, where I stopped and mentally performed a banishing on the brow, while looking to all and sundry, I was just enjoying the view… Then I moved on (on more than one level) and returned home.


So the situation is ongoing – my research into those that died at that spot continues, and the synchronous events also.

It is worth a mention, as I intend another ‘visit’ and subsequent post about it, that witches have been hanged there. At first, I thought it might have been them who were calling – not poor George. But he was the one who has come through the strongest, and there we are. These things often turn out so very differently to what we hope, or expect!

These witches, were they witches at all? Somehow I doubt it, but it is interesting to note that two of them were from Rainow.

Rainow?!? I hear you cry – well yes, indeed, so what you may think – but if I tell you that Rainow is very close to Thursbitch, then you might indeed understand… If you don’t then read on. For those of you who do, you can skip the next paragraph!

About two years ago I became obsessed with Thursbitch, a short novel by Alan Garner, based around the real life valley (not far from Rainow), the strange events there and the even stranger death of a young man who froze to death on Christmas Eve. A stone marker on the road side marks the spot he was found, and the strange fact that a single footprint made by a woman’s shoe was found in the snow besides him. But it was the valley that entranced me so. I shall leave a link for you to follow the trail yourself, Dear Reader, for it is a fascinating place, that seems even to this day, to be alive … Full, of mystery and mysterious goings on.

So in 1656, three women were hanged as witches. They were found guilty of bewitching a woman to death. Their bodies were cut down and taken to St Mary’s Church, near the Castle, and buried in the ditch there.

(Note, the Shrine of Minerva is across the other side of the river, and Mary, is often revered as a Goddess would have been… all parts of the paper chase)

I doubt their souls are at peace at all, innocent or guilty! But they deserve a few flowers from yours truly, as does George himself.

After living in so many different places, and experiencing so many different levels of spirit communication, I can, with some brevity, say, for certain, this place named Deva, (Goddess) by the Romans who founded it ‘speaks’ nay ‘shouts’ as loudly as the open reaches, and wild places of Orkney…

Now there’s a surprise!

Or is it…?

The whole saga lies under the mantle of the Queen of the Crossroads, Keeper of the Keys, and She who watches over the liminal place between birth and death, Hekate!

She, who is so old, that no definite source for her can be found – heck, even the Greeks knew she was older than the Titans!

My experiences with her, my UPG (unproven personal gnosis), are marked by a particular ‘feeling’ – a sense of Her. Dark, huge, all encompassing! I’ve felt this in various places, of various ages, including a burial chamber on Orkney…

She is older, and far more known, than modern scholars can trace – and as She is mentioned in the Scotish Play, would have been known during the time periods of both George and the three witches, tho’ I doubt George would have paid her much heed, unless she came to him at the moment of his passing in the flames and took his soul as one of her own?

Who knows, but I think there’s work to be done with him in the future.

Exactly what this will entail, I can’t say, knowing how these things rarely turn out as I expect…

George Marsh – Martyr 1515-1555.

The reign of Bloody Mary, (1553-1558) saw many people put to death for their beliefs.

The daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, she came to the throne on 19th July 1553, after her younger half-brother, Edward VI died earlier in that month; it was Lady Jane Grey, who succeed to the throne immediately after the untimely death of the young, sickly Edward – Mary had to fight for her right to rule, but that is another story, and does not concern us here, now. What we need to consider is that Mary, was responsible for plunging the country back into the Catholic faith her Father had done his best to remove, in order for him to rid himself of her Mother, so that he could marry the infamous Ann Boleyn.

To say she had a difficult childhood is somewhat of an understatement!

She came to the throne, determined to reinstate her faith and saw fit to remove any dissenters causing her brief time on the throne to be one of the bloodiest in British history; hence the name by which she will always be known; Bloody Mary.

It was under her rule that the Rev George Marsh, (born 1515 in the parish of Deane, ¬†near Bolton in Lancaster) who was by then¬†a widower with children, was bought to ‘justice’; he was found guilty of heresy – he being a Lutheran kind – a penalty of death by burning at the stake was passed on him in 1554 by the court which sat in the Lady Chapel of Cathedral, the Bishop of Chester, one Dr. Coates, passed the sentence.

George Marsh, heretic, was imprisoned awaiting his death.

On the appointed day, April 24th 1555, said to be a windy day, he was taken in chains to the Gallows Hill by the Sheriffs, just outside the centre of Chester. It is said that on the way, he read his bible and on reaching the stake he turned to the crowd that had gathered only to be told to stop his sermonising. A pardon was offered to him by the Vice-Chamberlin, but only would it be granted if he recant his Protestant faith – off course, he didn’t – George had a reputation for being a firm man, not easily swayed; he had courage.

What happened next, could have come right out of a modern day Hollywood block buster; one of the sheriffs, John Cowper of Overleigh, attempted to rescue George! What exactly happened, is unclear, but the attempt was (sadly) thwarted and Cowper fled – from Chester over the Dee river bridge at Farndon, to Holt in Wales and freedom. As a result, his family were ruined, loosing their lands and there he hid until Bloody Mary died!

Whether George Marsh knew this attempt would take place, we can only speculate – but the failure meant he had to meet his Fate in the flames… it is said the fire could not be lit, and when it was, it kept going out and that the wind came in eddies causing him much suffering – but the flames of that badly made fire, eventually consumed the the spirit and body of George Marsh that windy day in April; he was burnt to ashes, as the Bishop had decreed.

These ashes were gathered up, and taken to nearby St Giles¬†Church near by,¬†where they were buried in the Church yard with no marker…

But Gorge Marsh was not forgotten.

The memorial raised in the 19thC (pictured here) near to the Gallows Hill, reads:

“George Marsh born Dean Co. Lancaster.

To the memory of George Marsh martyr who was burned to death near this spot for the truth sake April 24th 1555.”



Quene Mary. The trouble and Martyrdome of George Marsh, Martyr.

The Elizabeth Files.

George Marsh (martyr)

Fox’s Book of Martyrs

Death in Chester – Roy Widling

When the spirits call……..

When the spirits call, we mere mortals, must answer!

This is how I felt just a few weeks after the move to Deva – and the spirits that called me, called me to a certain place, a place of death most horrible.

For a short, intense while, I became obsessed with the whereabouts of the Gallows Hill!

With thanks to a friend on FB, I bought a book called ‘Death in Chester’ written by a local chap called Roy Wilding. The book confirmed the location, which I had identified myself, using practical methods (Google Earth) to follow up ‘leads’ given to me, cryptically by those spirits. I was not surprised to find that women, accused of Witchcraft, were hanged here…

But the obsession drove me on to discover more about the history of the place, and before I was really ready, I set out on the first pilgrimage.

The day was not a pleasant one; the dark skies threatened rain; the strong wind sent the clouds scuttling along at great speed, and it was cold. Not a day to set out on foot to go looking for a place that screamed ‘you come!’ to me – yet I could not ignore it any longer – I¬†had to go!

I dressed warmly, and put on a good waterproof coat – checked the map, but set it to one side, deciding to answer the Call; spirits would guide me… I knew the way roughly, I walked down the road, turned right and walked towards the city centre. After about a mile, crossed the canal bridge and a little further on I came across a cross roads and thought I knew it – turns out I’d walked in the direction of the Gallows Hill by accident the week before! Coming back from the city, I’d taken a wrong turn, and well, got lost. Seems the spirits wanted me to visit them then, only I’d turned back and found my way home the way I’d come… this told me, my obsession wasn’t just my imagination.

I pressed on, along the busy road; a dual carriageway – no place to cross; and so busy!

Then the hairs on the back of my neck stood up; without warning, there was no traffic – I could cross… and did so… coming to the public ‘park’ that is the site of the Gallows!

I paused… too easy – I’d found it far too easy.

Or it had found me…

I earthed myself; becoming aware of modernity around me; the traffic – the houses – the people – the wind – the sky – the ground beneath me. I stepped into the Now; all present and paying attention!

This was important, I knew from experiences past, to shut out, completely, anything trying to make contact with me – there would be time enough for that in the future, so I did what I do to be totally unconnected.

I cut off my psychic senses.

I cocooned myself; silence; unemotional; stillness filled my cocoon, and I descended the steps into the awful place, totally on my own and able to evaluate the place with out disturbance!

I went down the steps into what I can only say is a place were the council have tried… they’ve tried to make it a nice place… after all the views are spectacular! But there were no benches for anyone to sit and enjoy it. No wonder, I thought – in my well (or so I thought) protected cocoon, who would want to linger here?

So I stood for a while gazing out, watching boats row up and down the river, feeling safe, and allowing my mind to wander…

The view from the Gallows Hill, Deva.

The view from the Gallows Hill, Deva.

I even took photo’s…

The view across the fields f

The view across the fields.

I even mused that this view could have been (quite possibly) the last thing many people saw…

The view along the river towards Handbridge, where the Shrine of Minerva is.

The view along the river towards Handbridge, where the Shrine of Minerva is.

But what was that smell… it came on the wind, in waves, a sickly sweet smell, with a tinge of something behind it – could it be those spring bulbs? On such a windy day? Or the cherry blossom? Or… something else…

Unawares, caught up in a mixture of sight and smell, distracted and opened, a rush of a sensation over took me…

I galloped in thin air, twisting and turning, eye’s bulging, gasping for air but none came; I danced the hang-mans gig as my ears burst…

The smell filled my head – the smell of death masked by flowers.

Shaken, I left quickly – now aware of a mist over the place, at the top of the steps I quickly ‘opened’ my senses and set up a barrier betwix me and the place.

Fire – the mist, I sensed, was a code for fire – I’d seen it before many times; in burnt ruins; in a burnt out church, deep in Wales, in the roof of the rebuilt building; mist… meant there had been burning here too.

That’s when I saw the obelisk…


*Real Time Note: Now I know who this is dedicated to, but, in order to ‘get the facts right’ I’ve just gone along to¬†Wiki¬†for a link, incase you, Dear Reader, wish to case these facts up further… imagine my surprise when I read this… remembering this event is chronicled¬†in¬†Foxe’s Book of Martyrs… I quote: “George Marsh was executed on a windy day in April 1555….”

I was there on a windy day in April. 

I am STUNNED by this – so much so I have to go away and think about the implications – the message given and how I can apply it to my praxis – I was going to go on and write about poor George, the Christian Martyr, burnt at the stake by Bloody Mary (Mary I, catholic Queen of England, daughter of Henry VIII and Catharine of Aragon) for sticking to his guns, but I am absolutely bowled over by this…

There will have to be a part two!

Witchy Hints and Tips: onions.

Red onion slices

Red onion slices (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you’ve had an argument or a disagreement in your home, which created an atmosphere you could cut with a knife (or something similar) – go to your kitchen and find a nice onion, the Spanish type, and cut it in half ¬†– then place in the room with the atmosphere to absorb the residue of the argument, preferably overnight. Then burn on the fire. Or if you don’t have one dispose of it so it’s off your property i.e. don’t compost it.

I’ve done this for years, and with good results too. I’ve also used it if there’s a strange ‘air’ in a room, as a preventative measure for anything brewing…

At times, when ‘things’ have been very bad, an onion string has either been made, or bought and hung in the kitchen – the ‘heart’ of the home. Again this is preventative.

A string of garlic seems to work in the same vein, tho’ cutting a bulb in half does create a rather pungent aroma!

So next time you have a barny in your home, remember the onion isn’t just for eating!


A Charm to chase away poverty.

A Charm to chase away poverty.



We could all do with a little more at this time of year, this Charm (based on one of Solomon’s Seals) has the ability to banish poverty, so feel free to use this for your own use, and why not share with other’s too – the more of us who use it the stronger it will get… and Happy New Year Dear Readers ~ wishing you Flags, Flax and Fodder ~ Cymraes


Update 25/01/2015.

I’m encouraged to see this charm is still being shared in the spirit of helping each other; times are hard, harder for some at the time of this posting two years ago ~ to keep the energetic thread intact, please make sure you share not just the picture of the charm, but the link to this post too, to keep the flow going – think of a spiders web and you’ll get the picture… when one thread breaks the web weakens, I as the spider will fix that thread – infact thats what I’m doing right now, having found this charm, which is my art work, and therefore my copyright, online without the link to this blog…

To reiterate, please share – don’t steal… say where it’s come from; respect that please, or the spell will be broken.

A Thousand Screaming Spirits…

Off the northern edge of the Scottish coast, lies a Sacred Place, the Orkney Isles, where Neolithic man made his home in the far distant past, raised Sacred Circles of stone, and built many Sacred tombs for their dead, while they lived in stone built villages and worshipped long forgotten Gods.

When I first climbed the gentle sloping path up the hill to the Neolithic Cuween Burial chamber, above the bay of Finstown, I was accompanied by two friends on the walk. We chatted along the way, the warm October sun on our faces, at the wonderful weather for the time of year, and speculated that the climate for Neolithic man would have been very much warmer than now a days.

Climbing over the style, the atmosphere shifted slightly, and as I opened the little gate to the passage way, and I suggested I go in first… I lit a candle and crawled in down the narrow passage way towards the chamber within, “Like being born backwards,” I mused to myself as my hands and knees got cold and wet as I slowly made my way along the damp flag stones, hued by ancient hands from the shore line thousands of years ago.

Again, I sensed a shift in my perspective.

I opened my “psychic senses” and paused, half way down the narrow tunnel; in my minds eye I saw an old woman; the ancient guardian of the tomb, challenge me, her eyes aflame with power, her wild hair all around her head, writhing in some unfelt wind, as she shook what seemed to be a staff or spear, at me threateningly, her toothless mouth moving to words I could not comprehend, but I knew, I had to beg her permission to enter the inner chamber. If I did not…

So I did so, reverently and with respect. Paused, and moved on, sensing her no more, I assumed I had done the correct thing and pleased the Spirits.

The narrow passage ended, opening up into the chamber-I felt a little afraid at what I might find-even tho’ my rational mind told me the chamber had been emptied long ago… I could sense much and what threw me was the fact that this was in reality a place of the dead. How smelly and dirty had it once been! I checked myself then, not wanting to run screaming from this place, but something deep inside me was urging me to do this NOW! Panic rose up into my throat as the reality of this ancient place took me… I pushed the candle before me and feeling in my bag, found another one and lit it. I had to go on, I just had to!

I lit another candle, then another, the panic subsided, and slowlyI moved on, standing slowly in the chamber, the light gathering as the flames lept up, filling the small interior with flickering light. I saw four side chambers, with their dark openings low to the ground.

My senses reeling, I slowly walked around, aware that from the one corner and energy radiated, my head swimming with it’s power.

I called the boys in and the atmosphere changed-it grew less intent and part of me was disappointed, and left wondering why.

We lit incense, meditated and one played on his flute… but for me the magick had¬†dissipated.

We spend a while in there, with the energies and then left-it felt right to leave the candles burning, and I intended to return to take the holders away the next day. I silently thanked the Spirits and closed the gate behind me, realising I had to go back again.

Standing and turning round into the sunlight, we found a gentleman, patiently waiting, he didn’t want to disturb us, he said in a soft American accent. We thanked him and told him the candles would still be burning and went to go on our way.

I paused to read the information boards and to my surprised I saw, that half way along the chamber the archaeologists had found a skull-facing outwards, as tho’ guarding the tomb from intruders… I went cold and then hot. This was the guardian I had sensed!

We walked on up the hill to take in the view above the tomb, out towards the bay below, when suddenly the man we had spoken to, not five minutes earlier, rushed out of the tomb and took off over the style running down the path as tho’ followed by a thousand screaming spirits!!!!

Guess he never asked for permission to enter….

A true story.

On a Historical Note…

The Cuween Burial Chamber dates back some 3000 years and is known locally as the Fariy¬†Knowe. The actual name, Cuween, is derived from the Old Norse,¬†“k√ļa-eng”, meaning Cattle Pasture.¬†It lies on a south facing hill some 5 miles outside Finstown, over looking the Bay of Forth.

The lay out of the tomb, is of that of Maes Howe, a long passage way and four side cells of a central chamber. When it was fully excavated in 1901 by M.M. Charleson, remains of eight people were found, including one skull, facing outwards, in the roof of the low passage (less than one meter) way leading into the main chamber. Many animal bones were also found, including some 24 dog skulls.

This has lead to speculation of a dog cult; that the dogs were totems for the tribe, who for many generations used this tomb. Other tombs have also been linked to the remains of animals and birds found in them on Orkney; The Tomb of the Eagles for one

©Cymraes 2008.


Carmelite Water: A Herbal Tonic for Mind, Body and Soul

Well Dear Reader…. what can I say!ūüôā Spirituality AND tasty treats! This blog is too good to miss and here’s a small slice… (tipple included) to whet your appetite! Enjoy!

Picnic in Akeldama

I first heard about the herbal tonic called Carmelite Water 10 years ago. It was during either my postulancy or novitiate in the Order of the Discalced Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, also known as the Discalced Carmelites.

It was during one of our meal times that our prior, along with some of the older friars, shared memories of their younger days. There was much laughter when the subject of Karmelitengeist came up in conversation.

Karmelitengeist, which our prior swore would put hair on one’s chest, has been distilled by the Carmelites of Regensburg since 1721. Made from various herbs, the 75% alcohol spirit is used to treat a range of ailments from headaches to indigestion. Judging by the stories I heard at table that day, some novices also used it to lift their spirits.

Determined to find out more about the spirit, I hunted through…

View original post 2,141 more words


Enough, is enough!

Gods damn the Tory party, we, the people of the UK have had enough of their policies; people are dying because of the austerity forced upon them by the rich fat cats who run our country!


Enough, is enough…¬†let the Tory party crumble.


Those of you who would like to use this sigil, please ask in the comments. I trust you will be creative with it. (But, don’t forget¬†the copyright curse here is active.)

There’s a little chaos in all of us, and channeling that into this, will increase it’s effect – though I’d be egotistical in thinking we could bring the whole thing come crashing down, the Tower is toppling… cracks are appearing; lets give that a boost … a helping hand.

So let this be!



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