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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Dobunni

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Witcheries

Consider the suffix -ry or -ery,*  which comes to us from Latin (-arius) via Old French (-er, -ier) via Middle English (-erie) and, attached to a noun or verb, can mean either a craft, study, or practice (husbandry, midwifery), a collective plural (Jewry, nunnery), or a place in which a particular activity takes place (bakery, hatchery).

So witchery can mean:

  1. Witchcraft,

  2. Witches collectively, and

  3. Witch Country.

     

One of my favorite lines from the Charge of the Goddess has always been: For behold, I am Queen of all Witcheries. Apparently there are multiple witcheries, and She's queen of them all. Andrew Mann said of Her in 1597: She has a grip of all the Craft. That's quite a claim.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
World's Witches Get Official Tartan

AP: Minneapolis, MN

If Steven Posch has his way, the witches of the world will soon have their own official tartan.

“Hopefully, it will be a done deal by next Samhain [Halloween],” he says.

“The process is surprisingly straightforward,” he adds. “You submit your pattern to the Scottish Registry of Tartans. If it's not already on file, you send them a swatch, pay the fee, and—yan, tan, tethera [one, two, three]—it's official.”

Is the Witch tartan an ancient pattern?

“The Dobunni [the ancient British tribe which, according to some, are ancestral to the witches of today] must have had their own traditional plaids,” says Posch, “but those have all, alas, been lost to the mists of time. This Witch tartan will be a new one, designed by a select Midwest artist.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Your posts never cease to amazing and amuse me - thanks!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Witch Country

They call it the Driftless Area.

What strange forces spared one isolated region along the Upper Mississippi River, asks Timothy S. Jacobson, from the repeated crushing and scouring effects of massive continental glaciers during the last million-plus years? What pre-Ice Age throwbacks survived here in this unique refuge that holds more Native American effigy mounds, petroglyph caves, strange geological features, and rare species than anywhere else in the Midwest?

Every tribe has a territory. In this, the Midwest Tribe of Witches is no different from any other.

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Why Witches Keep Cats: A Folktale of the Latter-Day Dobunni

They say that long ago, before things were as they are today, the Moon fell in love with her brother.

She tried everything she could think of to get into his bed, but he was having none of it. Only Cat shared his bed, no one else.

So Moon goes to Cat one day and says: Cat, trade shapes with me.

And Cat, being Cat, says: What's in it for me?

Says Moon: Someday I shall bear a great many children, and my children will always make a place for you at their hearths.

And Cat, being Cat, says: What else?

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  • Miles Gerhardson
    Miles Gerhardson says #
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    So it is.
Nine Jars of Compassion: A Folk-tale of the Latter-Day Dobunni

They say that He of the Horns looked upon his people and his heart was moved with compassion at their suffering.

For an age and an age, two ages, he wept, and the tears of his weeping filled nine jars.

And when his weeping was ended, he took these nine jars and, with their waters, extinguished the fires of Hell.

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The Story of Saba and Brychan: A Folk-tale of the Dobunni

Saba was in love.

At fourteen summers, she was ready, and surely she was glad to be second daughter to the chief and not first. For her sister Cordaella, as chief's first daughter, was thereby Royal Woman of the tribe, whose husband would some day be king, and such things cannot be left to chance and mere liking.

Well, Cordaella was newly married and seemed pleased enough with the choice that the elders had made. But Saba, second daughter, could, in the way of things, choose for herself. And of all the young warriors, her eye had turned upon tall Brychan, he of the gray eyes and mouse-pale hair.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

As a storyteller, I tend to do much of my thinking through stories. In the ongoing discussion of cultural appropriation it seemed to me that abstract theorizing may well benefit from the wisdom of narrative. So I began casting about for a story that addressed the subject.

Theorist Cei Serith says, “When confronted with a new situation, first consult ancestral precedent.” The Received Tradition (or at least those portions of it with which I am personally conversant), has little to say on the topic of cultural appropriation directly, but in fact the practice has a surprising number of parallels with the grand old Keltic pastime (one could almost call it a sport) of the táin, the cattle-raid. The Kelts came by cattle-rustling honestly (so to speak): it would seem, in fact, to have been an ancient tradition of many Indo-European peoples (and, indeed, of pastoral cultures in general: compare the current problems with the self-same practice in South Sudan).

We have, to the best of our knowledge, no surviving mythology from the Dobunni, the Keltic tribe that inhabited the Severn basin and Cotswolds in what is now the south-west Midlands of England. (The “creation myth” that Stephen Yeates “recreates” in A Dreaming for the Witches cannot truly be called a story.) There seems to be good genetic and archaeological evidence to indicate that Dobunni population and culture survived into Anglo-Saxon times as the tribe known as the Hwicce. Maverick archaeologist Stephen Yeates would contend that the tribal religion of the Hwicce, with its strong continuities with the preceding Dobunni religion, is in fact what would become historic Witchcraft (and later, Wicca). Historical or not, it's a powerful story, for which I will admit a certain personal fondness, perhaps because some of my own ancestors hail from this same region.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    One wonders to what degree (if at all) memory of the tain remained current in 19th century Irish popular culture (before the liter
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Interestingly, I've suspected that the cattle-rustling in the American West, carried out in large part by Irish cowboys, was a cul
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks and hail, daughter of Dobunnia. Kindly give my regards to the Severn.
  • Danu Forest
    Danu Forest says #
    great stuff thanks for posting! the dobunni are thought to be the tribe where i actually live! hail the storyteller! ;-)

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