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Samhainn – the Beginning of Winter

Samhainn marked the end of the summer half of the year, the beginning of winter, the dark time (an Dùbhlachd). Oidhche Shamhna (Night of Samhainn) is Gaelic for Halloween, that is, the Evening of Hallows or Saints. In modern Gaelic, Samhain is the modern Gaelic word…

Dover Castle

Dover Castle

Photo by Stevebidmead When I watched films about Richard the Lionheart, I was struck by one thing — the lack of colour. The Angevins, Richard’s family, were one of the wealthiest and most powerful in Europe in the High Middle…

Áine Queen of the Fairies leads her fairy people

Áine Queen of the Fairies

Danu=Anu=Áine Áine is the queen of the fairies; her name means bright, joyful, or melodious. She is likely the deity known in an earlier period as Anu or Danu, the mother goddess of Munster (Mumhan), in the south of Ireland.…

Cernunnos the Horned God

Cernunnos: the Horned God

Cernunnos is a late reflex of the ancient hunter-god known in the Neolithic period and earlier. The name has been found on the Pillar of the Boatmen, built in the first-century AD. The relief shows the name above an antlered…

A reconstructed West Highland galley or birlinn of the 17th century

The West Highland Galley

Viking Heritage: The West Highland Galley / A’ Bhirlinn From the fury of the Northmen, O Lord, preserve us! The frightened plea of the Christian clergy of Britain was first recorded in 793 at Lindisfarne in the north of England.…