Sep 25 2014

Welsh tree was alive 3,000 years before the birth of Christ!

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Yew Tree in St Cynog's Churchyard

Yew Tree in St Cynog’s Churchyard

Pic: Mail Online

A tiny village is believed to be home to Britain’s oldest tree – a yew that first took took root more than 5,000 years ago reports the Mail Online. The majestic yew that lives in in a Welsh churchyard was 3,000 years old when Jesus Christ was born, according to tree ageing experts. Experts have run tests on the tree in the St Cynog’s churchyard at Defynnog near Sennybridge, Powys, including DNA and ring-dating. The species is common across European churchyards because its evergreen leaves and longevity is a symbol of Christ’s transcendence of death.

There are hundreds of ancient yew trees dating back at least 600 years across Britain, but the 60-foot-wide giant at St Cynog’s is believed to be the most ancient.
Tree ageing expert Janis Fry, 64, who has studied yews for more than 40 years, said:

I’m convinced this is the oldest tree in Europe. It was planted on the north side of the ancient burial mound which is now the churchyard, probably in honour of a neolithic chieftain.

It is so old that it has split into two halves – one 40ft (12 metres) wide and the other 20 ft (6 metres) wide. Its DNA has been tested by the Forestry Institute and its ring count is 120 per inch which makes it [more than] 5,000 years old.

The Yew: How a Sacred Pagan Symbol was adopted by the Church

Yews were potent symbols of death too – particularly in ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt – because of their toxic leaves and red berries. The yew is found in churchyards across Europe because the early Church often took over existing religious buildings as it converted and took over pagan regions. But the tree has since become a strong Christian symbol – its long life and evergreen leaves now represent Christ’s transcendence of death in his resurrection. The yew’s leaves also bear a resemblance to palm leaves and were commonly used on Palm Sunday for Easter rituals. Indeed some ancient British folklore has even hinted that Christ was crucified on a yew tree.
Druids Collecting Mistletoe illustration

Druids Collecting Mistletoe illustration

Pic: Mail Online

Another, less magical reason for their existence in churchyards is that poisonous yews were actively planted by the local parish to discourage farmers from letting their cattle graze on burial grounds.

Church in Wales property services chief Alex Glanville said:

Yew trees have survived in Wales better than anywhere else because of our wet climate and lower light levels.

Protecting the Yew Trees

St Cynog's Churchyard

St Cynog’s Churchyard

Pic: Mail Online

The Church in Wales has now launched a campaign to protect the yew trees in their churchyards. It is sending out certificates to parishes and communities which have some of the oldest yews – giving information on where to get the best advice for managing and making the most of them. Mr Glanville said:

It is time we celebrated these amazing trees and the communities that have cared for them down the centuries.

Read more on the Mail Online website: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2683383/Europes-oldest-yew-tree-discovered-Welsh-churchyard-FIVE-THOUSAND-years-old.html#ixzz3EJTtKgUX

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

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Sep 07 2014

Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd

Bog Child
Pic: Amazon
A fascinating Celtic novel has just hit the Kindle as an electronic download. It is 1981, and 18-year-old Fergus lives on the border between Northern Ireland and the south. His older brother, Joe, a member of the Provisional IRA, is jailed at Long Kesh and joins a hunger strike. The family is traumatized, and Fergus does his best to comfort his mother and to convince Joe that his "sacrifice" for the cause is not worth it. Fergus has been pressured (blackmailed) to smuggle packages for the IRA, but wants nothing more than to leave Ireland and study to become a doctor. His life becomes even more complicated when he and his uncle discover the body of a young girl while pilfering peat.

It turns out to be 2000 years old. Thus begins a double narrative that involves a love story and a discussion of destiny and self-sacrifice. Fergus’s story includes his struggle to understand his brother’s actions and his growing love for the daughter of the archaeologist called in to investigate the Iron Age discovery. Interspersed is the story of Mel, the bog child, who makes the ultimate sacrifice to unite her people, and who finds love at the end of her life. The two narratives work beautifully together. The love story between Fergus and Cora is depicted with tenderness, and their adolescent sexuality is sensitively portrayed. Readers will come away with a strong sense of the time periods (especially of the "Troubles") through dialogue and action. This compelling read is lyrically written and contains authentic dialogue and challenging and involving moral issues. It’s a first, and a must-have purchase. Continue Reading »

Originally posted 2009-07-18 08:50:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Sep 07 2014

Saltire Annihilation Part 1 – Scotland’s Superhero returns in a tale of Dark Age horror!

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Saltire: Annihilation Pt. 1

Saltire: Annihilation Pt. 1

Pic: Diamondsteel Comics

We met the Big, Blue,Red-Headed Immortal Guardian of Scotland, Saltire – the first real Scottish Superhero in the style of the classic Marvel and DC greats, in his first outing Saltire: Invasion. His second adventure starts in the follow-on Graphic Novel – Saltire: Annihilation Pt.1!With John Ferguson still penning the adventure and a new artist, Claire Roe, at the helm this Graphic Novel plunges us into the Dark Ages and a time of conflict between the Saxons and Clans of the North. Into this maelstrom of political turmoil, an ancient evil awakens and begins to prey upon the Clans. Once more the Clans and their Guardians call upon Saltire, our Immortal Hero, to awaken and come to their rescue. The action is fast and furious as a bloody swathe is cut across the Highlands and Valleys of Saltire’s land!

A Proud Heritage Reborn!

The bookwas launched on September 6th at theMCM Expo and will be inWaterstones/Forbidden Planet and comic book shops across the UK and on Amazon USA and UK. Author John Ferguson says:

After the success and critical acclaim of the first book in the series, Saltire Invasion, it was important to expand our horizons, enrich the characters, and delve deeper into the country’s past. A proud heritage is now reborn as the ancient tales of Scotland are envisioned within the modern comic book genre for the first time.

Once again this project brings together the country’s best emerging artistic talent to create the dynamic and visually breathtaking first volume of an epic two part sequel.

With award nominations and main stream media attention, Saltire is fast becoming a new iconic figure in comics and in Scotland. In an era when a nation awakens, our immortal guardian returns.

Saltire! Out from Sept. 6th!

Saltire! Out Sept. 6th!

Pic: Facebook

What evil grows in Scotland’s Darkest Hour?

The Clan Guardians are attacked!

The Clan Guardians are attacked!

Pic: Diamondsteel Comics

The Dark Age, a desolate time.
A power grows to the south. A power bent on destruction…on annihilation.
Not human…not spirit or shadow. Unleashed, she will bring despair.
To protect the innocent, the guardians will stand once more…
As chaos reigns before a vengeful enemy he shall rise once more…the Immortal Guardian of a Nation.

Spreading a terrible curse and affliction amongst the clans, the evil Ban Sith makes her way north from the Saxon strongholds deep into Clan territory, leaving a trail of blood and pain behind her. Each of the Clans has a Guardian – a Champion if you will – and they try to gather their people together and lead them to safety under the guidance of the Shamans and the Fae to a Secret and Safe Place.

The Mythic Superhero walks amongst us

Each panel is drawn with a vibrant and dramatic flair that matches the fast pace of the driving story, leading us inevitably to the summoning of our Hero once more from his rest to defend the Clans! With more action than most comics can wave a pointy stick at, you can expect drama, tragedy and some poignant scenes in this second excursion into the unique Scottish mythology that Ferguson is creating with Saltire. Our iconic hero, and all of his friends, have the potentiality to bring us a great depth of characterisation and a rich stock of lore in the future. There is so much material here already, in just these two issues, that the amount of stories that can be told, the questions that can be asked, can provide us with tales for many more episodes. We can expect that the sagas of Scottish Superhero lore laid down by John Ferguson and Diamondsteel Comics will set a high standard in a new hybrid genre. The Realm of the Mythic Superhero is with us – Celtic Mythology steps into the modern world of Superheroes.
A hard-won peace?

A hard-won peace?

Pic: Diamondsteel Comics

Saltire – Annihilation Pt.1. Full Colour Graphic Novel by John Ferguson. Art by Claire Roe, Coloured by Lauren Knight. Cover by Jim Devlin. Published by Diamondsteel Comics Ltd.

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

CMP App on Amazon

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Aug 26 2014

Living as an Ancient Celt in an online world

Mabinogi Do you fancy playing an online game as an ancient celt in the worldof the Mabinogion? Nexus are developing a computer game called ”Mabinogi” in which you can play online with thousands of other people also trying to survive and better themselves. These types of games are known as MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game), the most famous probably being World of Warcraft. The English closed beta of this game has been started and so we can only wait to start hearing the news of its success or failure. It is an anime style game, with a version scheduled for release on the XBox.

I”m not a computer gamer, but my son informs me that this is a very exciting release and enables its players to accomplish some ”pretty neat” things – such as aging. I notice that players can create their own music and their online personas can play it – virtual bards, I guess.

In-game characters age over the course of weeks, and can engage in numerous activities besides the hack and slash of gameplay. Alternate games include actual music composition, cooking, farming, and working with a spouse to maintain a household.

says www.massively.com. A slightly worrying aspect to the imminent launch of this game is that it already appears to have been hacked – see here.

I would appreciate if any of our members who do have experience of this type of modernmedia as well as being fans of Celtic Myth would comment in the Modern Survivals section of our forums.

To me, it is good to see Celtic Myth still being re-told but how far away fro the core can we take the symbols and stories without losing its unique identity? I don”t know.

Originally posted 2008-01-30 20:53:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Aug 26 2014

Merlin was born and bred in Glasgow, Scotland

Merlin The BBC reports that the legendary wizard Merlin has been added to a list of famous Glaswegians, it has emerged. The council included the wizard, who featured in Arthurian legend, on a list of well-known figures from the city. A council spokeswoman admitted that like most mythical figures, it was difficult to trace Merlin’s origins. But she said the wizard had been added to its website list after an amateur historian suggested Merlin had lived in the Partick area of the city.

He joins Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and comedian Billy Connolly on the list of famous characters, both real and fictional.

‘Glorious history’

Merlin has his very own category on the list – filed under wizard.

The council spokeswoman said:

Recently an amateur historian has pointed to the fact that the legendary Merlin lived a ‘comfortable life’, with his wife Gwendolyn, in Partick, not Camelot and I’m sure most Glaswegians think that’s just magic.

Tradition has it that King Arthur’s magician was either English or Welsh.

But in the book Finding Merlin: The Truth Behind the Legend, author Adam Ardrey claimed he actually hailed from Scotland. [Amazon]

Mr Ardrey, who spent six years researching the subject, told a newspaper he believed the wizard had lived in Partick “where the River Kelvin meets the Clyde”.

He told the paper:

I am thrilled that Glasgow has recognised Merlin as a Glaswegian and that almost 1,400 years after his death he can take an official place in Glasgow’s glorious history.

Read the original article at the BBC site.

Originally posted 2009-06-06 17:05:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Aug 26 2014

Episode 39 Prophecy of the Druid is now available for you!

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Celtic Myth Podshow LogoPic: Celtic Myth Podshow The latest episode in the First Branch of the Mabinogi – Prophecy of the Druid – is now out and available for you to download or listen to. This is Episode 10 of the First Branchi: Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed. Pwyll and Rhiannon are finally married and enjoying the feasting in the Halls of the Otherworld. It is not too long before Pwyll and his Companions get homesick for Dyfed, the land of their Birth. Pwyll and Rhiannon decide to head back to Dyfed where they are faced with an unexpected prophecy!

How to Listen

The Episode is available for subscribers on the feed, or you can download it or listen to it from our Episodes page. You’ll also be able to listen on Stitcher! You can find the Shownotes for this episode in the Shownotes section. If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing?

It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

We hope you enjoy it and wish you many blessings :D

Gary & Ruthie x x x

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

CMP App on Amazon

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

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Aug 11 2014

Archaeologist Tells Of Neolithic Discoveries

breamish-valley
Pic: Uncle Bucko
The Morpeth Herald Tells us:NEW Thoughts on Ancient Northumberland was the title of Paul Frodsham’s lecture at Morpeth Antiquarian Society. Mr Frodsham was the Northumberland National Park archaeologist for 15 years until 2007.

His talk concentrated on a small but incredibly rich area of the Breamish valley on and around Ingram Farm, where amazing archaeology has survived years of agricultural work. Twelve years of research from 1994 revealed evidence of occupation from the Neolithic to the present-day.

The work was done by more than 400 diggers, including staff and students from Durham University, amateurs and professionals from the Northumberland Archaeological Group, and other experts.
Continue Reading »

Originally posted 2009-05-15 10:42:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Aug 11 2014

King Arthur at Parliament No.12 – King Arthur carried in a barge to Avillon attended by Queens


King Arthur in the Barge
Pic: Explore Parliament
As King Arthur lay dying he commanded his knight Sir Bedivere to take his sword Excalibur and throw it into the nearby lake. This is the 12th part in our series of animated/audio stories of King Arthur based on artwork found around the Houses of Parliament, courtesy of a wonderful Virtual Tour found at explore-parliament.net. We highly recommend you go to the Explore Parliament site to watch/hear the presentation about this artwork.

As King Arthur lay dying he commanded his knight Sir Bedivere to take his sword Excalibur and throw it into the nearby lake. As he did so, an arm rose up out of the water and caught the sword, then vanished back under the water once more. King Arthur then commanded Sir Bedivere to take him down to the lakeside

And when they were at the waterside, even fast by the bank hoved a little barge, with many fair ladies in it… Now put me into the barge, said the king: and so he did softly. And there received him three queens with great mourning, and so they set him down, and in one of their laps king Arthur laid his head.
Malory.

And then the barge carrying the ladies and King Arthur sailed off into the mist, never to be seen again. The next day a hermit told Sir Bedivere that a number of ladies had brought a dead body to him, and asked him to bury it for them. The body was said to have been that of King Arthur.

[Source]

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Handster at http://www.handster.com/celtic_myth.html or by using the QR code opposite. It’s also found on the Opera Marketplace as well as AppBrain in the US.

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

Originally posted 2012-10-29 07:23:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Aug 11 2014

Hollow Hills and Goddess Chants

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Damh, Kellianna & us

Damh the Bard, Kellianna & us

Pic: Celtic Myth Podshow

On Wednesday last, we had the great honour of meeting American Pagan Spirit Singer, the lovely Kellianna. She has allowed us to play her music on the show almost since it started, so we were very excited to meet her. She had been at the Goddess Conference in Glastonbury, so when we picked her up from the train station in Eastbourne, she had had a gruelling day travelling across country. You’d think it would be a straight-forward journey along the South of England to get from Glastonbury to Eastbourne but, oh no – you have to travel up to London first, change trains at Paddington, travel across London via Tube (the subway) to got to London Victoria and then come down to us.

Unless you’re very used to train travel in the UK, this is a nightmare and even more so when you live in a very remote part of the States with no access to trains! It was obvious that the poor lady was exhausted and desperate for a Coffee!

Coffee, Soup and lots of chat!

So after stowing her belongings in the car we drove through the lovely Sussex downland to find some refreshment and a good view. Once revived with coffee and soup, Kellianna spoke to us about her life as a pagan singer in the USA. It was good to hear that like here most of the musicians all know each other, and often tour together and play at the same Renaissance Faires, camps and gatherings, and mostly everyone one supports each other like a huge extended family. We were interested to hear that the Celtic inspiration for Kellianna’s music comes from her heritage, though her Celtic, Native American and Norse roots all mingle together to bring out a completely unique style in her music.
Beachy Head, looking over Eastbourne

Beachy Head, looking over Eastbourne

Pic: Celtic Myth Podshow

Serious Food, Great Company and Jenga Stonehenge

The Giant's Rest

The Giant’s Rest

Pic: Celtic Myth Podshow

So after a quick photo session at Beachy head and Birling Gap, we drove on to the beautiful country pub, the Giant’s Rest in Wilmington village (which has awards for being the most Druid-Friendly Pub in Sussex!) at the feet of the famous hill-figure known as the Long Man of Wilmington. There we met up with Damh the Bard, and Cerri Lee for a jovial evening full of laughter, good food and and even better company! Kellianna even managed to build a superb representation of Stonehenge with Jenga blocks while Damh provided the light of the rising sun shining onto the Heel Stone using a tea-light candle coming over the table-top!

In fact it was such a good evening that gradually the pub staff had politely closed the pub around us by time we left. With many hugs and blessings, Kellianna went off to stay with Damh and Cerri, and we promised to meet up with them all the following night to see Damh and Kellianna’s magical gig.

Enchantment and Magic at the Lamb in Eastbourne

The following evening we gathered at the ancient Lamb Pub in Eastbourne, along with many friends new and old.  Damh opened the evening with the beautiful song January Man, leading on to Land, Sea and Sky. Regaling us with tales and his infectious love of life, Damh engaged the audience with his musical magic and had everyone joining in and singing along for the first hour of the evening. He even treated us to a sneak preview of an enchanting song that will be on his new studio album due to be released later this year. After a break for refreshments Damh introduced Kellianna. It’s almost impossible to describe how Kellianna manages to build up the energy in a room and connect the audience with something deep, ancestral and primal but she did with humour and pure passion.
Damh the Bard capturing our hearts

Damh the Bard capturing our hearts

Pic: Celtic Myth Podshow

Songs from the Ancient Ones, Rhythms of the Earth

Damh the Bard and Kellianna

Damh the Bard and Kellianna

Pic: Celtic Myth Podshow

 Kellianna’s pure energy and amazing, heart-pounding drum chants soon started to infect us, and before long we were toe-tapping and singing along with her. She sung a beautiful Grandmother chant about healing the earth which affected many of us deeply, as well as wowing us with old favourites, such as Persephone and Freya – telling us the stories of these ancient goddesses. Her song Warrior Queen is a beautifully evocative song of the life and death of a Norse Tribal Queen, and Kellianna told us that she is writing three Novels to tell the complete story of life of this warrior queen.  She told us about standing in the stones of Stonehenge in 2004 and feeling that it was a turning point in her life, discovering a new path laid out for her by the Mother.

From then she went on to release her first album Lady Moon. She chanted and drummed to her powerful chant Stonehenge which was so moving and emotive, it must have affected everyone in the room.

Throughout her set she also asked for requests and responded to the audience calling out for different songs by producing amazing and often new arrangements of her famous chants at the drop of a hat! At one point, the amazing chantress had the whole room whooping, singing and hollering to her upbeat song Aphrodite and Pan. Towards the end of her set, Kellianna invited Damh to come up and sing with her and they gave us an amazing version of John Barleycorn with complex, inter-woven harmonies – absolutely superb! With calls for “More” and “Encore” still ringing in our ears, Kellianna finished with what must now surely be her signature Chant, I Walk With The Goddess.
Damh and Kellianna duet

Damh and Kellianna duet

Pic: Celtic Myth Podshow

How many of us have sung along so many times to this wonderful song? I know we have!  It was a brilliant set, and was wonderful for us to finally meet and see Kellianna play live at last! It was a magical couple of evenings with some fantastic people that we will remember for a long time to come – thank you so much folks! :)

You can find Kellianna’s website at kellianna.com and Damh’s website at paganmusic.co.uk or check out their Contributor Pages on this site (Kellianna and Damh).

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

CMP App on Amazon

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

No responses yet

Aug 05 2014

BBC Alba launch strengthens Celtic language broadcasting

Celtic Myth Podshow

There has been an important development in terms of Celtic language television broadcasting with the launch of the new Gaelic TV station BBC Alba.

The new channel is initially available on Sky satellite TV channel 168 and also on Freesat. The station will also become available on the digital terrestrial service Freeview. However the Freeview launch will not take place until 2010 at the earliest which is disappointing. Continue Reading »

Originally posted 2008-10-08 09:20:20. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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