Thursday, August 21, 2008

Where is Avalon?


Hi to All,
Whats in a name seems to apply here as well. While research has shown other wise the location of Avalon. I think by searching and back tracking the correct, and final resting place of King Arthur is a correct way to discover the reclusive isle of Avalon.. Here is some info I have found while searching for the truth..

Enjoy Bee

The tradition that the Arthur of legend was buried at Glastonbury is a well-established one. But certain problems regarding the account of the exhumation of the great king's bones in 1190 A.D. have called into question the veracity of the tradition. It now seems unlikely that Glastonbury, while still an ancient sacred site, is the real Isle of Avalon, and that we had best look elsewhere in Britain for this Celtic Otherworld localization.

Some odd details surround the "discovery" of King Arthur's grave at Glastonbury. These details have been discussed at length before by scholars, but the conclusions drawn from them have varied. First, a 6th century Arthur (the usual date ascribed to his floruit) would have had his grave marked by a stone bearing Roman capitals. The formula of the inscription (see Leslie Alcock's ARTHUR'S BRITAIN) would have been something like;

HIC SEPVLTVS IACIT ARTVRIVS "Here buried lies Arthur"

Instead, the monks at Glastonbury claimed to have found a lead cross buried beneath the coffin cover. Drawings of this cross reveal the form and content of the inscription ;


"Here lies buried the famous king Arthur in the isle of Avalon"

To be from the tenth century, not the sixth century. This would seem puzzling, were it not for the fact that 12th century monks could easily forge an inscription in such a way as to make it seem to be from an earlier period. Its know that they did this with manuscripts.

In the ancient Irish story of Art son of Conn, King Conn and then his son Art voyage to an island called the Land of Promise (Tir Tairngiri) and the Land of Wonders (Tir na nIngnad). This island is distinguished by its "fair fragrant apple-trees", its "wild apples".

The king of the Land of Wonders, who Art slays, is named Morgan.
The Land of Promise name, in the story of Eithne daughter of Curcog, is given as a synonym for Emhain or Emne Ablach, Ablach being the Old Irish word for apple trees.
Geoffrey of Monmouth, in calling Insula Pomorum/Insula Avallonis/Isle of Avalon the "Fortunate" Isle, would seem to have been evoking an Otherworld identical to that which King Morgan ruled. Might not the name Art have been associated with Arthur's name?
The only problem with this theory is that one has to account for Geoffrey naming Morgan's kingdom Avallonis, when in the story it is called Tir na nIngnad, the "Land of Wonders".

If one follows the Cornish coast north from the Camel where Arthur supposedly was mortally wounded, we arrive at Appledore, situated on a neck of land or headland jutting out into the confluence of the Taw and Torridge Rivers. According to Eilart Ekwall, this town was le Apildore in 1335 AD. The name is Old English and means... "Apple-tree". The Appledore in Kent has an identical origin, but much earlier recorded forms: Apuldre 893 (Anglo-Saxon Chronicle), Apeldres (Domesday Book).

Obviously, the Cornish name "Avalon" (Geoffrey’s Avallonis almost certainly derives from Cornish auallen, “apple-tree”; cf. Breton avallen, Welsh afallen, Celtic *aballon-/apple-orchard) was a suitable substitution for the English name Appledore. The "Insula" or island of Avalon/Appledore is being used in the same sense as isle is used in Isle of Purbeck, Isle of Portland, or Isle of Thanet. In other words, Geoffrey’s Isle of Avalon is the neck of land or headland of Appledore.

FairyWood of Brocéliande

Hi to all, Back to "whats in a name".. Much research is done and redone in ancient history. This research constitutes translation, which means crossing languages.. In the case of the Forrest of Brocéliande , Gaelic,& french language's for example.. Then different time periods also affect translation as well.This is really sometimes a great puzzle that needs to be solved as it was in the case of the location of the Forrest of Brocéliande .
I truly love reading and learning about this time period..
Enjoy this short blog about the FairyWood.

Brocéliande, is the remnant of a vast primeval forest which has been said that in the first centuries A.D. covered the interior of Brittany. The Location of the Forrest has been disputed. After doing a systematic search of the chambered cairns of the area, researchers studied all of the type called ; Clyde-Carlingford, there was only one candidate for Merlin’s Chapel on the Noquetran: the great chambered cairn on Windy Edge. The Windy Edge chambered cairn is, of course, in Dumfriesshire. It is now said with some degree of certainty that the chapel on the Noquetran is none other than the Windy Edge chambered cairn.

Photo; The great Chambered Cairn of Windy Edge.

In this case "Cairn"--- pile of stones used as marker or as a memorial to somebody who died there.
In Gaelic, mid 16th century; "Carn" means --- "heap of stones".

Torannán is then such a location for Merlin’s mountain it would fit a earlier identification of Merlin's Forest of Broceliande (in Old French Briosque + "land"), wrongly relocated to Brittany by the French troubadours, with the -fries component of Dumfries. As this type of research is very painstaking... it falls to translation of old Gaelic ECT. A lot of good research has been done on this subject.

“It was in Broceliande that the enchantress Vivian trapped the madman/prophet in a chambered tomb.”
Forrest of Broceliande is also known to be the place where fairies came from. The forest was also the homes of demons.
The dense shadowy forest has spawned numerous mysteries & legends including one of the most famous legends in western mythology. This enchanted region is the setting for the quest by the
Knights of the Round Table to recover the Holy Grail under orders from King devils and ghosts.
One of the best known inhabitants of the forest was Merlin the Magician. Merlin, a druid was friend & advisor to the young Arthur.
Note that the adventures of Vivienne and Merlin, Diana and Faunus, and Lancelot and Vivienne, all take place in Broceliande.
Ref; Audrey Shore Henshall’s 'The Chambered Tombs of Scotland' , Reference and Local Studies Department, Dumfries and Galloway Libraries, Information and Archives, Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What's In a name ?

Hi to All,

In celebration of the twins born to; Angelina Jolie, and Brad Pitt. I thought I would do a blog entry on the name "Vivienne" as that is what they have named their new daughter. (I really liked their name choices.) Angelina named her first child Maddox, which is a name of Welsh origin and means good or generous. Little Zahara's name is of Arab origin and means flower.The second boy in the clan, Pax, is of Latin origin and means peace. Angelina's first biological child, Shiloh, has a very interesting name of biblical origins and the most probable meaning of it is gift. So her full name Shiloh Nouvel, meaning new gift.Now that two more kids have joined the Jolie - Pitt clan, their names are under the microscope! Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline ... Knox is a name of Old English origin and is rarely used these days. It means round-top hill. It also ends in X which seems to be a pattern for the boys names! MaddoX - PaX - KnoX. As for little Vivienne, her name is very interesting; Vivienne is of French origin and comes from the word Vive, which means to live or alive. Her second name is Marcheline, which is Angelina's mom's name! so, put together it gives the meaning Marcheline lives on!


A Vivienne from Arthurian Lore

The Lady of the Lake was known by many names. She was most often Nimue (pronounced Nim-oo-ay). Nimue, Vivien, Vivienne, Niniane .

Lady of the Lake in the Arthurian Legends and stories.

Nimue was often confused and misrepresented in Arthurian Legend as an enchantress wanting nothing more than to steal Merlin's magic. This is considered by most, a literary fabrication created by the misogynist, religious state of that time.
Literally, Nimue was the daughter of Diones and the lover of both Pelles and Merlin. In reference to Nimue as the Lady of the Lake, it was she who gave the sword Excalibur to Arthur and regained it when he died. She also accompanied three additional faerie queens to Avalon with the body of the slain king. It is also said that she stole the child Lancelot and cured his madness. This was done so Lancelot could become guard to Nimue's weak son Mabuz who was tormented by Iweret.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson paints one of the loveliest literary pictures of the Lady of the Lake in his great work, Idylls of the King. This first reference describes the Lady of the Lake presenting Excalibur to the King. The second reference is the return of the sword after the death of Arthur.

"And near him stood the Lady of the Lake
Who knows a subtler magic than his own-
Clothed in white samite, mystic, wonderful.
She gave the King his huge cross-hilted sword,
Whereby to drive the heathen out. A mist
Of incense curl'd about her, and her face
Well nigh was hidden in the minster gloom;
But there was heard among the hold hymns
A voice as of the waters, for she dwell
Down in the deep-calm, whatsoever storms
May shake the world- and when the surface rolls,
Hath power to walk the waters like our Lord."

Spoken by Sir Bedivere who was charged with casting Excalibur to the Lady...
"Then with both hands I flung him [Excalibur], wheeling him;
But when I look'd again, behold an arm;
Clothed in white samite, mystical, wonderful,
That caught him by the hilt, and brandish'd him
Three times, and drew him under the mere."

Mythologically, the Celtic Lady of the Lake was known as a Gwragedd Nnnwn (or Lake Faerie). These fae were often married to mortal men. They were lovely, blond women who enjoyed female company and aiding mortal women and children. The Lady of the Lake was also considered the Queen of the Isle of Maidens.

Nimue, mythologically, was a lessor Celtic Moon Goddess; cognate with the Greek Nemesis and Diana of the Grove. Her name meant "fate" and "she who lives" and was said to reside in the Fairy wood of Broceliande. She was also connected to the Goddess Morgan.

Archetypically, Nimue and the Lady of the Lake represented the primal initiation into the Other world. She reigned over knowledge, was the foster mother, and the mistress of wisdom.

Monday, August 04, 2008

9th Moon of the Celtic Year


This is my last blog entry on the "Celtic Tree Lore" and their association with the Celtic calendar. As I started last year with the September blog entry. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed blogging this..

Sparkling Bee

9th Moon of the Celtic Year - (Aug 5 - Sept 1)

Latin name: European hazel - corylus avellana; American Filbert - corylus americana.
Celtic name: Coll (pronounced: Cull). Coll means "life force within you".
Folk or Common names: tree of Wisdom, Lamb's Tails Tree, Collo or Coslo (Gailic), The tree's name shares a common root with the walnut tree and its nut, or cnu and hnot in Europe and Nux in Latin.

Parts Used: Nut, leaves, branches, wood.
Herbal usage: Hazel can be used as a drainage remedy and can help restore elasticity to the lungs. Hazelnuts, of course, can be eaten, and are a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, protein and fatty acids. The nuts can be powdered and be mixed with mead or honeyed water to help a cough.

Magical History & Associations:

The bird associated with this month is the crane, the color is brown, and the gemstone is band-red agate. The Hazel, a masculine herb, is associated with the element of air, the planet of Mercury, the day of Wednesday, and is sacred to Mercury, Thor, Artemis, Fionn, Diana and Lazdona (the Lithuanian Hazelnut Tree Goddess). Hazel wood is one of the nine traditional fire woods that is part of the Belfire that the Druid's burned at Beltane - it was added to the fire to gain wisdom. In fact, in ancient times the Hazel was known as The Tree of Wisdom. It is often associated with sacred springs and wells and salmon. Celtic legend tell of a grove of Hazel trees below which was a well, a pool, where salmon swam. These trees contained all knowledge, and their fruit contained that knowledge and wisdom in a nutshell. As the hazelnuts ripened, they would fall into the well where they were eaten by the salmon. With each nut eaten, the salmon would gain another spot. In order to gain the wisdom of the Hazel, the Druids caught and prepared the salmon. But Fionn, the young man stirring the pot in which the salmon were cooking, accidentally burned his thumb with the boiling stew. By reflex, he put his thumb into his mouth and thus ingested the essence of the sacred feast; he instantly gained the wisdom of the universe.

Magical usage:

It is said that the Hazel has applications in magic done for manifestation, spirit contact, protection, prosperity, wisdom, divination-dowsing, dreams, wisdom-knowledge, marriage, reconciliation, fertility., intelligence, inspiration, and wrath. Hazel is a good herb to use to do magic associated with asking for wisdom and poetic inspiration since the Hazel is known as the Tree of Immortal Wisdom. In England, all the knowledge of the arts and sciences was thought to be bound to the eating of Hazel nuts. Hazel also has protective uses as anti-lightning charms. A sprig of Hazel or a talisman of two Hazel twigs tied together with red or gold thread to make a solar cross can be carried as a protective good luck charm. The mistletoe that grows on hazel protects against bewitching. A cap of Hazel leaves and twigs ensures good luck and safety at sea, and protects against shipwrecks. In England, the Hazelnut is a symbol of fertility - a bag of nuts bestowed upon a bride will ensure a fruitful marriage. The Hazel is a tree that is sacred to the fey Folk. A wand of hazel can be used to call the Fey. If you sleep under a Hazel bush you will have vivid dreams. Hazel can be used for all types of divination and dowsing. Until the seventeenth century, a forked Hazel stick was used to divine the guilt of persons in cases of murder and theft. Druids often made wands from Hazel wood, and used the wands for finding ley lines. Hazel twigs or a forked branch can be used to divine for water or to find buried treasure. The wood of the Hazel can help to divine the pure source of poetry and wisdom. Hazelnuts can be used for love divination. Assign the name of your passion to a nut and throw it in the fire while saying:

"A Hazelnut I throw in the flame,to this nut I give my sweetheart's name,If blazes the nut, so may thy passion grow,For twas my nut that did so brightly glow."

If the nut burns brightly you then will know that your love will burn equally as brightly. Hazels are often found at the border between the worlds where magical things happen, and therefore Hazel wood is excellent to use to make all-purpose wands. Any Hazel twigs, wood or nuts should be gathered after sundown on Samhain since it will be at the peak of its magical energy. Hazel must not be cut with a knife, but with a flint.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A Brave Young Man

Hi to all, The above photo is of the Grandson and Granddaughter of a friend of mine. We call her "MagicWoman".. The boy is Jordan, and the girl is his sister Brittany. Young Jordan 13 years young was taken to the hospital in June 2008 after he took very ill. It was discovered that Jordan had 1 kidney, and it was only working at 30% and if there is a left kidney, it is oddly shaped and in the wrong place. Jordan's 1 kidney that was working at only 30% was found to be infected. Very dangerous, and a life threatening situation. With lots of prayers, fairy dust,and a good medical team Jordan has pulled though this rough patch. Although his life is changed somewhat. He is well and on a special diet, medications and under the watchful eyes of those that love him so. I know this brave young man will over come this hurdle in the road of life... This picture was taken shortly after he returned home. I thought he looked great for a boy that had gone through so much..
Hugs to all

Friday, August 01, 2008

Much Merry this Lammas

A Little History about this time of Lammas.

When ancient Celts went to a Lughnasadh celebration, they could expect to find many features of a modern fair or market day, not just sports and sacrality. Crafts, (probably including ‘corn dollies’, which are still a Lammas tradition), fruit preserves, all kinds of foods, and local produce would certainly have been displayed and sold at the games, I'm sure it would of been a fun and colourful affair.
One ancient custom still associated with cross-quarter days, and in particular Lughnasadh(Lammas), was for a large wagon wheel to be dragged to the top of a hill, covered with tar, and set on fire; then when hte wheel was blazing it was rolled down the hill – perhaps recalling the end of summer, with the flaming disk representing the declining sun deity. This, in Christian times, evolved into the popular firework, the Catherine wheel, since St Catherine of Alexandria (who was intended to be martyred on a wheel but survived miraculously), was commemorated on her feast day at Lammas (though the Church has moved it several times) and the wheel rolling continued as part of her day.
Lughnasadh was seen as a propitious season in which to marry, as food was abundant between the two harvests for the ‘honey moon’, and leisure time was available once the harvest was in. At the Oenach Tailten began a widespread custom called a Tailtean (or Teltown) marriage, similar to neo-Pagan ‘handfasting’, and it only took place at Lughnasadh. Such a marriage lasted only a ‘year and a day’ and could only be dissolved if both parties returned to the Lughnasadh fair. To divorce, the spouses stood back-to-back, then one spouse walked to the north and the other south. ( Wow ) -->(Now that is the easy less expense way out of a marriage!) This custom carried on well into the 16th century and, like bundling<-- (‘occupying the same bed without undressing – said of a man and woman, especially during courtship’ – Webster), which was known even later and certainly in colonial America, was considered proper, even by the Christian Church.

Another of these great Lughnasadh festivals was the Oenach Carmain, the assembly of Carmán the evil sorceress. She, like the Fomorians (evil giants; the people of the other world) came to Ireland from Athens, accompanied by her three ferocious sons. The people of Leinster province, at Carman or Wexford held the "Oenach Carmain", once every three years, beginning on Lughnasadh and ending on the sixth, believing that by holding it they would receive various blessings, such as prosperity, and corn, milk, and fruit in abundance, as well as protection from incursions by other provinces. There also was racing, poetic competition, satirical drama, and history, with a strong role played by women, who had political meetings called aireachts. Probably due to the influence of the patriarchal Christian Church, the Oenach Carmain only lasted until the 11th Century.
As well as the sports played at this event, there were marriage contracts made in the ‘Marriage Hollow’. In Europe, the festival of Lughnasadh was also associated with the myth of the marriage of Lugh to Bloddeuedd. This goddess, whose name means 'face of flowers', was conjured up out of flowers of oak, broom, and meadow sweet, by Lugh’s uncle, King Math, to be Lugh’s consort. When she later turned out to be an unfaithful wife, she was cursed by Gwydion, brother of the moon goddess Arianrhod, to be forever disturbed by sunlight, and she experienced a shape shift into an owl, a creature said to be hated by all other birds.
At gatherings of Lammastide, villagers placed offerings of blackberries, acorns, and crab apples in the lap of a maiden dressed in white, seated on the top of a hill, and a dance and procession home would then be held.
Several important and hugely attended assemblies, all involving Olympics-like games, took place during Lughnasadh in Ireland, and there is growing evidence of such games throughout Europe, because Celtic culture took root from Ireland to as far as Galatia, the Middle Eastern town mentioned in the Bible (Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians – the word is etymologically related to ‘Celtia’).
Lammas and athletic contests go hand in hand. Ranggeln, an ancient style of wrestling from which the terms ‘wrangle’ and thus ‘Wrangler jeans’ derive, is still practised in Austria. The St Jacob’s Day (July 29) Ranggeln festival at the summit of Mt Hundstein harks back to pre-Christian Celtic Lughnasadh festivities.
The Oenach Tailten was the assembly of Tailte, held at Talten or Teltown, a mountain in Meath, for the fifteen days on either side of August 1. Fostering was a Celtic practice that survived into early 18th century Scotland, and the goddess Tailte (Tailtiu), for whom the Oenach Tailten was held and the games played, was Lugh’s foster-mother, a female chieftain of the Fir-Bolg. After she and her people were vanquished by the Tuatha De Dannan, she was ordered by them to clear a large forest for the purpose of planting a field of grain, and Tailte died of exhaustion in the attempt. The legend tells us that she was buried beneath a large mound named for her, at the place where the first feast of Lughnasadh was held in Ireland, the hill of Tailte. Lugh’s birth mother was Ethnea Ní Bhaloir. Lughnasadh also commemorated Lugh’s two wives, Nas and Bui, so a strong feminine aspect can be seen in Lughnasadh, as well as its primary masculine theme of the solar deity.

Have a wonderful day however you choose to spend it!!


August Lammas image top of page provided by; Llewllyn Witches Calendar 2000 and are copyrighted to Llewllyn Publications.