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Welcome to my place in the blogosphere!
feel free to explore the Flight Deck and check out my books and website.
Then fasten your seatbelts, sip a glass of something sparkling and let's chat awhile!
I hope you'll stop by again for guest authors and spotlights from time to time.

Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017, awarded 2nd Runner up in the RONE Awards 2017 and was the winner in the SF/Fantasy category of the 'Best Banter Contest'.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Can you see the Devil in the Welsh Lady's Shawl - Salem Painting

Halloween is upon us,  so I thought I'd tell you a creepy story about a well known Welsh painting, and a few Welsh traditions which I found on The Welsh Book Shop's blog.

I love the Welsh Gift Shop and often purchase gifts  from their large selection of lovely items,from there, for friends and family . This is their website: 

In Wales, Nos Galan Gaeaf (Halloween) is celebrated the day before Winter (Calan Gaeaf - 1st November) it is a 'Ysbrydnos' - a night when the ghosts and ghouls are rife.

Have you heard about the Salem Painting?  It is a depiction of Welsh piety, an illustration of traditional Welsh costume and, if you look closely, you might see  a portrait of the devil himself!
Salem Welsh Lady Painting

The 1908 painting by Sydney Curnow Vosper is called Salem as it is set in Capel Salem in Pentre Gwynfryn, Gwynedd (nothing to do with the witch trails of the 17th century)

The Welsh lady is Siân Owen, a real person. She was 71, a widow, and lived in an isolated farmhouse. Siân died in 1927 and is buried in Llanfair churchyard, near Harlech.
There are a few hidden meanings to spot in the painting.

Can you see the ghostly face in the window? Whilst the artist denied he had deliberately painted the devil - he did admit to adding this spooky character
Her bright shawl is in contrast to the modest dress of the congregation. Perhaps this highlights the sin of vanity. Did she made a fashionably late entrance to show off her shawl? The Devil himself! See how to find him in the below diagram by Wales Online:
Reproduced with permission
With thanks to Becca Hemmings of the Welsh Gift Shop - see her original post here:

Here are some ancient Welsh traditions:

Avoid churchyards, stiles, and crossroads, since spirits are thought to gather here.

Families would build a fire and everyone would add a stone with their name on it. The following morning, if any of the named stones were missing, that person would die within the year. Imagine the sleepless night hoping your name would remain!

Legend has it that terrifying spirits in the form of a black sow without a tail and a headless woman would roam the countryside on Nos Galan Gaeaf. Keep indoors in front of a roaring fire and you should be safe!

Never look into your mirror on this night, or you might see witches and demons in your sleep!

Don't touch or smell the ground ivy - as it will make you see hags or witches while you sleep! It could also give you the power of prophetic dreams if prepared correctly; Boys would cut 10 leaves of ivy, throw one away and put the rest under their pillow. Girls would have to grow a rose, train it around a large hoop, then slip through the hoop three times before cutting the rose in perfect silence and placing it under their pillow (a bit tougher for the girls!)

In Glamorgan, tailors were associated with witchcraft. They supposedly possessed the power to ‘bewitch’ anybody if they wished!*

 With thanks to Becca Hemmings of the Welsh Gift Shop 

*(Hmm, a lot to be said for High Street Stores, perhaps.)


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