A Question


Low mist on the hills, drifting rain;

The Shrine desolate before pruned bushes
and leafless trees, reflecting absence;

Indoors the altar maintained, but at a distance
from the weather gods;

On the hillside the stream is in full spate, the still water in the well disturbed by raindrops;

The Yew tree shadowed below the steep hillside, the mist hanging not far above, three boles grow from the ivy-covered mound, the space between gathering darkness;

Real presences in real time or fleeting moments which Time does not disturb?


Eponalia ….. Solstice

EPONA from a funeral stone – Agassac, Gaul

As darkness deepens Epona passes the ways of transformation; identities wane to thinness and dissolve as she closes the paths of unbecoming, resolve as she opens the ways to new becoming.

This is a time of stillness, small glimmers of hope flicker in the gloom. A candle is lit to mark the nights to Solstice. Another will be lit for the Longest Night and the nights to follow. These nights are barely less long and dark, but slowly, by seconds and then by minutes, day after day light begins to return.

Out of the dawning of these new days a New Year is born. New life will follow. But for now we wait, watching the candles burn slowly as Epona passes the ways of transformation, awaiting the Longest Night and the nights to follow: each new dawn a gradual lifting of the veil, a revelation of becoming.



‘oet duis y cusil’ / ‘he was profound of counsel’
(Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin/Black Book of Carmarthen)

He knew the door
of the Otherworld hall
that should not be opened
while the feast continued,

the one that would unlock
the flow of time
and silence the singing
of Rhiannon’s birds.


He went to her then,
bringing Mabon with him
singing her praises,
to land of Dyfed.

Time passed, as it does,
in the common land,
the old story came round
as it will, once again:

Mabon snatched away
like the life of the land,
how could she not follow
though he bade her stay?

He waits for her now,
the watcher at the gate*,
guarding the portal,
patient in counsel.


*I have long since experienced him in this way.
Does he stand on both sides of the door?

Winter; … who brings liquor to the feast?

Visiting the garden altar on cold days late November it seems sad and desolate. I have cut back much of the vegetation behind it which exacerbates this feeling, but it feels appropriate as the days shrink towards Solstice. The fountain is still too. I have removed the pump as there is not enough sunlight to drive the solar panel and because it could be damaged if the water freezes. But Rosmerta’s cup remains in the upper vat and the cauldron in the lower vat is full with water from Mererid’s well.

For Rosmerta,  I have written a poem which is posted on the Awenydd blog. Though her ancient iconography is clear, her mythos is till taking shape for me. It has been suggested that she is another aspect of Rigantona; though I am unsure of this I find I have associated her with Maponos in the poem and this may be step in the direction of defining an association.


I thought about passing
standing by the altar
with the rain falling,
the wind gusting
and the silence of Rhiannon’s Birds
as she rode her white mare
now her black mare through the mist
and just then, as I was bidding farewell,
a crow cawed, just once, and I smiled;
even as she went her birds were not silent
and I thought of the owl’s call
on winter nights and so knew
that echoing cry would be the echo
of her going, and her wraith would remain
through dim days and dark nights
so her passing is an affirmation
as the crow knew and I, hearing, know too.

The Winter King Beckons


The last blackberries picked

by Michaelmas Day;

And sloes still to pick

by Old Michaelmas day;

There’s apples for the season

from Harvest through Autumn

As the bones of the Mare

with leaf-fall wane bare;

For now still she rides

though the Winter King beckons

And the shades of the season

will be bright with her riding

Then fade as she passes

while the song of her birds

is already dwindling;

The hues of the sunlight

filtered through rainshine

will glow as she goes

Through the rainbows of Autumn

diffused in the mists

which he’ll cast all about her 



River runs through the glade
Kingfisher flies, river speed,
racing water, glittering
flashes of bright colour
intermittent in dappled light,
sharp call briefly heard.

Such magical appearances
and disappearances mirror
Rhiannon’s riding, now here,
now there; Kingfisher kith
and kin with Rhiannon’s birds.