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.

Sunday, 13 July 2014



This is one of my first poems and was written specifically for a Druid Lughnasadh (Lammas) ritual and has since also been used at Wiccan and Unitarian rituals.


Loaf mass tide, the harvest reap,
The Corn king he is dead.
Feast of plenty among the rigs,
Give thanks the Corn king’s bread.

Lammas tide, we’ll drink a toast,
To the dolly, the spirit of the corn.
Gather the grain to make the loaf,
John Barleycorn shall be reborn.

Copyright Andrew Rea Lughnasadh 2006

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Sceadugengan


From Beowulf line 702: 'Com on wanre niht scriðan sceadugenga'.
In the colourless (wan) night came gliding (or creeping) the shadow goer (or shadow walker).
This passage from Beowulf refers to the monster Grendel.

Sceadugengan or "shadow-goer", (pronounced: shay-ah duh gen-ghan) (Singular: Sceadugenga), from Old English sceaduwe (shadow) and gan (to go).

Other extracts from Beowulf:

Line 159 ..but the retch was persecuting
The dark death shade warriors old and young;
He lay in wait and set snares, in the endless night he held
The misty moors; men may say not
where the haunts of these Hell-Runes be.
Thus many offences that foe of mankind,
That terrible lone traveler

649 .and darkening night all over,
Shadow-helms shapes came slivering,
Black beneath the skies.

710 He came from the moor, under hills of mist.

The Sceadugengan

Came shadows through grey night striding,
Through the dark wood forest gliding,
Formless shapes their outline hiding,
Silent Sceadugenga.

What manor of beast alive or dead,
They dwell in forests of dark dread,
On brave shield maidens be they fed,
The swift Sceadugenga.

On shadow dark gloomy grey nights,
Without a form these beastly wights,
Going about their silent rites,
Elf or Sceadugenga.

But who hast seen them in the face,
Or chasing prey at their fast pace,
Or at their nest in their full grace,
The Sceadugengan.

Only brave men with charms showing,
On their tunics pouches sowing,
Spells and galdors to their knowing,
Risk the Sceadugenga.

Distant sounds of branches snapping,
Pitter patter stealthily tapping,
Slowly with thine spirit sapping,
Go the sceadugengan.

Who dares to go at dark of moon,
With shadows shifting into doom,
Guarded with that sacred rune,
The spell casting genga.

Swiftly moving gliding shadows,
Speeding faster than thine arrows,
Seeking the unguarded hallows,
Spector Sceadudenga.

In shadows spirits come and go,
Hel's cold dark demons from below,
As they do reap so shall they sow,
Come sceadugengan.

At deepest dark of night they meet,
Beware that thee do not them greet,
or thee may well become their meat,
Hungry sceadugengan.

Copyright Andrew Rea July 2014