bless Lady Hestia for being the one to steer me away from that does me no good <3 she will always be there bless her
Today we celebrate our Venerable Father Kevin of Glendalough. Saint Kevin was a pre-schism Western Saint who lived an ascetic life in the Celtic Isles. The most well known story about Saint Kevin is when he was praying in the wilderness with arms outstretched for months on end. A bird came and made its nest in one of his hands and laid her eggs. Saint Kevin, although ready to finish his prayers, remained with arms outstretched until the eggs hatched and the little birds flew away. When reproached by an Angel for doing this, he humbly replied that if God looks after the small birds of the air, so too should he care for God's creation. May he intercede for us all + #saint #kevin #saintkevin #kevinofglendalough #glendalough #ireland #irish #celtic #isles #celticisles #monastic #ascetic #bird #nest #birds #God #prayer #faith #angel #orthodox #saintoftheday (at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow Ireland) https://www.instagram.com/p/CeUQEy7vSXK/?igshid=NGJjMDIxMWI=
“An Irish Prayer”
May God give you... For every storm, a rainbow. For every tear, a smile. For every case, a promise. And a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share. For every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.”
make america look like a white dump
Honest (to God)
Dear God, help me cope with the popularisation of the Irish language in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia amen.
Bitter Sweet Goodbye - RDR2 - You Die In Their Arms
Imagine you, as their lover, die in their arms (Fem!Reader)
Characters: Arthur, Charles, Micah, Dutch, Hosea
Warnings: Graphic depictions of violence and character death, mentions of Chapter 4, use of Y/N and L/N
If anyone has any writing requests or want to see any other characters/scenarios please let me know! :D
If you rather read it on AO3 it can be found here!
This couldn’t be happening. Arthur would have laughed at the absurdity of it, really. If he weren’t so choked up by the gnawing realization that you weren’t going to make it. Micah had insisted on pulling another O’Driscoll bust. Stealing the mother-load from a bank transport wagon the rival gang had their eye on. “C’mon Arthur. After what they did to you and Kieran? They deserve it.” He coerced you both into it. “And Y/N is a quick shot. In and out, easy job.”
You were excited to fuck over the Irish gang. When Arthur returned half dead on his horse you were in shambles. Heartbroken over seeing your lover at death’s door. “Let’s do this!” You exclaimed. “Let’s make their pockets hurt.” Just as Micah had pointed out, you were quite experienced. You had been running with the gang for a long while and your talents were admirable. Hell, you even saved Arthur from getting shot a few times.
“Okay.” He agreed reluctantly. “Let’s go.” He didn’t trust Micah but if you were there… Well… The job would probably be fine.
Arthur should have known by now it was another setup. After the O’Driscoll boys strung him up in that cellar he should have known… After Sean’s head was blown off during the blood feud he should have known. When he saw you fall from your horse everything clicked for him. The world slowed as he watched the horses of the men behind you trample your limp body mercilessly into the dust. The O'Driscolls outnumbered the three of you greatly and it was clear they were out for blood. Arthur shot every single one of them with little hesitation, leaving behind no survivors.
Micah rejoiced while the dirt cleared from the air. “Whoo-hoo!” He laughed, sliding from his saddle to loot the O’Driscoll corpses. “They got some good money!” Micah gazed up, tilting the brim of his hat while scanning the area for you. “Shit-” He breathed. Your horse was dead and you… Well, he could tell by the way Arthur dropped everything to rush to your side that something not so good probably happened.
Arthur noticed you hadn’t moved in awhile. By the time he collapsed by your side and held you in his arms he was able to take in how much you were in rough shape. Arthur swallowed hard, watching you gurgle on your blood and gasp, struggling to breathe. “Arthur-” He winced when the broken sound of your usually sweet voice reached his ears.
“Shhh, Y/N. Save your energy. It’s gonna be okay, we’re gettin’ you outta this.” Though they were meant to be soothing, his words were desperate. A silent prayer to whatever god above had long abandoned him and his friends, and now his lover who was suffering badly. Arthur knew you wouldn’t make it to camp. Shit, you probably wouldn’t even live long enough for him to get you both on his horse. All he could do was hold you in his arms. Memorizing the weight of your body against his. The warmth of your skin and how beautifully you always looked up at him even in your last few moments.
Despite the drying blood coating your bruising face you were still the most ethereal being Arthur had ever laid eyes upon. He could have laughed right then and there. He could have cried. He could have begged; ‘No! Not Y/N too. Please- take anyone but Y/N! Take me instead!’ but who would listen? The universe never answered his prayers or his pleas. Surely the universe would be quiet today too.
He didn’t want your last moments to be scary. Instead he pet your hair, kissing your lips while trying to make sure you were laying in a comfortable position. It wasn’t easy since your ribs were shattered but it was all he could think to do. “Guess what?”
“What?” Your voice was barely just above a whisper.
“I wanted to tell you earlier, but… We finally have enough money to get ourselves a nice cabin out West. Just you and me. Maybe we can get ourselves a dog. Doesn’t that sound nice?” It was a lie but it was also a beautiful dream.
“Mmmm.” Your breaths were shallow now. There was a smile growing on your busted lips. Arthur’s heart sunk as he watched your eyes flutter shut. You looked so exhausted. Ready for eternal rest. Never had he felt such heartache. “It does sound nice. I really….. really want a dog.”
“I know you do, sweetheart. I know.” His voice trembled, finally giving away his emotions. When your breathing slowly came to a stop he pressed your foreheads together letting out a soft anguished cry. ‘I love you.’ He wanted to say, but who would listen? You were gone. The whole world fell silent. The birds didn’t chirp, the coyotes didn’t bark, and Micah Bell somehow had enough wit to him to give you both privacy in your final moments.
Arthur held you until the sun had long set and your body was growing cold. He couldn’t let go – wouldn’t…. Until Hosea finally came and squeezed his shoulder. “Arthur, my boy… I’m so sorry. Micah told me everything. Charles and I are here to help. Let’s let Y/N rest.” Slowly, Arthur uncurled from you, reluctantly passing your body to Hosea. Even as you were taken away he stared blankly at the spot you had been before slowly staring up at the twinkling stars above. Finally, he laughed. A cold hard grief filled laugh that was as heavy as his heart and mind.
“This is it for us.” He murmured, taking out a cigarette. “None of us are long for this world now.” Lighting it between his lips he flicked the match away then took a long drag. “I’m sure I’ll see you soon, sweetheart.” The breeze pushed back his hair while he smoked. Just taking in the scene before him. This was a scene he’ll never bear to draw in his journal. A scene that he’ll carry, burned into his memory, to fuel him until he too takes his final breaths.
Arthur Morgan stood. Covered in the blood of the only person who had genuinely loved him for who he was. In the blood of the most beautiful human being he had ever had the privilege of sharing life with. He carried his trembling body to his horse. “Follow me. I know where she’d wanna be laid to rest.”
Charles took you hunting in the Grizzlies West, an activity you and him have done a dozen times together if not more. Pelts were needed to upgrade things around camp and to keep everyone warm, it was a simple task. You were an experienced hunter and he loved spending quiet lazy days with you out in the mountains. That was, until today.
You had tracked a moose to cliff overlooking a nearby river. “We’re close.” Charles admired the snowflakes shimmering in your hair as the sun moved through the trees. The day had been long and you two were wrapping up for the evening. Just one last catch…
Then, you were suddenly gone.
Charles blinked in confusion. It happened sp quickly his mind struggled to make sense of it even as the loud SLASH of your body hitting the frozen water reached his ears. “Y/N!?” Charles rushed to the ledge, watching you scramble to catch onto a rock since you were swept away by the deadly current.
He wasted no time in mounting his horse, riding fast and hard to catch up to you long enough to toss you his lasso. “Y/N!” He tried hard to call your name over the rushing sound of water. “Y/N grab the rope!”
You coughed and sputtered, flailing wildly. You couldn’t see anything in the water, the current dragging you under every few seconds. “Charles!” You sobbed out. Finally you felt something wrap around your wrist. Charles managed to throw his lasso just right for you to grab onto. The frigid water bit into your skin like a thousand stinging needles while you were being pulled to the bank.
“You poor thing.” Charles breathed, gathering you into his arms once you were close enough for him to grab. You were half frozen and turning blue with hypothermia. Teeth chattering and shaking so hard you couldn’t even speak. Your skin burned so badly your brain was begging you to rip it off. The cold was a shock to your system, all you could to was press helplessly against your lover’s warm chest. Never had you felt such pain.
Charles did the best he could. He knew he had to get you warm or else…. Luckily you were close enough to Colter, he was able to bring you there quickly. Returning to the spot was bitter sweet. He set you up in the warmest cabin, stripping your wet clothes off. Charles then covered you in his coat and the furs you two managed to collect earlier. Finding dry firewood was a struggle so he ended up burning little kindling with paper from a book and some fat from an animal you both killed.
“S-s-so c-cold.” You whispered. All of your energy had depleted trying to keep your body warm and now your eyes were growing heavy.
“I know, I’m sorry. It’ll be warmer soon.” The fire really wasn’t heating fast enough. Charles gathered you in his arms again in an attempt to share his warmth with you. He could tell you weren’t doing well. Even if he could bring you into the warmest place possible you probably weren’t going to make it, you had been in that water for far too long. He tried not to let that get to him. If he ignored that fact, maybe it would disappear from existance and you would be okay.
Charles brushed the hair from your face, kissing your forehead. Your head rest against his chest and he stared into the fire as he rocked you gently. He was silent for awhile, trying to conjure ways to save your life or to ease your suffering. Nothing came to mind and Charles was beginning to feel terrified. “Don’t go to sleep.” He whispered, resting his chin on top of your head.
“I’m trying not to.”
Oh, your voice was so strained and weak. Was this the last time he’ll ever hear you speak?
“I love you.”
Charles swallowed hard. He looked down at you again, searching your face with desperation. “I know. I love you too.”
“I know.” You teased him, snuggling up to your lover one final time. “Thank you for taking care of me.”
“Y/N…..” His brow furrowed. A part of him didn’t understand why you were saying these things while the other half was realizing the reality and severity of the situation. Tears pricked the corners of his eyes. He held you tighter as if that would somehow keep you bound to this world. “Always.” He whispered. “Now and in the future.” Please… please let there be a future…
You didn’t answer. Your eyes were shut peacefully and your breathing began to fade. Feeling helpless now that his best friend was slipping away in his arms, all Charles could do was silently cry. He kept rocking you, singing a lullaby his mother had sang for him as a child. He wanted you to go peacefully and well loved. It was the least he could do.
Only hours ago you both were on top of the world. Enjoying each others company. Giving thanks to the animals you hunted. Only this morning he woke up to you in his arms kissing all over his face while giggling. And now…. Now you were gone. In his arms, yes, but not really here at all. He’ll never see you again.
Charles sobbed, his whole body shaking as he clung to you. He wasn’t ready for you to leave. Not like this… He stayed with you until the sun rose and a new day broke. Placing one final kiss to your lips he carefully bundled you up in the pelts and brought you to his horse. It was too cold up in Colter to dig a grave and he wanted to place you somewhere beautiful. Somewhere meaningful. The ride down the mountain was slow and painful. Charles sang sorrowfully his lullaby the whole way.
After that day, Charles no longer found any peace in hunting. It only brought memories of you.
Micah had a hard time loving people. Letting people in. He was shown from a young age that love was a weakness and he was a survivor. That was, until you came around and somehow tore down those walls. With you in his life he was calmer, milder, less likely to shoot up a town for looking at him wrong. If he had to do a job you were always right there by his side.
Micah didn’t consider this might be a setup. He thought it was just another day out and easy money. A house robbery where the occupants had recently come into some decent cash while gambling in Saint Denis. However, they were simple country folk and seemed innocent enough. The wife was supposedly away visiting her sister with their children and the husband was fast asleep. Easy. Sneak in, grab the money, sneak out. Maybe steal their carriage. Something you could probably handle on your own but Micah thought the two of you riding off into the moonlight with pockets overstuffed with ritches was rather romantic.
It was an ambush.
You found the cash effortlessly just as assumed. There was a book here you picked up and glance at, or a bottle of alcohol there you stowed away in case it was useful. You always had a good eye for these things and since you’ve robbed plenty of homesteads you weren’t too concerned with things going south. Instead you took your sweet time as quiet as a mouse.
Micah was right behind you. He even teasingly spanked your ass at one point, causing you to glare playfully at him. “Really?” You mouthed. He shrugged. “C’mon. Let’s get outta here.” His hand was on your hip as you opened the front door. Micah could feel you freeze.
“Shit-” Was all you could manage before stumbling backwards, clutching your throat in a feeble attempt to stop from bleeding out. Bounty hunters! They had surrounded the house as soon as you two entered, waiting for an opening. One hiding behind the door had shot you point blank in the jugular.
“Mother fucker!” Micah’s voice cracked with rage. His eyes were wild with insanity as he shot the man to death. Micah kicked the door shut in an attempt to buy you both a bit of coverage, dragging you to lay in the safety of his lap. “Come on out Micah Bell. We know you’re in there!” The team of bounty hunters circled the house, shooting at its walls, shattering the windows.
Micah ignored them the best he could. They could wait. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from your writhing choking form. You couldn’t breathe. Your hands reached out for him, clawing at his arms desperately as if Micah could give you your breath back. Crimson stained the both of you and your clothes.
“Shit baby-doll.” He let out a shaky breath. “I’m so sorry. I’ll make ‘em pay. I’m so sorry, I shoulda known.” He brushed the hair from your face, wiping the blood from the corner of your mouth with his shirt sleeve while his free hand put pressure on your spewing neck. There was so much blood and he could tell by the way your wide eyes glistened you were in pain. “I know, I know.” He hugged you while listening to your gurgled plea. “I know it hurts. It’ll go away soon.”
His hand wet with your life force slid down your body to rest over your still beating heart. He felt it thrum a moment longer before pressing his gun to the area. “I love you baby-doll.”
Your body falling limp brought relief to Micah’s own lungs and he let out a shaky breath. He couldn’t stand the thought of you dying while wretching like a wounded animal. A mercy killing was most fitting of his sweetheart, he thought darkly with a heavy heart. Micah stayed with you a moment longer, whispering soft nothings until the bounty hunters caught his attention again. All of that rage filled him once more and he wasted no time in kicking open the front door and gunning them down in cold blood.
Silence filled the midnight air accompanied by crickets. The scent of gunpowder and iron was so thick he could taste it. It was peaceful. Life and death mingled in silent spaces held in the shadows. It was as expected, Micah thought.
Shrugging off his jacket he slid it on your form before scooping your lifeless body up in his arms. He set you on the back of Baylock before dragging the other corpses into the house and lighting it on fire. Micah watched it burn, smoking a cigarette. The dancing images cast over the land in a faint glow amused him. Were you there? Rejoicing in the death of the men who killed you? He wanted to think so. To think that you would dance in every fire he lit from here on out.
Once dawn broke Micah finally mounted his horse to find a place to bury you. He actually considered this a lot. He wanted to lay you to rest in a place easily accessible so he could visit you often. He stayed silent the whole ride, replaying memories of you in his mind. You were his one and only and Micah knew he would never find love again.
Dutch had many lovers but none were quite like you. You were ethereal. Special. All he ever wanted to do was make his plans then return to his tent to hold you in his arms as you both spoke about the future and fell asleep for the night. He looked forward to his time with you. Unlike his other lovers you enjoyed going out and working for money. Charming a fella for his days wage, or stealing from a rich man’s wife during teatime. It was a quality about you he found… Well… Sexy.
When Dutch met with Colm O’Driscoll he thought it went rather well. Arthur never met them on the road home but he didn’t think too much of it. Riding back to camp he was in high spirits. Speaking loudly to Micah about how they were finally moving forward in life. “Where’s Y/N? I have wonderful news!” He announced after hitching his horse. Charles and Ms. Grimshaw exchanged looks.
“She hasn’t returned yet Dutch, I thought you went to meet her in Rhodes.” Grimshaw flattened her skirt.
Dutch scoffed. “Now why would I go and do that?”
“She said she’d be back in the evening.”
“It’s evening now, Ms. Grimshaw.”
“I know. We were waiting for her.”
With a sigh, Dutch simply stalked back to The Count, climbing onto his saddle. “I’ll go fetch her then.” It was such a chore! He shouldn’t be out when he has such a price on his head. But Dutch was quite giddy after Colm complimented him and he wanted you to be the first to hear about how the meeting went.
He rode into town, walking through on his horse as his eyes scanned the buildings for any sign of you. Maybe you were mingling? Before he could consider any other possibilities something caught his ear. His heart sank while he overheard words he never dared imagine the combination of.
“O’Driscolls? Down this far South? Unheard of. I guess they were searching for a gal. Grabbed her and took off with the Lemoyne Raiders hot on their tail. Nasty business.”
Nasty business indeed. Now, he could be slow but Dutch van der Linde was no fool. Why else would the O’Driscolls be down this way, during the day of their meeting no less, to kidnap a random girl? Oh, he knew. This was their idea all along. To kill his other sweetheart.
Dutch’s knuckles turned white with rage, snapping the reigns violently. The Count whirled around, running out of Rhodes until he carried Dutch back to camp. “Micah, Bill, with me. Now!” He barked through gritted teeth, pacing straight to his tent to grab his revolver. “Y/N has been taken. By Colm O’Driscoll.”
“Shit! That bastard. You shoulda’ killed ‘em!” Bill ran, grabbing his rifle while Micah walked leisurely to mount Baylock, completely unbothered.
“I should have, Bill. I should have. Now com’mon!”
They rode fast and hard. Somehow catching up to the O’Driscoll’s little posse before they could reach some encampment with you stowed on a horse. Micah flanked the enemy gang on one side while Bill came in from the other. Dutch held the back, eyeing you tied up and gagged. The sight made his blood boil. There was eight O’Driscolls in total and their horses were fast, but Dutch, Bill, and Micah managed to keep up. Riding and shooting at each other as they went.
The Irishmen fell from their horses like flies. Some with their face half blown off, others screaming as their horses dragged them to death. One by one they were picked off until there were only two left. Dutch dug his spurs into his horse, moving him to ride along the man who held you captive on horseback. “Give it up son. Give me the lady and we’ll spare your life.” He didn’t want to shoot the man just yet in case you got hurt.
When a gun was pulled out of his pocket, Dutch veered to the side, assuming the fucker was going to shoot at him. His eyes widened when he realized the O’Driscoll boy wasn’t aiming for him at all. A severe miscalculation on Dutch’s part. “Colm says hello.”
“God damn you!” He snarled. Dutch finally raised his pistol.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
He emptied a barrage of shots into the man until the gun clicked and no more bullets came out. Dutch chased after the boy’s horse, corralling the spooked animal into stopping. Time seemed slow. Too slow. Dutch tried his best to calm the horse enough for him to safely take you off its back and into the comfort of his arms. “Oh, my darling.” Dutch fell to his knees, untying you so he could inspect the growing blood stain near your abdomen.
“Dutch! You came for me. You came-” You sobbed, gripping your side in pain.
“Shhh. Of course I did.” He placed a kiss to your trembling lips. The wound was bad. This situation was bad. Everything was fucked. He had seen men shot in this area more times than he could count and he knew they never survived for more than a day at most.
“Com’ere.” He picked you up, carrying you to his horse. After sitting you down he climbed into the saddle. “Tell the others…” His mouth opened and closed for a moment. What does he even say? He didn’t want to scare you but… He didn’t want that filthy camp to be the last thing you see. He knew how much you hated it...
“Alright.” Bill said, seeming to understand what was happening. He took his hat off, staring at you for a moment before bowing politely. “I’m happy you’re safe, Ms. L/N.”
You smiled gently. “Thank you Bill.” Your throat was dry and your words were weak.
Dutch held you close to him as you rode off.
“Where are we going?” You wondered.
“Somewhere nice, my dear. With a wound like that you need rest and fresh air. Simple as that.” Somehow Dutch managed to keep his voice calm even as his heart churned with sorrow.
He brought the both of you to stop overlooking a beautiful meadow with a perfect view of the lake. After placing a sweet kiss to the top of your head Dutch scooped you into his arms, carrying you to a nice tree where he then settled you in his lap. “Here, take this.” He pressed a bottle of alcohol into your hands. “It’ll help take the pain away and you’ll be able to sleep.”
Dutch pet your hair as he watched you. Studying your face. Every bump, wrinkle, scar, and blemish. He wanted to remember every single aspect of you. His last lover… Whenever he tried to recall her face the picture was fuzzy. He couldn’t stand the idea of not being able to remember you. “I love you so much, you know that? You were so brave today. I’m proud of you, sweetheart. Real proud.”
“I wasn’t really…” You gave a little laugh, wincing as the alcohol burned your throat. “I love you too. Thank you for saving me.” You felt stiff and exhausted. Snuggling against his chest you both watched the sunrise and Dutch began reciting lines from your favorite book he had memorized. It was lovely, you thought as your eyes became too heavy and sleep was hard to battle. You hummed happily, a smile on your face as you drifted off peacefully.
Long after he felt your breathing stop did Dutch keep telling your favorite story. As if your spirit were lingering around and would return to your body. Then, maybe, everything would be okay. When he reached the final line of his remembrance only then did he cry. Burying his face into your hair he sobbed and took in your scent one final time.
The last thread of his sanity broke that day. He no longer cared about what future the gang might have. What future he would have with the price on his head… The only future he ever cared about was with you and you were gone now. He held you until Hosea came looking for him. Together they buried you somewhere meaningful. This was the only time Dutch actually payed for a headstone to be made. In your honor.
You and Hosea were always together no matter what you were doing. Half of the time you didn’t even need to speak with each other and just silently enjoyed each others company. Naturally you joined him on many outings to scope out who to rob. This particular occasion was a party on the outskirts of Saint Denis located in a beautiful garden home. You were dressed brilliantly, posing as Hosea’s lawful wife.
You’re charming. More charming than anyone else in the gang. With your sweet angel face and your gentle voice, everyone who spoke to you immediately thought of you as a good friend. And so there you were, mingling with the other guests. Giggling with the ladies and awe-ing (falsely so) with the rich gentlemen. Everyone loved you! So many people were trying to speak with you and flag down your attention.
It wasn’t usual to have such an elegant, smart, sweet, kind, and funny lady in their midst. You were a bit of a commodity. Hosea could hardly make his way to your side there were so many people surrounding you. He watched fondly from afar. Many times men would approach him to compliment you. “You’re one lucky man, Mr. Matthews. Mrs. Matthews is such a charmer.”
“Oh, I know it!” He laughed.” Trust me, fellas, it’s hard to keep my wife for myself some days.”
They all laughed. One man handing him a cigar which he happily accepted. The evening was bright and joyful. Though he nor you enjoyed events like this somehow you both were having fun this time. Hosea followed a group of men into a private back study to discuss investments while he left you at the main party.
This particular crowd was juicy, you thought. You heard so much gossip and many of the attendees were telling on themselves; bragging to you about what they’ve recently purchased for themselves or who’s neighbor was hoarding cash in personal safes. You were careful to make a mental note of each and every person as you nursed a glass of champagne.
“Did you hear?” A woman leaned close to you and a few of her friends.
“Hear what?” You inquired.
“Apparently Mrs. Conway has asked the local apothecary for… a permanent sleep cure.”
You tilt your head as the other ladies gasped and giggled. “Mrs. Conway… Our host for the evening?” Were they really gossiping about this woman in her own home?
“Yes. Oh, she must be dreadfully bored of Mr. Conway. I wonder if he’ll join us this evening.”
All you could do was smile and nod to blend in. It wasn’t the first time you had heard of a woman wanting to poison her rich husband. To each their own, you didn’t really care. You flinched as a loud clattering noise reached your ears. Looking behind you your eyes settled towards the source of the sound. The kitchens.
“I heard they hired new help and the kitchens are a mess tonight.” Another older woman snickered. “The Conways are lucky mingling has been this evening’s high point. Otherwise a ruined meal would sully the party.”
“Absolutely.” You agreed, setting your glass aside. “Will you please excuse me? I wish to powder my nose before dinner.” With a hum you moved away from the group to find Hosea. It wasn’t hard for you to follow his voice down the hallway. You smiled to yourself, simply listening to him work his magic. He truly was such a likable man.
Once dinner arrived Hosea had met up with you and brought you to the dining room where he pulled out your chair. Even if you two weren’t in such a luxurious setting he would have still done this. Always such a gentlemen to the love of his life. “How goes it?”
“Quite well. The ladies here are wonderfully friendly. I’ve learned a lot from them.”
Hosea admired how stunning you looked in the chandelier lighting, ignoring the help as plates of food were set in front of each guest. “I’m happy to hear that, honey.” He gave you an easy but loving smile. A smile you were quite familiar with.
There was a short speech given by Mrs. Conway, who’s party this was, where she thanked everyone and made a few jokes that earned a chuckle here and there. Finally you were able to eat. It was spaghetti which was, apparently, an Italian dish. Jack had told you and Hosea all about it when he returned to Shady Belle.
There was still chatter in the air as you took your first bite. It was delicious! It made your throat tingle a little but you thought nothing of it. Perhaps it was just the spices used. After your third bite your throat suddenly completely restricted. Your fork clattered against the table, hands flying to your throat. You couldn’t swallow. You couldn’t breathe.
“Y/N?” Hosea’s startled gaze snapped to you immediately. The room went silent as looks of horror washed over the faces of guests. “Y/N!?” Hosea gasped when your body began convulsing. He quickly took you into his arms, helping you to the floor so you wouldn’t hurt yourself. “Someone call the doctor! Quick!” He screamed. His eyes met with Mrs. Conway’s only for a split moment. She was frozen into place, guilt written all over her face. “Hurry!” Hosea pleaded.
You cried out the best you could. Holding onto Hosea who tried his best to calm you. “I’m here my love. I’m here. Hang on. Please Y/N.” He felt so helpless. All he could do was wipe the spit from the corner of your mouth and the tears from your cheeks while whispering soft soothing words. He held eye contact with you, shushing you, promising you help was on the way. “Stay with me, love. Stay with me.” His words were desperate. Eyes filled with tears.
Your face was turning blue. Your body trembling, writhing and heaving. It was a disturbing sight for Hosea, who had always assumed he would meet his end far before you ever met yours. The poison was swift. As soon as it started it ended and you finally fell limply against his chest. Hosea paused, studying your face. He couldn’t understand at first why you were quiet. “Y/N?” He gently shook you.
“No…. No! Y/N!” He cried out for you. Hosea pulled you tightly against him, wrapping his arms to cradle your head away from prying eyes as he sobbed openly. The whole thing was a whirlwind. What was supposed to be a tantalizing evening ended in tragedy. A selfish woman meaning to poison her husband. The messy kitchen staff mixing up the guests’ plates. You choking to death on an elixir from hell. Hosea Matthews experiencing his lover being ripped away from him violently a second time.
To onlookers he was nothing but a broken man refusing to let go of his murdered wife even as the police came and tried to break them apart. He wanted so desperately to fight them away, but he knew he couldn’t.
“I’m so sorry Mr. Matthews. I never meant for-” Ms. Conway whimpered pathetically while her hands were being bound by an officer for her arrest.
“You never meant for what?” He snapped. “An innocent person to die? You didn’t mean to get caught? You didn’t mean for your greed to bring you to such lows?” His eyes were cold and Ms. Conway hung her head in shame. “Go to hell, Ms. Conway. Where you belong.”
Once it was allowed, Hosea left the party. He went straight to the Saint Denis morgue to see you one last time before making funeral arrangements. It felt fake. As if the events of the night were a figment of his imagination. The gravity of reality didn’t sink in until he returned to Shady Belle alone. Every ne was asking where you were. All he could do was drag his old bones to his room, collapse onto his cot, and cry.
The Heathen and the Christian
Ivar the boneless x reader ( OC)
Word count: 3401
SUMMARY:When a young anglo-saxon meets Ivar in the woods, she thinks he is a nice innocent boy, only to be shocked when she finds out who he REALLY is and what he is capable of.
A/N:This is my 2nd time writing with Vikings. I hope yall like it. I am also apologizing for (possible) mistranslations of irish and icelandic. I might do a part two to this series cuz i like how its going. Also not readproof
1-Oh Cernunnos god of the forest bless me and guide me.
3-That one is mine
4- Do that again and you`re dead
Wandering the woods at this time of the year, gave any passer-by a spectacular and magical scenery. The rays of sunshine were breaking through the branches, illuminating the forest in the most wonderful ways. Summer was without a doubt the best time of the year. The weather was finally favorable for farmers, crops were flourishing and nature was thriving. But there was a downside to it. This season naturally brought along raiding parties coming from the north, with the intention of pillaging and eradicating every village in sight of any gold or treasure.
Villagers were adivsed to be extremely wary of their surroundings, and in case of any suspicious sighting to report to the guards.
Walking out of the small one-room cottage, Frigyth took her woven basket, hanging it on her left arm and took steady steps towards the neighboring woods that surrounded her village. She was a young maiden, '' ready to be married'' according to her parents, who took her tasks very lightly. She came from a typical peasant family, with three other sisters and one brother. She was at that age where she cared more about enjoying life than actually being helpful around the house.
She begged her mother days in a row to let her go harvest some berries from the woods, seeing as that was her only opportunity to explore nature and relax a tad bit. She took her already forming path that led her into a meadow, hidden from view by some on-growing bushes. She found a larger boulder, and took a seat in a dent, placing her basket next to her. She had plenty of time to finish her task, she thought, so for now she could enjoy a little bit of warmth.
Clasping her hands in a prayer-way, she took a glance around her, making sure she was alone, and started chanting an old prayer she used to hear as a child from her grandmother.
Ó Cernunnos Dia na foraoise
beannaigh dom agus treoraigh
mé tríd an bhforaois...
From a small distance, the prayer spoken by the girl was heard by a trespasser, that was lurking around in the woods seeking some alone time. Instead, the stranger took a detour and followed the voice, leading him into the hidden meadow. upon his arrival, he analyzed the young lady up closely, noticing how she had her eyes closed, and was in a vulnerable state. It would`ve been very easy for the young Viking leader to take his dagger out and kill her on the spot, which was what he should be doing, otherwise he risked getting noticed by the saxon girl, who in return would alert the whole village of the presence of Vikings.
Or perhaps he could kidnap her, get any valuable information out of her and THEN kill her. That seemed like a better idea.
The warrior got lost in his thoughts for a few moments that only when he heard the girl gasp did he snap back to the current situation he was in. The young woman that was not so long ago sat in a peaceful position was now standing up, grabbing her basket in front of her, as if she thought it would protect her from the unknown boy. You did not need to be a schooled noble to notice that the stranger`s attire was different from the regular anglo-saxon clothing, and the weapons well secured around the belt hugging his waist were a big tell-tale sign that she had just ran face to face with a Viking.
Frigyth was not sure what she could possibly do to escape this situation. If she ran, would she meet other Vikings? Or perhaps if she yelled for help, the barbarians would much faster come in to the aid of the mysterious boy and do her in. Her mind along with her heart were racing, blood pulsing through her whole body, as if it was preparing for whatever would happen next. Feeling a giddy feeling in her stomach, she spotted her way out, then she got into a running position, one leg in front of the other, slightly leaning on it and being ready to sprint at any given time.
The Viking however, seemed too lost in his tracks to think of what he should do to her. He was observing her. Long, curly hair, with a vibrant color that glimmered in the sun. He felt sort of... entranced by her?
Before he let her go, he wolf whistled at her, gaining her attention. '' I am Ivar.'' He spoke in a very thick anglo-saxon accent. Frigyth did a double-take, not being sure she actually heard him speaking in HER language. While on the outside she remained frozen, her mind was filled with multiple questions. Probably because she has never heard foreigners speak her language- or because she has never faced a norman before.
'' What is your name?'' Asked the Viking in an iritated tone. The young girl was not sure it was a good idea to tell divulge her full identity. But realizing she had no other choice, she defeteadly answered.
'' Frigyth.'' It was a simple and short answer, for which she hoped it would suffice. But by the looks on the warrior, he smirked slowly at her, watching with predator eyes as she was shifting uncomfortably her weight from one foot to the other.
'' What was that prayer you were saying earlier? It did not sound like your language.'' The maiden`s heart started beating at an alarming rate. Deep down she knew, that the prayer she was chanting earlier was considered heresy and it was forbidden among the christians. But it`s not like him, a Viking, would go and tell on her to a guard. After all, weren`t they pagans as well?
'' It`s an ancient language. I was praying to Cernunnos, the god of the forest, fertility. I- It`s forbidden to pray to any other god other than the One True God. But my grandmother used to tell me that the old Gods never left and are ever present.'' She finished, admitting what has been laying in her heart for many years, sighing in happiness when she mentioned her grandmother.
To say Ivar was shocked at the newfound information was an understatement. In all his life, he had never encountered a christian praying to a different deity. He was getting more and more intrigued by the girl, and the logical part of his brain that was constantly nudging him to kill her was shutting down completely.
The young leader-who had previously found a good sitting spot on the grass- nudged his head towards the empty place next to him, indicating to her to take a seat. With careful, calculated steps, she approached him, leaving a few centimetres between them, just in case he was going to strangle her, or who knows what else.
'' So... tell me...'' He trailed off, in hopes that the girl would tell him something about herself.
With frowning brows, she kept silent, waiting for him to continue with a question. Ivar rolled his eyes, and asked her about her family.
'' We`re but a family humble peasants .'' The Viking could tell she loved cutting straight to the chase, not giving out any other detail unless asked.
Gaining all the courage she could muster, she turned slightly towards him, asking the dreaded question.
'' Where did you come from?''
Raising his eyebrows, Ivar chuckled darkly, shaking his head softly.
'' I don`t think you want to know.'' He admitted cynically.
'' Will that get me in trouble?'' She asked shyly.
'' You could say that.'' Smiling softly, Frigyth directioned her eyes to the ground, trying to ignore the burning stares of the curious Viking whose hand was slowly reaching up to her face, pausing for a second and taking a hold of a piece of her hair, and twirling it around his finger -almost lovingly so- which made her flinch for a second, before relaxing back and letting him play with strands of her hair.
The atmosphere between the two was peaceful, even though there was silence, but it was a welcoming one, in which neither felt the need to interrupt it. It was as if an unspoken rule was set. Both simply wanted to sit down and get lost between the thousands of trees and take a break from their societal obligations. Ivar leaned back on his elbows, straightening his legs in front of him, to give them a stretch, which gave the girl a full view of his crippled legs. She widened her eyes in surprise, but quickly gained her composure when she noticed Ivar clenching his jaw in anger, averting her eyes elsewhere.
It felt like they were there for an hour or two, when Frigyth sighed sadly and stood up, clenching the handle of the backet in her left fist and started taking small steps towards the hidden entrance marked by two bushes with a beaten track in between them. Ivar frowned, his eyes following her figure sharply, similar to a wolf following his prey.
'' I should go.'' Looking at her feet, she was swinging the basket slowly in her hand, as if waiting for the boy to stop her from going, although, deep down, she knew she was running behind with her tasks and she was bound to return home eventually, and her mother would not be happy if she came back empty handed.
Ivar nodded stoically, breaking his eyes from the girl and with a loud groan, he rolled onto his back, and began crawling towards the girl, ignoring her stares of bewilderment at his methods of traveling.
'' I should probably go too.'' He responded and begudgingly so.
'' It was nice meeting you.'' Frigyth complimented, with a small voice.
'' We will meet again, christian.'' He winked at her, which caused the maiden to let out a nervous laugh, having no idea what he could have possibly meant by that, and on that note, they both departed their own ways.
Upon her arrival back home, she was welcome by her worried mother, who seemed to have a look of concern mixed with irritation displaying across her face.
'' Where have you been?! It`s almost dark outside. And what is this? This is all you gathered in all this time you were gone?!'' She pointed at her basket, which was barely filled with any berries.
Frigyth shrugged off the hand her mother had placed on her shoulder, sprinting inside the cottage. The one-room hut was warm and all her family was gathered round at the table, chatting lively amongst eachother. Her presence was sensed by her father, and one by one her siblings all paused mid-conversation, to look at the newcomer. Her father smiled warmly at her, motioning with his hand to take a seat next to him.
'' We were wondering when you would come back Frig. Your mother was worrying terribly.'' He laughed, patting her back twice.
'' And I had all the reasons to. You know what they tell us, the priests. The woods are no longer safe.'' Her mother huffed angrily, stepping into the cottage and slamming the door shut, checking the small window incorporated in it for any intruders that might be lurking outside their homes. She took her seat, next to her husband and continued eating her freshly cooked pottage.
Frigyth`s father let out a breath of air, rubbing his face with his face. The rebel daughter rolled her eyes, pretending to be oblivious to what her mother was saying. Should she tell anyone that today she has met and spoken to a possible Viking? If she did, then she would reveal to everyone that she had been slacking rather than actually gathering food for the family, and she risked losing the task she was given, and probably forced to return to her old duties, which were mostly around the cottage. So she took the smarted option, and never mentioned the encounter with the stranger.
'' I know. Aelflead and the other blacksmiths think that we are to prepare for an attack.'' The father confessed sadly.
'' What makes you think that, dad?'' The youngest sibling asked, with her curious natured eyes.
'' Because sweetie, we have been ordered by the king to forge as many swords and shields as fast as we can manage. But when we tried asking the guards why, he refused to tell us. They were all acting suspicious.'' He shrugged, ripping a piece of the wholemeal bread and dipping it in the stew.
Frigyth was starting to get nervous. What if they are about to be attacked? But again, Ivar did not look dangerous. Evenmore, he was crippled. Surely that meant he was maybe thrown out of his tribe and forced to die alone. And even if she decided to tell her family about her encounter, in what way would that help them escape the fury of a Viking raid?
The contact she had with the mysterious boy was what kept her awake most of the night, and by the time her body was exhausted and allowed her to fall asleep, the rooster was already crowing, alerting the family that it was dawn and that meant time to go back to work. However, something felt odd. While Frigyth`s family members were grumbingly getting out of bed, the young maiden heard screams and clanks of swords outside. When realization hit her, she alerted her family to be silent for a second in order for them to pay attention to what might have been going outside.
''Haeddi, take the girls and hide in the barn. Wilfred and I are going outside to see what is happening.'' The father instructed his wife. ''Here, grab this.'' He threw a newly forged seax to his son, and he took an old rusty looking blade for himself, gesturing with his head towards the door. '' Let`s go.'' With one solemn look, Frigyth`s father glanced at his girls, holding a strong and loving eye contact with his wife, silently reassuring her that everything was going to be all right.
When the girls were left alone, Haeddi looked at her daughters, trying to contain the tears threatening to spill from her eyes. '' We`re going outside. Stick close to each other. Once we reach the barn, find a hiding spot. Underneath the hay, behind it. I don`t` know. But do it as fast as you can. We don`t know what awaits us out there.'' The four girls looked at her mother, nodding shakily and following closely behind her towards the door. The mother was counting with her fingers how many seconds they had left before she would open the door and the chaos would start. Frigyth could hear the faint screams of terror coming from the villagers and once the door was open and they started running, everything went in slow motion. The action outside became more vivid. The shrieks and cries of pain were amplified and all of those made the girls run faster than they had ever done so in their entire lives.
Once they safely reached the barn, her mother grabbed the youngest offspring and she chucked them both behind some haystacks. The other two sisters went off climbing on a ladder and finding a safe space to bury in.
Frigyth was looking around, trying to find the first hidin place and duck under it, but to her terror, she was forcefully grabbed by her arm by a very muscular man, that looked like he could eat her alive. She gulped, eyes wide open and heart drumming against her chest, almost as if it was ready to jump out of her chest. He gave her an animalistic smile, that sent shivers down to her spine. Her sisters and mom were watching terrified from the hiding spots how poor Frigyth was going to get killed...or worse.
With an unmatchable force, he turned her around with her back facing him, and raising his axe and readied himself to cut her thin linen dress open, ignoring her pleas and screams to stop, but a powerful voice made him pause mid-action.
''BÍÐA!'' Both the cruel man and Frigyth turned their heads to look at whoever just stopped the brutal Viking. The girl couln`t believe her eyes. Sitting in a single seated strange looking carriage pulled by a beautiful white stallion, sat the very guy that around this time the other day she was enjoying her time with in the meadow.
''ÞESSI ER MINN!!'' Ivar approached the enormous barbarian and pulled him away from his victim by his hair, holding his dagger against his throat.
''Gerðu þetta aftur og þú ert dauður!!'' He spat with venom, letting go of him. When he looked at the shaken lady, he softened his eyes, offering a friendly hand for her to take. She shakily shook her head no, losing any trust she had in him.
Seeing how reluctant she was, Ivar huffed annoyed. '' If you come with me, you`ll be safe.'' He promised. She glanced back at her mother and sisters-who were terrifyingly and confusingly observing the interaction between the two-, looking back and forth between them and him. He instantly put two and two together, and rolled his eyes playfully. '' They will not be harmed IF... you come with me.''
But before she had any chance to speak, her father and brother came rushing to her aid. Wilfred, her brother, seemed unharmed, except for a few cuts here and there and some blood staining his blade, but her father seemed to have a pretty deep cut on his side, that was bleeding alarmingly.
'' STAY AWAY FROM MY DAUGHTER!'' Her father yelled, pointing his old and chipped sword at the Viking.
Ivar mockingly raised both his arms in surrender, faking a terrified expression. After a few moments, he then grabbed his trusty dagger, swirling it smoothly around his finger and pointing behind him at the army that was currently ravaging the village.
''See that? I am the leader of all of them. I can order them to stop anytime if I want to. That is why I am asking YOU again.'' He pointed his dagger in Frigyth`s direction. '' Are.You.Coming.With.Me?'' He asked slowly, putting an emphasis on each word, to ensure he was being understood.
The curly haired girl looked with saddening eyes at her dad, who was still clutching his sword with all his being, as if believing THAT could actually help her, then at her brother, who was copying his father`s movements, but with less confidence and then at her mother and sisters, who were all shaking their heads no and crying silently, not knowing what the outcome of this woul be.
There was no backing out of this. She had two simple but impactful choices. She either went with him, probably ending up a slave, but at least her family was safe, or so she hoped. Or she could refuse, and get killed by the previous Viking.
With determined steps, she approached Ivar, making him smirk in victory. Her father yelled at her angrily to get back there behind him, but she was already climbing Ivar`s carriage. The young ruler grabbed her hand softly, guiding her to sit on his knees, that she now got to observe, were covered in some sort of metallic braces.
Once she took her seat in his lap, he stroked her hair with one hand, while whispering in her ear. ''Good girl.'' She sat frozen in his lap, letting him wrap a strong arm around her waist to keep her steady.
She took a one last glance at her family, waving sadly at them and struggling to keep her composure.
'' They will be safe, right?! You promised!'' She asked desperately, glacing back at her house, which was now growing to be more and more far away.
'' On my arm ring.'' He pledged, placing his palm over his bracelet for a moment, showing her that he was serious about his oath. Grabbing with one arm the reins and with the other gripping her tightly against him, he yelled something in Old-Norse to the other men, fleeing the village afterwards towards an unknown location to the girl, from where a new life was about to start for her. She could only hope it was going to be good.
The new moon in Irish folk traditions
Photo by Lenstravelier on Unsplash
In Irish folk practices, the new moon (gealach úr in Irish) is seen as a time for setting intentions and ensuring your luck until the next new moon. What you do on the night of the new moon sets the tone for that lunar cycle.
Many of these customs are based on what you are doing when you first see the new moon so I feel it’s important to note that the Irish counted the dark moon (when no moon is visible in the sky) as its own phase, and the new moon would have been when the moon first became visible again.
The sources for these practices are all from The School’s Collection and they come from all over Ireland. They were collected by school children in the 1930s, who were tasked with interviewing their parents, grandparents, and neighbors for what folklore and customs they remembered from their childhoods. While these practices often reference Catholicism, they can also give us clues to former Pagan practices.
Growth and good luck
Whatever you are holding when you first see the new moon, you will have more of that by the next new moon (source 1, 2)
Planting at the new moon ensures growth for crops (source 1, 2)
If you have coins in your pocket when you see the new moon, turn them sunwise (east to west) three times to bring you wealth over the coming month, although in some sources it is enough just to hold or shake the coins (source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Or you can turn whatever you have in your pocket and make a wish (source)
Or just make a wish! (source)
It was considered unlucky
To view the new moon, especially for the first time, through a mirror or glass (source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
To view the new moon over your shoulder (source)
Unless it’s your left shoulder (source)
But the right shoulder is definitely unlucky (source 1, 2)
New moons on Saturdays are considered generally unlucky (source 1, 2)
It is unlucky to have the new moon pointed out to you by someone else (source)
Other new moon folklore
If you turn your coat inside out when you see a new moon you will have a new coat before the next new moon. source
When you see the new moon for the 1st time you should bless yourself and turn some of your clothing inside out and you will get a present. source
If you make the sign of the cross when you see the new moon you will never have a toothache. source
There is also tons of weather divination done with the moon in Irish culture. The most common piece of lore about the new moon is that if the new moon appears on its back, it means bad weather (source 1, 2), or sometimes it means a wet month. (source)
Traditional prayer upon seeing the new moon
Almost all new moon prayers start with the following stanza
I see the moon
And the moon sees me
God bless the moon
And God bless me.
it is sometimes extended with
Grace in the kitchen,
Grace in the hall.
May the grace of God,
Be about us all.
There's light in the cottage,
There's light in the hall.
And the glory of God,
Is over us all.
(sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
In several sources it is stated that the prayer should be done on the knees, in others kneeling isn’t mentioned.
This post just scratching the surface of some of the most popular new moon practices in Ireland. If you're interested in learning more, I can't recommend Duchas.ie enough! The Irish Pagan School is also an amazing resource and has a course all about the moon in Irish traditions.
⛤HISTORY OF SAMHAIN/HALLOWEEN⛤
This custom has its origins in the pagan Celtic peoples of Ireland, Britain and northern France.
Since they believed that life is born from death, they used the end of autumn to mark the beginning of their new year, the period when nature dies, because its death, according to their belief, represents the time of darkness, decay and death.
On that day, the fire on the home hearths was extinguished and darkness reigned everywhere.
On the last evening of the autumn harvest, nature changes, and the sunny and warm summer gives way to the dark and cold winter, and the fertile land becomes barren.
The Celts believed that night to be magical and apparently attached great importance to it.
In modern times, Samhain is usually celebrated from October 31 to November 1 to welcome in the harvest and usher in "the dark half of the year".
Celebrants believe that the barriers between the physical world and the spirit world are broken during Samhain, allowing for greater interaction between humans and the inhabitants of the Other World.
As this holiday was really popular, many religions, as Christianity, turned away from its true meaning.
The ancient Celts marked Samhain as the most significant of the four quarterly fire festivals, which take place at the midpoint between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.
During this time of year, hearth fires in family homes were allowed to burn during harvest.
At the end of the gathering work, the celebrants joined the druid priests to light a community fire using a wheel that would cause friction and sparks.
The wheel was considered a representation of the sun and used in conjunction with prayers. Cattle were sacrificed and participants brought a flame from the communal bonfire to their home to rekindle the hearth.
Early texts present Samhain as an obligatory three-day and three-night celebration in which the community was to perform to local kings or chieftains.
Failure to attend is believed to result in punishment from the gods, usually illness or death.
There was also a military aspect to Samhain in Ireland, with festive thrones prepared for soldier commanders.
Anyone who committed a crime or used their weapons during the celebration faced a death sentence.
Some documents mention six days of drinking excess alcohol, typically mead or beer, along with gluttonous feasts.
⛤SAMHAIN IN THE MIDDLE AGES⛤
As the Middle Ages progressed, so did the celebrations of the fire festivals.
Bonfires known as Samghnagans, which were Samhain's more personal fires near the farms, became a tradition, presumably to protect families from fairies and witches.
Carved turnips called jack-o-lanterns began to appear, attached by strings to sticks and set with charcoal. Later the Irish tradition passed to pumpkins.
In Wales, men threw firewood at each other in violent games and lit fireworks.
⛤WICCA AND SAMHAIN⛤
A broad revival of Samhain resembling its traditional pagan form began in the 1980s with the growing popularity of Wicca.
The Samhain Wicca celebration takes many forms, from traditional fire ceremonies to celebrations that embrace many aspects of modern Halloween, as well as activities related to honoring nature or ancestors.
Wiccans view Samhain as the passing of the year and incorporate common Wiccan traditions into the celebration.
In the Druid tradition, Samhain celebrates the dead with a festival on October 31 and usually features a bonfire and communion with the dead.
American pagans often hold music and dance celebrations called Witches' Balls near Samhain.
Pagans who embrace Celtic traditions with the intent of faithfully reintroducing them into modern paganism are called Celtic reconstructors.
In this tradition, Samhain is called Oiche Shamhna and celebrates the mating between the gods Tuatha de Danann Dagda and the river Unis.
Celtic reconstructors celebrate by placing juniper decorations around their homes and creating an altar for the dead where a feast is held in honor of the deceased.
Samhain is the dark Moon - the time of death, letting go, completion, binding of free ends, retreat and regeneration.
Samhain is a time when the veil between worlds is thin which makes the next 12 days super powerful when it comes to intuition, psychic impressions, dreams, prophecy, mysticism and spirituality.
It's a great time to relax by a fire or light a few candles and listen to your inner self.It's also a great time to use astrology, tarot cards, runes, dreams and more to mirror the truth.
The depths are calling us.
We are asked to truly feel our emotions, dance with our shadows, face our fears and obsessions, and face the places in our life where we manipulate or control or allow others to manipulate and control us.
⛤HALLOWEEN IN ORTHODOXY⛤
When these people accepted Christianity, the holiday of All Saints was established, which was celebrated on November 1 precisely to eradicate this occult custom.
On the night before this holiday, an all-night vigil was held.
However, under the pressure of globalization and Western influence, as well as the influence of different religions and cults, the night before the Christian holiday became the night of witches, witchcraft, summoning evil spirits and demons.
The word "Halloween" comes from the expression "All-Hallows-Evening", which means "the evening before the church holiday of All Saints".
In Orthodoxy, Saint Luke, the creator of one of the Gospels, is celebrated on October 31.
It is believed that this doctor and patron of artists painted the first icons of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and the apostles Peter and Paul.
The tradition of celebrating Halloween was brought to North America by Irish immigrants in the 19th century.
Etymology of the Martell and Sand’s Names
Doran, Dorea: Doran is an Irish and Gaelic name that means "fist, stranger, exile." It could also be an invented masculine version of the name Dora, which derivated from the Greek word doron (gift, freely given, without cost). Dorea was probably named after him.
Mellario: her name is an actual Latin adjective derivated from the word mellarius (of honey, related to honey, beekeeper).
Arianne: a variation of Ariana, which itself is a latinized version of the Greek name Ariadne (most holy). In Greek mythology Ariadne was the granddaughter of the sun god Helios, helped Theseus escape the labyrinth by giving him thread and married Dionysus, the god of grape-harvest, winemaking, orchards and fruit, fertility and festivity.
Quentyn: misspelling of Quentin, a French name derivated from the Latin name Quintinus (the fifth).
Trystane: misspelling of Trystan, a Welsh name that derivated from the French word triste (sad, sorrowful).
Elia: probably after the sun god Helios in Greek mythology or a shortening of the Late Latin name Aeliāna, the feminine form of Aeliānus (of the sun). It could also be a shortening of the Hebrew name Eliana (my God answered me, God answered my prayer) or a misspelling of the Old German name Ellia (other, foreign).
Oberyn, Obara, Obella: Oberyn is probably a misspelling of Oberon, the fairy king from from A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare. The name Oberon is derived from the Old High German name Alberich, composed by the words alb (elf) and rih (ruler, king). Obara is probably named after him, unless she’s named after obara, the Slovene meat and vegetable stew that was usually prepared for celebrations. Same with Obella, unless her name is a misspelling of Abella, which comes from the Hebrew name Abel (breath, vapor).
Ellaria: could be a misspelling of the Hebrew name Elliora (God is my light) or the Old English name Ellerey or Elleree (alder tree).
Nymeria: probably an invented name compounded by the Greek word nymphe (young woman, bride, young wife) and the Greek name Maria, which derivated from the Roman surname Marius and could come from Mars the war god, maris (male) or mare (sea). Maria could also derivate from the Hebrew name Myriam (rebellious) which once was mistranslated to Latin as Maryam (drop of the sea). It could also be a misspelling of the Greek name Nereides (clear, unmistakable, true) which is also the patronymic of fifty sea nymphs that accompany Poseidon, god of the sea, and often help sailors in Greek mythology. It could also be delivered from the Arabic noun nimer (tiger) but I don't think it very likely.
Tyene: could be a misspelling of Tine or Tinah, both variations of Tina, which itself derivated from the shortened version of Latin female names like Bettina (diminutive of Elizabeth (God is my oath, God’s promise), Christina (follower of Christ), Constantina (constant, steadfast), Martina (follower of Mars) or Valentina (strong, healthy). It could also be a misspelling of thyme or of the Spanish verb tiene (he/she has).
Sarella: probably a misspelling of Sarah, an Hebrew name derived from the word sar (chief, ruler, prince), with the female suffix ella added at the end.
Loreza: either a misspelling of Lorenza or Lorena, both derivated from the Latin surname Laurentius which derivated from the noun laurus (laurel, laurel tree).
Masterpost: Frīg's Handmaidens Project
Who are the Handmaidens?
In the Prose Edda, twelve Goddesses are listed after Frigga as Ásynjur: Fulla, Gefjon, Hlín, Syn, Eir, Sága, Gná, Vár or Vór, Snotra, Vör, Lofn and Sjöfn. Modern Heathens sometimes refer to Them as Frigga's Handmaidens. (This is a piece of shared gnosis, not an historically attested term.) For many of the Twelve, this is all that survives in the way of attestations.
What is the Project?
Gradually over several years, and more intentionally recently, I have been building a devotional cultus around these Goddesses. As part of that, I've been putting together primers on each of the Twelve on my longform blog -- detailing Their surviving attestations, Old English God-names and epithets for Them, my own personal experiences and upg, a prayer, and devotional icon art -- as well as essays and modern myths exploring other aspects of Them and my cultus to Them.
Although I use Old English names for Them and honour Them in a syncretic heathen practice drawing on influences from across the British and Irish Isles, I hope these may be useful and/or interesting for practitioners working in a Norse, Continental, or other context. Or for anyone worshipping and building cultus to lesser-known and lesser-attested Gods!
I will update this post periodically, but if you like you can subscribe to my longform Wordpress blog for updates when I post.
Essays and other posts
Introduction to the Project
Essay on abundance, ānanda, and Fulla
Essay on Frīg and Her importance to my cosmology
The Wren and her sister: a myth of Frīg feat. Ār and Gnæ
Essay on marriage as initiation, feat. Lofen, Siofen and Āþ
So, one of the legends of St. Patrick is that he "drove the snakes out of Ireland." No one really knows what this means, because there are no snakes that are native to Ireland. The settler pagan version is that the snakes represent the pagans, and that Patrick ethnically cleansed them from the island.
This isn't actually true--there were pagan High Kings of Ireland long after Patrick's death. Celtic/British Insular Christianity is actually very ancient as far as Christian history goes, and it was kind of weird and syncretic for a long time, so it's anachronistic to think of Christianity arriving in Ireland in the same way that the fully-developed Roman Catholic Church came to the Americas in the 1500s.
Early Irish churches had some contact with African Christianity. There are snakes in Africa.
So, I'm imagining an early Irish monk traveling to a monastery in North Africa to study some manuscripts. One morning, he gets up to go to prayers, and sees a BIG SNAKE with FANGS in his way and he's like "OH GOD DELIVER ME FROM THE SERPENTS OF THE WASTELAND etc etc etc"
(He asks the African monks why God had not banished the serpents as He had banished the devil from Eden, and the monks are like "idk dude")
So he goes back home to Ireland and tells everyone about the SERPENTS and DRAGONS and COCKATRICES and HYDRAS etc that live in Africa. The peasants are like "wow, I'm so glad we don't have those here, the fairies are enough to handle already" and the monk is like "I KNOW, RIGHT?"
So they come up with a just-so story: St. Patrick drove out the serpents of Ireland! Thank you, St. Patrick! We love you!
Today we celebrate our Venerable Father Kevin of Glendalough. Saint Kevin was a pre-schism Western Saint who lived an ascetic life in the Celtic Isles. The most well known story about Saint Kevin is when he was praying in the wilderness with arms outstretched for months on end. A bird came and made its nest in one of his hands and laid her eggs. Saint Kevin, although ready to finish his prayers, remained with arms outstretched until the eggs hatched and the little birds flew away. When reproached by an Angel for doing this, he humbly replied that if God looks after the small birds of the air, so too should he care for God's creation. May he intercede for us all + #saint #kevin #saintkevin #kevinofglendalough #glendalough #ireland #irish #celtic #isles #celticisles #monastic #ascetic #bird #nest #birds #God #prayer #faith #angel #orthodox #saintoftheday (at Glendalough, Wicklow, Ireland) https://www.instagram.com/p/CPoVQ7vpkIt/?utm_medium=tumblr
I have two (probably stupid) linked questions. Firstly, do we know what the purpose of skaldic poetry was? I was under the impression that it was effectively entertainment for nobles, but is that right? And secondly, do we know if kennings (specifically for gods) were used beyond skaldic poetry? Like do we know if they would they historically have been used in prayers or similar? Thanks!
For the first question, here's a relatively short paper that covers it in brief: https://gripla.arnastofnun.is/index.php/gripla/article/view/477/466 It's a little old for Norse studies but I think the general points are still considered relevant. Here's the simplified, bullet-pointed portion of the author's opinion of what skaldic poetry was for:
To serve as a medium for the chiefs' propaganda for themselves and their power.
To be the chiefs' lasting monument.
To describe the feats of ancient warriors as a model conduct.
To bring to the notice of the chiefs serious discontentment among their subjects.
If you want to look at that more in-depth, I'd recommend A History of Old Norse Poetry and Poetics by Margaret Clunies Ross (chapter 3) and Snorri Sturluson and the Edda: The Conversion of Cultural Capital in Medieval Scandinavia by Kevin J. Wanner; the latter is especially looking at its purpose at a broader sociological level much moreso than most other studies (p. 58):
Those who produced and consumed skaldic verse were not just an intellectual elite, however, but also a social/political one, and skaldic poetry was not just a form of aesthetic play, but a discursive tool capable of erecting and maintaining social and political distinctions.
On the second question, simple kennings are used throughout Norse poetry, skaldic or otherwise. The Poetic Edda is full of them I think basically anyone in the time period would have been familiar with kennings and could create or understand basic or common ones, and what makes dróttkvætt poetry's use of kennings distinctive is the level of complexity and compounding. Old English, and even some Proto-Norse inscriptions use kennings of no more than two elements (Eggja stone: nᴀseu, probably 'corpse-sea' = [blood]). These examples do come from contexts that are more specialized than everyday ones but do illustrate how widespread they were. They're also used in Irish poetry, but unfortunately I don't know much about that. We know from the Bergen runic inscriptions and other runic inscriptions that they were at least a part of the poetic culture that intersected with runic literacy; whether or not that means that people in somewhat earlier periods would also have used them is uncertain but it increases the odds.
So I don't know that I can say confidently that everyday people who weren't poets would use kennings in prayers, but it seems they were at least available to them theoretically. I also expect that while everyday people may not have been reciting poetry from orally-transmitted lineages, they were exposed to it, and probably would have at least partially seen that as a model. They're probably less common the further you get away from dróttkvæði but I expect most people knew what they were and could use them if they wanted to.
There probably are ways to answer this with more precision -- looking up kennings from runic inscriptions and then analyzing the inscriptions for social and temporal context; maybe there are studies on whether or not speech in the sagas is believed to be a reliable witness to the way people spoke. It would be interesting to study, but would take a long time.
O Ace Sis Bird Found Ten
Praying the Rosary, an Eastern Orthodox way
As a culturally Irish and Roman Catholic who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy I still feel quite close to the rosary and I feel it’s still a part of me. I firmly believe that cultural practices can be preserved even after conversion and thus I’ve created this small guide on how I personally pray the rosary as an Eastern Orthodox Catholic. Of course this is not the only way to pray the rosary as an Orthodox Christian and nor should it be! The Western Orthodox tradition often incorporates the rosary and the Eastern tradition of Roman Catholics do as well. The Eastern Orthodox saint, Seraphim of Sarov, even had his own version of a rosary prayer. All prayers listed below come directly from the “Jordanville Prayer Book” and it is important to note that I do not recite/contemplate any of the “mysteries” and conform to the “non-imaginative” form of Orthodox prayer. I also pray in a loop meaning I start and end with “The Apostle’s Creed” (then a sign of the cross) but that’s just a personal preference. This is my personal creation I wished to share and is not official in anyway, nonetheless I hope this guide benefits you in some small way, may your prayers be blessed.
“The Apostles Creed” or, “The Symbol of Faith”
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light; true God of true God; begotten not made; of one essence with the Father; by Whom all things were made; Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from the heavens, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man; And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried; and arose again on the third day according to the Scriptures; and ascended into the heavens, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father; And shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; Who’s kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life; Who proceedeth from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; Who spake by the prophets. In One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, And the life of the age to come. Amen.
“The Our Father”
Our Father, Who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead is not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
“The Hail Mary” or, the “Song to the Most Holy Theotokos”
O Theotokos and Virgin, rejoice, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls.
“The Glory Be”
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
“It Is Truly Meet” (replacing the “Hail Holy Queen”)
It is truly meet to bless thee, the Theotokos, ever-blessed and most blameless and Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare, more glorious than the Seraphim; who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify. Amen.
Although I never used it before converting, if you feel the need; “The Jesus Prayer” (perhaps using the plural) can be used in place of the “Fatíma Prayer”
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner/we sinners.