Sunday, May 27, 2007


This is the close of my last day in New England. At 8.10 p.m. tomorrow my flight leaves Boston MA for Manchester UK. In 15 days I have driven over 1,000 miles around six states. It has been quite an experience, day time temperatures have been as low as 42F and as high as 94F. Miles and miles of forests and lakes have filled the soul with beauty and the coast of Cape Cod has its own special charm.

In days gone by when people travelled they often took with them a little of the good soil from home. We are truly rooted in the place we live and we loose something of our soul if we are away for too long. The followers of big monotheistic faiths are sure their omnipotent God is everywhere and seem to have little regard for place. Christmas is still celebrated in December and Easter in March or April south of the Equator. But what about those of us who are polytheists, who touch "smaller" more intimate Goddesses and Gods?

At home in Brighid's Isles my roots go deep into the soil. I know all the places that Brighid has been honoured. The places She was celebrated by my ancestors, and is still celebrated today, are etched into the map of my heart. I know deep within my soul that Verbeia can be found in the Wharfe Valley, Rhiannon and Cerridwen in the valleys of Wales, the Morgans in Avalon.

When I travel the Goddesses I love come along in my heart and soul. I know they are with me. I know they watch over me as I travel. But I know too that they, like me, are divorced from their roots in place.

Here in New England Spirits of Place I cannot name have touched me. Like the American people themselves they have given me a warm and friendly welcome. I have honoured them in my heart. I have left offerings in thanks for their welcome and their guardianship of this beautiful part of the world. But I know they will never be part of me in the way Brighid, Cerridwen, Rhiannon and Verbeia are - for we are rooted in the same land.

Maybe this is why many Americans still long for a connection with Ireland or their ancestral home in Europe. These ancestral connections run much deeper than many people today are even willing to contemplate. One of the great advantages of being a polytheist, apart from the fact that it is the natural human religious state, is that it deepens one's roots and sense of place.

So it is good to travel, to see new places, to expand the mind and the heart, but it will be good to return home and to push my toes into the soil of the Goddesses I love, the soil of the ancestors I call upon each Samhain.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Green Mountains

We have been exploring the Green Mountains of Vermont. Total beauty, the Goddess arrayed in all her finest garments, ancient guardians of place, the soul totally uplifted. Birch trees, sacred to the Goddess in abundance. Beautiful villages with large churches of all denominations and more but who would want to worship inside when the Goddess beckons from Her land. For the past two days we have had perfect blue skies, Goddess putting on her very best show.

We have friends who are setting up an organic farm and trying to generate all their own electricity from solar panels. We visited them for the very first time at home and were stunned at the sheer beauty of the view from their verandah. I think they will have their work well and truly cut out for the coming years but well worth the effort.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

New England

Well my wife and I arrived at Logan airport, Boston MA, late Monday evening looking forward to two days to look around before picking up a car for a tour round New England. Boston turned out to be delightful. The weather was warm and sunny, the city historic and attractive, the people, polite and helpful. Tuesday we did the usual tourist thing.

Wednesday we decided it would be an idea to take the train to Salem for the day. Somehow trains around the world always seem to find their way through the most unattractive part of any city. Salem proved a mixed bag. The Salem Witch Museum, interestingly located in a former church, did a good job of narrating the history of the witch hysteria that took over the town. I couldn't help but feel sorry for the girls caught up in such a restrictive environment. One comment rang so true, the puritans had fled intolerance and then became totally intolerant themselves. After the history they also made a passable, if brief, attempt at explaining contemporary Wicca. In contrast the Witch Village was so tacky that the nearest thing I can compare it to is the ghost train at Blackpool. And to make matters worse everything they said about witchcraft was utter rubbish. Still we found a couple of interesting shops to brighten us up before getting the train back to Boston.

After picking up the car on Thursday we drove up to Wiscasset which proclaims itself to be the, The Prettiest Village in Maine. It certainly was very pretty though by Friday the temperature had plumetted to 42F and it was pouring it down with rain. Despite the rain and cold we explored Boothbay Harbor. A very pretty place with one of the strangest shops I have ever been in, Enchantments. Two floors with every nook and cranny filled with pagan and new age paraphanalia of every kind and description and a decent selection of books on witchcraft. So many things to make us smile on a wet day.

Saturday morning and the rain has stopped and the temperature rising. We set the satnav to guide us to Lincoln in the White Mountains by the shortest route which took us down lots of little roads, some unpaved, through endless woodland to the start of the Kancamagus Highway. Unutterably beautiful - lots of places to stop, each with their own very special spirit of place. We made many offerings at rivers and falls and places of total beauty. I took the photo above just as the warming day was raising a magical mist from the river. If ever there is a place beloved of the fey this has to be it.

Oh, and I brought Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" with me to read which I have now nearly finished. I love this author and the way he weaves his own special kind of story. Maybe more from New England if I get internet access again.

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Friday, May 11, 2007


I am in Glastonbury for a few days meeting old friends and spending quiet time in the Goddess Temple. I Just couldn't resist posting these photographs I took this morning of the Temple arrayed in Beltane glory. The beautiful evocative painting over the altar is by Dorrie Joy. I can hardly express what an utter joy it is to be back in this very special space.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007


The Beltane period has been very busy and I have not had time to post. So what have I been up to?

The page layout and printing of the Beltane edition of the Glastonbury Goddess Temple Newsletter. This quarterly newsletter is full of Goddess articles and news and is mailed to supporters of the Temple. As good things never come singly another page layout job came along - the summer edition of Northern Earth an excellent quarterly journal that caters for anyone with an inquiring interest in historical landscapes, folk lore and custom, earth-based consciousness and spirituality or a 'Gaian' vision of the Earth.

But Beltane was not entirely spent with InDesign on my Apple Mac! I spent two days driving around some of the sacred sites of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire with a delightful lady from the USA who was on her first visit to Europe and wanted to see things, 'off the main tourist trail.'

The first day we visited two turf labyrinths (Julian's Bower at Alkborough and the Caerdroia labyrinth at Dalby north of York) before visiting Britain's tallest standing stone, the Rudston Monolith. Rudston is at the heart of a sacred site recorded by the Romans as a centre of worship of the Goddess Brigantia.

The second day we visited The Three Sisters at Boroughbridge - triple standing stones that are unfortunately better known as The Devil's Arrows. These stones must have also impressed the Celtic Brigantes as they built an important settlement nearby. Then we drove to various sites along the river Wharfe, sacred to the Goddess Verbeia, before dropping into Ilkley to see the Roman Goddess Altars that are displayed in the parish church.

Thornborough Henges are not far from the Three Sisters. This is one of the most important Neolithic structures in Britain. The Henges are on private land so it was a joy to visit the central henge for the Sacred Brigantia Beltane celebrations. This is a relaxed gathering to celebrate the return of the sun and the start of summer. Heading this post is a photo I took of Brigantia and Herne at Thornborough.

Oh and I have finally taken the plunge and started Irish Gaelic evening classes. Now I am travelling for a while beginning in Glastonbury before flying to Boston (USA not Lincolnshire :) )

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