I could never resist, could you?

Imagine a Cauldron hanging over a fire, it’s in a small room, dark, the air smelling of rich herbs carried on the steam. The contents of the cauldron, bubbling, glimmering red, blue, yellow, shimmering with light, stirred by a youth whose attention is on other far-away things. The cauldron has been bubbling for a year and a day, and finally it is ready. Whoever tastes just three drops will know the secrets of all that ever was, is, and ever will be.

Would you taste from this brew?

Once a young boy did just that and he was hunted down by the Goddess. Shape-shifter was he, and She also, as they ran through the Realms of Earth, Air, Water and Fire, only then was he consumed by the Goddess Herself and reborn as a Bard.

Still interested?

I could never resist, could you?

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Where a Kinder World Still Waits for Us

“I challenge you here today, and I recommit to challenging myself, to become a modern bard, to tell the stories of today and record for history what happened at this crucial juncture in time, and to push past our comfort zones into new uncharted territory, because, selfishly, that is where the greatest songs lie waiting, and most importantly where a kinder world still waits for us.”

Eliza Gilkyson

Those who are familiar with my album Spirit of Albion will already know the song, When I become the Moon. This beautiful and evocative song was written by the American folk singer/songwriter Eliza Gilkyson. Now she has revealed herself to be a great speaker when she gave the keynote Speech at the Folk Alliance Convention, February 21.

My friend Philip Carr-Gomm has reproduced the speech on his blog. If you are a folk musician, a songwriter, or have any interest in music that refuses to comply to the 4.5 minute commercial song format, have a look.

To read the rest of the speech click here.

Myths Enchant our World

nan.jpgThe picture is of me and my Nan on my 18th birthday.

When I was a child, I remember her opening my bedroom curtains at this time of year, letting the morning Winter Sun into my bedroom. The window would be icy, and often there would be a mist outside. I would sit up and look outside and see the icicles hanging from the corners of houses, and the sheen of ice on the bare branches of shrubs in our neighbours’ gardens.

“Old Jack Frost was out last night,” she would say.

Old Jack Frost. In my child’s imagination I would see this quite frightening figure. Long, icy fingers sprinkling glassy dust over the land, skipping from garden to garden, from field to field, all unseen by the people sleeping soundly in their beds, yet maybe sensed by other animals like a stalking cat, or dog, half asleep by a back door, raising its head as Old Jack passed by outside.

I love these old traditions and myths. Even now when I wake up and see the ice on bare branches, I like to imagine Old Jack passing by, close to my window, as I slept, sprinkling his dust across the land…..