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Nov 5

God be with the days before Christianity

Posted on Thursday, November 5, 2009 in Little known facts, Strange and Unusual, Taboo

I’m reading ‘The Mists of Avalon’ right now, a book about Arthurian legend from his mother and his sister’s point of view.  In them days, it was all about appeasing the Goddess and natural ritual and Bardic poetry and such other lovely stuff, as Christianity and convents slowly crept into their consciousness.

I can’t help but be slightly jealous at the constant mention of the Bealtaine fires.  May first every year, everyone in the community douses the home-fires, then celebrates life and re-birth during a giant hooley by a huge fire.  As part of the ritual, it’s required by the Goddess that random people should couple up… so named the unity of the Great Mother and her young horned God.  Not an orgy, no no, just appreciation for the exuberant healing powers of spring.  It’s not just at Bealtaine either… they get to do this every quarter of the year to celebrate the ever-changing stages of life and death.  This is most likely the origins of bonfires at Hallowe’en, then?  Can you imagine loads of skobies all dressed up as Gardaí and Zombies all shaggin’ away after their sugar rush because the Goddess wants them to?

Pity they didn’t have Youtube back then!

Bring on the comments

  1. Can you imagine?! How are you finding the book? I read it a while ago and never did decide where I stand. There’s things about it I loved and things about it I didn’t – maybe that’s just par for the course in something so epic though.

  2. Holemaster says:

    So every three months, everyone is guaranteed a ride with someone new? This sounds perfectly reasonable.

  3. Granny says:

    What about the old folk who were not up to the coupling, not much fun watching……

  4. Grandad says:

    Speak for yourself, Granny. Heh!

  5. Dunno, I found “The Mists of Avalon” to be a mediocre work of fiction, and seriously lacking in any type of historical accuracy. Any time I’m looking to piss someone off at the Pagan festivals, I just bring that one up ;)

    And remember that any “community” back in the day consisted of about 100 to 1,000 people. Take a look at your neighbors; any of them shag-able? Mine aren’t. I’ll pass.

  6. K8 says:

    Jen; I’m fond of being lost in a mystical novel, but I have to say it’s a book extremely slanted towards the feminine side so the lack of fighting scenes is a bit dissapointing! That’s just me and my bloodlust though. Also I feel that Miss Gwynwyhfar needs a good slap.

    Holemaster; Maybe this is why the weather is so miserable in Ireland… we’ve pissed the Gods off through our lack of appreciation!

    Granny; You could always shout lewd comments and hold up score cards out of ten?

    *Trying desperately to get the image of a young horned Grandad out of my head*

    Fat Sparrow; Given that life was definitely more hard-core in those days, it’s an extremely tame and girlie book, but still mildly entertaining nonetheless I reckon.
    You raise a good point about shaggable neighbours. Two naggins of cider usually takes care of that problem.

  7. Not sure if a skobie should be copulating.

    Sounds like some sort of genital disease. Or a chocolate bar.

  8. K8 says:

    Why don’t they list children as a type of STD? Skobies are kind of like chocolate bar, less chocolate though, more nuts.

  9. Ian says:


    I grew up in sight of Avalon so hate to be a wet blanket, but Arthur was a 5th Century Romano-British Christian and the Celtic stuff – if it ever existed in that corner of England – was long since gone.

  10. K8 says:

    I suppose the bending of artistic license is okay if there’s nobody around to defend it. I bet Hitler cooked a mean pavlova for instance… but we’ll never know.

  11. Ian says:

    I understand that he loved dogs!

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