Saturday, 21 February 2009


Nodens has been for a couple of years a ticking alarm clock in the background; largely a ticking in the background and something not really noticed and at other times an insistent noise that cannot be ignored. Currently, there is a ticking in my head that wont go away. So, here is the beginning of an attempt to placate it.

There is plenty out there on the net that talks about him and tells us a little about where his name came from etc. it also talks about the temple located at Lydney; a spur of land overlooking the river Severn where a healing shrine was placed for this watery god. He was associated with hunting too it seems.

I live a fair way from the Severn, though not too far from the Thames, I cross it twice a day on the bus to work and every look out over it to see what it's tides are doing, to see whether it is flowing inland or out to sea (it does both strangely) and to see what it alive on the river. Gulls, ducks, grey herons, the occasional and unfortunate whale (now de-fleshed and the bones safely stored away in the Natural history Museum stores, the dorsal fin sits in a jar of alcohol alongside a macabre selection of pickled animals. A true brutes condiment cupboard.) and most notably for me; cormorants. This morning an armada of them were out on the river, I saw at least a dozen in close formation feeding and dicing and cruising. I say a dozen, there might have been more hidden beneath the surface and counting them was like some impossible task as they rose, paddled then dived again only to emerge somewhere else within the flotilla. These to me are the embodiment of the river – more than just bound within the water, more than what hides beneath it, more even than what rides the tides to the sea. They represent all that is under, in, on and around the river. The Thames is the pulsing artery of London.

On a hill overlooking the great River is a place named after King Lud. King Lud or Lludd? Probably Lludd originally, and this Lludd, he was known as Nudd before that and as Nudd he is known by his son Gwyn. That king of the underworld, that man who holds back the demons of hell and that man who fights for eternity for the hand of a woman he wants. But back further and Nudd was known by another name; Nodens.

1 comment:

The Heron's Stare said...

Yes it's funny how things nag away at you like that. Nodens has long been 'in the background' for me.

Waiting for a proper approach?