15 Jan 2018

Yorkshire Witchposts

 "The witch, in order to gain power over a dwelling house, must go through the house and past the hearth. The door and chimney were the only means of access, but she could not pass the witch post with its cross. Hence it was a defence at the hearth... a crooked sixpence was kept in a hole at the centre of the post. When the butter would not turn you took a knitting needle, which was kept for the purpose in a groove at the top, and with it got out the sixpence and put it in the churn."
- A Dictionary of English Folklore, Oxford University Press.


Said to prevent witches from flying down the chimney by placing a St Andrew’s cross on one of the fireplace posts, Witch Posts are nearly exclusively found in the North Yorkshire Moors region of Northern England.


 


As a relatively isolated hilltop village, superstition seems to have endured well into the Twentieth Century in Barkisland. A short distance from the Griffin Inn on Stainland Road stands Stocks House, so called because it was formerly the village lockup and an old set of stocks still survives beside it as a memorial to its former role. At some point it was converted into a private residence and it was probably during this process that a “witch-post” was added to the hearth to deflect the influence of baleful magic known as maleficium.

Chimneys and fireplaces were regarded as a vulnerable location by which witches could gain access to a house and so to the superstitious mind, demanded such apotropaic contingencies. Jacqueline Simpson and Steve Roud explain, “In Yorkshire farmhouses of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, hearths were screened by partitions ending in posts of rowan wood carved with cross-shaped patterns, called ‘witch posts’… Belief in their protective power continued into the 1920s, when Yorkshire builders made new ones when old houses were being rebuilt”.

10 Jan 2018

Incredible 'Morrigan' Find at Loughcrew Megalithic Centre?




I am currently out of action with a dose of this so called "Australian flu", so please excuse the berevity of this blog post...  

In the last few hours my phone has been texting non stop from people telling me of a spectacular discovery of what some are calling a 'Bird Man' statue near the site of the famous megalithic mounds at Loughcrew. Videos taken by workers and locals show a human sized statues with the beaked head of a raven or some other bird.

According to the Meath Cronicle:

"Workmen digging near the ancient Loughcrew Megalithic Centre in Oldcastle were still in shock today after unearthing what appears to be an ancient sculpture or tomb. 

The structure which the workmates named 'Birdman' after the very distinctive nose or beak on the face was uncovered during work on a new 'fairy stop'.

"We were down at Loughcrew yesterday building a stop on the new fairy trail beside St. Oliver Plunketts church hit a rock we couldn’t move, by the time we got it and started clearing back it didn’t stop. We assumed we had some big old rock, but what we ended up with was the most mental thing I’ve ever seen in my life."

The find is currently being investigated by government officials. Let's hope it is not a hoax. Have we found a stone representation of some Pagan deity? Perhaps the Morrigan herself!  You can read the latest reports from here: >>>

Thomas Sheridan



4 Jan 2018

Saint Patrick Never Existed


The great reptile exporter himself—the father of the Irish Christian church—whose Pagan Roman feast day of Liberalia is the excuse to dye beer green and the pavements of the planet in vomit—was a work of pure fiction. 

Saint Patrick’s life story and deeds were an invention by a Gaelic Irish Bishop and anchorite (hermit) named Áed of Sletty, who in the 7th century decided that Irish Christianity badly needed an evangelist saint so as to neatly solidify the conversion of Ireland to Christianity within the life story of heroic figure. Áed of Sletty commissioned Muirchú moccu Machtheni—a monk and also (laughably, it must be pointed out) a historian—to invent Saint Patrick hundreds of years after his supposed existence. If this evidence of Saint Patrick’s existence lacks credibility, the story gets even more bizarre when we factor in that Muirchú moccu Machtheni’s Vita Sancti Patricii (History of Saint Patrick) survives in four copies, all of which are incomplete—with some being mere fragments—dating from the 8th and 11th centuries. None of which appear to have been written in Ireland.

The reason for this invention of Saint Patrick is almost certainly to cover the possible violent (or at the very least, intolerant) nature of the actual story of early Christianity in Ireland—mirroring the same experience on the continent—in order to create a new fictional, and highly-sanitized history.

While many would point out, that all over Ireland there are endless stories of Saint Patrick being here and there. These are nothing more than local folklore, or religious scriptures written hundreds of years after his alleged existence. Irish folklore is also filled with numerous references to ‘giants’, and yet this has no less validity—in terms of being authenticated—than the records of Saint Patrick and his mission in Ireland.

What if this ‘Saint Patrick’ (entity) was being phrased in the same manner in which we tend to state that ‘Hitler’ invaded Poland, ‘Gehnis Kahn’ sacked Zhongdu, or ‘Bush’ invaded Iraq? The name of a cult of personality—who in the case of Saint Patrick, may or may not be an actual individual(s)—representing the figurehead (or branding) of a movement or conquest, rather than army or nation involved?

Yet even within the—benignly presented, as well as culturally entrenched—tales of Saint Patrick’s evangelical mission to Ireland, the classic Christian history of extreme intolerance and bigotry—towards Pagan indigenous tribes and their gods—still comes to the fore. Stories of Pagan shines being burnt, demolished and desecrated abound. Presented with the official history as if these acts of bigoted violence are somehow to be considered a positive development. 



This also includes tales of druids being dealt with in a manner that would suggest something more than them becoming Christian in order to avoid post-mortal lakes of fire at the hands of their new Middle Eastern God. We still do not know precisely what was the actual nature of the ‘battles’ between Saint Patrick and the druids; be they at the deadly cliffs of Downpatrick Head, or on the towering slopes of ‘The Reek’, both in County Mayo. The only thing we can say for certain is that the druids ended up being ‘defeated’ by Saint Patrick. Whatever this means...

What the early Christian missionaries to Ireland (as with the rest of Pagan Europe) could not—or for whatever pragmatic reason, would not—destroy, they re-branded as part of their new Christian spiritual infrastructure. From sacred druid wells—which were renamed ‘Holy Wells’—to the swastika of the Pagan goddess Brid becoming the Saint Bridget’s Cross. The Round Towers of Ireland likewise became Christian towers. Even if there is not one single account of the commissioning or building of the towers in any ancient record or manuscript.

As for the Pagan people of Ireland themselves—prior to the arrival of Christian monks to save them from Jehovah’s lakes of fire—the policy was to dehumanize them, as well as mock whatever infrastructure the new faith has no use for. Again, this was not unique to Ireland, as iconoclasts and later ‘stone killers’ spent over a thousand years and more attacking any spiritual infrastructure that was Pagan in origin. While reducing the humans who built them to animal skin wearing troglodytes.  

Thomas Sheridan is the author of The Druid Code: Magic, Megaliths and Mythology. AVAILABLE HERE.


Thomas Sheridan will be speaking at Megalithomania 2018 in Glastonbury UK DETAILS HERE>>>


COMING SOON NEW BOOK - Sorcery: The Ivocation of Strangeness

The Mysterious Round Towers of Ireland will be published in Late Spring/Early Summer 2018

11 Oct 2017

Athena from the Temple of Allat in Palmyra Finally Destroyed by the 'People of Books'



The famous and enormous Statue of Athena from the Temple of Allat in Palmyra, Syria. In this photo, we see the damage done to the artwork by Christian fanatics in the fourth century, as well as attempted repairs made in recent decades.

However, in 2016, the statue was completely destroyed by ISIS. The Abrahamics finally finished off what they had started. Palmyra was once a glorious outpost of European pagan intellectualism and artistic glory prior to the assault by the Christian fanatics. A jewel in European Classic Paganism within the Middle East until the arrival of Christian fanatics in the fourth century. These zealots - believing that the statues contained demons  -  attacked the marble statues, as well as the ancient texts within its library, and destroyed all of the other artworks on  display. 

Even so, large parts of the complex remained, as the Christians had neither the intelligence nor skill to construct adequate ladders and scaffolding in order to destroy the tops of the massive structures. It would take them one thousand years before they would be able to recover the skills and technology which the pagans had use to construct Palmyra.

In May 2015, Abu Laith al-Saudi, an ISIS commander, reportedly told a Syrian radio program that the statues of Athena from the Temple of Allat would be 'pulverized', but that the main buildings would remain in-tact. In the end, the Islamic State dynamited the entire complex turning one of the most spectacular complexes of the pagan world into dust and rubble for the same Abrahamic sand god which the Christians had originally attacked Palmyra, and for the same reason.


The Baal Shamin temple in Palmyra. Photo: AFP.
The Baal Shamin temple in Palmyra. Photo: AFP.

24 Aug 2017

Setanta Wall - The Shunning of Pagan Ireland in Modern Times

Just off Nassau Street in Dublin is a small car park which contains one of Ireland's most superb and beautiful modern artworks, and one which is often hidden behind parked cars, vans and trucks.

A huge and beautifully rendered mosaic mural by Ulster artist Desmond Kinney created in 1974. Also known as the Táin Wall. Millions of tourists visit Dublin every year and never view it. Many Dubliners do not know it even exists.

I first came across the work by accident when I was 17. I was attending a school event in a building across from it and the school teacher did not even bother to bring the class outside to see this stunning piece of modern art depicting the great mythological epic of ancient Ireland. Even from an early age, the scale and execution of the piece impressed me greatly. 

The Táin Bó Cuailnge, or the Cattle Raid of Cooley, tells a story set over 2000 years ago, in a saga whereby Cú Chulainn single-handedly defends Ulster against an invasion by Queen Meabh of Connacht, whose army is attempting to steal the Brown Bull of Cooley. Images depict all the scenes told in the mythology, as well as showing representations of the gods and goddesses of ancient Ireland in deep, strong colours and reliefs.

The mosaic should be removed and placed within a public park/space where sunlight and natural shadows can bring out the full beauty of the piece. Ireland is covered in religious statues of the foreign Middle Eastern Christian death cult saints and so on, and yet, something that represents our own national, cultural and spiritual heritage is hidden down an alleyway forgotten and neglected. 


The title of the work and the name of the artist is not even mentioned at the location. Which is somewhat concerning as there seems to be something of an agenda in Dublin to play down Desmond Kinney's artistic legacy. Removal of some of his most important works, including this other forgotten piece have taken place.

 Photos by Thomas Sheridan








11 Apr 2017

Mysterious 'Giant's Grave' at Killaspugbrone, Sligo, Ireland


General Overview of the Site with Knocknarea Mountain Behind the Trees in the Background

Clearly visible from the footpath leading to Sligo Airport is the central chamber of a neolithic Court or Horned Cairn known locally as the "Giant's Grave". The megalith first appears on maps from the late 1800s, so presumably it was still in-tact and buried up until this point in time. Containing a sizable central chamber with the entrance facing to the east and is orientated in the general direction of a large ring fort or 'rath' about 500 meters away. 

Close Up of the Central Chamber and the Orthostats which Form its Rectangular Shape

Although the cairn is very much in the shadow of the sacred mountain of Knocknarea (the mountain of the moon) with its massive megalithic structure of Queen Meabh's Cairn atop its summit, the
Killaspugbrone cairn appears to have no specific orientation towards either the mountain, or the megalith upon on top of it. This might indicate that it could well be older than the famous Knocknarea cairn.

Looking West from the Entrance to the Central Chamber

Early maps suggest there may have also been a standing stone on the west side of the cairn, but this appears to have been removed, or fallen over and is perhaps currently buried. However, I could find no trace of it. The stone (if it existed) could have been removed when the road to the airport was being constructed. However, this is just speculation. 


View from Behind the Trees East of the Cain, Yet Interestingly the Chamber does not Orientate Towards the Mountain of Knocknarea in the Distance. The Nearby Ring or 'Fairy' Fort which it Does Orientate Towards is to on the Left Side of this Photo Behind the Barn.


Killaspugbrone itself is an ancient Druidism site which became an important early Christian outpost at the mouth of Sligo harbour. Which typical of early Irish monastic or church sites, sits within a very pagan and often megalith-rich landscape.



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Photo's by Thomas Sheridan taken April 9th, 2017