Have you ever wondered where Wednesday came from? No, it wasn’t a hill, aka hump. When I was a kid, I called it Wind’s Day until I wanted to learn how to spell it, then it became Wed Nes Day.
Wednesday came from Old English Wōdnesdæg. This translates to Day of Odin. With Marvel’s blockbuster movies over the pass dozen years, most people know who Odin is – Thor’s father.
Wait you say, that’s a stretch: Wōdnesdæg = Odin? Odin, the ruler of the Norse gods’ realm, also went by Wōden. So Wōden’s Day is Wednesday.
Wōden is associated with wisdom, magic, victory and death. On that note, let’s put death aside and focus on making this Wōden’s Day magical, one in which we gather wisdom and are victorious over our problems.
Happy Wōden’s Day.
On this day 135 years ago, my grandmother, Eva Selina McDonald, was born in the family home in the hamlet of Liscomb Mills, a place reached at that time only by ship, horseback and cart. The name reveals the main industry that pumped money and people into the area. There were several mills within walking distance, including one across the brook from where Eva was born.
Eva was the daughter of Jane Baker and William Aaron McDonald and the granddaughter of Martha and William McDonald.
Though I truly never knew her, I sense she knew hard work at a young age. I feel she was an adventurous girl who grew into a woman who loved nature and the simple things in life. My mother met her in 1949, and she told me Nan would go off on her own, wandering in the woods for hours on end. No one knew where she went or when she’d return.
I’m not sure if Nan came to this activity on her own or was influenced by her grandmother Martha, a Mi’kmaq woman. What I find interesting is that before my mother told me the stories of her wanderings, I was doing the same thing in the forest surrounding my childhood home. By the time I was 14, I’d wander into the woods, following one path then another to explore and to just be in the forest. Sometimes I’d be gone only an hour or two. Other times, I’d be wander for seven or eight hours.
Continue reading “My Grandmother Eva Selina McDonald”
On my journey to realign to the natural world, I’m delving into the names of the week and their origins. Today, being Monday, I’ll share what I’ve learned about this first day of the week, a day many dread because it begins the work week.
My first thought when thinking about Monday was that it originally was Moon Day. Well, I wasn’t wrong. In Middle English it was monedai, which came from Old English mōndæg. This was the contraction of mōnandæg “Monday”.
Mōnandæg translates to the “day of the moon”. It comes from mona and dæg. This compares to Old Norse manandagr, Old Frisian monendei, Dutch maandag and German Montag.
Continue reading “Day of the Moon”
Little has been written about ancient druids, or at least what has survived about them is scant. From this, people have tried to piece together who the druids were and what they did. In general, they studied the stars, the moon, the plants and moral philosophy. But that’s not where their wisdom stopped. They meditated, worked with herbs, were healers and sometimes aided kings in decision making.
The name druid derives from the proto Celtic language and the words deru (oak) and wid (sight, to see). Perhaps at one time, it was spelt deruwid.
Continue reading “The History of Druids”
All my life, I’ve been reading stories with giants in them. The first was probably Jack and the Bean Stock where Jack trades the family cow for a few bean seeds, grows the stalk into the clouds, climbs it, steals the goose that lays the golden eggs and escapes (sometimes killing the giant and sometime not, depending on the version).
There’s also David and Goliath, where little David kills the giant Goliath with a sling shot, and Gulliver’s Travels. In fact, if you search for books for kids with giants, you’ll find many. Why are giant stories popular with kids or at least with authors?
Locally, we have Glooscap, a legendary figure of the Wabanaki peoples, native peoples located in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Atlantic Canada. While some say he is fictional and certainly some of the tales about him are, there’s some evidence that suggest he was an actual person. How tall was he? Probably not as tall as the statue erected just outside Truro, Nova Scotia, along the 102 Highway.
Continue reading “Do you believe in giants?”
In the second book of the Mystical epic fantasy series, Within the Myst, Ryder Somerled takes Hickory Asuwish to see her das’ aunt, Cordelia Beinn (nee Welig) in Muighland. Just before they arrive, he breaks the news to her: her grandaunt is a druid of Awen.
Hickory is shocked and regrets coming because she has been taught druids, like foretellers, are bad people. She has been forbidden to see them.
I’m currently writing this scene that appears in chapter 9.
But what is a druid?
If I google that question, this is one answer I find:
Continue reading “What is a Druid?”
A druid was a member of the high-ranking class in ancient Celtic cultures. Perhaps best remembered as religious leaders, they were also legal authorities, adjudicators, lorekeepers, medical professionals and political advisors.Wikipedia
Isla of Maura, one of the main characters in the Castle Keepers series, has an attraction to stones. When the energy in a stone calls to her, she picks it up and carries it until she finds the person who needs it.
This character trait came from my own curiosity and habit of gathering stones. My interest in stones has walked with me all my life; it is so strong that when I was 14 years old, I stole a stone that had caught my eye. I know: who steals rocks?
The odd circumstances around this theft has stayed on my mind for almost four decades. You see, that day, my father and I were driving in his truck, perhaps going to the general store in Spanish Ship Bay, when he pulled into the driveway of the long white building along the harbour that used to be a restaurant at times. I believe it was called the Lighthouse Restaurant in the early 80s.
Anyways, at this time, the restaurant had closed, and an older man I did not know occupied it. Perhaps my father knew him since this was the area where he had been born and raised. It was summer. We walked in and my eyes drank in the boxes filled with various types of rocks. While my father and the man chatted, I walked around ogling the rocks. Some were undisturbed, as if recently plucked from the ground and put into the box. Others were polished smooth. Some where cut into shapes.
Continue reading “The Magic of Stones: Personal History”
Not long ago, I saw an interesting ad. It claimed: Become a Scottish Lord or Lady Today. Intrigued by all things fantastical, archaic and Scottish, I clicked to learn more. Shortly afterwards, I became a Lady.
But let’s put a little history to this first.
Back when Europeans were exploring The New World by boat and by foot, Scotsman Sir William Alexander devised a scheme that would profit the king in two manners. He “proposed that it might encourage development of a New Scotland if His Majesty were to offer a new order of baronets. The King liked the idea. After all, his creation of the Baronets of England in 1611 and the Baronets of Ireland in 1619 had raised £225,000 for the Crown.”
In other words, they’d sell land in New Scotland to men who wanted to gain status in Scottish society.
While some Baronets came to Canada and developed land, many didn’t. Yet, they were sworn in on Nova Scotia soil and received the title in society. How was this done?
Soil was brought from New Scotland (Nova Scotia in Latin) and put in an area of Edinburgh Castle, which was then declared Nova Scotia territory. It was here “knichts and gentlemen of cheife respect for the birth, place, or fortounes” became baronets, and they then could put Sir in front of their name.
“By the end of 1625 the first 22 Baronets of Nova Scotia were created”. The Order continued for 82 years and by 1707, 329 baronetcies were made. Many of these are honoured still today.
Continue reading “Introducing Lady Diane McGyver”
Destiny Governed their Lives is the story in which we learn a little Maskil history. I’ll let 17-year-old Catriona tell it from her perspective:
The founders had established the small town more than two hundred years beforehand, but the population was small compared to towns in the south. Catriona believed the war against the horrid wizard Lindrum had reduced the number of inhabitants and discouraged others from settling. Although the Lords of Maskil had won the battle, they hadn’t won the war. The constant threat of random attacks by Lindrum and his henchmen kept everyone on alert.
“That happened long before I was born,” mumbled Catriona as she made her way along Tintally Street. No one could honestly say Lindrum continued to threaten Maskil and its Aruam Castle. Though the man hadn’t been seen for more than sixty years, it didn’t matter. If a horse vanished, a building burnt or an inhabitant went missing, the citizens accused Lindrum.
When more severe crimes occurred, people spoke of the prophecy. The prophecy. Catriona chuckled. What a fantasy. A half-crazed man who claimed he’d been lost in Caverns of Confusion for fourteen years had delivered the dozen or so lines describing Maskil’s destiny. When he arrived in Maskil, he appeared as an old man though he declared himself to be only thirty-one.
A company of Aruam Castle soldiers had set out to find and explore the mysterious Caverns of Confusion, but no one found them. They didn’t appear on any map in the castle archives and no official records existed of travellers visiting them. Her father had viewed hundreds of maps and knew thousands of places, and he hadn’t heard of the caverns. Still, stories from long ago passed through the years by word of mouth told of explorers finding them.
They were also fantasy, made up to entertain and scare small children, thought Catriona.
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