Yesterday I was in the supermarket shopping for ingredients to make spiced apples. It’s a large hangar in South East London which could happily accommodate several small aircraft – arguably more useful than the hordes of shoppers unthinkingly purchasing useless goods for the weekend. Being late October there’s a respectable Hallowe’en section [the fresh pumpkins get thrown away on 1st November] comprising all kinds of artifacts from ghost to cat trinkets and plastic scythes. As I made my way to the tills to purchase my ingredients I caught sight of an abhorrently corpulent mother buying armfuls of Hallowe’en materials, deadened face, deadened appearance, going through the motions of purchase at the shop’s behest. One of the things she was buying was a witch’s broom – probably for her daughter.
It occurred to me in that moment that there was a strong likelihood she had no idea why the broom was…
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It rises up from the darkest depths
And consumes any it finds beneath its steps
Great terror men know when it growls
When the Troll Wind howls
This beast, terrible and mighty
Stalks the dark places nightly
Its face is scarred and always scowling
When the Troll Wind comes a-howling
Lock your doors and bar your windows
Lest this monster deal your kin their deathblows
Through the darkness it slinks and prowls
On those nights when the Troll wind howls
I must confess to a youth as a stamp collector (yes, I did spend hours in the dark closet, trying to find out if a stamp was florescent or not) and when the Oseberg Viking ship project (I`ve written about them in an earlier blog post) started posting pictures of stamps with the Oseberg ship on them on their Facebook page, I just had to repost those pictures – and add some of my own:
I`ll start out with Canada – a country that shares some of our Viking history, as I wrote about in my previous blog post. I`m not sure how old this stamp is but it`s beautiful with the Oseberg ship and the old map.
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Middle English fridai
Old English frigedæg “Freya’s day”
composed of Frige (genetive singular of Freo) + dæg “day” (most likely)
or composed of Frig “Frigg” + dæg “day” (least likely)
Germanic frije-dagaz “Freya’s (or Frigg’s) day”
Latin dies Veneris “Venus’s day”
Ancient Greek hemera Aphrodites “day of Aphrodite”
Freo is identical with freo, meaning free. It is from the Germanic frijaz meaning “beloved, belonging to the loved ones, not in bondage, free”.
Freya (Fria) is the Teutonic goddess of love, beauty, and fecundity (prolific procreation). She is identified with the Norse god Freya. She is leader of the Valkyries and one of the Vanir. She is confused in Germany with Frigg.
Frigg (Frigga) is the Teutonic goddess of clouds, the sky, and conjugal (married) love. She is identified with Frigg, the Norse goddess of love and the heavens and the wife of Odin. She is one of the…
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Middle English tiwesday or tewesday
Old English tiwesdæg “Tiw’s (Tiu’s) day”
Latin dies Martis “day of Mars”
Ancient Greek hemera Areos “day of Ares”
Tiu (Twia) is the English/Germanic god of war and the sky. He is identified with the Norse god Tyr.
Mars is the Roman god of war.
Ares is the Greek god of war.
Planet for today : Mars
Colour for today: Red
Number for today: 9
Incense for today : Tobacco & Pine
Mineral for today : Iron, Ruby & Haematite
Herb for today : Coriander, Garlic & Pepper
Tree for today : Holly
Spellweave for today : To improve Strength, Power and Authority and to Banish Conflicts
If there’s one common misconception about History that drives me crazy, it’s the assumption that civilization started out in a horrible, low place and has steadily increased and gotten better in a straight line incline. No. Just no. History doesn’t work like that. In fact, History is more of a wavy line of highs and lows, pitfalls and zeniths. At various points things have been better and they have been worse. The trick is to be born into one of the high points and to stay far, far away from the low points.
The Roman Empire was a high point. Civilization flourished and was full of amazing accomplishments, running water, massive architecture, gladiators…. It was awesome and everyone knew it. But the Roman Empire declined and fell. The pendulum swung in the wrong direction, and Europe muddled its way into a (somewhat misnamed) Dark Ages. And that’s it, right? Things…
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