Category Archives: History, legends and myths

DRUIDS…Ancient Bad Boys of Summer

I am guest blogging on Paranormal Romantics blog today.

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This month’s theme is Bad Boys of Summer and what better way to start this off than talk about Druids.

Here is a teaser of my post. Click on the banner above to read the full article.

Were Druids the original Hippies?

The Druids, in search of enlightenment, would partake of magic mushrooms. The fly Agaric is one such mushroom. It has been said the Druid would fast for 3 days prior to ingestion. His urine (which would be mostly water and the hallucinogenic components of the mushroom) would then be drunk by others.

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The body absorbs the fly agaric’s hallucinogens first, and then expels the toxins from the stomach. The hallucinogenic chemicals then exert their influence on the body and are expelled unaltered in the urine.

As terrible as this sounds, I found I had to put this in my novel, Protect Her, which features an evil Druid, Lailoken.

 

Be sure to head on over to Paranormal Romantics p

and find out all about the Druids:

How they may have been the original Hippies,

What kinds of sacrifices they specialized in performing,

What holidays they observed,

Sacred trees,

Fortune telling,

…And where they are now.

Temperate rainforest…

I had to reblog this as Pucks Glen, Argyll, Scotland is where part of my novel, Protect Her takes place. These are gorgeous pictures.

this fragile tent

water falling, pucks glen

It stopped raining so we went off into the forest, getting some air before the arrival of guests who will be with us for New Year.

It is only a slight exageration to suggest that the forests of Argyll are part of the fragments of temperate rainforest left in northern Europe. Huge old trees in a sponge of moss and leaf mulch, well watered by the western Scottish climate.

As ever, my camera came along. I think I have a million photos of some of these places- searching for the play of light and the movement of water. I never quite manage it but some come close.

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A Slice of Scottish Streetlife

In honor of Tartan Day…today April 6th

The Beauty Along the Road

A parade of bag pipe bands is an essential part of the Highland Games held in Nairn, Scotland, each summer. The bands gather in a park and then march down the streets to the fairgrounds. We stopped this group of fellows to ask them about their band and their outfits.

The boys from the band The boys from the band

They proudly showed off the essential components of their band attire, correcting our playful usage of the word “skirt” by stating firmly: “It’s not a skirt, it’s a kilt!”

Then they hurried back to the rest of their band to line up for the big parade. Tartan patterns of different colors, long scarves, kilts and knee socks gathered in a colorful melee, then finally found their place in line.

gathering the troops gathering the troops

final touch-up final touch-up

Did you see that leopard print?

Drummer in leopard print Drummer in leopard print

Spectators of the two- and four-legged kind lined the sides of…

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March Magic

Before all the magic drains out of March, I thought I’d share the little story I wrote to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. (With a name like “Ireland” I think I was destined to spin stories and sing songs.)
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A Leprechaun’s Love

“Will you be choosing the gold or the Leprechaun?” The Irish glen fairly rang with a voice that didn’t quite sound human.

Maddy stared at the tiny man who could have walked off of the pages of any of the Celtic Myth volumes that she used to teach her class. She’d been piecing clues together for the last five years, but now that she had the Leprechaun and gold in her sight, she realized she’d never really believed.

The creature’s bored voice. and raised bushy eyebrows caused her to study him. He either didn’t care about the outcome, or he wanted to hurry her along for another reason. Leprechauns…

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Lailoken, or Myrddin, or Merlin

Excellent article on Lailoken, aka Merlin

Esmeralda's Cumbrian History & Folklore

Six hundred years after the death of a wild man in the woods of southern Scotland, Geoffrey of Monmouth assembled some scraps of poetry written in the intervening years and added him to his History of the Kings of Britain as King Arthur’s right-hand man, Merlin.

Merlin and Arthur by Gustave Dore Merlin and Arthur by Gustave Dore

There are several different sources in old Welsh literature for Myrddin, or as we usually spell it, Merlin. Some, referring to events in Wales itself, mention Merlin Ambrosius or Merlin Emrys, and these took place at the end of the Roman era. Others were linked to the Cymry of northern Cumbria, entangled as a by-line in the story of the Battle of Arthuret, which took place a couple of hundred years later. This Merlin was Merlin Wyllt, or Merlin Silvestris, or Merlin ap (son of) Madog Morfryn.

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Blessed Ostara

Happy Spring everyone.

Kate Wood

Fáilte! Welcome!

Today, at exactly 9:57 am PDT (the exact moment of this posting, in fact), marks the beginning of Spring. This is a wonderful time of celebration. In Celtic traditions, this is known as Ostara.

Courtesy of Navanna Courtesy of Navanna

Not to be confused with Ēostre, a Germanic goddess, Ostara is the pagan name for the vernal or spring equinox (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere). Ostara marks the awakening of the Great Goddess from her winter’s sleep. She has been preparing for this awakening since Imbolc.

This time marks the end of the dreary days of winter, and welcomes the fresh days of spring. It’s a time for embracing the new beginnings, new loves, new lives wished for during yule.

As with all Celtic festivals, there are many traditions associated with Ostara having to do with food. Interestingly, many of these same traditions echo those of…

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Guinness and Onion Soup

Blog O'The Irish

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Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 cloves minced garlic
8 cups thinly sliced onions
Gray salt
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cups dark beer (recommended: Guinness)
6 cups beef stock
6 slices country bread cut 1/2-inch thick, toasted
1/2 pound Irish Cheddar, sliced thin
Directions
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and cook briefly to release aroma. Add onions, season with salt and cook for about 5 minutes stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden brown.
Add the thyme, vinegar, and beer. Reduce beer by half and add the beef stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes.
Preheat the broiler. Transfer soup to an ovenproof serving dish or individual ovenproof soup bowls. Top with toasted bread slices and sliced…

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