A month ago I stood atop a long barrow on White Horse Hill, with the grass covered chalk walls of Uffington Castle behind me, the galloping Uffington White Horse below me, and pondered a question for which there is no answer. What makes a landscape sacred? Is sacred the right word? Mystic perhaps. What makes […]
The chambered tombs and long barrows of Britain have long tickled the imagination, and perhaps none more so than Wayland’s Smithy. Perhaps it’s the stand of beech trees enclosing it which makes it feel more intimate, more hushed. Unlike West Kennet Long Barrow near Avebury, sitting exposed to the wind and the rain, high on […]
Cowslip is a witch’s garden plant which s traditionally found by foraging. Know for its connection to May Day, divination and of course faeries, it’s been celebrated in folklore and by Shakespeare, for its connection to love.
Looking at spring in the witch’s garden, planning the coming year and adapting spaces to changing plans. A look at what survived the winter, what seems to be spreading and what didn’t survive the freeze.
Scotland doesn’t lack in songs about being forsaken in love. But according to Ewan MacColl, who recorded the song I Courted A Wee Girl in 1956, typically the hero shrugs it off. “In this curious little song, however, the jilted lover, after attending his ex-sweetheart’s nuptials, just lies down and dies” The song made the […]
The Luccombe Valley below Salisbury Plain and Bratton Camp, just visible in the upper right. In the foreground are two of the four barrows in the valley, with one of the others being the site of the Bloodstone. While wandering on Salisbury plain one day I came across a hidden valley and as I […]
Looking down on the White Horse of Westbury from atop Salisbury Plain Nobody really knows when or why a chalk horse was carved onto the side of Bratton Downs, below the iron age Bratton Camp. The current version has evolved over the past two centuries into its rather literal shape today. An 18th century engraving […]
Top: The Glengesh Pass, Donegal, Ireland The top of Glengesh Pass in Donegal, Ireland is breathtaking. You’re in one of the most remote corners of the country here, sparsely populated, windswept and wild. You’re as likely to hear Gaelic spoken as English, for life hasn’t changed a whole lot over the past hundred years. The […]
Top: Statue of Pan, The Eagles Nest, Northport, Long Island Your body is the church where Nature asks to be reverenced. Marquis de Sade I credit my parents with instilling in me a love for pagan sexuality. Not intentionally – they didn’t advocate any kind of sex. It’s something that was only mentioned a couple […]
I once spent about a week hanging out with Caoimhin Mac Aoidh, noted Donegal fiddler and historian, particularly on all things Donegal fiddle. He wrote about the tune Maighdean Mhara Mhullach Mhoir, or The Maid or more precise, The Mermaid of Mullaghmore. I was driving up the coast of Donegal, on the way to the village of Teelin, […]