Category Archives: History

Labyrinths

Labyrinths are often seen as a metaphor for confusion. Theseus chases the Minotaur through a labyrinth; Jung talks of the labyrinth of the unconscious mind. Actually these are examples of mazes, not labyrinths. A maze is a web of tracks … Continue reading

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Plough Monday

Plough Monday traditionally marked the end of the midwinter festivities. The Twelve Days of Christmas were over: on the Monday after Epiphany, it was time to return to work. But in medieval England, it was an excuse for agricultural labourers … Continue reading

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Christmas Customs

Have you written your Christmas cards? Made some mince pies? Put up the tree? On these cold winter days, we need a festival to feel good about life. Our midwinter customs go back a long way…. Christmas really began in … Continue reading

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Hallowe’en Happenings

Hallow’s Eve: the night before All Saint’s Day, when dark things walk the earth. Good folk need protective rituals to keep their houses safe from harm. People may call it Fright Night, but actually the things associated with Hallowe’en are … Continue reading

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Hiawatha

In the old days, the braves were always fighting. Summertime, and the living was easy: what else was there for a boy to do? Quite a lot, actually. The Iroquois tribes who controlled lands along the Atlantic coast were renowned … Continue reading

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Boudicca: Warrior Queen

Boudicca was a striking woman: tall enough to look a warrior in the eyes, with russet hair tumbling to her waist and a voice that rang out like a bugle call. She was married to the king of the Iceni, … Continue reading

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Mermaids: A Fishy Tale

Do you believe in mermaids? A beautiful woman with a fish’s tail. Sometimes they come out of the water and sit on the rocks combing their hair. Sweet-voiced and slippery, they are hard to catch. In Shakespeare’s time, the term … Continue reading

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