Category Archives: Articles

Gwyn Ap Nudd by Danu Forest

Pagan Book Reviews

Pagan Portals: Gwyn Ap Nudd — Wild God of Faerie, Guardian of Annwn
Danu Forest
Moon Books, 2017

wp36 gwyn ap nudd review

Review by Anthony Rella.

A contribution to Moon Books’ Pagan Portals series, Danu Forest’s Gwyn Ap Nudd is a slender book that provides an accessible and welcoming path to Celtic mythology, Welsh divinities, and a nature-centered practice. At only 94 pages, one still has the foundational material to begin a rich journey into nature worship, connection to the Fae, and devotional practice with this powerful god of the old Britons.

Through each section, Forest provides overviews and discussion of various myths associated with Gwyn Ap Nudd — as guardian of the underworld, as king of the fae, as leader of the Wild Hunt, and as one who lives in the glass castle of Glastonbury Tor. With each facet of this complex and intriguing figure, Forest offers suggestive insights into how a modern-day…

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This Ancient Heart – The Threefold Relationship Between Landscape, Ancestor and Self

dancing in the mist

This Ancient Heart is a collection of essays by well known Pagan and spiritual authors on our relationships with and connections to landscape and the ancestors.

In the Forward by Graham Harvey the scene is set where he says “Much of the curious, unexpected and fascinating is revealed in the book you are now reading” and then asks us to begin to think about our own perspectives on the subject by reminding us that “It is, as with any book, important that readers begin with some reflections about their own expectations and anticipations.”

The Introduction by Paul Davies sets the scene more firmly where he talks of the ancestors, stating “Their bodies are part of this earth and this earth is equally part of us – in flesh, in DNA as much as in spirit. In this way, we are the ancestors reborn. I like that thought…..”

He mentions the…

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The boar-hunt – excerpt from The Grail

Druid Life

This is an excerpt from Simon Stirling’s The Grail, which I reviewed here – https://druidlife.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/the-grail-relic-of-an-ancient-religion-a-review/

The Annals of Tigernach list four battles for the year 594:

The battle of Ratha in Druadh & the battle of Áird Sendoim.  The slaying of the sons of Áedán i.e. Bran & Domangart & Eochaid Find & Artúr, in the battle of Circhenn, in which Áedán was the victor, & the battle of Corann.

The first two battles were closely linked, the battle of Áird Sendoim (‘The Headland’, near Peterhead, ‘on the coast of Mordei’) being immediately followed by Arthur’s ‘Unrestrained Ravaging’ of Morgan’s Tillymorgan hill-fort.  The Annals of Ulster described this as the ‘battle of Ràth in druaid’ (Early Irish ràth, a ‘residence surrounded by an earthen rampart’).  It took place in the ‘Sorcerer’s land’ (Early Irish drui – a ‘Druid’; genitive druad).  Morgan was considered ‘skilful’ (medrod) by…

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Gatherer of Souls

Signposts in the Mist

I have recently finalised my third book, Gatherer of Souls, a collection of poems and stories recovering the forgotten mythos of my patron god, Gwyn ap Nudd. I am  very pleased and proud to reveal the cover art, which is by Tom Brown. The publication and book launch will take place on Saturday 29th September (Gwyn’s Feast).

Gatherer of Souls FC

Gwyn ap Nudd is a Brythonic god of the dead and ruler of Annwn. In medieval Welsh literature he is depicted gathering the souls of slaughtered warriors from the battlefield, and is said to contain the fury of the spirits of Annwn to prevent their destruction of the world.

Fierce and compassionate, beautiful and terrifying, Gwyn’s ambivalent nature was unacceptable to Christians. He and his spirits were demonised. Gwyn was replaced as a warrior-protector of Britain by his opponent, Arthur, and the doors of Annwn were slammed shut.

After centuries of…

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A Mystic Guide to Cleansing and Clearing: a review

True Pagan Warrior

Genre: Wicca

Title: A Mystic Guide to Cleansing and Clearing

Author: David Salisbury

In this work, Salisbury draws on research into several traditions, seeking to distill the essence of cleansing practices for use in a Wiccan context. In that, I believe he succeeds. Moreover, based on the one tradition he references with which I am deeply familiar, I daresay he provides an accurate overview of how these practices are used, and is mindful of concerns about cultural appropriation which get raised more and more frequently in these cases. In five relatively quick chapters, the author touches upon tools used in cleansing, practices for cleansing people and places, how to deal with negative energy situations such as crossing and hexes, and his understanding of spirit entities which might be problematic.

Salisbury’s selection of tools is substantial, and I like the fact that he acknowledges what he’s used and…

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The Waning Moon

Wendy Steele

If I could choose, I’d snuggle up in my writing room from full moon to new moon.

At new moon, I’m fired up and open to ideas zipping around the universe. I take them, examine them and claim them if they’re useful. Sometimes I let them go; often I save them in case they may prove useful.

At new moon, I’m working towards. I act on new ideas. I can see where I want to be, what I want to achieve and a path to follow to get there.

At new moon, I’m fresh, vibrant and excited.

On the full moon, I give thanks – I’m here! I made it! There’s a sense of achievement, even if I’m not where I expected to be.

And then the moon begins to wane.

Louise asks Lizzie the question in The Orphan Witch:

“So the full moon isn’t necessarily the end of something?…

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ETHICS AND ‘CIVILIZATION’

contemplativeinquiry

In his Reclaiming Civilization (1), modern Pagan philosopher Brendan Myers asks three questions: What is civilization? What is wrong with it? What should we do about it? As part of his work with the third question, he looks at ethics. He starts with the proposition that a flourishing life is ethically desirable and good. This proposition may seem simple and obvious, yet it has not been a reliable quality of ‘civilization’ as we know and have known it.

Myers goes on to describe virtue ethics as the branch of philosophy that investigates character and identity. To live a flourishing happy life, we need to install ways of understanding, responding to, and acting in the world that will tend to support it. These are the virtues. Through the process of identifying and working with virtues, we reach towards the person we want to be and the world we want to live…

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