Lords of Midsummer

Another inspirational, educational, thought-provoking and entertaining post from the master of mysticism, Ash Silverlock and his wonderful blog ‘Fabulous Realms’! Thanks for this sweetie, I always enjoy your posts so much. Check it out folks, this is a celebration of Midsummer! ūüėÄ xx

Fabulous Realms

The festival¬†centered upon the summer solstice ‚Äď known as Midsummer Day or Litha ‚Äď was an auspicious time for ancient peoples. It was at Midsummer that the Holly King, God of the Waning Year, was believed to encounter and vanquish the Oak King, thereby succeeding in usurping the reign of the year.¬†In Celtic mythology the lord of summer ruled the light half of the year and was a young God, fresh and child-like in many ways. He was often depicted much like the Green Man or the Lord of the Forest, covered in greenery and made to look as though the top of his head was an oak tree, hence giving rise to his alternative moniker of the Oak King. The Oak King represented fertility, life, growth and opportunity and¬†is thus linked with several legendary figures associated with nature and rebirth, such as Robin Hood, the Norse god Balder, the‚Ķ

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New Zealand odyssey part III – heading north…

Hiring an old car, and with no destination in mind, my rucksack and I left the wonderful city of Auckland.

Letting the road take me where it would, I happened to go north.

Leaving the suburbs behind, I drove leisurely through beautifully changing landscapes, at once exotic yet somehow familiar – that hint of Englishness perhaps, in the rolling hills and little rivers, but not amongst the wild ferns and mighty kauri trees.

Lunch time beckoned as I drove into the magical Waipoua¬†Forest, a place I shall never forget. Leaving the car, I¬†initially followed the trail that wound its way through the forest, often rising several feet above the forest floor. New Zealand’s beautiful and ancient kauri trees rose up majestically, as if planted by the gods. The oldest of these trees, Te Matua¬†Ngahere, ‘Father of the Forest’, seemed to beckon to me through the tree ferns and undergrowth. At an estimated 2,000 years old, this colossal living organism had the ability to both¬†instantly humble and fill one with awe.

This was truly a place of tree magic…

The Maori believe in tree spirits and so do I. The ancient Greeks called them the Dryad. Whatever the name…this was a place of inspiration, a place to ignite the imagination!

My first novel, White Mountain, was still in its infancy at the time, and although I knew one of my characters, Wendya,¬†would have to live¬†in a colder climate,¬†her home, ‘The Grey Forest’, was born…