This morning, half watching a cookery show, I heard Mary Berry talking about how there were only 11 disciples on the Simmel cake.
The reason being that of course they would not allow a traitor such as Judas to decorate such an auspicious cake. That got me thinking and I looked back on a post I had made on a previous blog.
I think I may make a Simmel cake this week but with 12 apostles because Judas spoke to me.
Never mind the marzipan…
When I went out to kill myself, I caught A pack of hoodlums beating up a man. Running to spare his suffering, I forgot My name, my number, how my day began, How soldiers milled around the garden stone And sang amusing songs; how all that day Their javelins measured crowds; how I alone Bargained the proper coins, and slipped away.
Banished from heaven, I found this victim beaten, Stripped, kneed, and left to cry. Dropping my rope Aside, I ran, ignored the uniforms: Then I remembered bread my flesh had eaten, The kiss that ate my flesh. Flayed without hope, I held the man for nothing in my arms.
The threefold terror of love; a fallen flare Through the hollow of an ear; Wings beating about the room; The terror of all terrors that I bore The Heavens in my womb.
Had I not found content among the shows Every common woman knows, Chimney corner, garden walk, Or rocky cistern where we tread the clothes And gather all the talk?
What is this flesh I purchased with my pains, This fallen star my milk sustains, This love that makes my heart’s blood stop Or strikes a Sudden chill into my bones And bids my hair stand up?
*The Mother Of God by W. B. Yeats
A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
How can those terrified vague fingers push The feathered glory from her loosening thighs? And how can body, laid in that white rush, But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?
A shudder in the loins engenders there The broken wall, the burning roof and tower And Agamemnon dead. Being so caught up, So mastered by the brute blood of the air, Did she put on his knowledge with his power Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?
As some of you know I am a writer amongst other things, so I thought I’d share with you one of my Short Stories which has been recently – well last year – published by Mookychick.
Mookychick is on a Hiatus at the moment, but have a look around there is plenty to see there, as well as other one of my short stories, there is some fantastic poetry, articles on being a witch and a woman today.
This is our rescue boy, Nathan, a Hound of fine upstanding….He’s been with us since July of last year,2020. He came to us in the Middle of what was a most horrendous Year for everyone… He was a true Gift , I believe, and was sent to help us through.
However I first posted this on my old site , Tales from the Under Gardener’s Lodge, and shared a picture of our much loved and much missed girl, Shea, sat on the doorstep watching the day go by. So I want to share a photo of her too.. She too was a rescue and was ‘given’ to us, we believe, by our Deity, again at a time of great personal loss. She too took us through the darktimes and brought much love and joy. We were blessed to have her.
Bede records in his Reckoning of Time (A.D. 725) the use of candles at the Feast of Purification was common in his day. (Latin Text)
O]n the feast of St Mary, the whole populace with the priests and ministers goes on procession through the churches and the city neighbourhoods, all singing devout hymns, and carrying in their hands burning candles given them by the bishop. As this good custom grew, it provided a model for the conduct of other feasts of the blessed Mother and perpetual Virgin as well, not in the five-year lustration of a worldly empire, but in the everlasting memory of the heavenly kingdom where, according to the parable of the wise virgins, all the elect shall go out to meet the Bridegroom, their King, with the lamps of their good deeds alight, and then shall enter into the heavenly city with Him. (Bede, The Reckoning of Time, Translation by Faith Wallis, Liverpool University Press, 1999 p. 49)
Ronald Hutton observed that the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2 gives ample reason for candles when the Christ child “was recognized there, according to the tale, by an old man called Simeon, who hailed him as the messiah of Israel and a Light to lighten the Gentiles.” (The Stations of the Sun, 1999:139)
Is there, in bowers of endless spring, One known from all the seraph band By softer voice, by smile and wing More exquisitely bland! Here let him speed: to-day this hallowed air Is fragrant with a mother’s first and fondest prayer.
Only let Heaven her fire impart, No richer incense breathes on earth: “A spouse with all a daughter’s heart,” Fresh from the perilous birth, To the great Father lifts her pale glad eye, Like a reviving flower when storms are hushed on high.
Oh, what a treasure of sweet thought Is here! what hope and joy and love All in one tender bosom brought, For the all-gracious Dove To brood o’er silently, and form for Heaven Each passionate wish and dream to dear affection given.
Her fluttering heart, too keenly blest, Would sicken, but she leans on Thee, Sees Thee by faith on Mary’s breast, And breathes serene and free. Slight tremblings only of her veil declare Soft answers duly whispered to each soothing prayer.
We are too weak, when Thou dost bless, To bear the joy–help, Virgin-born! By Thine own mother’s first caress, That waked Thy natal morn! Help, by the unexpressive smile, that made A Heaven on earth around this couch where Thou wast laid.
Our Lady of Candlemas — The Polish legend relates that Mary, the Mother of God of the “Blessed Thunder Candle” (Matka Boska Gromniczna), watches over the people on cold February nights. With her thunder candle she wards off the ravenous pack and protects the peasants from all harm.
The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.
3 And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
4 And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.
5 But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.
6 And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest:
7 Who shall offer it before the Lord, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female.
8 And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.
Raud was a Norse Seidr Priest who, in the late 10th century refused to convert to Christianity.
His story and his deeds are found in a number of Sagas. The first one is Oddr Snorrason an Icelandic Benedictine monk from around the late 12th century, the second is from the the Heimskringla (The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway) by Snorri Sturluson (early 13th century)
‘There was a bonde, by name Raud the Strong, who dwelt in Godey in Salten fjord. Raud was a very rich man, who had many house servants; and likewise was a powerful man, who had many Fins in his service when he wanted them. Raud was a great idolater, and very skillful in witchcraft,….‘ (Heimskringla – chapter 5- 85-87)
The last is a Saga that mixes Snorri’s history with other from Sagas and tales from the early 14th century. However, all of the Sagas agree on the basic frame of the story.
While many reluctantly agreed under fear of torture and execution, Raud did not.
Raud was also a respected sea-farer, and has a long ship that was known as the ‘The Dragon’ or ‘The Serpent’ . This ship had a large Dragon head carved into it’s bow.
When Raud refused he escaped from Tryggvason, by taking his long ship and out running Tryggvason. Raid made his way back to his own settlement in Gylling and Haering, part of the Godey Isles .
Tryggvason sailed under cover of darkness to Godey and seized Raud from his bed. When Raud would not agree to convert, Tryggvason executed Raud by making him swallow a snake or serpent.
But the serpent would not go in, so Tryggvason ordered that a horn and red hot iron be used to force the serpent in. Eventually the serpent was forced down into Rauds stomach where it ate it’s way out and killed him .
Shake dreams from your hair My pretty child, my sweet one. Choose the day and choose the sign of your day The day’s divinity First thing you see. A vast radiant beach in a cool jeweled moon Couples naked race down by it’s quiet side And we laugh like soft, mad children Smug in the woolly cotton brains of infancy The music and voices are all around us. Choose, they croon, the Ancient Ones The time has come again Choose now, they croon, Beneath the moon Beside an ancient lake Enter again the sweet forest Enter the hot dream Come with us Everything is broken up and dances.
No sun – no moon! No morn – no noon – No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day – No sky – no earthly view – No distance looking blue – No road – no street – no ‘t’other side the way’ – No end to any Row – No indications where the Crescents go – No top to any steeple – No recognitions of familiar people – No courtesies for showing ’em – No knowing ’em – No travelling at all – no locomotion, No inkling of the way – no notion – ‘No go’ – by land or ocean – No mail – no post – No news from any foreign coast – No Park – no Ring – no afternoon gentility – No company – no nobility – No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease, No comfortable feel in any member – No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, – November!