Title: The Prince of the Dolomites: An Old Italian Tale
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
Creator: Tomie dePaola...
I just returned from Sirius Rising, a festival held at Brushwood Folklore Center in Sherman, NY.
For me, festival is a liminal experience. That probably sounds rather cliche in this context (who doesn’t like to bring up liminality?), but every time I go to a festival, something life altering ends up happening.
After the last festival that I went to, I hit a young buck with my car coming home. The police officer who arrived to help me, told my father as I was sitting on the side of the road next to my completely shattered car, that I was lucky to be alive. At the time, with a full Mabon moon riding red and heavy in the night sky, I assumed that I hadn’t given enough of myself that Mabon and that some more blood needed to be offered.
Now, looking back on the events of that festival and what happened in my life around that period (all of which started right before that particular festival), I’m pretty sure a particular God was giving me a very clear message about a decision that I had just made, letting me know that I was going to have to change course to set myself back on the proper spiritual path.
I've returned today from performing a Handfasting with my partner - not unusual at this time of year. But this was our first on a beach.
Yes, this is Britain. Yes, we've just had semi-monsoon conditions for the last few months. Summer was rumoured to have been cancelled. So much could have gone wrong.
It was beautiful. Golden sands, blue sky, bright sun, lush green grasses and flowers on the path leading from the couple's home to the beach itself... everyone commented that you couldn't have wished for a better day.
World mythology is a rich resource for comic book and graphic novel creators. Characters as varied as Marvel's Thor, Hellboy from Dark Horse, Image Comic's Age of Bronze, and Wildstorm's Promethea -- to name just a few -- draw on the spiritual, mythological, magical and occult traditions of the world.
The newest publisher to join their ranks is Campfire Graphic Novels. Inspired by the age-old image of family and friends gathered around a fire to share tales of adventure, danger and virtue, Campfire has launched four distinct lines of graphic novels: Classics (adaptations of great novels and plays), Mythology (to date, Greek and Hindu stories), Biography (inspiring leaders, scientists, authors, and philosophers of the past), and Original (new stories).
Last time we looked at diagnosis of symptoms in Anglo-Saxon magic: now onto materials!
Once the culprit was identified it was essential to gather the materials for the charm. In most cases this meant herbs. Potions and poultices were the central part of charm remedies. One needed to remember the properties of all the herb, the best time for harvesting them, and the extent of the their interactions. Poems like the "Nine Herbs Charm" helped people memorize the properties of the most common healing herbs. In addition to herbs, there were bodily fluids like blood and spit and—well, other less charming substances.
Breath too proved an important component in charms, representing of course the substance of life itself. The church supplied additional helpful items such as communion wafers and holy water (though some church fathers might have frowned at their use in these charms).
More homey materials like milk and honey showed up in charms as well; honey is especially important because it is the basis of mead, the favorite drink of the Anglo-Saxons. Mead itself—along with wine and ale—provided a better tasting concoction with which to drink down the herbs. Of course if the herbs were made into a poultice or salve, you would need oil or wax to bind the materials together. Naturally, you would need bowls and other utensils to mix all the items together, and sometimes bandages to apply the mixture.