How the blog works

The poems on this blog are mostly written on the basis of my historical reading and are intended to be both educational and entertaining.
Recently I have also begun posting some of my work with Anglo-Saxon charms. This work is somewhat speculative and is conducted as an amateur researcher and keen Pagan historian.

Please feel free to use anything on this site as a resource if you think that it may be relevant to your needs.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

September (Halig-monath)

September (Halig-monath)

September was referred to as the holy month and was the ninth month of the year except in a leap year when the addition of an extra month (third Month of Litha) moved it to 10th place. Nine was a very magical number for the Saxons; eg ‘the lay of the nine herbs of Woden’. The gathering of the harvest was now in full swing with hopefully much cause for rejoicing.

In early Saxon times Nerthus as mentioned by Saint Bede in his: ‘On the computation of time’ was the Goddess of the harvest until she was eventually replaced as a fertility Goddess by Frig.

Wuldorfadur or ‘Sky Father’, again from Saint Bede, represented the solar logos and worked in conjunction with Nerthus in the fields.

September (Halig-monath)

Halig-monath, the month so holy,
The darkness now, returning slowly.
Gather the crop, for winter living.
Month of offering, of thanksgiving,

Festival to, rejoice the harvest.
Among the rigs, we do now invest.
Earth Mother Nerthus, has sent her best
Thanks be given, to her for this fest.

Blessing us with, a good gathering,
Autumn libations, to usher in.
Sky Father Wuldorfadur, shon down,
And now the meadows, are turning brown.

Offer in the meads, this harvestide,
Among the rigs, and by the wayside.
Give thanks for the corn, to make the bread,
Let us raise a toast, a whole hogshead.

Copyright Andrew Rea 2008

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Evocation of John Barleycorn

Evocation of John Barleycorn

By the firm earth beneath my roots.
By the sap rising in my long shank,
By the breeze in my supple sheaves,
By the fullness of my cornels,
By the might of my burly beard,
I here stand proud before thee.

Standing tall and straight, thee do me adore,
Sudden end with sharp blade, as if to war.
My neck wilt be cut, with greatest of care,
My spirit set free, by they who doth dare.

With a flying scythe, falling to the ground,
Into a great sheaf, to be twisted and bound.
To be poured from a jug, into a long horn,
To be reborn as ale, thee shalt not mourn.

Copyright Andrew Rea July 2012

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Here be Thunor (þunor)

 Here be Thunor (þunor)

In this poem I look at places in England whose names trace back to Thunor in Anglo-Saxon times.
Thursley in Surrey made both cannon and shot, forged iron, had iron hammer ponds and has a rocky outcrop on its common named Thor's Stone, the bounds of this parish include the Devils Punch Bowl. This place had an abbot named Thor in 975 and an archdeacon Thor in 1100.
Essex has two such villages and one surviving hundred, there was a second hundred but this has now been incorporated into Hinckford hundred.
One village gave its name to an air field used during the war, another hosted a barracks. There is one village that moved about 1km to the west, the Victorians even moved the church but for some reason left the tower which is now purported to be haunted. If you look it up on the net you will find some blood curdling vidios posted, it seems to have a very unsettling effect on both young and the more mature alike!

þunor wéoh in Old English means ‘Thunor make sacred’.

Here be Thunor (þunor)

Chariot of storms, thunder ride in sky,
Oaken god of strength, on high hill close by.
With hammer and wain, in clashing clouds clad,
Hallower of fields, fertile þunnorad.
Domesday Thunreslea, Essex Thundersley,
Site of Saxon church, pledge oaths unto thee.
Thunor's sacred grove, on top of the hill,
Taken by Benfleet, but still has his will.

Domesday Tunreslea, with five hives of bee,
Sits sacred clearing, Essex Thunderley.
Planes thundered over, Thunor's sacred grove,
In Saffron Walden, fighting spells they wove.

Thunor made sacred, this Thurstapell land,
In Domesday Essex, his pillar did stand.
Saxon Stapoll named, after the divine,
Thurstable hundred, had villages nine.

Thunderlow Hundred, Thunors sacred mound,
Two small villages, were in Domesday found.
Hinckford this hundred, they came to annex,
Saxon þunor hlæw, in Domesday Essex.

Domesday Tonrinch was, Thundridge Hertfordshire,
It's church they did move, but left tower in fear?
The Victorians took, All Hallows away,
Leaving the tower, possessed by the Fey.

Thursley in Surrey, made cannon and gore,
Saxon Thunreslea's, two clerics named Thor.
To Devils Punch Bowl, and barracks beyond,
Thor's Stone on common, and iron hammer pond.

Barnhorne Sussex had, Þunorslege inside,
This place Thunors grove, from time it has died.
Its soldierly camp, from Gerry didst hide,
Thunor's lost barracks, on the other side.

Nine other places, named after Thunor,
Four fields and four groves, one mound perhaps more?
Though eight of those, places cannot be found,
They still ring out to, þunor wéoh Sound.

Copyright Andrew Rea Lammas 2012