The Cloud Seeders Part Two

My latest post for Gods & Radicals. This is the second essay in a three part series exploring the roots of the coercive technology of cloud seeding. It examines the banishing of the gods of the clouds and the mist from Britain and the persecution of witches for weather magic during the witch hunts.


the disappearance of “the hedge of mist, and the magic and enchantment”… symbolises the banishing of the gods of the mist and practitioners of weather magic from Britain’ 

From Lorna Smithers

Glastonbury Tor Calan Mai 2013This is the second of a three part series exploring the roots of the coercive technology of cloud seeding. The first part can be read HERE.

IV. Banishing the Mists

After the Roman Empire collapsed in 476 the Roman Catholic Church retained its power. Throughout the early Middle Ages Christians worked to bring about the conversion of the Western world. People were converted and pagan shrines and temples reconsecrated in the name of Christian God.

Many stories passed down orally from this period and penned by Christian scribes contain scenes where Christian saints and warriors battled directly against pagan gods and spirits identified with devils and with wizards and witches who served them as prophets and weather…

View original post 2,505 more words


Prayer: A Little Window

Following Anna Applegate’s comment on the lack of discourse on prayer in the Pagan communities I’ve decided to share a little window into my prayer life. I’ve never done this before because, rather than saying set prayers, I simply speak to the gods and spirits from the heart. These are examples of heartfelt words rather than literary masterpieces. I’d be interested to hear from others about their daily prayers.

Altars April 2018 II


Spirit of this house
Spirits of Greencroft Valley
Spirits of this land on which I stand
I give thanks to you.

Lady of the Marsh
Lady of the sacred hill of Penwortham
Lady of the wells now lost
I give thanks to you.

Belisama, Goddess of the Ribble, flowing
from Gavel Gap through Settle, Clitheroe, Ribchester
bringing your gift of sacred waters
I give thanks to you.

Nodens and the Weather Shapers
cloud-makers, wind-bringers
mist, fog, and rain-bearers
I give thanks to you.

Gwyn ap Nudd
first amongst my gods my forever patron
who leads the dead and living to Annwn
I give thanks to you.


Gwyn ap Nudd,
Lord of Annwn,
Guide of Souls,
Light of the Mist,

God who dwells
in the Otherworld yet
close as my heartbeat
close as my breath*

grant me guidance
from Annwn’s dark heart

and inspiration
from Annwn’s deep depths.

As I walk each step
in service to you.

(Followed by a recital of the Annuvian Awen and a meditation, journey, or divination).


Gwyn ap Nudd
Gatherer of Souls
Walker Between Worlds

God who guides the dead
God who walks the brink of madness
God who contains the fury
of the spirits of Annwn

I come to you in awe and reverence
I come to you in love and service.

Let us share our journeys…

(Followed by communion with Gwyn)


Nodens Lord of Dreams
God of that deep and absurd world
that I vow to remember the next morning
before it slips from my mind with
the waters of forgetting

I give thanks for the joy of sleeping
I give thanks for the joy of dreaming

and these were last night’s dreams…

Nodens Lord of Dreams
guide me in this night of deep dreaming.

*Phrase borrowed from Greg Hill.

The Hall of Prayer

I finish the first draft of an essay on prayer. Following my devotions I go to bed. I wake in the night knowing I have stumbled into something far bigger than I could have imagined. I stand in utter darkness in what I sense is a vast hall filled with people I cannot see, hear, or touch. The door I stumbled through has slammed shut and I know I will never be able to find it again.

I feel like a ghost. I feel like a part of the formless material before creation. If I have limbs I cannot tell where they begin or end or what differentiates me from the muffled blindfold others. I imagine it as an immense dancefloor where all bodies coagulate into one. A part of me wants to chant a spell of illumination, but I know that would be wrong – destroy the mystery.

We are gathered in the hall of a Great God – where each of the prayers of our lives begins and ends. Prayer can bring us together and when we cease to pray we depart into fixed forms we cannot recognise and forget the gods who hold us in the vastness of the otherness that holds nature.

It’s dark here too but we cannot see the darkness or the ghosts or hear the lonely voices raised in prayer.

If Someone Came Back From Time

Test of the Twins

In The Test of the Twins by Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman (*spoilers ahead*) there is a frightening scene where Caramon Majere and Tasslehoff Burrfoot accidentally travel forward two years ahead of their own time. They arrive in a landscape of ‘slick ash-gray mud’, ‘ragged boulders’, and ‘fire-blackened stumps’. The sky is ‘a strange violet colour, boiling with weird luminescent clouds laced with lightning of brilliant blue’. Rain falls ‘like molten lead’, thunder rolls, and fire sweeps across the mountains. Nothing is alive.

To their horror Caramon and Tasslehoff recognise the stumps of the great Vallenwood trees of the valley where Caramon’s home town of Solace lay. They discover a mass grave and a monument commemorating Caramon’s wife: ‘Tika Waylan Majere’ ‘Your life’s tree felled too soon. / I fear, lest in my hands the axe be found’. Beside it lies Caramon’s corpse with a chisel in its hand.

When night falls the companions see the three moons of magic and constellations of the gods have fallen and been replaced by a single new constellation: an hourglass.


This desolate future was created by Raistlin Majere, Caramon’s twin brother, a black-robed mage cursed with hourglass eyes that see all things dying by a wizard called Fistandantilus. In a desperate bid to prevent Fistandantilus from claiming his body as a vessel for his soul, Raistlin went back in time, becoming his foe and walking in his footsteps to a certain point.

Raistlin and Fistandantilus shared the same hubristic ambition: to slay Takhisis, Queen of Darkness, become gods themselves by claiming her power and killing all the other gods. Whereas  Fistandantilus failed to open the portal to the Abyss where Takhisis dwells, Raistlin succeeded.

Previously Caramon and Tasslehoff went back in time to save Raistlin from himself. Throughout his life Caramon had supported his twin in spite of him committing increasingly ruthless deeds including attempting to kill him. Only when Raistlin said he would abandon Crysania, a cleric of Paladine, God of Light, once she was useless to him, did Caramon realise he was irredeemable.

Caramon left Raistlin in the distant past and, whilst trying to return to his own time, accidentally visited the future. Having seen what will happen he realises he must go through the portal into the Abyss and do something he should have done long ago: kill his brother.


The portal stands in the laboratory in the Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas. It takes the form of a door on a platform surrounded by the five heads of a dragon: black, white, blue, red, and green.

It is guarded by Raistlin’s dark elf apprentice, Dalamar. Dalamar is the sole witness to the wonders and horrors of his master’s magical experiments, his creation of the Live Ones and the Dead Ones, the withered things and staring eyes in the glass jars. Surprisingly he is not on Raistlin’s side. He is a spy for the Wizard’s Conclave who paid for his treachery when Raistlin burned five holes in his chest and has guessed what the world will be like if Raistlin succeeds.

When Caramon arrives in Raistlin’s laboratory Dalamar has been mortally wounded by Caramon and Raistlin’s half-sister, the Dragon High Lord Kitiara, who intended to support Raistlin. It is now up to Caramon to prevent Raistlin from returning through the portal.


Caramon enters and finds Crysania on the brink of death before confronting Raistlin. When Raistlin realises Caramon has not come to help him but to prevent him leaving he determines once again to kill his brother. Yet Caramon bears news of the future that Raistlin is, at first, hungry to hear:

‘You will win… You will be victorious, not only over the Queen of Darkness, but over all the gods. Your constellation alone will shine in the skies… over a dead world, Raistlin – a world of grey ash and smouldering ruin and bloated corpses. You are alone in the heavens, Raistlin. You try to create, but there is nothing left within you to draw upon, and so you suck life from the stars themselves until they finally burst and die. And then there is nothing around you and nothing inside you.’

Refusing to believe Caramon, Raistlin uses his magic to drag Caramon’s visions into his own mind. He sees ‘the bones of the world’ and ‘himself, suspended in the cold void, emptiness around him, emptiness within. It pressed down upon him, squeezed him. It gnawed at him, ate at him. He twisted in upon himself, desperately seeking nourishment – a drop of blood, a scrap of pain. But there was nothing there.’ Raistlin recognises the emptiness within himself and can ‘almost see his soul, frightened, lonely, crouched in a dark, empty corner.’

As Raistlin looks upon Crysania’s blackened body he imagines her eyes staring into his emptiness and realising there is nothing. Yet there is ‘something, not much, but something. His soul stretched forth its hand.’ He touches her blistered skin and realises she is not yet dead.

Raistlin gives up his plan and orders Caramon to take Crysania back through the portal whilst he fends off Takhisis to prevent her following, in spite of his knowledge of his fate: ‘You will be tortured in mind and body. At the end of each day, you will die from the pain. At the beginning of each night I will bring you back to life. You will not be able to sleep, but will lie awake in shivering anticipation of the day to come. In the morning my face will be the first sight you see.’

However, when Takhisis sinks her claws into Raistlin he is touched by a hand, a voice telling him it’s just a dream and he can wake up. A strong arm encircles him, a hand ‘forms childish pictures in the night’, “look, Raist, bunnies,” he hears Caramon’s voice.

Caramon takes Crysania through the portal and Raistlin closes it. Caramon’s love saves his brother and the world. The warrior returns to the Vallenwoods of Solace and his happy marriage with Tika to become the father of five children.

When Dalamar has recovered he pulls the curtain across the portal, shuts the staring eyes, locks the laboratory door ‘with a lock that has not been made by any locksmith on Krynn’ and gives the key to one of the spectral guardians to keep for ‘all eternity’.


The Test of the Twins is the third book of the Dragonlance ‘Legends’ trilogy and was published in 1986. I first read it when I was at high school. This ending has always stuck with me and is just as powerful and pertinent reading it twenty years on.

As hurricanes and wildfires imperil our world I wouldn’t be at all surprised if someone came back from time with a report of ashen lands, barren rocks, blackened trees; the moon and stars falling from the sky to be replaced by a single constellation overlooking this age of the Anthropocene: Man

Only we cannot travel through a portal to prevent a black-robed mage from killing the gods. Beginning with our dragon-headed goddesses they were slaughtered by warriors and priests and the portals closed many centuries ago.

The powers who govern us are deaf to reports, visions, the pleas of their brothers. They cannot see their shrivelled souls cringing in the corners of their million pound penthouses, would never reach out to their victims, turn back to the gods, face their fates.

Luckily gods don’t stay dead forever and now they’re returning to our world. Our portals weren’t locked by dark elves although we might find them as guardians and surprisingly on our side. Caramon and Tasslehoff’s journey through time to save Raistlin and the world succeeded. The undoing of the Anthropocene is a magical quest we must likewise embark upon.

Thy time is thy own
Though across it you travel
Its expanses you see
Whirling through forever
Obstruct not its flow
Grasp firmly the end and the beginning
Turn them back upon themselves
All that is loose shall be secure
Destiny be over your head.’

– Instructions for a time travel device
from Time of the Twins

The Bottomless Well

Chalice Well, Glastonbury

I recently discovered an article titled ‘Deep Polytheism’ by Morpheus Ravenna. I particularly liked what she has to say about religion done right feeling like a bottomless well and her suggestion that when we touch those depths we become part of the stories of our deities creating a shared story and future.

Beneath is an excerpt and the full piece can be read HERE.

‘When we recognize the Gods as beings with identities rather than as symbols, expansion happens. When we recognize Them as agents within their own stories, expansion happens. Greater vistas for learning, and greater opportunities for connection and relationship are opening up. New and deeper questions come up faster than we can learn answers. That expansion, that deepening, is an indicator that we are on the track of something important. I often say that if you’re doing your religion right, it should feel like a bottomless well – the deeper you go, the deeper you discover that you can go. That is what happens when we start to recognize the agency and sovereignty of the Gods.

It’s expansive. It goes even deeper. We can look at the story arcs of the Gods engaging with history, but we can simultaneously recognize that They Themselves may not be bound by time – may exist in a non-linear relationship to these historical journeys we are looking at. Thus, it is conceivable that every form and habit and identity that a God may have undergone throughout history could be simultaneously reachable within devotional relationships.

Imagine if you could contact and talk to and get to know someone you love at every age of their life, in every one of the identities they have occupied. Once we recognize evolution and change as possibilities within the stories of the Gods, it becomes possible for us to engage with any part of Them along that story arc…

And there’s something more that arises from that orientation. Because the Gods are alive within Their stories, we ourselves participate in the unfolding of those stories. We participate in the stories of the Gods in our studies of Them. In our asking and our researching where They came from and where They have been, we add to what is known of Them, and we help to shape those narratives. In our devotional cultus, in the knowledge of the Gods that comes through oracular and revelatory work, we contribute to Their stories. In being another of the peoples that have worshiped, fed and sung songs to Them, we become part of Their stories.

This is what comes from engaging with the Gods on this level. This is true relationship. When someone begins to matter to us as a real person within Their own story, we move beyond seeking what we can get from Them. They cease to be a symbol for something or a source of something and instead They become part of our story. We begin seeking to create a story together, a shared future.’

The Forestalment of the Ice Age and the Awen of this year

Then the Ice Age came again and when it
retreated, even the shapes of the
hills and the names of the towns
in the valleys changed.’
Joseph Delaney

It’s Imbolc today and I’m struggling to emerge from winter. It feels like being pulled too early out of bed. Amidst the restlessness of wind and heavy rain we’ve only had one cold snap of still and ice. One flash of snow falling at night melting away the next day.

Just afterward I found out scientists had announced our entry into the Anthropocene: the ‘era of human driven climate change.’ One of the consequences is the forestalment of the next Ice Age. Although I don’t understand the charts and equations I can see human prevention of an Ice Age is an act of cosmic proportions.

Professor John Schellnhuber says ‘Humankind is a stronger force on Earth now than, you know, the orbital forces and all things like that. It is fascinating but also very scary!’ Scary indeed, especially for someone who venerates a god of winter and sees the fragile balance between winter and summer as analogous to the transitions between glacial and interglacial periods.

I’m not proud to be alive at the dawn of the Anthropocene; boiling a kettle, switching on a light, plugging into the web. As a part of my soul harks back to a cave fire and murals dancing on a wall I realise we haven’t changed much in our need for light and warmth and art.

But we have lost our awe and respect for the powers of winter: cold, darkness, sleep and death. Hunted to death the elk, aurochs and wolf. Ploughed up and built over the graves of our ancestors and lost the ability to commune with their ghosts.

The thought of a one-way ride into Endless Summer on the driverless train of the Anthropocene without direction from the ‘orbital forces’ we’ve dismissed or dispatched one by one terrifies me.

Yet today is Imbolc and I’m not on that train. I go hunting for flowers. I go hunting for gods.

There’s been none of that excitement of watching the first few green shoots break through cold ground. They’ve been here since mid-winter. Snowdrops and crocuses are flowering, celandines too, I even see green and generous leaves of lords and ladies. Pink and early cherry trees blossom on Avenham Park and blackthorns are already near enveloped in white.


Signs of Creiddylad’s departure from Annwn. Of Brigantia’s touch stirring the land into life.

Imbolc is a Gaelic festival dedicated to Brigid whilst in Wales Gwyl Ffraid ‘Brigit’s Feast’ is celebrated. In northern England I know her best as Brigantia: a fiery warrior-protectress of this land and its people; of the fire in the head and spark of poetry; of the fires of the forge; of mineral-rich springs.

Yesterday I partook in a lovely Imbolc celebration with the Oak and Feather grove singing ‘Welcome Bride’ whilst we blessed healing candles then making Bride’s Dolls from wheat which Lynda had collected from a crop circle in Avebury. There was also an Irish snake rite which I can’t fully divulge here… but there was laughter and the day brought us closer in devotion to Brigantia and the rising energy of the land.

Flowers of Awen are also pushing through the questionable evanescent dreaming of the internet. When I met Heron in Wales last year we spoke about developing a website dedicated to the path of the awenydd. Awen and Awenydd is now live and shares information on historical sources, bardic heritage and modern testimonies from contemporary awenyddion defining their paths and sharing encounters with deities and spirits of place.


Contributors include Gwilym Morus-Baird, Rhyd Wildermuth, Catriona McDonald and Elen Sentier. We’re open to submissions from awenyddion worldwide and through our forum hope to develop a space for conversation on spirit-work in the Brythonic tradition and the deeper mysteries of the bardic arts.

With Heron and web-manager Lee Davies and others I’ve also been helping develop the Dun Brython site to make it more attractive and accessible to newcomers to Brythonic polytheism. In contrast to Heathenry and Roman, Greek and Gaelic polytheisms there is little information about Brythonic polytheism and the Brythonic gods in print or on-line. We’re working to remedy that and are looking for contributions to the site and a new blog which will open in April.

I’m enjoying my role as editor of A Beautiful Resistance #2 and am excited about several of the pieces I’ve received and looking forward to more. My prose piece ‘Castle Hill: An Alternative Story’ was recently published in Pagan Planet which is edited by Nimue Brown who says:

‘This is a Moon Books community project, sharing the energy and inspiration of people who are making a difference at whatever level makes sense to them. This is a book of grass-roots energy, of walking your talk and the tales of people who are, by a vast array of means, engaged with being the change they wish to see in the world.’

Pagan Planet

The Awen is flowing. Whilst the internet plays an undeniable role in driving the Anthropocene it also brings people across the world together to dream, create and act in mutual support and re-establish bonds with the ‘orbital forces’.

I don’t know if the Anthropocene can be stopped but I believe we have more chance of slowing or redirecting it with the help of the gods and ancestors and the wisdom in our souls. Winter is not gone yet nor memories of the Ice Age crying out with increasing resonance in the Awen of this year.

What Ails You, Father? The Rain of Nodens

P1130621 - Copy

My article ‘What Ails You, Father? The Rain of Nodens’ has been published on Gods & Radicals HERE.

After heavy rain and floods across northern England, Scotland and Wales my article focuses on addressing Nodens (‘the Catcher’) as a Romano-British rain god. Exploring Nodens’ identification with Neptune as a god of rain it moves onto his role as a dream-god at Lydney and transformation into Lludd of the Silver Hand (a Catcher who cannot catch) and parallels with the Fisher King. It ends by discussing the importance of ‘asking the question’ and being open to answers in a time of uncertainty and climate change.