Still coming down to earth from Sacred Elixirs, kinda tired. It is a bit difficult to get up on the horse again…
I met many interesting people there, I have to say. One person that I met at Sacred Elixirs was Susie Bright. I have read her works for many years, in fact she inspired me once to do a t-shirt design with her statement: “Yes Means Yes”…
To get to know her a bit, check out her blog at: Susies’ Blog She really is the best; witty, wild, irreverent and truly an original. I think you will like her work, she is an evo/revo-lutionary in her field. An excellent writer, I would recommend her work to anyone.
More Pictures coming tomorrow, I have some to process from Mike over at PlantConsciousness.Com Mike recorded most of Sacred Elixirs, and is now rendering his tapes down to MP3s. Please stay tuned for that!
With that said, onto today’s offerings:
On The Menu….
Links: From Erik Davis on Visionary Art/Design to THE LINK OF THE DAY!
Articles: Welsh Fairy Tales
Poetry: Contemporary Cornish Poets…
All Photos from Cornwall….
Erik Davis: “Visionary Art/Visionary Design”
The Viewing Room
The Chalice in the Ossuary…
Schizophrenics ‘spot illusions’
LINK OF THE DAY!: When all the oil is gone
FairyTales From Wales
Einion and the Lady of the Greenwood
EINION, the son of Gwalchmai, was one fine summer day walking in the woods of Trefeilir, when he beheld a slender, graceful lady. Her complexion surpassed every white and red in the morning dawn, and the mountain snow, and every beautiful colour in the blossoms of wood, field and hill. Feeling in his heart a vast love he saluted her, and, she returned the salutation, by which he perceived that his society was not disagreeable to her. He approached her in a courteous manner, and she also approached him. When he came near to her he saw that she had hoofs instead of feet, and would fain have fled. But she cast her glamour upon him and said, “Thou must follow me whithersoever I go.” She had him in thrall, and he said he would go with her to the ends of the earth, but he requested of her permission first to go and bid farewell to his wife Angharad. This the Lady of the Greenwood agreed to, “but,” said she, “I shall be with thee, invisible to all but to thyself.”
So he went, and the goblin (for the Lady of the Greenwood was none other) went with him. When he saw Angharad his wife, she appeared an old hag, but he retained the recollection of days past and still felt true love for her, but he was not able to loose himself from the bond of his enchantment. “It is necessary for me,” said he, “to part from thee for a time, I know not how long.” They wept together and. broke a gold ring between them: he kept one half and Angharad the other. They took their leave of each other, and he went with the Lady of the Greenwood and knew not whither: for a powerful spell was upon him, and he saw not any place or person or object under its true and proper appearance, excepting the half of the ring alone.
After being a long time, he knew not how long, with the Lady of the Greenwood, he looked one morning, as the sun was rising, upon the half of the ring, and he bethought him to place it in the most secret place he could find. He resolved to put it under his eyelid: as he was endeavouring to do so, he saw a man in white apparel and mounted on a snow-white horse coming towards him. The horseman asked him what he did there: Einion answered that he was cherishing the memory of his wife Angharad. “Post thou desire to see her? ” asked the man in white. “I do,” replied Einion, “above all things and all pleasures in the world.” “If so,” said the man in white, “get upon this horse behind me.” That Einion did, and looking around he could not see any trace of the Lady of the Greenwood, except the track of hoofs of monstrous size, as if journeying towards the north. “What spell art thou under?” asked the man in white. Then Einion answered him and told everything, how it occurred betwixt him and the Lady of the Greenwood. “Take this white staff in thy hand, and wish for whatsoever thou desirest,” said the man in white. Einion took it, and the first thing he wished was to see the Lady of the Greenwood, for he was not yet completely delivered from her spell. A hideous and uncanny beldam appeared to him, a thousand times more repulsive of aspect than the most frightful thing on earth. Einion uttered a cry of terror: the man in white cast his cloak over him, and in less than a twinkling Einion alighted on the hill of Trefeilir, by his own house, where he knew scarcely anyone, nor did anyone know him.
In the meantime, the goblin who had appeared to Einion as the Lady of the Greenwood had gone to Trefeilir in the form of an honourable and powerful nobleman, richly apparelled and wealthy. He placed a letter in Augharad’s hand, in which it was stated that Einion had died in Norway more than nine years before. He cast his spell upon her, and she listened to his words of love. Soon, seeing that she should become a noble lady, higher than any in Wales, she named a day for her marriage with him. There was a great preparation of every elegant and sumptuous kind of apparel, and of meats and drinks, and of every excellence of song and instruments of music and festive entertainment.
Now, there was in Angharad’s hall a very beautiful harp: when the goblin nobleman saw it, he wished to have it played, and the harpers who had assembled, the best in Wales, tried to put it in tune, but were not able. Just at this time Einion came into the house, and Angharad saw him as an old, decrepit, withered, grey-haired man, stooping with age, and dressed in rags. After the minstrels had failed to put the harp in tune, Einion took it in his hand and tuned it, and played on it an air which Angharad loved. She marvelled exceedingly, and asked him who he was. “I am Einion, the son of Gwalchmai,” said he; “see, the bright gold is my token.” And he gave her the ring. But she could not bring him to her recollection. Upon that he placed the white staff in Angharad’s hand. Instantly the goblin, whom she had hitherto seen as a handsome and honourable nobleman, appeared to her as a monster, inconceivably hideous: she fainted from fear, and Einion supported her until she revived. When she opened her eyes, she saw neither the goblin nor any of the guests or minstrels, nothing except Einion and the harp and the banquet on the table, casting its savoury odour around. They sat down to eat, and exceeding great was their joy at the breaking of the spell which the goblin had cast over them.
There is a moral to this story, but it does not signify.
The Green Isles of the Ocean
THE people of Pembrokeshire were for a long time puzzled to know where the fairies, or the Children of Rhys the Deep, as they are called in Little England beyond Wales, lived. They used to attend the markets at Milford Haven and other places regularly. They made their purchases without speaking, laid down their money and departed, always leaving the exact sum required, which they seemed to know without asking the price of anything. A certain Gruffydd ab Einion was wont to supply them with more corn than anybody else, and there was one special butcher at Milford Haven upon whom they bestowed their patronage exclusively. To ordinary eyes they were invisible, but some keen-sighted persons caught glimpses of them at the markets; no one, however, saw them coming or going, and great was the curiosity as to where they lived, for even fairies must make their home somewhere.
One day Gruffydd ab Einion was walking about St. David’s churchyard, when he saw islands far out at sea where he had never observed land before. “Ah!” he said, “there are the Green Isles of Ocean, Gwerddonau Llion, about which the poets sing. I will go to see them.” He started to go down to the seashore to get a nearer view, but the islands disappeared. He went back to the place where he had seen the vision; he could again see the islands quite distinctly, with houses dotted here and there among green fields. Now, Gruffydd was a very acute man; he cut the turf from which he espied the islands, and took it down to a boat. He stood upon it, and, setting sail, before long landed on the shore of one of the islands. The fairies welcomed him warmly and, after showing him all the wonders of their home, sent him back loaded with presents. They made him, however, leave behind the enchanted turf, and pointed out an underground passage by which he could come to visit them. He continued to be a great friend of Rhys the Deep’s children as long as he lived, and the gold they presented him with made him the richest man in West Wales.
Contemporary Cornish Poets…
A. T. QUILLER COUCH
The Splendid Spur.
Not on the neck of prince or hound,
Nor on a woman’s finger twin’d,
May gold from the deriding ground
Keep sacred that we sacred bind:
Only the heel
Of splendid steel
Shall stand secure on sliding fate,
When golden navies weep their freight.
The scarlet hat, the laureled stave
Are measures, not the springs of worth;
In a wife’s lap, as in a grave,
Man’s airy notions mix with earth.
Seek other spur
Bravely to stir
The dust in this loud world, and tread
Alp-high among the whispering dead.
Trust in thyself,–then spur amain:
So shall Charybdis wear a grace,
Grim Ætna laugh, the Libyan plain
Take roses to her shrivelled face.
This orb-this round
Of sight and sound
Count it the lists that God hath built
For haughty hearts to ride a-tilt.
The White Moth
If a leaf rustled, she would start:
And yet she died, a year ago
How had so frail a thing the heart
To journey where she trembled so?
And do they turn and turn in fright,
Those little feet, in so much night?
The light above the poet’s head
Streamed on the page and on the cloth,
And twice and thrice there buffeted
On the black pane a white-wingd moth:
‘Twas Annie’s soul that beat outside,
And “Open, open, open!” cried:
I could not find the way to God;
There were too many flaming suns
For signposts, and the fearful road
Led over wastes where millions
Of tangled comets hissed and burned–
I was bewilder’d and I turned.
“O, it was easy then! I knew
Your window and no star beside.
Look up and take me back to you!”
He rose and thrust the window wide.
‘Twas but because his brain was hot
With rhyming; for he heard her not.
But poets polishing a phrase
Show anger over trivial things:
And as she blundered in the blaze
Towards him, on ecstatic wings,
He raised a hand and smote her dead;
Then wrote, “That I had died instead.”
Twist thou and twine! in light and gloom
A spell is on thine hand;
The wind shall be thy changeful loom,
Thy web, the shifting sand.
Twine from this hour, in ceaseless toil,
On Blackrock’s sullen shore;
Till cordage of the hand shall coil
Where crested surges roar.
‘Tis for that hour, when, from the wave,
Near voices wildly cried;
When thy stern hand no succour gave,
The cable at thy side.
Twist thou and twine! in light and gloom
The spell is on thine hand;
The wind shall be thy changeful loom,
Thy web, the shifting sand.
The Blackrock is a bold, dark, pillared mass of schist, which rises midway on the shore of Widemouth Bay, near Bude, and is held to be the lair of the troubled spirit of Featherstone the wrecker, imprisoned therein until he shall have accomplished his doom.
Did the wild blast of battle sound,
Of old, from yonder lonely mound?
Race of Pendragon! did ye pour,
On this dear earth, your votive gore?
Did stern swords cleave along this plain
The loose rank of the roving Dane?
Or Norman chargers’ sounding tread
Smite the meek daisy’s Saxon head?
The wayward winds no answer breathe
No legend cometh from beneath,
Of chief, with good sword at his side,
Or Druid in his tomb of pride.
One quiet bird that comes to make
Her lone nest in the scanty brake;
A nameless flower, a silent fern–
Lo! the dim stranger’s storied urn.
Hark! on the cold wings of the blast
The future answereth to the past;
The bird, the flower, may gather still,
Thy voice shall cease upon the hill!
Who hath not met Witch Margaret?
Red gold her rippling hair,
Eyes like sweet summer seas are set
Beneath her brow so fair;
And cream and damask rose have met
Her lips and cheek to share.
Come up! and you shall see her yet,
Before she groweth still;
Before her cloak of Rame and smoke
The winter air shall fill;
For they must burn Witch Margaret
Upon the Castle Hill.
They found on her the devil’s mark,
Wherein naught maketh pain,–
“Bind her and dip her! stiff and stark
She floateth aye again;
Her body changeth after dark,
When powers of darkness reign.”
They drave the boot on Margaret
And crushed her dainty feet;
The hissing searing-irons set
To kiss her lips so sweet:
She hath not asked for mercy yet,
Nor mercy shall she meet.
The silent sky was cold and grey,
The earth was cold and white,
They brought her out that Christmas Day
To burn her in our sight;
The snow that fell and fell alway
Would cover her ere night.
All feebly as a child would go
Her bleeding feet dragged by,
Blood-red upon the white, white snow
I saw her footprints lie;
And some one shrieked to see her so–
God knows if it was I!
Upon her body, all in black,
Fell down her red-gold hair;
All bruised and bleeding from the rack
Her writhen arms hung bare;
Red blood dripped all along her track,
Red blood seemed in the air.
The while they told her deeds of shame,
She, resting in the snow,
Stretched out weak hands toward the flame,
Watched the sparks upward go,
Till on the pale pinched face there came
Some of the red fire’s glow.
Oh, is it blood that blinds mine eyes,
Or is it driving snow?
And are these but the wild wind’s cries
That drive me to and fro,
That beat about mine ears and rise
Wherever I may go?
It’s red and black on Castle Hill!
The people go to pray,
A little wind sighs on, until
The ashes float away;
And then God’s earth is very still,
For this is Christmas Day.