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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'.

Showing posts with label The Devil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Devil. Show all posts

Monday, 24 August 2020

Welsh Myths and Legends - Devil's Bridge

Hi everyone, I hope you're still staying safe and well.

As a change from rather scary Welsh creatures, this week I thought I 'd turn to a rather more light hearted tale - the legend of Devils's Bridge. I have featured this before but if you haven't heard it before, I think you'll enjoy it - and if you have, I hope you don't mind me repeating it. It's one of my favourite Welsh legends.

I used to live near a well known beauty spot called Pontarfynach, or Devils Bridge. It is really three bridges, built over a spectacular and beautiful waterfall, which rages down into a deep pool known as the Devils Punchbowl. The first bridge was built by the Monks of Strata Florida, (where the Holy Grail is reputed to have been hidden for a while) in 1075. In the 18th Century it was deemed to be unsafe, and a second bridge was built, over the first. The third bridge being built over that in 1901. I thought it would be nice to share the legend of how the first bridge was built:
 

An old woman had a cow of which she was very fond, and which provided her with all the milk she needed. Early one morning she was distraught to find that the cow had somehow managed to cross the river and was now grazing on the bank the other side. The old lady looked at the swirling river and wondered how she would be able to get her cow back. “What the Devil can I do now?” she asked aloud.

At once there was a smell of sulphur and a cloud of thick smoke, out of the middle of which appeared Old Nick himself! “You called?” he smirked. The old lady was made of stern stuff, and after a moment’s hesitation, she explained her predicament. Satan grinned wickedly. “That’s easily sorted,” he said craftily, “I can build you a bridge – but it will cost you.”

“How much?” the old lady asked uneasily. “Oh nothing much, just the soul of the first living thing to cross the bridge,” the Devil stated cunningly, knowing full well that she would have to cross the bridge herself to get her cow.

 “Done!” said the old woman. The Devil waved his arms and there, spanning the falls, was a beautiful new stone bridge. The Devil laughed nastily, “Now for my payment he said smugly. The old lady was not as naïve as she appeared. She put her hand into her apron pocket and drew out a crust of bread which she had put there for her breakfast, and threw it across to the other side of the bridge. Immediately her little dog ran across the bridge and gobbled it up.

Satan knew he had been outwitted, the soul of a dog was of no use to him; he scowled furiously and disappeared in an even bigger cloud of foul smelling black smoke than the first, and was never seen in those parts again. The old woman crossed the lovely new bridge, and having retrieved both her cow and her dog, made her way home, humming softly to herself. The bridge still remains, to this very day. (Although two later bridges have been built above it, and today it has the usual tourist trappings.)

You'll rarely see the Devil in Wales these days, local folk say he's too embarrassed to show his face!


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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:
 https://welshgiftshop.com 

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:  
https://welshgiftshop.com/blogs/welsh-gift-shop/see-the-devil-in-the-welsh-ladys-shawl-salem-painting?


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.)


HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE!





For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! I also promise that I never have and never will share your information or email address with anyone or any organisation.  http://madmimi.com/signups/196357/join