Sunday, 30 January 2011

Brigantica approaches

I really should get myself a proper diary; there are a few things coming up, projects about to begin and I find I will never keep it all in my head and something will invariably be forgotten. This year though I don't want to forget.

First things first; my allotment. Today I am off to do the last of the digging over and manuring. I will also be planning exactly what I am going to grow this year and 'plan' out my allotment year as it were.

Secondly, something is about to begin that I am going to be involved in that is very exciting indeed. It is something totally new, and very much a surprise offer. I cant really say much at this stage as it is very early indeed, I guess the only hint I can drop is 'Clan of Tubal Cain'.

The Horse Sacrifice. This is something that cropped up last year when I was thinking about and discussing the concept of sovereignty (along with a few blogasms on the subject). At the time, the notion of the horse sacrifice and the place of this ritual was on my mind; in some ways it find it a fascinating possibility and something I think I would like to re-create in some sense – obviously in a somewhat symbolic manner or making use of a 'dummy' horse rather than a full on mare. Perhaps the biggest hurdle right now is Rigantona. She and the Mare are one, and to kill an embodiment of a mare seems almost sacrilegious, even though I KNOW there is more to it than that and am not normally squeamish about things. Hell, I have a horse skull which I will be moving into my flat soon enough (it has been outdoors all winter 'seasoning'). This then forms another matter which I want to look into, mainly by looking into original sources and reports and academic analyses of these materials. Originally I came up with something involving a baked bread horse effigy which is 'killed' torn up and shared by the group as part of a yearly 're-establishing sovereignty' ritual. If that makes sense? It isn't something that can be rushed into, there are all manner of implications and more precisely, research to be done. I dont think this year will see the inauguration of our yearly Horse Sacrifice, but perhaps the groundwork will be set down in time for next year's gathering.

Lastly there is Rosmerta. As I have mentioned before, she is a deity well worth getting to know and in order to do this, I will be incorporating hymns to her in my personal practice as part of offering libations. This was started 2 weeks ago at full moon and will be carried on with the coming new moon and next Saturday’s Brigantica festivities. Hymns are pretty much written – as they tend to write themselves when needed.

One last thing, I have been compiling what can only be terms a Brythonic prayer book; all the hymns I and other members of Brython have written along with some ritual and myth. All together in a nice little document ready to be printed out once finished. I suppose if it appears good and fills up nicely – and the others at Brython approve – we can always upload it as a PDF to the internet and it can be freely available for people to download and make use of.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

This is somewhat pre-emptive but it does at least make a difference to doing things after the event. February Eve is two weeks away and I already have thoughts of how to mark it in mind;

Back at Halloween I bought three blood red roses and over three nights tore off the petals and scattered them on my altar, offered to Rigantona, where they were left to dry. They are still there now, and with the changing season – slowly and almost imperceptibly it is happening here – I will remove them along with the winter d├ęcor on the altar and throw them into the stream that feeds the lake in Crystal Palace park. I will gather some greens, new shoots and hopefully a few daffodils from the front garden (which decided to start sprouting back in November) and redecorate the altar. I will get a three white roses and again offer the petals over a few days. This certainly feels like the right thing to do in order to mark the changing year and tie it in with Her.

I just went back and looked up what I did at this time last year and it seems like I have subconsciously planned the same thing; I have even gone so far as to buy the steamed buns ahead of time. I don't think I will alter the ritual, it works fine, maybe some of the actions that go with it etc.

The main change I want to start introducing is the inclusion of a short hymn to Rosmerta. Over on CaerFeddwyd she has been brought up as a perfect example of a deity we should be aiming to foster a relationship with; she has what so many other gods lack and that is a useful iconogrphic and epigraphic history. We can be fairly sure she was consort to Lugus, we know her name means something like 'great provider' and that there are likely associations with pouring out drink and of sovereignty. I have a view in mind to include her when it comes to the libation, though I am not sure in what context yet.

Oh and I will be heading to St Bride's church in Fleet Street again this year and have been mindful to check when it will be open so as to avoid a repeat of the last time I visited. Perhaps also a stroll to the British Museum to have a look at Romano-British statuary.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

A Desert..

..of lapwings is apparently the correct collective noun. Odd that one, sounds rather miserable and rather barren. Which is a shame really considering the associations I have placed with them. I saw LOADS of them again, all in flight as I was leaving Fishguard and heading back to London. Kind of meaningful; I had spent a lot of time researching my agricultural ancestors, the kind who would most definitely had Ambactonos as patron were it not for a few accidents of history.

I have not really been happy with the ancestor side of my household cult observances, I am simply not feeling the connection. This was brought into the stark daylight over Christmas whilst I was back home in Wales when I was able to do a bit ore digging into my family tree and history – getting to mooch about the chapel graveyard in what I guess could be considered my ancestral home of Hayscastle and poring over censuses from 1841 and finding the family farm back then gave me more of a connection to these dead souls than my sitting over a cup of tea. It is now blindingly obvious that what I want is to for some sort of connection to these people; these people who made me who I am. The plan is to do some genealogical research at around the time of the new moon specifically (I will of course do some at other times) and dedicate that time to them as it were. When I am at a brick wall and in need of visiting the records office 300 miles away then perhaps it would be better to simply go over what I have or type up some of the stories I have heard about them (for instance; my great grandfather was the person the banks sent people to to borrow money when they weren't able, and as a result the poet Idwal Lloyd was able to put himself through uni on the back of a loan from Great Grandfather Thomas Davies). This to me I think kind of encapsulates what honouring my ancestors is about; remembering them and preserving their lives and legacies.