Thursday, 30 October 2008

Winter

Winter is most definitely here; over the past few days there has been a chilling bite in the air that cuts through jeans and though my coat while I’m waiting for the bus in the morning. We even had snow a few days ago in central London – considering this is still October and many of the trees have their leaves still, it is certainly an early strike by winter.

Halloween to me, regardless of whether called that, Samhain or Calan Gaeaf is about marking this point of the year, when the summer is well and truly over. Some of the harvest has to come in – the very last dregs and this is the point when I remember the dead, especially as we approach the darker, harder half of the year. I will be spending this Halloween in Wooten Bassett, I am not too sure what we will be doing though I imagine it will entail a visit to the long barrow at West Kennet and Swallow Head Spring there too. In either case, something will be left for the spirits of those places, especially the springs as that is somewhere where we have already done something for the place in the past (read as: clearing up after fuckwit pagans).



After the past post regarding Mokkonos/Mochon, I went back and read the article I did for Pentacle on my website. I wrote it over the course of a night or two back in the early summer of 2007. I can only compare its conception and birth as something akin to Robert Graves’ “White Goddess” – produced over a very short time and with a large amount of inspiration mixed in with the researched content. Suffice to say, that once emailed off in July I didn’t read it again till several months later and again today.

This afternoon, apart from a good chunk of it flying over my head as being totally fantasy, once part stood out:

Moccus, who brings both life and death in balance as the seasons turn, from the carnage springs life again as the winter kill off restores fertility to the land. During the autumn and winter Moccus guides the dead into the otherworld, and brings the frosts and winter chill that drives life itself underground and into hibernation

What grabbed me about this is that this close association with winter is what I have been feeling in connection to Mokkonos. It may well be that my own thoughts on the matter whilst writing the essay were coming out or it might be I hit something. Alternatively the something that has latched onto this idea is taking what it needs from me to build itself and the mythos around itself. Who knows.

A thought that has occurred to me is the Mari Llwyd “Grey Mare” which I first wrote about when I started this blog a coupe of years ago, the spectral horse who not only roamed during winter but also early spring. Certainly another winter figure and IF it is a survival of an older tradition then something I might bear in mind when considering Mokkonos. My thought process on this is a little jumbled at present as it is late and I am tired and thinking as I type, the idea of Mari Llwyd as the horse of sovereignty during winter as one tale with a different animal in different parts of the country less suited to an equine economy – perhaps one based upon an animal so important it was considered a gift from the Otherworld?

Anyone, ramble over for the night. Have a happy Halloween, may your ancestors find you in good health and good spirits. May they also find good spirits set aside for them.

3 comments:

Bo said...

Ours was rained off, for the first time ever!

Interestingly a new image has struck me forcibly over the last few days - that of fog as boar's breath condensing in the air, whiskery, dangerous, with the hot stink of wild, powerful beast. I've not been able to get it out of my mind.

Maybe Mokkonos has called round!

Lee said...

mine was very simple, Avebury with friend, walk the paths to West kennet and Swallowhead Spring. pick up any tea lights or rubbish (surprisingly little), leave something at west kennet (some berries we had picked) and tramp back through the mud and leaves like kids (in welies too!) then lunch at the Red Lion in Avebury. rain held off till we got to the pub when the heavens proceeded to open with gusto. looks like we got the last 2 hours of good weather of the weekend.

VERY interesting image. it fits.

Teyrnon said...

I've always associated the Mari Lwyd with Samhain although the folklore tradition puts it at New Year. In fact many years ago I tried linking it with Rhiannon in a story:

http://homepage.mac.com/teyrnon/Rhiannon/CametheGreyMare.html

Because of a tradition I used to be associated with, I find it difficult to regard Samhain as the 31 Oct Halloween festival (best left to kids in ghoul masks) but always locate it at around the last quarter of the Moon in whenever that is in November. That, apart from being in that tradition, does seem better attuned to the actual seasons.

Heron