Starry, starry nights

Starry, starry nights

At this time of year, Winter Solstice, I’m always overcome by the beauty of the dark. All the more so, because after the still point of this turning world has passed, we slowly begin to lose it. And so Solstice, for me, is a time of both celebration and...
2021: Embracing the Mystery in your life

2021: Embracing the Mystery in your life

I’m not a great believer in the traditional ‘New Year resolutions’. More often than not, they seem designed to put pressure on an already exhausted system – bodies and souls that should be deep in winter repose, resting in the heart of the long,...
Becoming who we are

Becoming who we are

Those of us who are students of history, and others of us who are walking around with our eyes wide open and something resembling a long view, can clearly see what is happening all around us right now. The crumbling of empire; the excruciating death-throes of a...
Staying, when times get tough

Staying, when times get tough

There’s a famous quote from Labour luminary Tony Benn which I love. ‘There is no final victory,’ he said, ‘just as there is no final defeat. Just the same battle to be fought over and over again. So toughen up, bloody toughen up.’...
Re-enchanting the Winter Solstice: an invitation

Re-enchanting the Winter Solstice: an invitation

(Image by Catherine Hyde.) Recently, I’ve been thinking about building a new folk culture based on our native traditions This seems especially urgent to me now, surrounded as we all are at this time of year by the consumption-driven madness that calls itself...
The mythology of women working together

The mythology of women working together

Image: Edvard Munch One of my favourite stories in Irish mythology is called ‘The Only Jealousy of Emer’ – the Emer in question being the wife of the great warrior (but not so great husband) Cú Chulainn. I love it because it wonderfully subverts the usual...