Monday, October 31, 2011

Harvestfest / Winternights (Old Norse - Vetrnætr)

Winter Nights or Old Norse Vetrnætr was a Norse winter festival that was initially celebrated in pre-Christian Scandinavia. It was said by Snorri Sturluson that Winter Nights is one of the three most important festivals.

The following is from

Winternights is held the 31st of October. Winternights marked the final end of harvest and the time when the animals that were not expected to make it through the winter were butchered and smoked or made into sausage. The festival is also called "Elf-Blessing", "Dis-Blessing", or "Frey-Blessing", which tells us that it was especially a time of honouring the ancestral spirits, the spirits of the land, the Vanir, and the powers of fruitfulness, wisdom, and death. It marks the turning of the year from summer to winter, the turning of our awareness from outside to inside.

Among the Norse, the ritual was often led by the woman of a family - the ruler of the house and all within. One of the commonest harvest customs of the Germanic people was the hallowing and leaving of the "Last Sheaf" in the field, often for Odin and/or his host of the dead, though the specifics of the custom vary considerably over its wide range. The Wild Hunt begins to ride after Winternights, and the roads and fields no longer belong to humans, but to ghosts and trolls.

The Winternights feast is also especially seen as a time to celebrate our kinship and friendship with both the living and our earlier forebears. It marks the beginning of the long dark wintertime at which memory becomes more important than foresight, at which old tales are told and great deeds are toasted as we ready ourselves for the spring to come. It is a time to think of accomplishments achieved and those which have yet to be made. Winternights also marks the beginning of a time of indoor work, thought and craftsmanship.


These festival and feast celebrated the accessibility, veneration, awe, and respect of the dead. This was also a time for contemplation. To the ancient Germanic peoples death was never very far away, and it viewed as a natural and necessary part of life. To die was not as much of a surprise or tragedy it is in modern times and death as not viewed as something "scary" or "evil". Of higher importance to the Germanic people was to live & die with honour and thereby live on in the memory of the tribe and be honoured at this great feast.

Starting on this night, the great divisions between the worlds was somewhat diminished which can allow the forces of chaos to invade the realms of order, the material world conjoining with the world of the dead. At this time began the Wild hunt in which the restless spirits of the dead and those yet to be born walked amongst the living. The dead could return to the places where they had lived and food and entertainment were provided in their honour. In this way the tribes were at one with its past, present and future.

Again, the Christians forcefully subverted the sacred Germanic Heathen calendar to honour Christianity, Winter nights on October 31 became "All Hallows Eve" and November 1st was declared "All Saint's Day".

Text from the Odins's Volk online calendar.

Modernized Havamal - Verse 13

Forgetfulness hovers like a heron,
where you drink too much.
It robs a man of his mind and good sense.
One night at Gunnlath's place,
this happened to me (Odin).

Friday, October 28, 2011

Modernized Havamal - Verse 12

Too much alcohol is not a good thing,
like some may tell you
The more you drink,
the less you know.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Modernized Havamal - Verse 11

There is nothing better
that a man may possess,
than a little common sense.
Whether you are traveling,
or encumbered by too much alcohol,
good sense is the best tool you have to keep you safe.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Modernized Havamal - Verse 10

There is nothing better
that a man may possess,
that a little common sense.
It's better than being rich,
especially in strange places and new situations,
this is the poor man's real wealth.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Whither the Ring-Givers ?

For my friends and fans who enjoy Kennings and metaphors as much as I do, here is a new poem for you, structured as an Elegy (no, not eulogy, lol)

Whither the Ring-Givers ?
Beneath a coal grey sky I stoop, upon a barren field, not fallow.
Amongst withered crops I wander, and kinsmen's graves all shallow.

For no men to harvest did we lend, lest your shield wall falter.
Our grain is spent,  no rings adorn our arms, our wealth you did not alter.

We were sons of heimdall brave, and held our oaths till Brynhild's sisters came.
For we loved our lord, our gods and kin, yet you flew with little shame.

In Urd's domain, heavy were my arms with rings, and so proudly did we sail,
O'er the whale road, beneath a shield of gold, our might did never fail.

My battle snake's teeth were daily soaked, my purse dragged at my belt.
Our Ring-Giver lead his fiersome  host, and kings before us knelt.

We the loyal, we the brave, dared Valhalla take us soon,
But Skuld was silent, and shared with us not, that we would lose our boon.

Whither thee Ring-Giver? Have we offended you? Did we not bleed?
But to a deaf sky I rage, my silent quarry will not heed.

I yet remember the heady days in Urd's court, with bellies full and eyes ahead.
So to Skuld's glorious hall we will lead the host, with weapons sharp and foes dead.

We brave and loyal sons of Rig march ever, on Skuld's road ahead,
we must resolve to be steadfast Ring-Givers, ever brave, ever loyal, beyond the halls of the dead.

- Eoghan Odinsson

If you enjoyed the poem, please follow my blog, and tell your friends. I'm a struggling self-published author trying to make ends meet, and need all the fan support I can get. Thanks for your patronage!

Discover the Legend of the Vorpal Sword

Anyone who has played Dungeons & Dragons surely remembers "The Vorpal Sword".In the game, a Vorpal Sword is defined as a sword with the magical effect that it tends to cut off opponents' heads.

This was the ultimate legendary weapon. But whence does this legend come? In what mythical forge of the gods was this dark blade conceived? Read on.


'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Jabberwocky" is a nonsense verse poem written by Lewis Carroll in his 1872 novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, a sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The book tells of Alice's adventures within the back-to-front world of a looking glass.

In a scene in which she is in conversation with the chess pieces White King and White Queen, Alice finds a book written in a seemingly unintelligible language. Realising that she is travelling through an inverted world, she recognises that the verse on the pages are written in mirror-writing. She holds a mirror to one of the poems, and reads the reflected verse of "Jabberwocky". She finds the nonsense verse as puzzling as the odd land she has walked into, later revealed as a dreamscape.

"Jabberwocky" is considered one of the greatest nonsense poems written in English. Its playful, whimsical language has given us nonsense words and neologisms such as "galumphing", "chortle" and of course "Vorpal".

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Modernized Havamal - Verse 9

It's good to be well respected while you live,
and to be able to think for yourself
Men often give each other bad advice.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Northern Plant Lore" Publication Date pushed to Spring 2012

Folks, I'm going to push out the release date for "Northern Plant Lore" to the Spring of 2012.

Coming Spring 2012
I've had other commitments and issues crop up over the summer which have slowed me down, and I don't want to rush to get it out. I love writing and the process of creation, and to rush it ruins the pleasure for me; I also want to make sure you get the best quality book I can write.

So I am going to continue on at a more leisurely pace, and write the best book on 'Northern Plant Lore' you'll have ever seen!

Could there be a silver lining to this? Why yes there is! With more time before the release, I will start sharing chapters of the book with you early on for feedback and comment.

Some folks had requested growing information on the plants so they could cultivate their own, which is now in the book. What about other ideas? The next few months will be your opportunity to help collaborate with me and shape the book together. I think that's a pretty exciting prospect!

I'll implement some tools such as polls, on my website and perhaps a discussion forum to help facilitate this.

Thanks for your patience and I appreciate your patronage!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Asgard Studios is now an officially registered Publisher!

I got some exciting news today, Asgard Studios is now an officially registered Publisher!

Publisher name is: Asgard Studios
Publisher prefix is: 0-9878394 (for ISBNs)

In addition to publishing my own book, which has been a commercial success, Asgard Studios has been involved in publishing several other author's projects, including Traditional Paperback Books, Digital eBooks as well as Multi-Media Projects.

So we are now very proud to be able to provide a full suite of Publishing Services for our clients.

In case you didn't know, in addition to writing, I run with my son. Hopefully in the next few years he will be taking over the reigns and I will dedicate all my time to writing.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Modernized Havamal - Verse 8

It's a fortunate man who is well respected by others,
for the deeds he has done himself.
It's more difficult if you rely on others,
to help make your good reputation.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Winter Nights - time to honor the spirit of our female ancestors, or Disir.

Celebrate the Beauty and Strength of the Disir
Winter Nights (October 13-15)

We exchange blessings with the essence of the female ancestors, considered collectively as the Disir.

They give us their blessings as the season of cold closes in on the world and life retreats into hiding.

We honor the Disir, knowing they look on from beyond the grave with loving concern for their living human kin.

Hail the Disir!

Modernized Havamal - Verse 7

The cautious guest,
who goes to a gathering with strangers,
keeps his eyes and ears open,
and his mouth closed.
Much wisdom can be gained
from quiet observation.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Modernized Havamal - Verse 6

Let a man not be boastful about his wisdom,
but watchful instead.
The wise and silent rarely get into trouble
when in the company of others.
A more trustworthy friend,a man cannot have,
than understanding.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Do elves have rights?

Do elves have rights? 
by: Jeremy Harte

In the corner of the field, under a little wooden chamber, the waters of the fairies' well bubbled from the ground. It was a brilliantly sunny day in July. The corn in the field all about the monument glowed golden. A kind of ivy clung to the corner around one post, and had entwined itself into the matted thatch above, which sloped down and exposed the rickety roof-frame. It was a perfectly delightful sight in its rustic charm. (Cockin 1992). Here the villagers of Church Eaton had laid the foundations for their church, but at each night the busy labour of invisible hands moved the stones to the centre of the village. All that remains is the well - dedicated to St Edith, good for eye troubles, and having the strange property that tools left in its water will not rust.

But all was not well under the July sunshine. It had become clear that the weathered roof would soon fall in unless it was rethatched. The parish council would gladly pay a thatcher, but they have no money. Staffordshire county planning department have the money, but will not subsidise a project without public access. The farmer will set aside land for an access path, but at a price. This would be charged to the parish council - who haven't any money. Deadlock. Evidently the fairies are getting a raw deal out of local government here. But sacred sites aren't always treated with such disregard. The County Engineer and Planning Officer for Devon, for instance, has called for proper respect to be shown to old stones by the public highway, recognising that they cannot be moved without activating a curse. The Shebbear stone also falls within his brief - the one which has to be turned over every Bonfire Night, otherwise the Devil will wreak havoc in the neighbourhood (Clifford and King 1993: 60). No doubt the motives which lie behind his promotion of folk belief are not unconnected with tourism. What matters, though, is the public acknowledgement that supernatural issues are part of the responsibility of planning officers.

They certainly are in Iceland. A road scheme was poised for completion in the suburbs of Reykjavik, when it was noticed that the development would damage a hill known to be frequented by elves - so they redirected the road instead. Foreseeing that this sort of problem would come round again, the city?s highway authority briefed a clairvoyant. With her aid, developers can now draw on a land-use map specifying the places which are home to elves - and not just elves, but dwarfs, gnomes and huldufolk as well (Rickard 1994). Within a year the psychic contract was paying its way. Another road project had ground to a halt, since bulldozers seized up every time they tried to shift an elf stone. The highways section found another medium, and she mediated: the elves found a new home, the empty stone was respectfully transferred off site, and the road went ahead (Rickard 1996).

Maybe it is their marginal position in the European world-view which encourages small nations to take a positive attitude to other realities. The policies forged in Iceland have long been taken for granted in Ireland, where even international airports, symbol of integration into the global economy, are thoroughly subverted by tradition. Runways have been diverted to avoid causing damage to a fairy mound (Keel 1971: 227). Folklorists continue to relish the occasional news report that the course of a new road has had to be diverted to avoid cutting down a sacred tree (Bord 1982: 105); usually the interests of the fairies are protected by the contractors themselves, men like Roy Green of Ballymagroarty who stopped work when he came to a fairy thorn in 1968. Unable to find another developer willing to take on the risk, the planning department did the obvious and diverted the road (Bord 1997: 5). In case this seems like mere Irish eccentricity, there is the case from Emmer Green in stolid Oxfordshire, where housing development was halted when it reached the fairy tree under which two village girls left their teeth in exchange for presents. It is not clear whether the traditional status of the tree was any older than Naomi and Eloise (aged 7 and 9) but nevertheless its supernatural status won a right of appeal to the Secretary for the Environment, and launched a public enquiry (Collins 1985).

Someone, somewhere, is standing up for fairies. It isn't altogether true to say that missing from our modern practice of planning is the concept that there are forces beyond immediate secular forces and geological basics that bear on what is best done at each given site? (Swan 1991: 2). But last-minute campaigns in favour of elf-infested spaces are only token subversions of planning, a system whose core values remain anthropocentric. Back in 1944, when state planning was set to dominate the political process, a government White Paper laid down as its key principle that claims on land should be so harmonised as to ensure for the people of this country the greatest possible measure of individual well-being and national prosperity (Cullingworth 1997: 22). It is the people whose interests are paramount - not the Little People. And there is certainly no encouragement in government policy for the kind of planning in which the nerve centres of the earth . . . were guarded and sanctified by sacred buildings, themselves laid out as microcosms of the cosmic order, the universal body of God. (Michell 1969: 159).

In secular liberal states, it is the public interest, not the cosmic order, which has power to override decisions on road developments and housing estates. While it is possible that the spiritual form of sleeping Arthur was opposed to the Wychbury Bypass, the decision which overturned this scheme took no notice of the dead kings will: it respected only the interests and feelings of ordinary people. This is the way that things are done in the West. But it is not the only way; the criteria which define who is a person are assembled very differently in other cultures. Naturally, this leads to trouble in court. In Australia, Aboriginal land claims have to be pursued through what is in origin a European legal system. Legal forms and ideas, evolved over centuries to determine questions of ownership, become absurd when they are required from claimants to whom land and people are not the objects and subjects of litigation, but a single community. Aborigines face the paradox that the real plaintiffs are not allowed in court. The stones and trees themselves, having sent the Dreamings which define tribal custom, are not deemed fit to plead: instead, the people upon whom they have exercised their rights have to speak on behalf of them. Anglo-Australian judges are often well-intentioned - but they simply cannot conceive that a rock might have something to say (Povinelli 1995).

In countries where the planning process has been explicitly set up for the benefit of human beings, it is easy to forget that religion makes claims so transcendent that human lives (let alone drains, parks and street lighting) are nothing in comparison. Even within the boundaries of Europe there are different approaches to this. Italy, with its thousands of underfunded historic churches, is reproached by the English because there are no plans for converting them to new uses (Sims 1995). Entrepreneurial Protestants do not see that a church which has fallen into sacred ruins is still a church. Turning it into a bistro destroys the building, whatever it does to preserve the architecture. The secular state guards our most trivial worldly interests, while neglecting the great questions of salvation - which is just as well. No-one wants to live in a theocracy. But by redefining the traditional bounds of the political to exclude God, the modern state has also abandoned its protection of the thousand creatures of the lesser mythology. Pagan law protected the lares and the landvaettir, while ours behaves as if they did not exist. So it is unlikely that planning consent would have been refused to the industrious farmer in the ballad who felled the oak, he felled the ash . . . He hewed him baulks and he hewed him beams / With eager toil and haste. But the spirits of the wild saw it differently. Seven hundred elves came out the wood - / Horrible grim they were, and the farmer only survives by abandoning his utilitarian land-management strategy for a barrage of counter-magic. Spirits forced out of their abode by human activity . . . will travel to another suitable place, but only after perpetrating some act of revenge against the culprits (Pennick 1996: 26; 148). Clearly we should all be careful before we bulldoze that lonely old thorn. But is this just simple pragmatism, or are we prepared to extend the claims of our morality, our politics, to include the elf world

Precisely because planning law is so extensive, it contains the seeds of its own contradiction. Landscape planning is based on the concept of amenity, an undefined compound of beauty, tranquillity and isolation given the status of law by the 1947 Town & Country Planning Act. For a hundred years before that, amenity had been the guiding principle of philanthropists who sought to offer to the teeming populations of Victorian slums a pure, elevating glimpse of nature. The model to be imitated was the park or landed estate of the country house, with its trees and hills, glades and waterfalls - all reflecting the taste of the landed proprietor, just as the antiquities on the estate revealed his grasp of history. In the brave post-War future, the people of England would become a single, collective proprietor of the land, and its beauties were to be preserved for them. So, too, would its ancient monuments - even its folklore, if the wording of the 1979 Ancient Monuments Act is to be taken literally when it defines sites as of public interest by reason of historic, architectural, traditional, artistic or archaeological interest.

In true anthropocentric style, the Act claims to preserve old stones and mounds only so that they can serve the public interest. But on the ground, it usually seems that archaeological sites are being protected for their own sake. The same is as true of Areas of Outstanding National Beauty, or Sites of Special Scientific Interest, as of Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Contemplating the resources which both the state and voluntary sectors plough into saving and keeping these places, it is hard to feel that they are being preserved for anything but themselves. Their survival is seen as self-evidently good. The National Trust would not have come into being if its founders had not shared a Wordsworthian sense that landscapes were places, not just of amenity, but of transfiguring spiritual power - places which called out for people to acknowledge and care for them. In conservation, and in the Green movement generally, the motives which really stir people into action are not always the same ones which they will advance in debate with the cynics. The legal machinery for preserving the environment relies on pragmatic values - thriftiness, aesthetics, science, history, and health. But what really gets people going are the two unspoken motives - compassion and reverence (Ryder 1992: 4, 205). These are not anthropocentric. They imply a moral standing for nature in itself. The discourse of environmentalism, which began by extending the concept of rights from humans to (other) animals, has now come to touch on the ethical status of trees (Thomas 1982: 302).

Most people now behave as if animals had some kind of moral rights. Mutilating cats is wrong - it is wrong in itself, not because of any incidental loss it may cause to other people. But the law, slow off the mark, continues to affirm that animals can only be protected as pieces of human property. In exactly the same way, the law of sacred sites does not protect them because they are worthy of reverence, but because they are part of the nationss property - its heritage. The Scottish guidelines on development, for instance, try to weigh economic interests against potential use for amenity, tourism and educational purposes (Wood 1997: 16). How would you or I fare if the only thing that kept us from being destroyed for economic purposes was our potential use for amenity, tourism or education The survival of sacred sites is the thing that matters. Any law which achieves that end is better than one which permits destruction, even if it means that the fairy hill is physically preserved by exorcising the last trace of respect for its real owners. But the trauma of denying the sacred is not easily healed, even in a country like Ireland where the old veneration survives alongside the new talk of heritage. The father leaves a rath uncultivated because it is fairy ground, the son because it is a scheduled monument. Newgrange, which was once the numinous abode of the sidhe, has now been reworked as an interpretative centre for celebrating the deep historical roots of the Irish nation (Ronayne 1997). This is not progress. What is so real about the Irish national interest, compared to Aengus Og and his hundred harpers Turning the haunted mound into a vehicle for imparting the National Curriculum is an abuse of the rights of elves. They have no redress in court, which is strange when you consider how well other incorporeal entities have their rights protected there. Limited companies can go to law over intellectual property - invisible beings fighting over an intangible thing - while Puck and Hob stand non-suited outside the door. This was not always the case. The Anglo-Saxons had no law of corporations - a king did not give land to Chertsey Abbey or Wimborne Minster, as we imagine, but presented it directly to St. Peter or St. Cuthberga. At Rome, the heart of the administration, everyone believed that St. Peter was there, in a physical sense. He dominated all the activities of his see. His remains guarded his rights, and struck down those who tried to usurp them. In a way he was more real than the Pope, who was merely his vicar (Johnson 1976: 168). Gifts to saints were not scanty. By 1259, when the Statute of Mortmain halted further acquisitions, a fifth of Englands wealth was directly owned by supernatural beings.

In the end it was respect for saints which inhibited the direct exercise of their rights. As legal persons, they could both sue and be sued; but since no-one was so rash as to bring an action against a saint, their interests were defended by the monastic communities which surrounded them. Gradually the idea of the corporation as an imaginary being, represented by the actions of authorised people, came to substitute for the experience of saints as incorporeal beings speaking through their living servants (Pollock and Maitland 1895: 1–499).

Clearly, therefore, supernatural beings can have a standing in law. Though courts have fought shy of accepting ghosts as litigants, judges have been careful not to deny their existence (Dennis 1997). The refusal to admit rights for the supernatural shows how much our legal framework is out of step with common perceptions of the numinous. In law, the field which contains the Rollright stones is freehold land, to be bought and sold. This is a strange concept, says John Attwood, spokesman for the real world. I dont believe that you can "own" a stone circle any more than you can own a cat. Apparently, though, the law says you can (Attwood 1997). From the popular perspective, the stones have rights - or what comes to the same thing, the fairies which sneak out to dance around the King Stone on Midsummer Night have rights in that stone. At the very least they require that the stones be left undisturbed, and any human infringment of this right will be met by calamity - it is a standard motif in the folklore of ancient sites (Bord 1976: 191–210). Like terrorists everywhere, the elves are making sporadic attacks on people and property in order to assert rights which they are denied by the state. If they were given standing in the courts, they could defend their interests there, and not with elf-arrows whistling in the dark. There is no reason why the Seven Hundred Elves could not have pressed their claims through the legitimate planning process. What do we have Tree Preservation Orders for, if not to safeguard sacred groves

The controversy between those who accept that the supernatural has rights, and those who focus exclusively on the human, came to a head not long ago in the Hebrides. The backbone of the island of South Harris is West Stocklett Hill, the Hag Mountain, in the form of a giant woman reclining in sleep or death. The Hag has a guardian in the geomantic researcher Jill Smith - for me, the mountain is one of the ancient Dreamtime ancestors, the Grandmother who rose from the magma at Creation (Smith, Billingsley and Dilworth 1996). In 1995 the work of Creation was revised; a hole was carved at the location of the Grandmothers navel by the artist Steve Dilworth, in order to set in a sculpture of his own. Not many people saw it in situ, but the installation was afterwards shown in a Stornoway art gallery. Smith doubled up in pain at the violation of the mountain. Dilworth was puzzled to encounter a negative response - I see it as a way of acknowledging our connection with the earth we stand on. For Smith, the mountain is a person, and has rights. For Dilworth, the mountain is a canvas.

Hardly surprising, then, that the controversy should have flared up over a female figure. There was a time when a woman, like a cat or a stone circle, had no legal personality. A man might violate her without committing an offence, unless he infringed the rights that some other man held in her. The difference between women and mountains is simply that the former have won the right to speak for themselves, while the latter are dependant on trustees or guardians - in this case Jill Smith, who is currently struggling to prevent Redlands Aggregates from further mutilation of the holy hill.

Supernatural beings have found some strange advocates. In the long-running controversy over the Elgin Marbles, commentators have forgotten that original title to the sculpture rested not with Lord Elgin, the British or the Greeks, but with the goddess Athene. Everyone, that is except Byron, who wrote The Curse of Minerva, an intemperate work in which the goddess, like a super-elf, curses Elgin and his race for the theft of her stones (Vrettos 1997). The status of the Marbles as heritage - and their anti-status now that the classical underpinnings of colonialism are out of fashion - have obscured their original meaning as sacred art, recreating throughout eternity the ritual of the Panathenaia. Even as they stood on the building, they had lost this value, since the Parthenon has spent most of its history as a place of worship for the Virgin Mary and not for the pagan maiden. To whom should they be restored Athene has the prior claim, but a goddess without any worshippers has no-one to represent her interests. Mary has millions of devotees worldwide, but presumably no further requirement for ancient Greek sculpture. Besides, at the time when they were stolen from her church, it lay in territory subject to Islamic law, under which the Mother of God had no supernatural validity either. The law reasonably requires that, in order to bring an action, the litigant must exist - and this would seem to be a rather grey area in the case of goddesses, let alone elves. If the principle of rights for the supernatural is accepted, we can look forward to some very odd debates in court. They will look more like solemn games than proper business. But then, as Huizinga pointed out in Homo Ludens, it is the really serious things that we play games about.


ATTWOOD, John, 1997, Updating the Rollrights, Northern Earth No.72 pp26–27.
BORD, Janet and Colin, 1976, The Secret Country, Paladin.
BORD, Janet and Colin, 1982, Earth Rites: Fertility Practices in Pre-Industrial Britain, Granada.
BORD, Janet, 1997, Fairies: Real Encounters with the Little People, Michael OMara.
CLIFFORD, Sue and Angela KING (eds.) 1993, Local Distinctiveness: Place Particularity and Identity, Common Ground.
COCKIN, Tim, 1992, letter, The Countryman Vol.97v pp127–9.
COLLINS, Andy, 1985, Save our faerie tree!, Earthquest News No.14 p26.
CULLINGWORTH, J.B., 1997, Town and Country Planning in the United Kingdom (12th edition), Routledge.
DENNIS, Andrew, 1997, Spirit of the law, Fortean Times No.103 pp22–24.
JOHNSON, Paul, 1976, A History of Christianity, Penguin.
KEEL, John, 1971, Ufos: Operation Trojan Horse, Abacus.
MICHELL, John, 1969, The View Over Atlantis, Abacus.
PENNICK, Nigel, 1996, Celtic Sacred Landscapes, Thames & Hudson.
POLLOCK, Frederick and Frederic MAITLAND, 1895, History of English Law up to the Time of Edward I.
POVINELLI, Elizabeth, 1995, Do rocks listen: the cultural politics of apprehending Australian Aboriginal labor, American Anthropologist No.97 pp505–518.
RICKARD, Bob, 1994, Elf guide to Reykjavik, Fortean Times 74 p16.
RICKARD, Bob, 1996, Not in the best of elf, Fortean Times No.93 p20.
RONAYNE, Maggie, 1997, Wounded attachments: Practising archaeology from the outside, Paper given at TAG 1997.
RYDER, Richard (ed.) 1992, Animal Welfare and the Environment, Duckworth.
SIMS, John Ferro, 1995, Day of judgement, Perspectives Vol.2ix pp36–39.
SMITH, Jill, John BILLINGSLEY and Steve DILWORTH, 1996, The Hags navel, Northern Earth No.65 pp23–25.
SWAN, James A. (ed.) 1991, The Power of Place: Sacred Ground in Natural and Human Environments, Quest Books.
THOMAS, Keith, 1983, Man and the Natural World, Penguin.
VRETTOS, Theodore, 1997, The Elgin Affair, Secker & Warburg.
WOOD, Chris, 1997, Planning for sacred places and sacred land, Place Vol.1iii pp14–19.

Originally published in At the Edge No.10 1998.

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Created October 1998

Friday, October 7, 2011

Modernized Havamal - Verse 5

If you plan to travel,
have your wits about you.
Pay attention,
the unwise should stay at home.
You will be considered a fool and mocked,
if you can't speak intelligently with other men.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I pay for magazines stuffed full of ads? Anyone see a problem with that?
I got a magazine in the mail yesterday, and for the first time, there were no advertisements. Just articles. How bloody refreshing!

Now, I can see that it would make sense to have advertisements for magazines I'm NOT paying a subscription fee for...kind of like radio - they're subsidized by advertising, but I get to listen for free, so that's cool. But when I pay for a magazine to read it's content, I don't want all that other garbage in there.

I previously subscribed to a dozen or more magazines - hey, I like to read! I've cancelled them all, except one. I call on you magazine publishers out there to ditch all that advertising noise if you want my paid business back. If you have a magazine with good content, I will pay to read it. But I refuse to pay to read magazines who's publishers are clearly more motivated by advertising dollars, than by serving my reading interests.

I wonder what my readers would think if I started stuffing my books full of ads? Don't worry....they would be 'targeted'. We all need sexual performance enhancers right? When my son was about 8, he came to me after watching television on a Saturday morning and said

"Daddy, I think I have erectile disfunction."

No more advertisements in magazines I pay for!

Thank you adbusters for giving me what I PAID for!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Birchbark Sunglasses? Cool trivia from Northern Plant Lore

Ray-Ban? Nope...Mother-Nature
One of the things I enjoy about writing, are all the little discoveries I make when researching a topic. For example, did you know you can make a pair of emergency sunglasses from Birch bark?

Etymologist Bill Casselman says:

Birchbark was used to make a quick pair of snow glasses by many northern peoples. During trips over snow in bright sunlight, a strip was tied around the head. Two small slits made in the bark over the eyes permitted some vision. 
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Modernized Havamal - Verse 4

A guest may need drink and food,
perhaps fresh clothing
and kind words.
Make your guest comfortable,
ensure he knows he is welcome
to come again.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Writers' Lens: Welcome to The Writers' Lens!

One of my favorite fiction writers, and a nice gal to boot! Please read more about Diana Driver here....

The Writers' Lens: Welcome to The Writers' Lens!: We hope you’ll find this a friendly place to spend some time and chat about fiction. We write in many genres, but have a single focus—to sh...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Modernized Havamal - Verse 3

A traveler or guest
seeking your hospitality,
may be cold and weary.
Who knows what hardships,
on his journey he endured.