Winter Folklore: Traditions and Customs of the Cailleach Bheur

My friend, Zteve, writes on all things #folkore, plus myths and legends, animals, history, and more. Check out his blog, Under the Influence!, for #FolkloreFriday and beyond.

Under the influence!

Gustave Doré [Public domain]

In Scottish, Irish, Manx and Gaelic mythology the goddess of winter is known as the the Cailleach, Beira or theCailleach Bheur, which means old woman or hag. In Celtic mythology she had a similar role to Jörð in Norse mythology and Gaia, in Greek mythology.

Donald Alexander Mackenzie

The Scottish folklorist Donald Alexander Mackenzie (1873 – 1936) wrote frequently on the subjects of mythology, anthropology and religion and developed a theory that there was a matriarchal society spread across Europe in Neolithic times.In his book, Myths of Crete and Pre-Hellenic Europe (1917), he argues that these early societies were gynocentric and matriarchal venerating goddesses above gods but during the Bronze Age a patriarchal society evolved supplanting it. Mackenzie called the Cailleach Bheur by the name of Beira, Queen of Winter.

He saw her as a giantess with a single eye who had her…

View original post 797 more words

Another Mostly #WordlessWednesday

The gull gods were happy to take our offerings . . .

Clouds and gulls

I liked the ellipse-shaped cloud bowl in this one. I believe I counted about two to three different gull species on the beach that Autumn day.

#photography #nature #seashore #beach #birds #WordlessWednesday

Microfiction Sci-Fi: Mothers of Invention

Mothers of Invention

genres: sci-fi, microfiction

 

“Can you pass the egg?”

I scoot the sealed dish across the lab table.

biology-220005_1280“Just one more pinch, et voilà.” Evie shrugs out of her Neptune-blue glove. “Our little omelet. Not edible of course.”

“She’s as lovely as her mother.”

“Mothers, plural.” She winks back at me.

 

###THE END###

 

 

Note: I wrote this microfiction piece for a call for submissions under 50 words and in which each word had to be seven letters or fewer. Originally, there was no title. Being who I am, I chose the science fiction or speculative fiction route, plus I’ve added this working title. It was not successful in the fray of competition, but I had fun writing and tweaking it and thought someone in the Great Out-There might enjoy reading it. I hope that that someone has been you.

Thank you for stopping by. Come back soon!

Leigh Ward-Smith

New Chapbook from Luminous Press

Give your beloved–or yourself!–a truly memorable #Valentine’s Day present: #poetry from Robert Okaji’s newest chapbook, I Have a Bird to Whistle. It’s available now on pre-order in the U.S. from the publisher, Luminous Press (at Gumroad here: https://gumroad.com/l/KNeFt), and directly from Mr. Okaji if you’re international. Get one before its official release day, Feb. 25th, 2019, when it might fly away forever on the wings of swift sales/sails!

O at the Edges

Luminous Press will be releasing my chapbook I Have a Bird to Whistle: 7 Palinodeslater this month. I’ll post links when available. Many thanks to editors Iskandar Haggarty and Julia Ortiz for publishing this collection.

View original post

Weird Stories

A #weird tales $1.99 pre-sale ends today—so get your paws on the Rabbit Hole anthology while it’s still strange, possibly with faces coming out of the rain, even (here’s a link, as I don’t see the direct link in Sue’s blog post, unless you navigate on over to the Mellow Curmudgeon’s page, which is highly recommended also, but just in case you don’t, et voilà: https://www.books2read.com/u/4jDvXk).

Please do check it out if you’ve got a few extra bucks, knowing that not only have you supported independent authors but you’ve also helped the Against Malaria Foundation and people in malaria-prone locales, because at least a portion of proceeds from this #speculativefiction anthology will be donated. #amwriting #amreading #shortstories #againstmalaria #Halloween2018reads

Space, Time, and Raspberries

Halloween is the last day to pre-order this excellent collection of weird stories for only $1.99. (For a taste of their tone, see a few of their blurbs below.) Beginning November 1, the ebook price will be $2.99, or you can have a paperback book to hold in your hands for $12.50.

It will be an intriguing addition to your library, and would make a welcome gift for anyone who cherishes a few hours of escape from Normal — or even the New Normal.

1a, The Rabbit Hole Cover art by Ian Bristow

Foggy
A father and daughter’s boating trip is ambushed by a mysterious, underwater tormentor.

I Should’ve Known Better
There’s just one thing wrong with his beautiful luxury apartment: it’s a transdimensional portal.  Will the Flying Demon Things get him before he gets one of the centaur Babes?

The Scroll and the Silver Kazoo
You never know who (or what) will show…

View original post 165 more words

The More The Scarier!

Woop, woop, it’s a Halloween Blog Party!!! Let’s all put on our best running shoes and get to Donna’s house, as long as it’s not on Elm Street, Lucifer Drive, etc. She’s definitely the (g)hostess with the mostest fun!

yadadarcyyada

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/10/26/haunted-halloween-blog-party/Bloggers and readers of every age.
Wouldn’t you like tosee something strange?
Come with me and you will see.
This, our blog party of Halloween!
Share it once, share it twice.
Take a chance and roll the dice.
Ride with the moon in the dead of night.
Everybody scream, everybody scream!

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/10/26/haunted-halloween-blog-party/

In this blog party (share your links to your or others blog posts, books, social media, whatever!) of Halloween!

The more the scarier!!! #TheMoreTheScarier

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/10/26/haunted-halloween-blog-party/

  • Memories shape our lives and we cling to them as a witch clings to her flying broom (or vacuum). Some memories are comforting, others haunting. Do you remember the first time you heard: One-Eyed, One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater? How about Monster Mash? Thriller? Dead Man’s Party…https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/10/26/haunted-halloween-blog-party/Sympathy for the Devil, Time Warp, (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, Devil Went Down To Georgia?https://yadadarcyyada.com/2018/10/26/haunted-halloween-blog-party/Dragula, Welcome to my Nightmare, This Is Halloween…Who You Gonna…

View original post 840 more words

Something Lost, Something Trivial

Attend a Stellar Poetry Reading in Texas!

Friend Bob Okaji and others will be providing your soul with a healing dose of what I like to call “poetry Rx” on Saturday, October 20, at Malvern Books in #Austin (Texas). This #poem is an example of his work. Go, listen, learn, enjoy! #poetry #amreading #amlistening

O at the Edges

broom

Something Lost, Something Trivial

Another word, another bewildered
moment in transition: the phrase
barely emerges from your mouth
before crumbling back into a half-opened
drawer in the loneliest room of a house
that died seventeen years ago.

I nod as if in understanding, and stoop
to pick up a crushed drinking straw,
the kind with the accordion elbow
that facilitates adjustment.

From a rooftop across the street,
a mockingbird warbles his
early morning medley of unrelated
songs, and you say left oblique,
followed by matches, then
collapse on a bench,
winded. I sit next to you

and we both enjoy the warmth
and birdsong, though I know
this only through the uplifted
corner of your mouth, which
these days is how you indicate
either deep pleasure or

fear. I have to leave soon,
I say, and you grab my wrist
and stare into my eyes.
Broom

View original post 101 more words

Ha(r)py Holidays, one and all; also, some HorrorLite flash fiction

Well, it’s been a while. Your bated-breath waiting is NO LONGER! Here’s a(nother)

Meeping Angel
Not my brilliant image. Look on the Internetz!

twisted flash fiction story, or perhaps it should be more aptly described as slash fiction (for those of you who hate horror, light or otherwise, you may of course skip it . . . this is light on the horror Scoville scale, I must say). Probably sums up this crappy orange Nehi year pretty well, however.

I will (I think) return to this blog in January as I get back on my literary feet—unstressed, I hope!—and share some books I’ve been reading and am longer overdue talking about, from friends and strangers alike, some personal travelogues, maybe some Leigh’s Un-Wisdom, too.

In the meantime, stay curious, stay strong, and, most importantly, stay weird.

————————————————————————————————————————

Ohmigod, Tannenbaum! A Hallow-istmas story

by Leigh Ward-Smith

They wouldn’t have to walk much farther than a quarter- or half-mile to find a good tree at Old Man Kettler’s farm. Many pines were finished out, as Kettler himself liked to say, in the weeks before Halloween.

So, it couldn’t hurt to check out the stock early, in effect staking out a prize tree before everybody and his brother got to it. Could it?

Brie Cardone didn’t think so, and she’d convinced a couple friends without too much prodding. Adam and Sarah were up for the challenge. In that spirit, ideas were floated, texts were sent, and plans were set.

Dead-set. Continue reading