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Friday, 28 September 2012

New Book: The Marian Cipher: Rediscovery of the Sun Goddess by Ric Kemp

The Marian Cipher:
Rediscovery of the Sun Goddess
by Ric Kemp

Click Here
New author and Dark Dorset contributor, Ric Kemp's new book The Marian Cipher: Rediscovery of the Sun Goddess examines the evidence for the survival of a sun goddess archetype from earliest times down to the present day in pagan traditions, folklore, folk-Christianity and orthodox hagiography. Ric explores her ubiquitous presence in the ancient Middle East, Anatolia and Europe, and links her medieval cult to the mysterious daisy wheel circle – the Marian Cipher - which began appearing in churches from around the time of the Reformation onwards.

Ric’s book takes us back through time beyond the Middle Ages into prehistory when small bands of hunter-gatherers traversed a primordial world, following herds of migratory reindeer across a post-glacial landscape, looking out nightly into the depths of space to trace their Mesolithic mythology in the ceaselessly revolving northern stars, charting the immemorial story of the loss of the sun goddess and her mythic return.

The Marian Cipher: Rediscovery of the Sun Goddess by Ric Kemp is availiable as an ebook at www.lulu.com

See also: Dark Dorset - Daisy Wheels and a Ritual Landscape in Dorset by Ric Kemp

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

News Clipping: Museum appeals for help to buy Iron Age mirror

The Chesil Mirror
Dorset County Museum is asking for help to buy a valuable artefact for its collection.

In 2010 a beautiful copper-alloy mirror was discovered between Abbotsbury and Chickerell and it is now up for sale. The mirror is characteristic of the late Iron Age and is similar to the Portesham Mirror currently in the Museum’s possession. This type of mirror is extremely rare – fewer than 30 have ever been discovered in the UK.

The Chesil Mirror, as the new find has been named, is stunningly decorated and beautifully crafted and was found in a grave dating back to the Roman Conquest. The body was buried in a characteristic crouched position and the grave also contained two brooches, an armlet, copper tweezers, coins and some glass beads.

In August 2011 the whole assemblage was declared Treasure and in April 2012 the Secretary of State set its price at £23,000. The Museum now needs to raise this money urgently to save the collection for Dorset and prevent its possible sale to an overseas buyer. Jon Murden, director of Dorset County Museum said, “This mirror is very important to us because it is closely connected with the one we acquired in 1994 and is decorated in a similar way. These rare and fascinating objects are significant because they tell us so much about power and wealth in Iron Age Dorset. We hope this appeal will encourage local people to support us so that we can buy the mirror and give it pride of place in our Archaeology Gallery.”
The Museum is planning a series of fundraising events and will be applying for various funds and grants to help with the purchase, but more support is needed. Any money donated will go straight into a special fund which has been set up for the acquisition of this important archaeological discovery.

One event already planned is a lecture by Professor Andrew Fitzpatrick of Wessex Archaeology. He will talk about the significance of the Chesil mirror and explain how it fits into our wider understanding of Iron Age Dorset. The lecture is at 7 for 7.30pm on Friday 30 November.

Tickets are available now from the Museum shop and cost £10.00. For more enquiries contact the Museum shop by Telephone: 01305 756827 or alternatively by email: shop@dorsetcountymuseum.org

If you would like to help with the Chesil Mirror appeal, please send cheques, made payable to DNHAS, to:

Chesil Mirror Appeal
Dorset County Museum
High West Street

Source: Dorset County Museum www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

Monday, 24 September 2012

News Clipping: Historic Beating of the Sea Bounds ceremony takes place

The sun shone as Poole and Wareham residents joined to witness the historic Beating of the Sea Bounds ceremony on Saturday. The colourful ceremony, marking the harbour boundaries, dates back to the 14th century and was officiated by the Mayor of Poole and Admiral of the Port Cllr Carol Evans and her Wareham counterpart Keith Green. Cllr Evans opened Admiralty Court at Custom House, Poole Quay, appointing a jury to tour water boundaries in Poole Harbour. Cllr Green then set sail, in the Maid of the Lakelands, to meet the Poole Mayor’s Admiralty barge, at the boundary of the port jurisdiction.

READ MORE - Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo

Poole's Not Out of Bounds on British Pathé - 1965

Source: Poole's Not Out of Bounds on British Pathé - http://www.britishpathe.com/video/pooles-not-out-of-bounds

Saturday, 22 September 2012

News Clipping: Dorset's big cat riddle

Sightings of mysterious big cats in Dorset have sparked intense debate in recent years. Many are convinced that here are panthers roaming the countryside while others maintain that with no conclusive proof of their existence that it is highly unlikely they exist in the wild. There have, however, been numerous reported sightings in recent years. According to figures obtained by the Echo, a total of 53 people have made emergency calls to report their wild cat encounters since 2006.

READ MORE - Source: Dorset Echo

Autumnal Equinox - The Onset Of Darkness

The ‘Autumnal Equinox’ or ‘Mabon’ as it was once called, occurs on either, 21st, 22nd or 23rd September, when the sun enters ‘Libra’, according to the Earth’s orbit and the insertion of leap years. The Autumn Equinox marks the time when the sun crosses southwards towards the celestial equator or ‘half way point’, resulting in equal twelve hours of day and twelve hours of night. Like the ‘Spring Equinox’, the sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west, except after today the daylight hours grow steadily shorter until the sun reaches its lowest point in the sky at the ‘Winter Solstice’.

The full moon nearest to the Autumn Equinox is called the Harvest Moon the time of harvesting apples, blackberries, grapes and hops, as the arable crops have now all been gathered and celebrated at Lammas, the first of the harvest festivals. It was also the time when livestock would be slaughtered and preserved (salted and smoked) to provide enough food for the winter.

Weather Lore

According to weather lore, the weather around the Autumn Equinox supposedly indicates the weather outlook for the next three months.

The Colepexy

Autumn is the time that the Colepexy roams the downs and orchards of Dorset.

The Colepexy
This mischievous goblin colt with flaming red eyes, enjoys nothing more than to mislead domesticated horses and travellers, but his favourite prank is luring unsuspecting people to ride him, and once mounted he takes them on a wild ride across the wettest and thorniest country before eventually throwing them into a ditch or stream.

The Colepexy also acts as a type of orchard guardian protecting apple orchards from thieves.

Once at Wareham a man set out one night to rob his neighbour's orchard of fine cider apples. He hid in a large basket and with the aid of a magic spell the basket bounded off down the lane into the orchard. Once the basket had settled he murmured another spell and one by one the apples flew off the branches and began pelting the basket. One apple smacked him in the eye and he leapt out of the basket howling in pain. In that instant the Colepexy was upon him. The goblin colt tossed the apple thief high into the air and as he came tumbling down the Colepexy kicked him in the back of his neck, snapping it in two and thus killing him instantly. Scrumpers beware!

In William Barnes "Poems of Rural Life, in the Dorset Dialect" gives the term 'Colepexy' in his Dialect glossery.
"Colepexy. In Somerset Puehyhwding from pixy or colepixy, a fairy? To beat down the few apples that may be left on the trees after the crop has been taken in ; to take as it were the fairies' horde."
In Dorset they are called
Colepexies Fingers
The English antiquarian John Brand in "The Popular Antiquities of Great Britain" (Vol II, p.513), says:
"In Dorset the Pixy-lore still lingers. The being is called Pexy and Colepexy. The fossil belemnites are named Colepexies-fingers; and the fossil echini, Colepexies-heads. The children, when naughty, are also threatened with the Pexy, who is supposed to haunt woods and coppices."
Also mentioned in the 'Literary Gazette' for 1825. No. 430
"In Hampshire," says Captain Grose, "they give the name of Colt-Pixy to a supposed spirit or fairy, which in the shape of a horse wickers, i. e. neighs, and misleads horses into bogs, etc."

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Events: Frome Valley Morris Dance Workshops

Frome Valley Morris at the Wessex Folk Festival
The Frome Valley Morris is holding a dancing workshop at the Old Town Hall, Weymouth on Saturday, September 15th between 2.00pm and 4.00pm and Dorchester Arts Centre, Grove, Dorchester on Saturday 22nd September between 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

Morris is a traditional English form of performance dance with its roots firmly planted in our heritage.  You might have missed your chance to perform at the London 2012 Closing Ceremony but it's never too late to dance with the Frome Valley Morris.

The session costs £3 and under 18s go free.  The class is suitable for those aged 10 and over. Under 16s must be supervised.

For mor information contact via email Dave Milner at bagman@fromevalleymorris.co.uk

More information about the morris group visit www.fromevalleymorris.co.uk

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Events: Dance with Poole's 'Anonymous Morris'

Anonymous Morris dance
at Gold Hill Fair, Shaftesbury

Anonymous Morris have been dancing all over Dorset this year, at folk festivals in Wimborne, Purbeck, Weymouth, etc. and in their home town of Poole both on the quay and at the popular Summer Breeze events on the beach.

Their dances are derived from the Border morris tradition which originally came from the Welsh Border counties.  It's a free-flowing, energetic dance style, and Anonymous use it to exploit every inch of available space.  When Christmas comes around, Anonymous Morris doubleup as Poole Mummers and take the traditional mumming play around local pubs to raise money for charity.

As the year comes to autumn, Anonymous start their practice season. Squire Henry Proctor (age 25) issues an open invitation to anyone who would like to try morris dancing: "We welcome all-comers, especiallythose who have never done morris before.  We meet on Thursday September 13th and every Thursday after that, at Old Town First School in Poole from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.  Most of our dancers are under 30, so we particular like to gain dancers in this age group, but we'll give a warm welcome to keen dancers of any age."

Judith, their band leader, adds that musicians are also welcome to join the group.

For enquires email: bagman@anonymousmorris.co.uk or alternatively visit their website at www.anonymousmorris.co.uk for more information about the group and upcoming events.

Events: Swanage Folk Festival - Friday 7th - Sunday 9th September 2012

Down on the Dorset coast, the friendly Folk Festival just keeps growing.

Now an established fixture on the calendar, the second weekend after the August Bank Holiday Monday, they continue to provide entertainment and fun, for all, much of it free! But please make donations in their collecting buckets as increasing costs make staying afloat even harder than before.

A perfect place to relax and spend the last of the summer days taking part in the various workshops.

The festival is self funding and is reliant on ticket sales and donations. Please bear this in mind if you come and enjoy the festival, please show your appreciation by making a donation. This will ensure we can keep the festival going for your future pleasure.The festival is organised and run by a small committee of volunteers who give their time freely.

Concerts and events are held at a variety of venues in the town centre. Concert headliners; Friday: The Churchfitters – Saturday: The Demon Barber Roadshow – Sunday: Chris Newman and Máire Ní Chathasaigh.  The band for the Saturday night Ceilidh is Tickled Pink

For those with the energy to dance Saturday night away, the Sandpit Field Marquee will throb to the music of a ceilidh band.

For full weekend ticket holders there is also have a late night session (after midnight) on Friday and Saturday with the festival artistes at the Red Lion. Come and meet some of the stars and join them jamming the night away. There is a late night mini menu on offer, with the bar open until 4 am!.

Grand dance procession through the town
There will also be a colourful craft fair and events tent on Sandpit Field featuring a range of free to listen to bands over the Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Please feel free to donate money as these bands are paid for by the committee.

There will be a very wide range of dancing and music workshops over the weekend and there will be a programme of activities and events for the children.  They will be able to learn circus skills or just watch the fun or become a prop in an impromptu play.

For more information website: Swanage Folk Festival 2012
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