Saturday, 21 June 2008

Bath and Bel

Three weekends ago today I went to stay with Nicky, always a wonderful time with her, her family and herd of cats. I keep telling her that should the worst happen I will adopt Otto and Blodwyn (the cats). On the Sunday we went to Bath. I have been before but never went into the baths themselves. So we did the standard tour, looking around the various rooms and museum that accompanied it. I was particularly keen to get to look at the ‘gorgon’ face that had been on the pediment above the temple to Minerva-Sulis and got to do so as part of the exhibits. Everywhere I saw there suggested it was a gorgon face, however it was male (gorgons are generally female), only had two snakes on it whereas the rest of the face was wreathed in flame like hair, it also had a pair of wings presumably to hold it aloft, it appears to be more solar face rather than a gorgon. Now, as part of the original temple complex, Sol and Luna were already represented on pediments on the other two buildings so it begged the question of who this other male solar-like deity is.

My gut feeling is that it is a solar deity, and in keeping with the mixing of Roman and British pantheons at this place might well have been Belenus. It might not of course, but it is my gut feeling and a feeling shared by others. It works for me as an iconography and I am sticking to it. As a representation, it also seems to work for Belenus too, a point I am about to illustrate.

One part of the museum takes you to an overflow or the hot springs; this is a small waterfall drain under the baths. The rocks here are stained a fiery orange by the iron in the water (which is bloody foul tasting – you can try it for free but it is warm and metallic, I prefer the cold metallic of chalice well in Glastonbury any time), the air is hot and humid with steam at this point in the tour. It was here I took a coin out, held it in my hand and petitioned Belenus, I asked him to expedite the paperwork that I was waiting to get sorted for my new, something that had been going on for weeks and was topping me from getting started. I promised him something in return and then tossed the coin into the hot iron rich maelstrom.

Four days later, the paperwork arrived. Another four days and it was all arranged with HR at my new job. Four days after then I was at my new position in a dream job. That, to me, is a positive response.

All that remain now is for me to uphold my end of the bargain, and with it being the summer solstice it would seem appropriate for me to write about it and also to fulfill my end of the bargain.

Friday, 6 June 2008

One last thing..

I wasn't sure about using the Blodeuedd image I did or a picture the Burney Relief 'Queen of the Night'. After posting the past entry I noticed that Lilith is standing on a pair of lions, and as sad as it is I smirked once it hit me how ironic this is considering th early incarnation Blodeuedd's husband has in account of the Mabinogion.

Geek moment over.

The Owl Strikes Back

It seems Blodeuedd is flitting about in a couple of peoples minds lately, mine plus Bo With that in min i decided it was time to get writing the article I have been promising myself to write for Pentacle Magazine for ages.

The man thrust of the article is that there is a strong parallel streak between the story of Blodeuedd and Lilith of Jewish myth. Actually there is far more to it than I had thought - the strong and self minded sexuality, the taking control of their own destiny and refusal to follow the path laid before them by someone else. Then of course there are the owls; both ladies are associated with them.

I did some light digging and have found references to owls and sexuality and bad omen in Welsh folklore - in fact a lot of European folklore too. Anyway, the point is I am writing for the magazine and not here so had better get on with it and stop posting the spoilers here.

Probably the only image of Blodeuedd I actually like!