How the blog works

The poems on this blog are mostly written on the basis of my historical reading and are intended to be both educational and entertaining.
Recently I have also begun posting some of my work with Anglo-Saxon charms. This work is somewhat speculative and is conducted as an amateur researcher and keen Pagan historian.

Please feel free to use anything on this site as a resource if you think that it may be relevant to your needs.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Badger the brave

With the cull having just started without any science or consent of opinion (see: I offer this poem penned last year

Badger the brave

Warm sleepy hollow, pups about to eat,
Sacred soul to claim, Saint Francis to greet.

Slain on battlefield, now inside his grave,
Good Saint Francis came, spirit soul to save.

Family without sin, slain on battlefield,
Their fate not yet sealed, wilt ministry yield?

Souls gone to heaven, are cattle now healed?
Saint Francis he weeps, genocide on Weald. 

Copyright Andrew Rea October 2012

Saturday, 24 August 2013

A Saxon charm for a difficult journey

I have found the following text in Leech Book I, LXXXVI, 

For mickle travelling over land, lest he tire, let him
take mugwort a to him in hand, or put it into his shoe,
lest he should weary, and when he will pluck it, before
the upgoing of the sun, let him say first these
words, "I will take thee, artemisia, lest I be weary on the way," etc.

I have replaced 'etc.' with the following text from HERBARIVM, CLXXIX (Periwinkle);

"that thou cometh to me glad, blossoming with thy usefulness; that thou outfit
me so that I be shielded, and ever well, and undamaged by poisons and by wrath

Back to Leech Book I, LXXXVI,;

Sign it with the sign of the cross,

when thou pullest it up.

Both of these manuscripts are from the late Saxon period.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Here be Giants

Many features on the landscape were named after giants by the Anglo-Saxons. Those remaining include: 1 Valley, I cave, 1 hole, 1 ford, 2 ravines and 2 lakes.

However some were recorded in antiquity but their locations have become lost. These include: 1 mound, 1 thicket, 1hill, 1 glade, 2 pits, 3 pools.

Many other places named after giants have also been recorded in the centuries following the Saxon era.

The Saxons had three names for giant: Troll, Thyrs and Ent.

Trollers Gill in Yorkshire, is associated with a monstrous black spectral dog named Barguest, who is thought to have inspired Arthur Conan Doyle in writing ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’.

Here be Giants
Once many giants, lay down in our land,
And ten or so did, against time withstand.
The valley cave hole, and ford doth endure,
Two ravines two Lakes, art also secure.

But mounds the thicket, the hill, and the glade,
All three giant pools, their memories fade.
Seven giant pits, long time hast betrayed,
Those secrete places, art all now mislaid.

Legends of giants, the Troll Thyrs and Ent,
What was their purpose, what was their intent.
Oddly disturbing, those monstrous wights,
Silent sentinels, secured sacred sites?

Thursford in Norfolk, had Great Snoring lord,
In Doomsday village, he wielded his sword.
Largest Yuletide show, in all of our land,
This small village has, a huge helping hand.

Oxfordshire Tusmore, hamlet of Doomsday,
Destroyed by Black Death, was doomed to decay.
Merely giant’s Lake, through time did remain,
A massive wyrm bed, rebuilt it again.
Yorkshire Trollers Gill, the troll’s arse ravine,
Beastly hound Barguest, black sinister scene.
Chilling excursion, beware falling stone,
Hell hole shiver quiver, spine tingle alone.

Copyright Andrew Rea June 2012

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Saxon spell of protection

This poem is written in the style of an Anglo-Saxon spell of protection employing the use of listing the possible threats and also the used of the cardinal directions.

Drychten is the Old English for lord.
Aelfadle is any sickness caused by elves, compare addled.
Haegtesse are wild, armed supernatural women riding out in a group and causing    harm havoc and mayhem! Haegtesse was used as a scan for wælcyrige.
Aelfsiden is the magic of elves.
Svartalheim is the world where the dark elves dwell.
Nihtgenga refers to night walkers; demons of the night.
Incubus/succubus is synonymous with mere/mera and often used as a scan for the same. Mare/mara gave rise to the term ‘nightmare’.
Cockatrice and wyrm are types of dragon.
Smithas are mythical beings that forge arrows (elf shot) for the elves to fire.
Nidavellir is the world where the dwarfs dwell.

Saxon spell of protection

Guard us lord Wodan, oh magical lord,
Leader of Wild Hunt, loaf drychten ward.
Elf shot aelfadle, against thine bombard,
Against hægtessan, this be thine guard.

This guard against aelfsiden, magic of elves,
Svartalheim’s dark elves, this against themselves.
Night walker succubus, dark elfin mare,
Nihtgenga incubus, be gone to thine lair.

Cockatrice and wyrm, iron darts of smithas,
Sleep in thine wyrm bed, stay in thine quivers.
Nidavellir dwarfs, advance if thee dare,
This guard against, fiery drakes of air.

Under linden shield, protect from the east,
Malice from the south, thee shalt never feast.
Sword against malignancy, from the west,
With spear guarding north, thee art now suppressed.

Copyright Andrew Rea Aug 2013

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Dragon's Quarters

A bit of summer fun with dragons:

Flying cockatrice guard the east,
Air dragon we doth bid thee hail.
Guard our circle with thine power,
Be with us here in our wassail.

Firedrake guard the gate to the south,
Oh great beast fortify the door.
Shield us here with thine fiery breath,
Bide with us, we doth thee implore.

Sea serpent guard the western gate,
We doth water dragon call thee.
From thine watery depths arise,
We bid thee our rite oversee.

Crouching basilisk guard the north,
Earth dragon without wings arise.
Serpent king we doth bid thee forth,
From long mists of time now arise.

Copyright Andrew Rea Eostre 2013