The Northwoods Ramble…

Lost Power for several hours last night due to the winds… This put a stop to getting Turfing out on regular time… so here it is, late but pretty intact. We lost all the links!


On The Music Box: Omnia – Pagan Folk…

(nice stuff! Finding all kinds of Euro-Pagan Music, which will be on Radio Free EarthRites!)

In the North Woods…

We rambled a bit up the road a bit over the week-end; visiting family and friends in the north country. Along the way we had sometime to visit a rare creature: Wizard of North Cascadia. Generally shy, never found in urban areas they perform their acts of magick and kindness behind the green curtain of the sylvan highlands… Rare sitings are made from time to time, but little has been verified about these creatures… We actually have a picture of one of them…!

Saturday brought us to this lovely spot in the woods….

Rowan taking a break from all the travelling, playing on the dulcimer…

Somewhere along the line we ran into an Absinthe Fountain…

An absolute joy to behold, and to indulge in….

This of course led to sampling several different varieties….

On The Menu:

Faun – Sigil

Ace Of Cups

The Tale of the Hoodie

Poetry: Stewart Conn

Links Returning Tomorrow! Radio Testing Almost Done As Well!

Have a good one!



More of that Euro-Pagan Musizk….

Faun – Sigil


A personal symbol… Must be that Cancer Rising…

Ace Of Cups….

TRADITION: Table, first as the symbol of the bearer of food, alimentation, etc., then also as ‘table of the law’; catalogue, tabulation; the Holy Table. Meal, feast, gala, and invitation for the same. Hotel, restaurant, etc. Picture, painting, image, description. Production, fertility, abundance. Stability, fixity, constancy, etc. Reversed: Mutation, change, transmutation, inconstancy, etc. Buying and selling. Metamorphosis, reversal, revolution, translation, interpretation. Another version says: “House of the true heart, joy, contentment . . .” (W.) Reversed: “House of the false heart . . .”

THEORY: The Cups, representing the element of Water, Jovian and lunar by nature, start their cycle on the Ninth house, the house of Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, the lawgiver. The element Water has its two polar effects in the soul, so we need not look for particular ‘weak cases’ to demonstrate a more or less benefic and malific effect at the same time. The house of Sagittarius, however, does not bring much evil to the soul and is generally uplifting, inviting, pushing towards progress and development, journeying and hospitable reception of strangers. There is little or no stability or fixity in it, but on the contrary always a good deal of ‘mutation’; also the magic power of the true transmutation. Further we find a tendency to teach, to translate, guide, interpret. It may, too, lead to extravagance as regards dissipation or at least spending. There is sanction or even holiness in it, inspiration, idealism. The latter, of course, may lead to more or less well-directed actions.

CONCLUSION: Sanction, permission, inspiration, idealism, enthusiasm, blessing. May denote a leader, teacher, guide or any influence of this nature. Legislation, direction, instruction; hospitality and sympathetic reception. Driving, hunting, travelling; planning for the future. Invitation, convocation, appeal. Mutation and transmutation. Translation and interpretation.



From Ann MacGilvray, Islay.–April 1859.

There was ere now a farmer, and he had three daughters. They were waulking (1) clothes at a river. A hoodie (2) came round and he said to the eldest one, ’M-POS-U-MI, “Wilt thou wed me, farmer’s daughter?” “I won’t wed thee, thou ugly brute. An ugly brute is the hoodie,” said she. He came to the second one on the morrow, and he said to her, “M-POS-U-MI, wilt thou wed me?” “Not I, indeed,” said she; “an ugly brute is the hoodie.” The third day he said to the youngest, M-POS-U-MI, “Wilt thou wed me, farmer’s daughter?,” “I will wed thee,” said she; “a pretty creature is the hoodie,” and on the morrow they married.

The hoodie said to her, “Whether wouldst thou rather that I should be a hoodie by day, and a man at night; or be a hoodie at night, and a man by day?” “I would rather that thou wert a man by day, and a hoodie at night,” says she. After this he was a splendid fellow by day, and a hoodie at night. A few days after they married he took her with him to his own house.

At the end of three quarters they had a son. In the night there came the very finest music that ever was heard about the house. Every man slept, and the child was taken away. Her father came to the door in the morning, and he asked how were all there. He was very sorrowful that the child should be taken away, for fear that he should be blamed for it himself.

At the end of three quarters again they had another son. A watch was set on the house. The finest of music came, as it came before, about the house; every man slept, and the child was taken away. Her father came to the door in the morning. He asked if every thing was safe; but the child was taken away, and he did not know what to do for sorrow.

Again, at the end of three quarters they had another son. A watch was set on the house as usual. Music came about the house as it came before; every one slept, and the child was taken away. When they rose on the morrow they went to another place of rest that they had, himself and his wife, and his sister-in-law. He said to them by the way, “See that you have not forgotten any thing.” The wife said, “I FORGOT MY COARSE COMB.” The coach in which they were fell a withered faggot, and he went away as a hoodie.

Her two sisters returned home, and she followed after him. When he would be on a hill top, she would follow to try and catch him; and when she would reach the top of a hill, he would be in the hollow on the other side. When night came, and she was tired, she had no place of rest or dwelling; she saw a little house of light far from her, and though far from her she was not long in reaching it.

When she reached the house she stood deserted at the door. She saw a little laddie about the house, and she yearned to him exceedingly. The housewife told her to come up, that she knew her cheer and travel. She laid down, and no sooner did the day come than she rose. She went out, and when she was out, she was going from hill to hill to try if she could see a hoodie. She saw a hoodie on a hill, and when she would get on the hill the hoodie would be in the hollow, when she would go to the hollow, the hoodie would be on another hill. When the night came she had no place of rest or dwelling. She saw a little house of light far from her, and if far from her she, was not long reaching it. She went to the door. She saw a laddie on the floor to whom she yearned right much. The, housewife laid her to rest. No earlier came the day than she took out as she used. She passed this day as the other days. When the night came she reached a house. The housewife told her to come up, that she knew her cheer and travel, that her man had but left the house a little while, that she should be clever, that this was the last night she would see him, and not to sleep, but to strive to seize him. She slept, he came where she was, and he let fall a ring on her right hand. Now when she awoke she tried to catch hold of him, and she caught a feather of his wing. He left the feather with her, and he went away. When she rose in the morning she did not know what she should do. The housewife said that he had gone over a hill of poison over which she could not go without horseshoes on her hands and feet. She gave her man’s clothes, and she told her to go to learn smithying till she should be able to make horse shoes for herself.

She learned smithying so well that she made horseshoes for her hands and feet. She went over the hill of poison. That same day after she had gone over the hill of poison, her man was to be married to the daughter of a great gentleman that was in the town.

There was a race in the town that day, and every one was to be at the race but the stranger that had come over to poison hill. The cook came to her, and he said to her, Would she go in his place to make the wedding meal, and that he might get to the race.

She said she would go. She was always watching where the bridegroom would be sitting.

She let fall the ring and the feather in the broth that was before him. With the first spoon he took up the ring, with the next he took up the feather. When the minister came to the fore to make the marriage, he would not marry till he should find out who had made ready the meal. They brought up the cook of the gentleman, and he said that this was not the cook who made ready the meal.

They brought up now the one who had made ready the meal. He said, “That now was his married wife.” The spells went off him. They turned back over the hill of poison, she throwing the horse shoes behind her to him, as she went a little bit forward, and he following her. When they came, back over the hill, they went to the three houses in which she had been. These were the houses of his sisters, and they took with them the three sons, and they came home to their own house, and they were happy.

Written down by Hector Maclean, schoolmaster at Ballygrant, in Islay, from the recitation of “Ann MacGilvray, a Cowal woman, married to a farmer at Kilmeny, one Angus Macgeachy from Campbelltown.” Sent April 14, 1859.

The Gaelic of this tale is the plain everyday Gaelic of Islay and the West Highlands. Several words are variously spelt, but they are variously pronounced–falbh, folbh, tigh, taighe, taighean.

There is one word, Tapaidh, which has no English equivalent; it is like Tapper in Swedish.


2. I have a great many versions of this tale in Gaelic; for example, one from Cowal, written from memory by a labourer, John Dewar. These are generally wilder and longer than the version here given.

This has some resemblance to an infinity of other stories. For example–Orpheus, Cupid and Psyche, Cinderella’s Coach, The Lassie and her Godmother (Norse tales), East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon (ditto), The Master Maid (ditto), Katie Wooden Cloak (ditto), The Iron Stove (Grimm), The Woodcutter’s Child (ditto), and a tale by the Countess d’Aulnoy, Prince Cherie.

If this be history, it is the story of a wife taken from an inferior but civilized race. The farmer’s daughter married to the Flayer “FEANNAG,” deserted by her husband for another in some distant, mythical land, beyond far away mountains, and bringing him back by steady, fearless, persevering fidelity and industry.

If it be mythology, the hoodie may be the raven again, and a transformed divinity. If it relates to races, the superior race again had horses–for there was to be a race in the town, and every one was to be at it, but the stranger who came over the hill; and when they travelled it was in a coach, which was sufficiently wonderful to be magical, and here again the comb is mixed up with the spells.

There is a stone at Dunrobin Castle, in Sutherland, on which a comb is carved with other curious devices, which have never been explained. Within a few hundred yards in an old grave composed of great slabs of stone, accidentally discovered on a bank of gravel, a man’s skeleton was found with teeth worn down, though perfectly sound, exactly like those of an old horse. It is supposed that the man must have ground his teeth on dried peas and beans–perhaps on meal, prepared in sandstone querns. Here, at least, is the COMB near to the grave of the farmer. The comb which is so often found with querns in the old dwellings of some pre-historic race of Britons; the comb which is a civilized instrument, and which in these stories is always a coveted object worth great exertions, and often magical.



Postadh. A method of washing clothes practised in the Highlands–viz., by dancing on them barefoot in a tub of water.

Hoodie–the Royston crow–a very common bird in the Highlands; a sly, familiar, knowing bird, which plays a great part in these stories. He is common in most parts of Europe.


Poetry: Stewart Conn


In pride of place on my work-surface

are an ink-well of weighted glass

and a black quill-pen, presented to me

when I left long-term employ:

a discarded life I heed less

and less, as the years pass.

But every so often with a hoarse kraaa

there squats on the sill a hoodie crow,

a gap in one wing where a primary

feather is missing. Teetering raggedly

it fixes me with a bloodshot eye

then flops, disgruntled, away.

Whether bent on repossessing

what belongs to it, or chastising

me for treating its lost quill

as simply a glossy symbol,

I see in it the beast

of conscience come home to roost.

The cat meantime sits by the fireplace,

content that nothing is amiss.

Stolen Light

A shiver crosses Loch Stenness

as of thousands of daddy-long-legs

skittering on the surface.

In total stillness

thunderheads close in.

Lead-shot from a blunderbuss

the first flurries come.

The elements have their say;

the depths riven

as by some monster.

The impulse to run


lest this a prelude

to one of the Great Stones

clumping to the water.

A friend is writing

a book on poetry

and inspiration.

Brave man – imagine him

in flippers and wet-suit

poised on the edge:

a charging of nerve-ends

too rapid to track,

or underwater treasure

you hold your breath and dive for?

Angel with Lute

High on the vaulting as though levitating,

for five centuries I have gazed down

at a blur of straining adam’s apples,

gaping nostrils and goggle-eyes focusing

on the frescoes for long enough to take in

my soft colour tones, my wings’ pale

transparency, my fingers on the strings.

Against the hair-line cracks in the sky,

faded through the ages, only traces remain

of my halo’s gilding. But no disruption

of my features, thanks to my master

having properly prepared his pigments

before drawing my curls and straight nose-line,

the powdery red and green of my costume.

Not just the fee (though that filled his belly),

or religious conviction. I’ll tell you a secret.

Invisible from ground level is a small smudge

on my cheek. His last brush-stroke complete

and before they dismantled the scaffolding

my master leaned up and kissed me gently.

After all those years, that still sustains me.


Stewart Conn was born in Glasgow, but moved shortly afterwards to Kilmarnock, in 1942, where his father had taken up the ministry of St. Marnock’s Church in the town. In 1948 Conn enrolled at Kilmarnock Academy secondary school. During his six years at the school he became active in the school magazine, Goldberry.

After school Conn took a degree at Glasgow University before doing his National Service in the RAF. He then became a producer with BBC Radio and in 1977, when he moved to Edinburgh, he became Senior Drama Producer for BBC Radio Scotland; a post he kept until 1992.

Conn is a prolific writer of poetry and a distinguished playwright. His first collection of poems, Thunder in the Air, was largely based on his Ayrshire upbringing and was published in 1967. His latest collection, Ghosts at Cockrow, being published in 2005. His first play, The Burning, was performed in 1971 and since then he has penned numerous others.

Conn is the Honorary President of the Shore Poets Society and was the inaugural winner of the Institute for Contemporary Scotland’s Iain Crichton Smith Award for services to literature in 2006. In May of 2006 he gave a talk and reading of his work in Lithuania, in conjunction with the British Council.

From 2002 until 2005 Conn was the Poet Laureate for Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Makar. He is also Honorary President of the Shore Poets Society, who will be hosting a 70th Birthday Party in honour of him in November 2006.

Wizard & Gwyllm