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Category: Iron Age (Page 1 of 2)

Bonfire

Oíche Shamhna Feast – An Introduction to Irish Iron Age Food

Bonfire - Iron Age Food

As a Págánacht each holy day is a time to reflect on our Iron Age ancestors and what their lives may have been like when they sat around their hearth or bonfire and celebrated their sacred times of the season.

The Iron Age Irish (700 BCE – 400CE) didn’t have the luxuries of the modern kitchen with the ceramic top stove and built in microwaves. Much of their time was spent out amongst the rest of their tribes, partaking in a three day festival of celebration and preparation for the new season. In the time of Samhain preparation was particularly important because they were at the end of the harvest period and entering the winter where food needed to be stored and cattle slaughtered for meat that would be salted and kept to sustain them through the winter.

Today, we do have the many modern luxuries afforded us by the technology we are blessed to have. There are some that may choose to celebrate this time in the way the ancestors did by breaking out their hearth fire and their cauldrons to cook. I have all the respect in the world for that practice and hope to one day be able to do it myself, but as a practical pagan in a modern world, that isn’t always feasible. My modern conveniences make my busy life much easier and I love my slow cooker, microwave and stove, so what can I do to truly connect to this time of year in a way my ancestors did? The simple answer? Food.

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Earth Goddess

Reigniting the Divine Feminine through Celtic Stories and Traditions


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The Ancient Practice of Marrying the Land

Earth Goddess - Divine Feminine

Earth Goddess

The native pre-Christian mythology of the Celtic nations which stretch along the Western Atlantic seaboard of Europe is highly women – centred. In our oldest stories, the creative, generative essence of the universe was female, not male; the Divine Feminine represented the spiritual and moral axis of the world, and the power of men was predominantly social.

But the Celtic divine female was a long way from the remote, transcendent sky-deities we’ve grown used to in recent centuries here in the West: she had one foot in the Otherworld for sure, but she was firmly grounded and deeply rooted in place, indivisible from her distinctive, haunting landscapes.

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Picts link to North Wales

Cartimandua, 1st century Celtic Queen of the Brigantes


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Cartimandua ruled in her own right rather than through marriage. She did eventually marry, but later divorced her husband and ruled alone. Her name has been translated to mean “well-groomed” or “sleek pony” which may indicate that she was pleasing to the eye. She may have played a role in the events of the Mabinogion and be mentioned in the Welsh Triads…

Cartimandua Queen of the Brigantes

Many people know the story of Queen Boudicca’s rebellion against the Romans. Fewer people realise that West Yorkshire and much of northern Britain were also ruled by a queen. Her name was Cartimandua and she ruled over a loose association of clans and tribes called the Brigantes. Queen Cartimandua seems to have had pro-Roman views. Consequently, relationships between the Romans and the Brigantes went well at first.

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A Roman brooch found at Llangefni - from the 1,500-year-old Ancient Cemetery found on Anglesey article

1,500-year-old Ancient Cemetery found on Anglesey


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Archaeologists digging on the site of a new road in Anglesey have unearthed an ancient cemetery and a 1,500-year-old “time capsule” reported the BBC Wales News. Some 48 early medieval graves have been discovered on the Llangefni link road site.

The “cist” graves each hold several bodies, alongside jewellery and French pottery. Iwan Parry, of Archaeoleg Brython Archaeology, said:

This is a fantastic find of national importance. A cemetery like this, where there is such good preservation, is like finding a time capsule left by a community almost 1,500 years ago.

The manner of how the remains have been preserved is amazing.

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Cadair Bronwen from the Welsh Goddesses in the Landscape of Wales article

Welsh Goddesses in the Landscape of Wales


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We are very proud to have permission to bring you this article by Cherryl Straffon from Goddess Alive about the ladies from the Mabinogion and their place in the Welsh Landscape. She says:

Welsh myth and legend is replete with Goddess figures. As recorded in The Mabinogi and other early Welsh texts, the stories of Welsh Goddesses like Rhiannon, Branwen/ Bronwen, Arianrhod, Blodeuwedd and Cerridwen have echoed down through the ages, and their tales are just as relevant today (see for example ‘Arianrhod’ by Claire Hamilton.) Given their importance to the early Celts in Wales it would not be surprising to find traces of them in the Welsh landscape, where a number of natural features are named after them. Arianrhod can be found at Caer Arianrhod, a rock 1.2km/¾mile off the west coast of North Wales.

It is all that remains of the land where the Goddess and her women attendants dwelt in a story from the Fourth branch of The Mabinogi. Her son was called Dylan, who became a sea God, and in Claire’s words, she was “a very powerful Goddess, guardian of the Seat of Poetic Inspiration and linked with the sea, the moon and the stars”. Her land was eventually inundated and all the inhabitants were drowned, but this may be later patriarchal disapproval of a free and independent Goddess-woman who shared her land with other women and had powerful magic powers.

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Dominique Yersin portant un fromage lors de la fabrication du fromage l'Etivaz sur l'alpage Le Grin. Chateau d'Oex, ce lundi 11 aout 2014. (KEYSTONE/Anthony Anex) - Iron Age Man loved a nice bit of Swiss Cheese

Iron Age Man loved a nice bit of Swiss Cheese


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Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that production of Swiss Cheese dates back to prehistoric times, paving the way for such delicacies as Gruyere and Emmental reports Newcastle University.

An international team led by the University of York and Newcastle University looked at the composition of residues left on fragments of ceramic pots found at six sites in the Swiss Alps. The shards of pottery were known to date from Neolithic times to the Iron Age. The researchers found that the residue on those from the 1st millennium BC — the Iron Age — had the same chemical signatures associated with heating milk from animals such as cows, sheep and goats, as part of the cheesemaking process.

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Original Artwork: Arianrhod’s Sky by Selena Fenech - "Women of the Celts: the Welsh Goddess Arianrhod – Bad Mother or Mythic Goddess?"

Women of the Celts: the Welsh Goddess Arianrhod – Bad Mother or Mythic Goddess?


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We’re very proud to bring you an article by Claire Hamilton about the famous Welsh Goddess. She says:

Arianrhod was a Welsh Goddess who lived on an island off the west coast of Wales. At the centre of her castle was a turning glass tower, which contained the mystical Seat of Poetic Inspiration. Her name Arianrhod means ‘starry wheel’.

She is obviously a very powerful Celtic Goddess even though she apparently completely disgraces herself as a mother within her story.

The Story of the Welsh Goddess Arianrhod

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St. Patrick's Day - http://roble.pntic.mec.es/ncos0003/stpatrickjquizmultiplechoiceimage.htm

Saint Patrick’s Life – the facts and the stories


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Saint Patrick (ca. 390-460) is revered as patron of Ireland and, of course, he has come to be associated with parades and a lot of mischief associated with alcohol. No one would prohibit the Irish their day. Mayor Richard Daley used to say,

in Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish or wishes they were.

But let’s leave some of that malarkey aside as unworthy of his dignity. In lives of the saints, Patrick is called the Enlightener of Ireland and we are right to praise his memory says Father Gabriel Rochelle in the Las Cruces Sun-News.

But was Saint Patrick Irish?

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Wheel in situ at Must Farm with hub visible

Most complete Bronze Age wheel to date found at Must Farm near Peterborough


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The largest and best-preserved Bronze Age wheel in Britain has been uncovered at Must Farm, a site described as Peterborough’s Pompeii. The wheel will Inset images: Excavation of Bronze Age Wheel at Must Farm one metre in diameter, with hub clearly visible, extend our understanding of early technologies and transport systems.

Archaeologists working at Must Farm, a Bronze Age site near Peterborough, have uncovered a 3,000-year-old wheel, the first and largest complete example ever to be discovered in Britain. The find, which will broaden our understanding of Late Bronze Age life, is the latest from a settlement described as Peterborough’s Pompeii. The large wooden round houses, built on stilts, plunged into a river after a dramatic fire 3,000 years ago.

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Review of New Law to protect Historic Environment in Wales


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A new law to protect historic monuments and buildings in Wales was passed by the National Assembly for Wales on 1st May 2015.

The Historic Environment (Wales) Bill gives local authorities powers to make owners carry out repairs if they damage monuments.

Battlefields, prehistoric settlements and place names will also be recorded.

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