Gathered Knowledge

The Wanderer speaking to Death

by Herman Hesse

You will come to me too one day,
You will not forget me,
And the torment ends,
And the fetter breaks.

Still, you seem strange and far,
Dear brother Death,
You stand like a cold star
Above my trouble.

But some day you will be near
And full of flames.
Come, beloved, I am here,
Take me, I am yours.

The Public House

A speech by one of a pair of Romany brothers, as written in “The Gorse and the Briar”

“I hope the public-house or the inn will never cease to be a place in which the solitary traveller my find a fire and someone with whom to talk, but its real significance is lost; it is no longer the institution by which all those who set out on a journey depend, the institution which for centuries has mixed all classes together under one roof. The innkeeper has ceased to depend on the traveller, just as the traveller has ceased to depend on the inn.”

The Origins of Gaelic

According to legend, the Scythian king, Fenius Farsa (or Fenius Farsaidh), visited the Tower of Babel shortly after its failure, only to find that that the builders of the tower had already dispersed.

Babel?

Babel?

Fenius stayed at the tower, but sent out seventy-two scholars to study each of the seventy-two languages that were now spoken by the builders of the tower. After ten years the scholars returned, and Fenius took the best parts of each language in order to create a “selected language”, which he named Goidelic after his companion Goídel mac Ethéoir. Fenius is also reputed to have discovered four writing systems, Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Ogham, and as Ogham was the most perfect of the four it was chosen for writing the Goidelic (i.e. Irish) language.

The fact that there are different languages is the most sinister fact in the world. It means that there are different names for the same things.

All linguistics hides the striving to reduce all languages back to one. The tale of the Tower of Babel is the tale of the second Fall of Man. After losing their innocence and eternal life, human beings wanted to grow artificially to the heavens.

First they had tasted of the wrong tree, now they had mastered its ways and grew straight up. In return, they lost what they had managed to retain after the First Fall: the unity of names.

(Elais Canetti)

The Family Healers

A village in Carmarthenshire in Wales, at the end of the 12th century. (more…)

Britain as Bible Land

Bible Quotes

Britain is (two difficult words) known as a Christian nation. But what does this mean? Well, simply enough, it means many of the traditions we have inherited are shaped by references taken, and understandings gathered, from the Bible. (more…)

The Folk Theory

‘Folk’ can often seem a dirty word. It is, in certain wide circles, a joke with a punchline of beards and sandals. But these circles inevitably buy into their own silly musical preferences, and that’s fine.

People use the word ‘folk’ to point out things that they both identify with, and don’t. ‘Folk’ means the common culture of all people, but not me. I’m distinct. I’m modern.

Our understanding is that all music is ‘folk’, is rooted in the musical traditions that came before. Even music that apparently rebels, that hopes to sound different and move away from earlier styles, is being directly influenced by old music. The old is always the point of departure for the new.

long-beardFolk is everyone, is all people. Our music, our culture, comes from people, who all have more in common than they are distinct. Indeed, despite (or due to) this obvious fact, that national cultural traditions belong to, and form, their home-landscape, ‘folk’ values have been used as a weapon to encourage barriers and war. Nazi Germany famously mass-published its acceptable canon of national song, with lyrics designed to glorify Nazi values, and with rousing tunes to inspire valour and triumph. But this is normal human power games. Ever since the printing press was made, ballads of dubious anonymity have been published and circulated, in the hope of tricking people, by music, to accept a lie. Various kings, governments, and toothpastes have sought to convey their message with the help of a good tune and a well-written lyric. This seems to be what ‘folk’ do.

(more…)

Trees

hawthorn-pre-gospel-pass

Here we will be compiling information on trees and their uses, both practical and mythological. The profiles will grow as we find out more, becoming more useful as we go.

Herblore

Agrimony – under the pillow, you won’t awaken until it is removed – it cleanses the goblins of the unconscious.

Alder – a tree of unity – Eaidor (Chief). For syeing, a fairy green from the flowers, brown from the twigs, and red from the bark. Sacred to the defeated, but still Bran.

Amaranth – flowers into a wreath for invisibility. Take the whole plant on a Friday full moon, and leave an offering. Wrap it in white cloth, and wear it against your chest, to be bullet-proof.

(more…)

Further Riddles

1.

He found some beautiful, sparkling pearls,
And gave them to me to keep,
But Alas! I can’t find now where I kept them,
I have searched every corner, even in the bazaar;
What to do, o my friend?
What will I give, when the beloved asks?

2.

A woman carrying fire on her head,
Hopelessly waiting for her lover;
Her body melting, can’t seem to control herself,
Crying, crying till the dawn.

Bruce Lee Speaks

To realize freedom, the mind has to learn to look at life, which is a vast movement without bondage of time, for freedom lies beyond the field of consciousness. Watch, but don’t stop and interpret, “I am free” – then you’re living in a memory of something that has gone. To understand and live now, everything of yesterday must die.