Eaten by the Nothing

Fog in Glasgow

Some time in the night the clouds rolled in over Glasgow and settled down onto the land. They wrapped the city up in a blanket of grey. As early morning led on to later morning and then on to afternoon, the grey did not burn off or blow away. The city just sat there with the fog as its cover, snuggled in against the January cold.When I was young I lived within walking distance the Golden Gate where the Pacific Ocean comes in to San Francisco Bay. I would often go out on my own or with a … [Read more...]

The land does not belong to us; we belong to the land.

snowyhills

Saturday was the first new moon after the winter solstice: in the Roman calendar, it was the first calends of the year, sacred to Janus. It was a religious festival probably celebrated officially in Eskdalemuir about 1900 years ago, at the fort built where the Rae Burn meets the River Esk.If I were a reconstructionist Pagan, living where I do, based on the past of this land, I'd have a host of Pagan religious traditions to reconstruct from: not only those of the Romans, but of the … [Read more...]

The land is made of stories

"The Coming of Bride" by John Duncan (1917)

Today in the Christian calendar is Epiphany: the official end of the 12 days of Christmas. In the Roman calendar which was adopted by Christianity, the 12 day festival of Saturnalia, beginning on 25th December, was a period out of ordinary time, a time of divination through dream and weather watching of what to expect in the year to come.For all that the period between the winter solstice and Epiphany is a time of rest, review and renewal, it's always a relief to me to be able to put this … [Read more...]

Saying goodbye to home

MidRaeburn

The first time I really had to say goodbye to anywhere I'd called home was when I was 22 years old. It was January of 1993. Although I'd been away at university for three years, I hadn't actually moved out of my parents' home. The emotion I felt, spending my first night all alone in a strange room, cold and bare, in a house with people I'd barely met, shocked me. Of course, that was all just part of growing up, of finally becoming an adult: a necessary rite of passage. As we make our way … [Read more...]

Sacred Space

Stained Glass At Glasgow Cathedral

On this Christmas Day, I'd like to tell you about a place that is sacred to Christians that had a profound impact on me. This is not the only Christian sacred space that has touched me or taught me a lesson. (I'm sure I'll tell you of another come Easter.) But this place is special to me right now because it is right here in Glasgow. But I can't just tell you about the place. I have to tell you the story...Once upon a time, in July of this past year, to be precise, I came to Scotland for the … [Read more...]

Feeding the Sidhe

A full-grown elder tree Photo licensed under creative commons from

Back in 1998, before I moved to Scotland, I was a baby Witch living in Bath. I was reading all the gentle introductory books on Witchcraft I could find, and starting to put their exercises into practice. One of those books, I can't remember which, suggested beginning a relationship with the Sidhe – the beings most people refer to as 'faeries'.It recommended showing respect to elder trees – the dwellings of the Queen of Faery – and leaving silver coins in any hidden green space I could find. S … [Read more...]


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