Category Archives: By Land Sea and Sky

Recommended ‘Celtic’ Resources

 So I am occasionally asked for good places to start studying Celtic culture or otherwise learn about the Celts. This would seem like a pretty straightforward request but actually its a really complicated topic; what I usually suggest is that people start with a specific culture rather than going to the wider, older idea of ‘Celtic’. What many people mean when they say Celtic is a single…

Continue reading…

The Fairy Folklore in ‘A Boy Called Christmas’

 This is a 2021 Netflix original movie but I chose it for the second piece in my series on fairy folklore in movies/television because of the wider theme. It is a children’s movie and a Santa origin movie (surprisingly non-Christian) but for all that it does have a good amount of older folklore and hints of fairy beliefs that are reasonably accurate. This blog will contain minor spoilers, so be…

Continue reading…

9 Fiction Writing Tips

 I’m just wrapping up my tenth novel and so I have writing and fiction on my mind which led me to deciding to write this today. The internet is glutted with writing tips, most of which are confusing and contradictory when compared to each other, so I hope that this attempt might offer aspiring writers some more practical suggestions than the usual run.This is not meant to be business writing…

Continue reading…

2021 Recap

 Hello everyone! 2021 is just about wrapping up and I wanted to offer a quick recap of what I’ve been up to work-wise this year, which has been a very tumultuous one for me (and I’m sure many others).I had three articles published in 2021:“Sexuality and Gender Among the Good Neighbours: the Intersection and Inversion of Human Norms in Fairylore”, written for Revenant Journal 2020, cut, posted on…

Continue reading…

Believing in Santa

 Every year as we approach the holidays I start to see a flurry of anti-Santa sentiment. Particularly as a parent I see people advocating no Santa for children, because they believe we should not lie to our kids. Santa, they say, is a fraud, a fiction perpetrated on kids by adults who are doing some great disservice, some lasting psychological harm, by convincing kids that he exists. These people…

Continue reading…

The Fairy Folklore in Jim Henson’s ‘Labyrinth’

 I’m going to do a small series of reviews over the next few months looking at the fairy folklore in different films and tv shows, prompted by some discussion on social media. I think this will be fun and also help people see the various threads of older beliefs that are woven into some popular shows and movies. I’m thinking of covering a variety of things including Pan’s Labyrinth, Jonathan…

Continue reading…

Resources for Learning Old/Middle Irish

  I recently published a new book of translations from old/middle Irish into English and as sometimes happens when the subject comes up people are asking me how I learned the language and for suggestions on where to start themselves. For those who aren’t aware old and middle Irish are the predecessors of modern Irish, in much the same way that old and middle English are the predecessors of modern…

Continue reading…

A Modern House Blessing

 In the past I’ve been asked to help people cleanse or bless their new houses. It occurs to me that this sort of simple thing would be good to post here for anyone to do themselves. This method is entirely my own, as far as I know, and thoroughly modern, but is based on older methods and concepts, particularly drawn from the Carmina Gadelica material.  First I walked through the house, room by…

Continue reading…

The Morrigan, The Dagda, and Samhain

 As we’re getting into October and people are turning their  attention to Samhain I’m starting to see discussion and references to the meeting between the Morrigan and the Dagda at the river Unshin showing up here and there. This is one of those stories from myth that often suffers from ‘telephone game syndrome’, that is people who haven’t actually read or heard the story themselves taking a…

Continue reading…

Quick Guide to Common Folklore Related Terms

Today I wanted to offer a quick and very rough guide to terms used around material connected to folklore. I find that this subject can be very confusing for people and hope this may help a bit with that. Disclaimer that these definitions are based in my own understanding of these concepts as an amateur folklorist.Folklore – according to Oxford dictionary folklore is "the traditional beliefs,…

Continue reading…