Katie-Jo Luxton, the director of RSPB Cymru, said: “Our beautiful, biodiverse and bewitching oak woodlands are some of the least known treasures of rural Wales. These natural forests feature strongly in Welsh folklore but have become undervalued and degraded in recent times. This project will help us restore these mysterious and special places, and encourage the people to celebrate and enjoy these places – and hopefully inspire a new generation of Welsh folklore writers.”
Four pieces of the Celtic rainforest in north and mid-Wales will be the focus of the project. They include Coed Felinrhyd and Llennyrch in Snowdonia, north Wales. Coed Felinrhyd was mentioned in the collection of Welsh legends, the Mabinogion, as the last resting place of King Pryderi of Dyfed, killed in combat with Gwydion the trickster.
‘If there’s one thing we know about ancient Egypt, they did death better than anyone else.’ So spoke the British archaeologist Tony Robinson on a dig at the Aswan tombs in 2018. What he didn’t say is that the more archaeologists dig up, the more they face the same baffling questions. Why, in different parts of Egypt, have so many tombs been found empty? Why mummification? What are the enigmatic Pyramid Texts and the Book of the Dead all about? And the biggest question of all: what did the ancient Egyptians know about death that, thousands of years later, we don’t? Immortality—life after death—seems to have preoccupied them above all else, and we don’t know why.
The Kolbrin contains six ancient Egyptian books, the remnants of scrolls written or copied by scribes from much earlier writings. These enigmatic books, whose provenance has not yet come to light, may one day be recognised as a record of humanity’s distant past—but something even more mysterious can be found there: dotted throughout are writings about ancient Egypt’s search for immortality.
Surprisingly, what the Kolbrin says about immortality has little to do with mummification– indeed, it is rather dismissive of the practice. Mummification, it says, dates back to a far distant time when a group of refugee priests from an advanced civilisation arrived in Egypt after a global cataclysm and found the human beings around them reduced to barbarism.
‘Children wandered the plainland like the wild beasts, for men and women became stricken with a sickness that passed over the children.’1
A set of highly decorated chalk cylinders, carved in Britain more than 4,000 years ago and known as the Folkton drums, could be ancient replicas of measuring devices used for laying out prehistoric monuments like Stonehenge, archaeologists say.
The researchers from the University of Manchester and University College London in the U.K. said that a fixed number of turns of a string around the hand-size objects gives a standard measurement of 3.22 meters — or about 10.5 feet — a length that was used to lay out many Neolithic stone and timber circles.
Three of the ornately carved chalk cylinders were found in 1889, near the village of Folkton, in Yorkshire in the north of England. The smallest is 4.09 inches (10.4 centimeters) across, the next is 4.88 inches (12.4 cm) and the largest is 5.75 inches (14.6 cm).
One of the most famous psychic projects pursued by the U.S. military was a program that sought to delve into tapping into a wide variety of mental powers for military purposes, which was eventually called Project Stargate. Originally started in 1978 at Fort Meade, Maryland, it was the brainchild of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and a California company called SRI International, and its scope would become wide beyond what anyone could have expected. The idea was simply to try and develop psychic powers for use in military operations, initially focusing on remote viewing, wherein faraway objects and places can be seen by the psychic, but soon branching out to clairvoyance, manipulating computer systems with the mind, and even supposedly powers straight from a movie, such as levitation, invisibility, walking through walls, or killing with the power of the mind.
For the last two decades, ghost hunters have relied on a fairly unchanging bag of tools, but a new parapsychological experiment is shaking up the field with jaw dropping results. After appearances in Travel Channel’s Kindred Spirits and Planet Weird’s Hellier, The Estes Method, sometimes called the SB7 Spirit Box Experiment, is changing the way people investigate the paranormal.
EMF meters, digital recorders, and full-spectrum cameras have been staples of paranormal investigation in various forms, but with a few exceptions, innovation in new tools – or the use of old ones – has been relatively stagnant. After all, one of the most sought-after ghost hunting tools, the Panasonic RR-DR60, is a digital recorder that’s nearly two-decades old and can fetch upwards of three-thousand dollars on eBay.
So, where are all the new ideas in the field? Just head to Colorado.
Egypt’s first laws emerged when the Upper and Lower kingdoms were unified, according to tradition, under King Menes around 2950 B.C. From then on, different pharaohs would bring their own approaches to law and order. Although rulers would change, the unifying principle of the monarch’s sovereignty did not. Pharaohs held supreme authority in settling disputes, but they often delegated these powers to other officials such as governors, viziers, and magistrates, who could conduct investigations, hold trials, and issue punishments. Unlike the legal Code of Hammurabi, developed in the 18th century B.C. in Mesopotamia, ancient Egyptian law was not set in stone, and although power always flowed from the pharaoh, Egypt’s laws were rather like the Nile: fluid, organic, and changing with the times. (See also: The truth behind Egypt’s female pharaohs and their power.)
In Egyptian cosmology, the goddess Maat embodied the concepts of order, truth, and justice. Viziers often wore a pendant in the form of the goddess, who is often shown with an ostrich feather on her head. Egyptians believed that living according to her precepts—honesty, loyalty, and obedience to the king—would keep chaos at bay. Egyptian kings were not exempt from living by Maat’s principles. They too were expected to uphold order through wise rule, just decisions, and humility before the gods. This belief united commoners and kings in the responsibility for maintaining balance and harmony in society, which may have led to fewer periods of civil unrest in Egypt’s long history.
Jasun Horsley’s book Vice of Kings is an exploration in the purpose, practice and importance of pedophilia.
Horsley begins with his own childhood among the British aristocracy. He explains the basis upon which he renounced his family and fortune. He branches out from the intimate into the scandal surrounding Jimmy Saville, the life and teachings of Aleister Crowley and the accumulated evidence to suggest that pedophilia is far more prevalent than we commonly believe.
Horsley is interested in exploring the philosophy and culture behind pedophilia. For me, this is a wholly unique approach.
I think of pedophilia as prevalent because it has been successful as a tool of power and wealth accumulation and control. Inducting children into the practice early creates an imprinting system – just as a farmer will hold a calf or foal when it is born to imprint it with the farmer instead of the mother.
These are the subconscious ties that bind. Children can then be trained to provide sex, data storage, courier services, even assassination. Child slaves are the basis of numerous personnel benefits. Child sex slaves create control files and the basis of blackmail. Pedophilia is one of the mechanisms by which covert operations can be implemented and kept secret on an economic basis. Indeed, it is hard to imagine how the secrecy of the national security state could exist without pedophilia and related mind control technologies.
IN WESTERN SAHARA, A DISPUTED region on the northwest coast of Africa, there is a 3.5-square-mile plot of land that contains more than 400 ancient stone monuments—an incredible number, even for the Sahara, which “is absolutely full of stone monuments, usually located in places of particular topographical interest,” says Joanne Clarke, a specialist in prehistoric archaeology at the University of East Anglia. Clarke and Nick Brooks, an ecologist specializing in climate change, have been studying this area, just north of the village of Tifariti, since 2002 and recently published the results of their work, according to LiveScience. This remarkable collection of structures and landmarks dates from over 10,000 years ago to 3,000 years ago, and will help the researchers understand how people migrated into the region and adapted to the spread of the Sahara Desert.
The Tifariti area was once a natural basin, and as a water source in an region that was growing increasingly arid, it would certainly have been of interest to migrants thousands of years ago, from present-day Morocco, Libya, and Algeria to the north and what are now Mauritania and Mali to the south. “One of our theories is that as the Sahara dried in the mid Holocene—between five and six thousand years ago—this is one of the refugia, an area where water remained,” says Clarke. And where there was likely to be water, there were people. The variety of these monuments, archaeologists think, reflects the range of places from which these people migrated.
Kirk’s interest is not in the fairy tale but in the numenology of the fairies as superdimensional entities: ‘These sith,’s or Fairies, they call sluag[h] maith or the good people […] are said to be of a midle nature betwixt man and Angell (as were dæmons thought to be of old); of intelligent studious Spirits, and light changable bodies (lik those called Astrall) somewhat of the nature of a condens’d cloud, and best seen in twilight.’
Today is the second anniversary of the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives being published online after a lengthy legal battle. While we’ll be examing some of the larger impact the release has had in a little bit, we also wanted to share what’s hands down the weirdest thing we’ve found so far.
If you find yourself wandering the creepier corridors of CREST, you might stumble upon a file entitled “PICTURE OF A MAN.” Pretty straightforward title, sure, but when you actually click on through …
In the West, consciousness was long thought to be a divine gift bestowed solely on humans. Western philosophers historically conceived of nonhuman animals as unfeeling automatons. Even after Darwin demonstrated our kinship with animals, many scientists believed that the evolution of consciousness was a recent event. They thought the first mind sparked awake sometime after we split from chimps and bonobos. In his 1976 book, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Julian Jaynes argued that it was later still. He said the development of language led us, like Virgil, into the deep cognitive states capable of constructing experiential worlds.
This notion that consciousness was of recent vintage began to change in the decades following the Second World War, when more scientists were systematically studying the behaviors and brain states of Earth’s creatures. Now each year brings a raft of new research papers, which, taken together, suggest that a great many animals are conscious.
It was likely more than half a billion years ago that some sea-floor arms race between predator and prey roused Earth’s first conscious animal. That moment, when the first mind winked into being, was a cosmic event, opening up possibilities not previously contained in nature.
There now appears to exist, alongside the human world, a whole universe of vivid animal experience. Scientists deserve credit for illuminating, if only partially, this new dimension of our reality. But they can’t tell us how to do right by the trillions of minds with which we share the Earth’s surface. That’s a philosophical problem, and like most philosophical problems, it will be with us for a long time to come.
Apart from Pythagoras and a few others, ancient Western philosophers did not hand down a rich tradition of thinking about animal consciousness. But Eastern thinkers have long been haunted by its implications—especially the Jains, who have taken animal consciousness seriously as a moral matter for nearly 3,000 years.
If anyone feels inclined to assist with my transport appeal, the GoFundMe transport appeal page is here :
Gratitude for setting it up, and to those who supported already ! 🙂
The mountain in the background is where I live, just where that tree on the middle horizon toward left extends up to the skyline
The wild Welsh daffodils are emerging here, which is glorious to see and soon they’ll be flowering, which is a wonder each year. These are not the big gawdy commercial varieties, these are some ancient native species that must have arrived here somehow after the last glaciers retreated.
Well, my dear readership, I’m rather happy to relate that I’ve been having a fine stimulating exchange with a certain feral feline woman on the internet, and, so far, I have not crashed and burned in a storm of vitriol, slander, discord, woe and/or dismay, and I have to say, I’m somewhat proud of this, because in my view she’s a remarkably awesome person whose extraordinary work I’ve been admiring for some time.
Before any of you readers have the thought ‘…he’s MUCH too old for that sort of thing !’…. Well, of course he is ! He knows this as well as anyone, ya ninnies. Old an grim an savage and feckin knackered. But it IS the Springtime, the sap is rising, buds are swelling, there’s lamb’s tails on the hazels, and if an old man can’t catch the eye of a pretty woman and give her a wink, then what’s the point ? Might as well give up, dig a hole in the ground, jump in, and pull the soil over me head for the Big Sleep. There’s a few sparks left in me yet, I’ll have you know. I’m not quite ready to turn into moldy dust. So there !
Here’s one of her blog pages.
I’m enjoying learning about this wild woman, Sgàthach an Eilean Sgitheanach, who taught martial arts up on the Isle of Skye, it’s all fascinating new information for me to explore. At least, I think it is new ? The stroke scrambled my old brain and deleted info, so that there are gaps and blanks, but I don’t recall having known about this stuff earlier in my life.
I’ve read a lot on ancient Celtic material, but for some reason or other I seem to have missed this very interesting area, so readers are welcome to try and follow me as I explore whatever is there to be found… whether I can make it coherent, lucid or just vaguely intelligible remains to be seen… 🙂
Scáthach, (Gaelic: “The Shadowy One”), in Celtic mythology, female warrior, especially noted as a teacher of warriors.
Scáthach was the daughter of Árd-Greimne of Lethra. She lived on an island (thought to be the Isle of Skye) in an impregnable castle, the gate of which was guarded by her daughter Uathach. At this fortress Scáthach trained numerous Celtic heroes in the arts of pole vaulting (useful in the assault of forts), underwater fighting, and combat with a barbed harpoon of her own invention, the gáe bolg. Her best-known student was Cú Chulainn, who stayed with her for a year in order to learn the skills that helped him win many battles. A number of other heroes of Celtic mythology also owed their prowess to the training of the Amazon Scáthach.
She seems to me less like an Amazon and more like a Ninja.
JP Mallory describes this book as a companion to his The Origins of the Irish, from 2013, in which he sketched the emergence in the early medieval period of a people who were recognisably Irish. In that book he briefly examined the legendary history of Ireland as written down in early-medieval times by clerical scholars who prized the vernacular traditions of poetry, myth and legend and gave them an honoured place side by side with the Latin learning of the church.
He returns to that subject in this latest valuable study written in his characteristic accessible and witty style. This reviewer at first sight thought that the title was the wheeze of a publisher anxious to attract new market segments, perhaps even New Age ones. But, no, it is the author’s own choice and he is clearly a little uneasy about its applicability as he writes in his introduction a wise precautionary apology to the aboriginal peoples of Australia for his appropriation or possible misappropriation of their concept of “a sacred time in which both the natural world and human culture and traditions originated and that these beginnings still resonate in the spiritual life of people today”. What this book really is, is a survey and analysis of the construction, in the Early Middle Ages, of an ancient history of Ireland and its people and the grafting of that history onto the Bible and an analysis of the historicity of famous dramatic stories such as the Táin Bó Cuailnge – the Cattle Raid of Cooley.
The Ulster Cycle stories are set in and around the reign of King Conchobar mac Nessa, who rules the Ulaid from Emain Macha (now Navan Fort near Armagh). The most prominent hero of the cycle is Conchobar’s nephew, Cú Chulainn. The Ulaid are most often in conflict with the Connachta, led by their queen, Medb, her husband, Ailill, and their ally Fergus mac Róich, a former king of the Ulaid in exile. The longest and most important story of the cycle is the Táin Bó Cúailnge or “Cattle Raid of Cooley”, in which Medb raises an enormous army to invade the Cooley peninsula and steal the Ulaid’s prize bull, Donn Cúailnge, opposed only by the seventeen-year-old Cú Chulainn. In the Mayo Táin, the Táin Bó Flidhais it is a white cow known as the ‘Maol’ that is the object of desire, for she can give enough milk at one milking to feed an army. Perhaps the best known story is the tragedy of Deirdre, source of plays by W. B. Yeats and J. M. Synge. Other stories tell of the births, courtships and deaths of the characters and of the conflicts between them.
The stories are written in Old and Middle Irish, mostly in prose, interspersed with occasional verse passages. They are preserved in manuscripts of the 12th to 15th centuries but, in many cases, are much older. The language of the earliest stories is dateable to the 8th century, and events and characters are referred to in poems dating to the 7th.
The tone is terse, violent, sometimes comic, and mostly realistic, although supernatural elements intrude from time to time. Cú Chulainn in particular has superhuman fighting skills, the result of his semi-divine ancestry, and when particularly aroused his battle frenzy or ríastrad transforms him into an unrecognisable monster who knows neither friend nor foe. Evident deities like Lugh, the Morrígan, Aengus and Midir also make occasional appearances.
Unlike the majority of early Irish historical tradition, which presents ancient Ireland as largely united under a succession of High Kings, the stories of the Ulster Cycle depict a country with no effective central authority, divided into local and provincial kingdoms often at war with each other. The civilisation depicted is a pagan, pastoral one ruled by a warrior aristocracy. Bonds between aristocratic families are cemented by fosterage of each other’s children. Wealth is reckoned in cattle. Warfare mainly takes the form of cattle raids, or single combats between champions at fords. The characters’ actions are sometimes restricted by religious taboos known as geasa.
A geas can be compared with a curse or, paradoxically, a gift. If someone under a geas violates the associated taboo, the infractor will suffer dishonor or even death. On the other hand, the observing of one’s geas is believed to bring power. Often it is women who place geasa upon men. In some cases the woman turns out to be a goddess or other sovereignty figure.
The geas is often a key device in hero tales, such as that of Cúchulainn in Irish mythology. Traditionally, the doom of heroes comes about due to their violation of their geas, either by accident, or by having multiple geasa and then being placed in a position where they have no option but to violate one geas in order to maintain another. For instance, Cúchulainn has a geas to never eat dog meat, and he is also bound by a geas to eat any food offered to him by a woman. When a hag offers him dog meat, he has no way to emerge from the situation unscathed; this leads to his death.
A beneficial geas might involve a prophecy that a person would die in a particular way; the particulars of their death in the vision might be so bizarre that the person could then avoid their fate for many years.
For example, the Welsh hero Lleu Llaw Gyffes (in one version of his story) was destined to die neither “during the day or night, nor indoors or outdoors, neither riding nor walking, not clothed and not naked, nor by any weapon lawfully made.” He was safe until his wife, Blodeuwedd, learning of these foretold conditions, convinced him to show her how he could theoretically be stepping out of a river onto a riverbank sheltered by a roof and put one foot on a goat, and so on, thus enabling the conditions that allowed him to be killed.