Youngblood Blog

Writing weblog, local, topical, personal, spiritual

Waterworld—Aftermath of Snowmelt— Spring Floods follow Ancient Pathways


WednesdayFirst Prelude for Writers—Insecure or otherwise—Emerging from Winter, Solitude, Lockdown et al.

With gratitude to Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper for portraying our future (now) from 1995 perspective

Nature’s Six-Week Cycle Challenged by Weather TimeWarp

While it seems unfair Groundhog Day-lovers (NE U.S.) and Brits—who believe in the timing of winter-spring-winter-spring weather under control of goddess Brigid-Bryde-Brigantia—are receiving a backlash of snow right now, it’s good to remember that the Serpent and Groundhog knowz the earth cycles better than us modern minnies. ‘Snow on high ground’ continues in Scotland, despite both Serpent and Groundhog going back into their holes.

It seems Spring—in her guise as ancient goddess of growth, fertility, new beginnings and creativity—is taking an in-breath. Perhaps the Groundhog—like the rest of us Earthchildren—is having difficulty with his biological clock.

Patron Saint of Journalists, Ceramicists and MetalSmiths

Feast Day of Bride

On the Feast Day of Bride the Serpent shall come from its hole. I shall not molest the Serpent nor shall the Serpent molest me

—Carmina Gadelica 1860 Highland Beliefs

Rose Fairy—Flower fairies of the Spring, Cicely Mary Barker

May the goddess Brigid bless thee, She who is Maiden, Mother, Crone, Poet, Blacksmith, Warrior and Healer, may she melt the frosts of thy heart, that thou mayest flower into a Spring of new beginnings unto thy full Summer, the longed-for golden Summer of thy Life

Bride put her finger in the river
On the Feast Day of Bride
And away went the hatching mother of the cold. — Carmina Gadelica

In former times Irish goddess of Spring, Brigid/Bride was worshipped from Aberdeenshire to Cornwall, from Durham to the Isle of Man. She was tutelary goddess of the Brigantes, though across the water she was far more martial than her Irish persona. As Brigantia, her smith, metalworking and creative talents were venerated like Roman Minerva or England’s Britannia who dominated British coinage—metal, forged by fire—for centuries.

Bride guards the home, hearth and fire. She supports creativity, growth in spiritual avenues, new beginnings. Before her assimilation into early Christian culture, she was seen as Vestal virgin, Earth Mother and Healer.

Like Minerva’s association with Roman god Mercury, Brigit’s counterpart was Gaelic god Lugh. Minerva’s wisdom and warrior strategy emerged as companion qualities for a god of the hot springs at Bath: Aquae Sulis. Hot springs of Bristol and Bath and two geothermal wells at Southampton are located on the 100-mile long Avon–Solent Fracture Zone extending across the English Channel to France. Its fissures are still active.

Brigit, as goddess of healing, has a number of sacred wells named for her from Brideswell in Aberdeenshire to Glenelg, Kyle of Lochalsh, Argyll where her cave—neolithic crypt mound from which, like Greek Persephone, she emerged after winter—is said to guard her relics.

Brigit/Bride’s name has been given to the rivers Braint and Brent. To Brentford in Middlesex, Bridestowe in Devon, Brechin in Scotland, Bregia on the Plain of Meath and Bargy in Co.Wexford.

Under St.Bride’s church in London’s Fleet Street lies the site of a pagan temple dedicated to Brigit. And the women’s prison Bridewell was once a convent dedicated to St. Bride.

Lead-lined, Roman Bathing Pools still Hot

At Aquae Sulis—great Roman Baths in the balmy British south—a perpetual fire was kept burning for Sulis/Minerva. A Celtic Britonnic shrine before the legions arrived, the hot springs found willing worshippers in Roman ranks. Great lead-lined baths were created with underground hot duct microsystems beyond even today’s architectural dreams.

Brittonic legend claims Bladdud, founder of Bath first lit the sacred fire. A classic location for a Roman rebuild, Celtic Brittonic Sulis was akin to their Vestal virginal sympathy with fire/water magic. At Bath Sul/Minerva merged with Brigit to become Sul/Sulis, goddess of the curative hot springs, below left. Sul is the sacred fire which heats the springs, making them hot. She was believed to fire up her forge, in limestone caverns below the earth surface of Bath, creating sacred heat for the springs and regulating the flow of healing waters.

Sulis/Minerva, above left, triple-aspect goddess of fire, hearth, water, lead, bronze and healing, was believed to call fire from Earth’s core limestone to heat waters of Bath’s three subterranean springs.. Spa floor mosaics are resplendent in water creatures: seahorses, centre, and hippocamp, right, breathing fire. Lead amulet ‘curse stones’ were found in the waters, requests to the goddess to use her destructive power.

Stretching from south Wales across the Severn estuary through Somerset and across the English Channel into central France, the limestone Avon-Solent Fracture Zone is active. It seems the goddess has eternal qualities, too.

The Solent is named for Sul. Wells is wells.

In an early attempt to Christianize what was heavy Roman territory, nearby gothic Wells Cathedral dedicated to St. Andrew the Apostle and seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells was built in 1176–1450 to replace an earlier (stone) church on the site since 705.

Denial is a River in Egypt

Water and waterways have served humanity in ways we only now begin to recognize and appreciate. After decades of talk of wind and wavepower, governments are at last beginning to take them seriously. World transportation took a nosedive in March when Suez canal traffic ceased—blocked by a grounded container ship. Added to a year-long medical crisis, the added cost of shipping goods from the Orient to North America and Europe quadrupled when vessels of every size had to use the medieval passage around the Horn of Africa. Satellite images of 21stCentury shipping traffic are awesome, if not overwhelming.

The same week Egypt lost no time in capitalizing on world focus on their fave waterway—their long-awaited new Museum of Antiquities destination for 22 mummies—18 kings and four queens, including successive Rameses-es (already moved from Abu Simbel in 1960s). For such a monumental parade through Cairo, a new road was built, for trucks decorated to look like chariots, ©bbc shot below.

How sad to reflect that their corporeal counterparts—pharaohs with unlimited godly power—would have insisted on procession over water. The Nile—sensing an oversight—may decide not to flood this year.

Triggered by Full Moon 3/28 high tide released Evergreen transport company’s EVERGIVEN container ship stuck in Suez canal thru March. World ocean traffic can now resume the famous ‘shortcut’ to Europe, rather than traditional Cape of Good Hope horn of Africa route in use for the first time since 1951 Nasser-British conflict.

P&O’s P.O.S.H. Cabins—Port out Starboard home

Quinquereme of Nineveh from distant Ophir
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood and sweet white wine. 

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds, Emeralds, amethysts, Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores
John Masefield 1878-1967  Poet laureate 1937

Remembering his last verse brings back reality of coal-fueled travel before there was a Suez canal:

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack Butting through the Channel in the mad March days, With a cargo of Tyne coal, Road-rails, pig-lead, Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

Before there was a Channel Tunnel, too.

With cruise liners and recreational (non-essential) yachts still in quarantine, questions arise over the future of the ocean travel industry. Gone are those days when P&O (Peninsular & Orient line), Cunard and others, innovated voyaging from (colonial) Shanghai, Hong Kong, Burma, Ceylon and British Raj in India and Kashmir back to London, Paris and Gibraltar.

Ocean equivalent of the Silk Road, the British-Himalayan-Mandarin overland route that brought goods by camel through the high country before Kashmir, Tibet and Thailand were invaded by China—trade was in the hands of the East India Company as frigates, tea-clippers and other Tall Ships competed with each other to make ‘fastest run’.

Although the names have changed—current generations have difficulty in translation—historical context is crucial to understanding both British colonial influence versus their present ‘Commonwealth’ alliance status. Compare diaries of Admirals Nelson, Jervis and de Saumarez in early 1797 Battle of Cape St. Vincent (SW tip Portugal) which gave Nelson his promotion.

British frigate HMS Minerve, under the command of Commodore Horatio Nelson, passed through the Spanish fleet unseen thanks to heavy fog. Nelson reached the British fleet of 15 ships off Spain, and passed location of the Spanish fleet to Jervis, commanding the fleet from his flagship Victory. Unaware of the size of his opponent’s fleet—in the fog, Nelson had not been able to count them—Jervis’s squadron immediately sailed to intercept

Culloden tacked to reverse her course and take after the Spanish column. Blenheim and then Prince George did the same in succession. The Spanish lee division now put about to the port tack with the intention of breaking the British line at the point where the ships were tacking in succession. Orion came round but Colossus was in the course of going about when her foreyard and foretop yard were shot away. She was forced to wear ship instead of tack and the leading Spanish vessel came close enough to threaten her with a broadside. Saumarez in Orion saw the danger to his friends and backed his sails to give covering fire.

Creative Writers, Journalists—Brigid & Pharaoh’s Scribes share our Cave

Pharaohs Ramesses II, III, V & VI among 22 mummies—18 kings, 4 queens—paraded last week through Cairo in procession to their new Museum of Antiquities. Planned years in advance, new road built for overland traffic, one wonders what Cleopatra or Akhenaten would have to say about diesel versus Nile water barge

Tacking to Come About or Messing on the Poop Deck

18thC sailor talk may now be almost extinct, except for students of Nelson (‘Kiss me, Hardy’) or California crab fishermen.

Intuitive or otherwise, poets and creative writers have always known there was ‘someone’ in there (our Muse in the writer’s cave) holding our hand. Bride/Brigid/EarthMother and Sulis/Minerva have risen to the challenge before. Certainly pharaohs called on their gods to protect them and gods and goddesses replied.

Spring 2021 may go down in the history books as one where the Earth—prompted by lack of human sensitivity and caring—showed us her full power and potential.

It’s up to us now whether we go with the flow. Or take #grownup responsibility and—like shell-shocked Brits creating small allotments after WWII—popularize planting of small gardens in (presently heavily mowed) public spaces.

Or return to water transport—tried tradition of all races. Let’s see what the pharaohs have to say about that. ©2021 Marian Youngblood

April 7, 2021 Posted by | ancient rites, art, authors, blogging, culture, earth changes, festivals, history, ocean, sacred sites, traditions, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment