Ancient Roman Britain

www.archaeology.org/issues/323-1901/features/7195-a-dark-age-beacon

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Conwy Wales

The Ruin

Wondrous is this wall-stead, wasted by fate.
Battlements broken, giant’s work shattered.
Roofs are in ruin, towers destroyed,
Broken the barred gate, rime on the plaster walls gape, torn up, destroyed,

consumed by age. Earth-grip holds the proud builders, departed, long lost,

and the hard grasp of the grave, until a hundred generations

of people have passed. Often this wall outlasted,

hoary with lichen, red-stained, withstanding the storm,

one reign after another; the high arch has now fallen.
The wall-stone still stands, hacked by weapons,

by grim-ground files.
Mood quickened mind, and the mason,

skilled in round-building, bound the wall-base,

wondrously with iron.

Bright were the halls, many the baths,

High the gables, great the joyful noise,

many the mead-hall full of pleasures.

Until fate the mighty overturned it all.
Slaughter spread wide, pestilence arose,

and death took all those brave men away.
Their bulwarks were broken, their halls laid waste,

the cities crumbled, those who would repair it

laid in the earth. And so these halls are empty,
and the curved arch sheds its tiles,

torn from the roof. Decay has brought it down,

broken it to rubble. Where once many a warrior,

high of heart, gold-bright, gleaming in splendour,

proud and wine-flushed, shone in armour,
looked on a treasure of silver, on precious gems,

on riches of pearl…

in that bright city of broad rule.

  

Stone courts once stood there, and hot streams gushed forth,

wide floods of water, surrounded by a wall,
in its bright bosom, there where the baths were,

hot in the middle. 

Hot streams ran over hoary stone

into the ring. 

  

“The Ruin is a fragmentary poem found in Exeter, Cathedral Chapter Library, MS 3501, the Exeter Book.”

The Old English text is taken from the electronic version of the poems of the Exeter Book available at the Labyrinth.  

Translated by Siân Echard, University of British Columbia. 

Lionheart



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Celtic Oak

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The Celts were a mixture of Welsh, Irish and Scottish, rich in myth and symbolism. Celtic symbols are created through myth, legends and story’s of various Celtic deities. The stories were pass down verbally so they could be remembered.

Celtic lore is an infinite source of symbolism. Each god, goddess, hero, heroine bears their own mark (symbol) too. Through their personal emblems, we become privy to enchanted realms of deeper symbolism; the kind of connective symbolism that sparks our imagination, and strums our heartstrings.

Celtic symbols connect with archetypes (heroes/heroines) in myth; Meaning, these symbols were a perception of ideals and beliefs in their consciousness. We relate by sight, sounds, taste, touch ad scents, associating and experiencing with our own life path. Therefore, symbols become intimate in our minds too. We dream, we fall in love, we build strong bonds with people and places and things we relate to.

The Oak is a symbol of life, strength, stability to name a few qualities. Druidic lore held the Oak as a mammoth symbol of power, influence and considered it a chieftain among the sacred clan of trees.

In the moral of Blodeuwedd, the Oak is a symbol of integrity, just as the Oak grown fine, strong and tall. Ideally, the Oak pollen was breathed through the nostrils; the meaning was to instill faith, long life and fidelity.

In the story to be specific, the pollen of the Oak is cooked and used as an animation agent and made into a pixie dust and it’s when blown in through the nostrils, making the inanimate come alive; but nevertheless, the intention and symbolic power of the Oak is resolute.

I guess there is symbolic moral in this too. We are what we make ourselves. We may be fashioned from certain elements, and that which creates us may have the finest intentions; but in the end; we choosers sour path. Learn more about the Celtic symbolism of the Oak Tree here.

Photo: Taken at Penrice Castle on its surrounding gardens near the Gower Peninsula in South Wales just twenty minutes out of Swanseal near to Oxwich Bay.

London Calling

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I love London and what it represents and its why our hearts won’t be broken even if we are separated by this distance; I can hear it calling me just as clearly as I know our love will not fade away; and i will not suffer because I know it will not change. And I will do all that it takes to return to you. Knowing this will make us even stronger. Tougher. It is only a Visa that keeps us apart, but if this is the law and what it takes to make me the person who I was meant to be to secure in a nation according to British Law so I can return to you; then so be it.

London is at the centre of English power and justice is Parliament Square. It is a square in central London with a good view of the Palace of Westminster; Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, it’s a place where royal marriages happen kings and queens have been crowned and prisoners were held.

In the United Kingdom, the Parliament is like the America, where Congress is a vital part of democracy, perhaps representing the most important common form of freedoms around the world.

The common ground between nations is peace and it’s designed to further the cause of peace both domestic and foreign.

Here the British Parliament works to encourage its people’s to promote laws safety, protecting freedoms, charity, protest, protecting its lands, people, rich heritage, promoting diversity and it’s art and historic culture while maintaining law and it’s democratic processes, and foreign policy.

The square is home to ten statues of British and foreign statesmen beginning with Winston Churchill’s statue which faces Parliament and other statues like Nelson Mandela and Abraham Lincoln.

A Preface to “All the Colours of Green”

 

“And so its just me and the cat here

inside the mushroom now,

where it is safe and warm in this abode. It’s

where I will lay my head tonight,

sleep in his bed,

crying onto his pillow,

until he returns.”

from “All the Colours of Green
a novel by American Girl in Wales

***

It came as a surprise and shock to the many in my life, but to those who truly know me, to those who understand the need to begin healing thyself; they understood, the importance of starting life over; accepting change, relocating; wanting to pour out; to write and travel and in Wales.

Yes, an American girl from Texas moving to Wales. Oh God, I fit in here like a glove, living like true artist; writing all day, shopping just enough for what is needed for the day, staying up all night; talking; wine and smoking with music and lots of love and laughter.

It’s hard for anyone to leave Texas. Most people say about Texas, “I got here as fast as I could.”

I lost a husband to cancer, of 30 years, spent the last 7 years as his primary caregiver. The Alzheimer’s kicked in then the Parkinson’s. It was difficult, but my children were grown, with no other family members around. I had to make a change or flounder; I was not thriving, but not everyone heard me and my energy depleted; I felt as if I had nothing left in me.

I moved to Wales, it’s somewhere I could feel again then I can heal. I only knew one person here in this place; wondering if he could take on my being; this empty, fragile broken down soul in need of replenishment of self love, companionship; to be a part of the process, a healing process and a return to flow.

We spend so much of trying to do more and be more so our lives; to have “purpose” when really, our only purpose should be to simply love and be loved.

And now because of love, I am the girl who is working on being healthy, finding pleasure in life again. It’s perfect here, yet I am far from perfect but as I am learning: healthy means more than physically well. It means mentally and spiritually and Even these have become a positive in my life and that I have to give in order to get and that if I am to find love again; the gods will make it happen; for Love cannot be forced, only given when it’s given in return.

Love has become a great influence in my life and In each moment, by day and by night, I find myself immensely happy and celebrating being here. However, “here” is more than I could ever imagine; what love would become like, how it would look – but then I never imagined things could be this good. Funny how life works, isn’t it…. Enjoy and thanks for reading
~ Cheers,
Katie Murphy
AGIW

Photos: Family of Wood Mushrooms,
Singleton Park, Swansea, Wales, UK

About Passion

The rolling fields of Brecon Beacons National Park are filled with evidence of many years of human history, including single standing stones, or menhirs, from the Bronze Age. Long grass-covered mounds, called cairns, mark stone-chambered Neolithic tombs. The remains of ancient stone circles, castles and Iron Age Celtic hill forts are found here.

 

The Welsh against the Norman’s; the conquest of 1066 sparked a wave of castle construction across Wales. Hundreds were thrown up to consolidate holds on Welsh lands.

It’s amount the color of balance and harmony and survival; about passion,of the heart and the emotions, creating equilibrium between the heart and mind.

Passion is all about the colours of growth, the color of spring, of renewal and rebirth. He has renewed my spirit; restored depleted energy. You have become my sanctuary; made my life worth living again.

And in this becoming, there has been someone; he saved me, he has restored me back to my sense of well being. He is the reason why I am here and on this green earth, and it’s why I am so emotional, and positive and new.

Its just about the ability to love and nurture ourselves and others unconditionally and passionately.