Christmas decorations – a history

One of the things I enjoy about Christmas is the decorations. I love Christmas trees, and enjoy putting up and decorating mine every year. So, I've put together a few interesting facts about popular Christmas decorations, and where they started. The Wreath In northern and eastern Europe, in the deep winter, evergreen branches were brought…

Fate (The gods did it)

Late for work? Caught in the rain? Stub your toe? ‘The gods of fate are against me’! we cry. Or we would, if we lived in ancient times. Does every living creature have a fate that rules them, or are we in control of our own destiny? Many cultures in the past believed in fate,…

From the Ashes – legend of the Phoenix

The phoenix is a mythological creature, well known in ancient legends and modern stories. It’s a fascinating idea – the phoenix is immortal, it burns to death then rises again from its own ashes. It is traditionally equated with the sun, dying and rising as the sun rises and sets, and has been used as…

Mysteries in the Water

From the beginning of humanity, people have seen the sacred in the world around them. In ancient times they explained the world by imbuing their surroundings with magic and spirits. Most cultures saw bodies of water, whether oceans, rivers, lakes, or springs, as being magical otherworldly places. So, here I have put together a few…

The Unicorn Story

Beautiful white horses with an equally white horn in the middle of their foreheads. Creatures out of myth and legend. Benevolent, wise, pure. This is the modern idea of the unicorn, strengthened by many a fantasy film and novel. But what is the origin of the unicorn? Seals from the Indus Valley Civilization (3300-1300 BC)…

The fires of Samhain

Before Hallowe’en, there was Samhain (pronounced Sawin). This refers to a Celtic/Gaelic festival that marked the transition into the colder part of the year, the dark half. Celtic people counted a day as sunset to sunset, so the celebration for the festival would start at sunset on 31 October. This festival marked the midpoint between…

The Rainbow Connection

Genesis 9:16 When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”Why are there so many songs about rainbows, and what’s on the other side? (“The Rainbow Connection”, Music by Paul Willliams, Lyrics…

Moon Magic

These days if you hear people talk about the moon figuratively, it’s usually in connection with romance. However the moon has a long history of being associated with legends, myths and magic, gods and goddesses. Here are some of those stories and ideas. As far back as the Bronze Age, a lunar map appears on…

Mysteries of the Black Cat

I love cats, and have two of my own. (Head to my ‘about’ page for a cute picture). It’s been a while since I’ve shared my life with a black cat, but I find them especially beautiful. Of course there have been a lot of myths and legends surrounding black cats over the centuries, so…

The magic of wishing

When I wrote my poem ‘Make a Wish’ last week, it got me thinking about the different traditions of wish making, and I thought it might be interesting to look at a few of those, including where they happen and their origins, if known. Wishing Trees can be found in many parts of the world.…