Celtic Myth Podshow News

Bringing the Tales and Stories of the Ancient Celts to your Fireside

Fairies, wizards and dragons are essential to the perfect bedtime story

The ideal bed time story should be just 8.6 minutes long, feature a dragon, a fairy and a wizard and be set in a castle, the Telegraph reports that new research has revealed. Many a parent has melded the literary greats with the themes of Hollywood blockbusters to create bedtime stories to tell their young ones.

But now the formula for the ultimate bedtime tale has been revealed for the first time. A new study of 2,000 parents and their children has shown that the ideal story should last just 8.6 minutes long.

The ideal ingredients of a bedtime story

Characters should include a dragon, a wizard and a fairy, said the families who participated in the survey, and should ideally revolve around a mythical castle.

Children said that they enjoyed a brief moment of peril where the hero is endangered before ultimately triumphing over the forces of darkness. A happy ending is essential, according to nearly all of those surveyed with most children shunning love stories in favour of fantasy.

The research also revealed that one in ten parents worry that their story-telling abilities are not up to scratch. Over half of children surveyed thought that stories were most entertaining when the storyteller adopted different voices for each character.

A quarter of youngsters said that they expected to have the story acted out for them.

August and September were found by researchers to be the most difficult time of year for parents to get their children to drift off to sleep. Parents said that they struggled to get children back into a bedtime routine after the summer holidays. The longer days of the summer season also presented a challenge to parents.

Eight tips for Bedtime Stories

The Telegraph includes eight tips for the perfect bedtime story, including create sounds to set the scene, asking the child if they can guess where the story is set and use different voices for different characters. For all of the tips go and see the original article on the Telegraph site.

Story-telling expert Alex Charalambous said: “As your child prepares to go back to school after the holidays, it’s a good idea to establish a steady bedtime routine that includes reading a story. As the research shows, the familiarity of a classic tale draws children in and the happy ending makes for a pleasant night’s sleep.

“Story boxes are a great way to tell a story. Story boxes can be a shoebox placed on its side and decorated as a setting e.g., the woods or a seaside scene. You can use finger puppets or characters stuck on lollysticks for your characters. This allows you much more freedom to take the story in whichever direction you wish.”

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Pictish Palace found in Aberdeenshire

BBC Scotland reports that archaeologists excavating a field in Aberdeenshire where standing stones were found believe they have uncovered the entrance to a Pictish palace. The University of Aberdeen team is digging at a site where the so-called Rhynie Man stone was discovered in the 1970s.

The settlement is thought to be an Iron Age Royal fort. Dr Gordon Noble said Pictish items had been found, as well as structures.

He described the discoveries as

“fantastic evidence”.

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Beachy Head Lady proves Iron Age Britain was multi-ethnic

An exhibition exploring the origins of ancient skeletons in Sussex, including a woman from sub-Saharan Africa buried in Roman times, has opened reported the BBC in Feb 2014. The face of the so-called Beachy Head Lady was recreated using craniofacial reconstruction.

Eastbourne Borough Council’s museum service was awarded a grant of £72,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Eastbourne Ancestors project. The aim was to identify the gender and age of each skeleton in its collection.

Detailed scientific analysis of more than 300 skeletons of people who lived in the south of England thousands of years ago has undertaken by scientists and archaeologists.

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2012 BC: Bronze Age Boat built at Falmouth in Cornwall using traditional Celtic methods

A Bronze Age boat will be launched in Falmouth on 6 March as part of an archaeological experiment being carried out by the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and the University of Exeter.

The 4000-year-old, 50ft long, five tonne prehistoric boat has been reconstructed by a team of volunteers, led by shipwright Brian Cumby. His team have spent the last year building the craft out of two massive oak logs using replica methods and tools, such as bronze-headed axes.

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New film, Curse of the Banshee, screened in Galway

Galway’s Menlo Park Hotel will host the first screening of the joint Irish & UK production of Curse of the Banshee before it heads to the US. The film was seen on Halloween Night (31st October) from 8:30pm with special guests that include stars from RTE’s Love/Hate and former world boxing champion Steve “Celtic Warrior” Collins.

Curse of the Banshee starts out in 1963 when a group of Irish witch hunters try track down the local banshee after it was brought back thru the Ouija board that was used by one the five families can resurrect her.

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UK days out with myths and legends

Magical, Mystical and Sacred Sites across the UK

We are proud to bring you an article by Guardian reporter, Kevin Rushby about the many sacred sites within the United Kingdom that you can visit and explore. From Cadair Idris in Wales to St. Nectan’s Glen at Tintagel in Cornwall and from the magical Robin Lythe’s Cave in East Yorkshire to the Fairy Glen on the Isle of Skye you will never be short of somewhere mysterious, magical and wondrous to experience the ancient magic of our Sacred Land.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “UK days out with myths and legends” was written by Kevin Rushby, for The Guardian on Tuesday 31st March 2015 10.30 UTC

Magic mountain

Cadair Idris, Snowdonia, Gwynedd (OS Explorer OL23)

The joy of the 893-metre Cadair Idris is that it looks like a proper mountain but is actually a fairly easy walk, guaranteed to make everyone feel tough and strong without too much effort. That’s if you do the Pony Path, at least, which begins at the Ty-Nant car park on the north side of the mountain. The Minffordd and Fox’s paths are a little more demanding, especially the latter.

Legend associates the peak with Arthur, although it could also be a Welsh prince by that name who fought an Irish army here in the seventh century. Either way it is a place of deep magic, prone to visitations by infernal hunting dogs that snaffle you off to the underworld. From the summit there are great views on a good day, and a basic stone bothy with benches for a night’s sleep. Legend says that you will wake as either a poet or a madman.

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Excalibur – The Enchanted Sword of Arthurian legend

The Name “Excalibur” was first used for King Arthur’s sword by the French Romancers. It was not the famous “Sword in the Stone” (which broke in battle), but a second sword acquired by the King through the intercession of his druidic advisor, Merddyn (Merlin). Worried that Arthur would fall in battle, Merlin took the King to a magical lake where a mysterious hand thrust itself up from the water, holding aloft a magnificent sword.

It was the Lady of the Lake offering Arthur a magic unbreakable blade, fashioned by an Avalonian elf smith, along with a scabbard which would protect him as long as he wore it.

Towards the end of his reign, during the troubled times of Medrod’s rebellion, Excalibur was stolen by Arthur’s wicked half-sister, Morgan le Fay. Though it was recovered, the scabbard was lost forever. Thus Arthur was mortally wounded at the Battle of Camlann. The King then instructed Bedwyr (or Girflet) to return Excalibur to the lake from whence it came.

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Merlin – Mystical Enchanter, Prophet and Advisor to King Arthur

Merlin, enchanter and wise man in Arthurian legend and romance of the Middle Ages, linked with personages in ancient Celtic mythology (especially with Myrddin in Welsh tradition).

He appeared in Arthurian legend as an enigmatic figure, fluctuations and inconsistencies in his character being often dictated by the requirements of a particular narrative or by varying attitudes of suspicious regard toward magic and witchcraft.

Thus, treatments of Merlin reflect different stages in the development of Arthurian romance itself.

Geoffrey of Monmouth, in Historia regum Britanniae (1135–38), adapted a story, told by the Welsh antiquary Nennius (flourished c. 800), of a boy, Ambrosius, who had given advice to the legendary British king Vortigern. In Geoffrey’s account Merlin -Ambrosius figured as adviser to Uther Pendragon (King Arthur’s father) and afterward to Arthur himself.

Merlin – Advisor, Wildman and Prophet

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Roman Roads were actually built by the Celts, claims The Ancient Paths

The myth of straight Roman roads has been exposed by a new book which claims the extraordinary engineering feats were the work of the Celts, writes The Telegraph back in 2013. The findings of Graham Robb, a biographer and historian, bring into question two millennia of thinking about Iron Age Britain and Europe and the stereotyped image of Celts as barbarous, superstitious tribes.

In reality the Druids, the Celt’s scientific and spiritual leaders, were some of the most intellectually advanced thinkers of their age, it is said, who developed the straight roads in the 4th Century BC, hundreds of years before the Italian army marched across the continent.

“They had their own road system on which the Romans later based theirs,”

Mr Robb said, adding that the roads were built in Britain from around the 1st Century BC.

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Scotland – Gaelic language school a victim of success

PUPIL numbers at Glasgow Gaelic School are at an all-time high. But the popularity of the school has landed education bosses with a problem – they cannot find enough fluent Gaelic-speaking teachers. This year the secondary school has around 62 students on the roll but next year that number is set to rise to 100.
Over 70 children will enroll in the primary school next term.

Gaelic Language Schools

Glasgow was the first council to provide a dedicated Gaelic secondary school, recognised nationally as a ground breaking approach.

Margaret Doran, executive director of education and social work, admitted the shortage would hit lessons.

She said:

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