Clapping for Eggs

"Clap, clap, I am asking for an egg for the children, on the parish'" 


CLAPPING FOR EGGS

Hand in hand, children march Welsh streets,
banging wooden clappers, asking for Easter treats.
Chanting at doors ‘Can we please have an egg’?
grinning broadly, as they each customarily beg. 

Shirts untucked, stained dresses, hair ruffled,
around neighbourhood homes they’ve shuffled. 
‘Who do you belong to?’ The occupants quizzed,
‘Give my regards to Mam, it’s good service you give’

Happily excited, but now exhausted and tired,
the households, having awarded their desires. 
In their baskets, Easter treasures safely stored,
eggs of various sizes and colours, as reward. 

Returning home with their gatherings of loot,
Mom’s patted heads, praising her tired brood.
Shoelaces slapping wearily on wooden floors,
their Easter work done, now thank the Lord.
Victoria Healing ~ 5.4.2020
EGG CLAPPING

Image: Claire Roige Photography- Family photographer in Swansea, South Wales.

If the family in the house knew these small children, knew their siblings, and some were missing, they would also give them an egg for those brothers or sisters.

Happy Easter Monday

in Welsh: Dydd Llun Pasg Hapus

Apparently egg clapping is a traditional Welsh thing, they prefer an Egg Clap to a Egg hunt.

Egg Clapping

The Welsh term for this custom is ‘Clapio Wyau’.

The translation is in other words for those who are being cared for on the parish – in the workhouse or receiving some benefits to support them. During the 19th Century, children would collect hen eggs from generous farmers to fill the family pantry for the Easter celebrations.

Trick or treat tradition revived

https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/old-anglesey-easter-trick-treat-12890507

Clapping for Eggs

https://museum.wales/blog/2020-03-31/Clapio-Wyau-Egg-Clapping/ 

Even though I have Welsh ancestors, I had never heard of this tradition before. Unfortunately a lot of our Welsh customs have been lost over time. I’ve had to research the Welsh museums for this information. There is no reference to egg clapping in Wiki, only a practice called egg tapping which has been taken from Europe to other countries. This is the only similar reference that I could find: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_tapping It’s interesting to compare other countries festivals. These remind me of the old castanets we used to play in musical classes at school. I found an original image of these clappers in a Welsh historical group, who said that: ‘This clapper belonged to my Uncle Norman, must be nearly a hundred years old now’ 

Image: Original hand made wooden Clapper, which is over 100 years old

Wales has many of its own traditions for celebrating Easter.

https://thetab.com/uk/cardiff/2021/04/02/here-are-the-welsh-easter-traditions-you-need-to-know-about-57528

Witch Crafting

 
 WITCH CRAFTING
 Some preferred a dog to a cat,
 china teapot lids, as pointy hats.
 Cupcakes, candy, perle cottons,
 silk threads wound on bobbins.
 

 Red, blue, pink, yellow and green,
 vibrant images of cheerful scenes.  
 Immersed on the edges of infinity,
 embroidering stitches into divinity.  
 

 Sewing is the women’s work of yore,
 X stitch counting and keeping score.
 Grids, charts, holes and squares, 
 multicoloured pictures sewn with care.
 

 Thousand times crossing each stitch,
 in days of old, accused as a 'so called' witch. 
 Victoria Healing ~ 28.11.2020
 WITCH  CRAFTING 

Bodkin — There is a long historical connection between women and sewing, as sewing is women’s work of yore. With this in mind, it probably makes some sort of sick sense than a sewing instrument would be used to torture so-called witches.

Some cross-stitchers have commented on the way that the practice of embroidery makes them feel connected to the women who practised it before them.[24] There is a push for all embroidery, including cross-stitch, to be respected as a significant art form.[25]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pricking

Cross-stitch is a form of sewing and a popular form of counted-thread embroidery  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-stitch

Image: The Art of Brian Kesinger

That Grimoire

 
THAT GRIMOIRE
 She’d found a key to bolted padlock,
 a mysterious latch, long ago forgot.
 Buried in cobwebs, smothered in dust,
 an olde book, infused of stale musk.
 

 Grimoire of incantations and spells,
 huge and black, where spirits dwelled. 
 It was almost as if he’d left his mark,
 rituals, metaphysics, hidden in dark.
 

 Parchment pages were brittle and torn,
 sketches penned before she was born.
 He’d been capable of difficult deeds,
 a kindly man, assisting in others needs. 
 

 He’d tell where your planets aligned,
 a learned gent in 19th century times.
 Dr John Harries, was a ‘cunning man’
 wizard, leading edge, or slight of hand?
 

 Incorporating medicine with astrology,
 some of these wonders are an anomaly.  
 Hmm.. she’d sighed, turning the pages;
 “Is this how witch craft has been fabled?”
 
Victoria Healing ~ 21.11.2020
 THAT GRIMOIRE 

John Harries was a 19th century Welsh ‘cunning man’ well known for medicine, surgery, astrology, and magic. His note book remains intact, and is available from the National Library of Wales.  Dr John ( a Harley Street practitioner) combined medicine with astrology (which must have seemed like magic to the ignorant) and a natural ability of second sight.  

https://www.library.wales/discover/digital-gallery/manuscripts/modern-period/john-harries-book-of-incantations#?

The term “cunning man” or “cunning woman” was most widely used in southern England and the Midlands, as well as in Wales

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cunning_folk#Britain

https://www.grimoire.org/person/john-harries/

Grimoire. Book of Spells

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimoire

Image: Beatrix The Art of Brian Kesinger

The Bone Setters

 THE BONE SETTERS
 One  stormy, murderous night in 1740’s,
 a ship wrecked, on the coast of Anglesey.
 Waves pummelled onto jagged shores,
 young boys tumbled in Skerries furore. 
 

 The local Doctor Thomas took them home,
 teaching of his great skills in setting bones.
 Young Evan Thomas, took a keen interest,
 for setting fractures, he had been blessed.
 

 Fast forward, over the next 250 years,
 new descendants have perfected his work. 
 HUGH OWEN THOMAS, Evan’s great grandson,
 specialised setting bones, as forefather’s begun. 
 

 Famous for his founding of the ‘THOMAS SPLINT’
 First world war Soldiers, owed their lives to him.
 The ‘FATHER OF MODERN ORTHOPAEDICS” prestige,
 many today, haven’t heard of their expertise.
 

 These pioneers of splinters and tractions,
 have perfected the art of healing fractures. 
 Valued for their conception of setting bones, 
 but of them, not many people have known. 
 

 Thank God for Dr Thomas on that savage night, 
 saving and taking interest in young Evan’s life.
 Now, if you have a misfortune to break a bone,
 Hugh Owen Thomas; founder of the ‘Thomas Splint’ — you will know. 

 
 Victoria Healing ~ 20.11.2020
 THE BONE SETTERS
 

Top Image: Adrian Smith, Oil Painting 2020.  The Skerries in distance. (Islands of the Seals)

Second Image: Hugh Evan Thomas 

A Medical Legacy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Owen_Thomas

Interesting reading:
“69-year-old Dafydd Evans will take ramblers on a journey around the rugged Anglesey coastline and into his own amazing family history”
http://www.abroadintheyard.com/descendant-of-bone-setter-boy-shipwrecked-off-anglesey-1740s-leads-journey-of-discovery-about-his-origins/?

“DNA mapping has shed light on a 260-year-old mystery of the origins of a child shipwrecked on Anglesey, who helped shape medical history”  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-19012179  

Evan’s great-great-grandson, Sir Robert Jones, became the first doctor in the world to use X-Ray photography to diagnose a fracture in 1896 and was the co-founder of the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Gobowen, Shropshire. The Welsh name for these islands, ‘Ynysoedd y Moelrhoniaid’, means “Islands of the Seals”.[2]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Skerries,_Isle_of_Anglesey 

WildCraft

WILDCRAFT
 He smelled of earth, grass and moss,
 ‘ordinary things’ of miracles we've forgot. 
 He spoke in spirit, of flowers and trees,
 magickal elixirs and poultice for disease. 
 

 Herbal tonics, for poor, common folk,
 super natural wild potions he composed. 
 Of hedgerow medicine, he was the best,
 a legacy gifted, in pharmaceutical quest. 
 

 Apothecary of roots, leaves and plants,
 wizard to all, in healths circumstance.
 Apple water and sweet rose hip teas,
 honey, wild clary, if you had a disease. 
 

 Rhiwallon’ legend is continued to this day,
 the first PHYSICIAN OF MYDDFAI, Wales.
 Trusted naturopath to Prince Rhys Gryg,
 he, wild crafter of herbage, berries and twig.  
 

 His wife, the mysterious, fae Lady of Lake,
 marital vows unwittingly, he’d forsake.
 Other world holistic secrets, she had left,
 to Rhiwallon and sons, a legacy manifest.  
 

 Place names in this legend are still seen, 
 natural cures, teaching modern medicine.
 I find it odd and a most bizarre twist of fate, 
 Merlin aka Myrddin was from the same place. 
 Victoria Healing ~ 17.11.2020
 WILDCRAFT 

“For every human illness there exists a natural cure”

“Take marigold, pound well with good wine, vinegar, strong mead or strong ale. It is a good preservative against the foreign pestilence called the plague”

~ Rhiwallon ~ Physicians of Myddfai 

PHYSICIANS OF MYDDFAI

Myddfai is a village in South Wales.  It was here that the first of the physicians practiced. His name was Rhiwallon and  his descendants are said to have continued his work, in an unbroken hereditary line, until the eighteenth century. The birth of modern medicine can be traced back to these Physicians of Myddfai.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physicians_of_Myddfai

Physicians of Myddfai and the Birth of Modern Medicine

The words are mine, the image chosen for its artistic impact.

Image: Merlin aka Myrddin  ~

‘Myrddin’ is also a name that was created, in accordance with early traditions, to explain the place name ‘Caer-fyrddin’ (Carmarthen)

Supurrstition’s

 
SUPURRSTITION'S
It is a terrible thing, 
an omen of bad luck brings. 
Abused, reviled and hated;
from the deceptions created. 
 
Black fur, deep green eyes,
how could they be despised?
A reminder of propaganda,
mistruths and slander. 
 
How did this come to be?
this being their tragic story. 
Ghastly, crazy superstitions,
over evil witch inquisitions. 
 
 What the devil’s fib is that?
 about harmless, kitty cats.
 would it come as any surprise,
 another concoction of porky pies.
 
 Pope Gregory IX, was a weird man, 
 ordering the kill of cats on land. 
 Konrad von Marburg, inquisitor,
 decided black cats were sinister. 
 
Cats accused as witches assistants,
more Marburg’s hocus pocus victims.
Is a black cat, fortunate or bad luck?
these hate crimes; all Marburg’s bluff. 
 
He being Infamous, for macabre deeds,
of which ‘luck’ sign, will YOU believe?
Victoria Healing ~ 14.11.2020
SUPURRSTITION'S  
Image: Cats 101 

The simple truth is that cats make the world a better place.

As Welsh folklore tells us: “It is very fortunate to have a thoroughly black cat on the premises” (Marie Trevelyan, 1909)

People passed down tales with the intent of dissuading people from being near black cats, as doing so would get you tortured and killed by the Inquisition. These stories then evolved into today’s superstitions.

https://medium.com/history-of-yesterday/the-satanic-ritual-behind-the-unlucky-black-cat-d8ef2575328b

https://www.thevintagenews.com/2019/04/02/the-vatican-and-cats/

Konrad von Marburg became a byword for sadism and the dark side of Catholicism. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konrad_von_Marburg

Mine Faeries

Image: Coblynau _ keepers of the Cavern Scrolls.
MINE FAERIES 
  
 "Come tiny dwarves, give me a hand,
 in these treacherous dark cold lands”
 “Look behind you” they would call,
 "follow our thumping on tunnel walls.
 

 Don’t be fooled by our grim, ugly looks,
 or the misleading fairy tales in books.
 We may only be, one foot, 6 inches tall,
 but we hide down here, to assist you all.
 

 Loading buckets, flitting about shafts,
 finding rich veins, when we are tasked"
 Deep in the bowels of middle earth,
 men and boys slogged, treacherous world.
 

 Dark, dusty and a grave, kind of place,
 unpredictable, the perils, at coal face.
 Colliers gouged at shafts with hammers,
 in unsafe and unhealthy sort of manner.
 

 Multitudes, had lost their lives over time,
 in black abysses of murderous coal mines.
 Coblynau were pitmans guides, back then,
 is this fairytale or wink from dwarf friends?
 Victoria Healing ~ 10.11.2020
 MINE FAERIES  
Image: South Wales Museum
Image: South Wales Museum

Coblynau are mine faeries, mythical gnome-like creatures that are said to haunt the mines and quarries of Wales and areas of Welsh settlement in America.[1] In Wales, they are called Coblynau (or coblyn) The sound of their knocking brings good luck, a sign that a rich vein is near. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coblynau

https://miningfolklore.blogspot.com/search/label/Swansea

Old Knives Tale

OLD KNIVES TALE 

They’d warned him not to travel at night,
that if he saw her, he should stay out of sight.
But he, being an old wise man of the bush,
didn’t take kindly to ghost stories and stuff. 

He loved to go wandering off the beaten track,
he hadn’t expected, that he’d never get back.
As ghostly phantom appeared in the distance,
he’d called out to ask if they “Needed assistance”

Ahead, an old woman, in four cornered hat,
greying dress, wooden pot, held in her hands.
‘Woah up’ cried that old creepy, evil apparition,
she cackled with laughter; he’d made a bad decision.

‘Heaven help me’ shrieked and wailed the old man,
the stories of GWYLLION, are true; well “I’ll be damned”  
The old Welsh fairy who leads travellers astray,
was, who the old man had met, that unfortunate way.

It was right, what they’d told him, about all of this;
so he followed their instructions, to give her his ‘Gift’
Drawing his sharp steel blade, out of its sheath,
pointing, pointy end, as towards him she’d reached.

Zap, boom! old Gwyllion vanished, fading in thin air,
a lucky escape for the old man, still standing there. 
This sorcery and spell cast, today, still holds true,
a warning “Never gift knives to friends, from you” 
Victoria Healing ~ 19.10.2020
OLD KNIVES TALE 
(Image: Dollightful) 
The Gwyllion are female fairies of frightful characteristics, who haunt lonely roads in the Welsh mountains, and lead night-wanderers astray. 

Welsh ghosts and fairies are afraid of a knife.
 It is also said that once a knife is drawn in front of her, she disappears as they reputedly do not like knives.

SUPERSTITIONS:
According to one superstition, a knife presented as a gift will sever the friendship between the giver and the recipient. The only way around this unfortunate outcome is to tape a penny to the knife. The coin must be promptly removed and returned to the giver as a form of symbolic payment.

“Whoa up!” is an English form of a Welsh cry of distress.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwyllion

Leave Me, Go

LEAVE ME, GO

In the corpse light of the night,
you’ll know something isn’t right. 
Rarely seen, but always heard,
blurred, disembodied, absurd. 


Cyhyraeth, is on the prowl,
Don’t look now!
Turn a deaf ear,
if it’s death that you fear.


Cyhyraeth Messenger, of ‘Undead’ 
ignore her wailing in your head. 
As she howls, through winds,
and growls “Can I come in” ?


Cyhryraeth exhumed from our Celts,
the Holy Grail’s burial home, of Welsh.
Ghostly, skeletal, spectral phantom,
take heed, she’d hold you to her ransom. 


Have you been warned?
Eternal damnation will be yours,
if you answer to her three calls. 


Be sure to confidently reply,
“I do not want to die”
Leave me, let me go, 
there’s no one at home” 


Run for cover under, pillows and sheets, 
this hag of mists, you don’t want to meet. 


Herein lies the twist. 
“Never challenge death, with a pillow fight,
or be prepared to handle the reaper cushions” 


Am I right? 


Victoria Healing ~ 18.10.2020
LEAVE ME, GO! 



Cyhyraeth

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyhyraeth

the Cyhyraeth also sounds for Welsh natives dying far from home.

The Cyhyraeth: Meaning “skeleton, “spectre”, “death-portent”, “wraith”) a ghostly spirit in Welsh mythology, a disembodied moaning voice that sounds before a person’s death.


The noise is said to be “doleful and disagreeable”, like the groans and sighs of someone deathly ill, and to sound three times (growing weaker and fainter each time) as a threefold warning before the person expires. 

The Cyhyraeth is a Banshee-like spirit from Glamorganshire, Wales. 

The Greatest Mother of All

Don Great Earth Mother

THE GREATEST MOTHER OF ALL 

On Mothers Day, we celebrate and honour, our loving Mom’s,
however, not much is known about Earth Mother; Llys Dôn.
Benevolent, powerful Mother of the “Children of the Light”
balancing between darkness and all that is good and right.

Wife of death god Beli; She, our matriarch of fertility,
Welsh patroness of the springs, fountains and humility.
One more goddess of magick, who once walked the earth,
various names and guises of her, evolved around the world.

Llys Don is associated with the realm of Cassiopeia,
Northern sky stars, the great constellation of utopia.
Beyond the balance of existence, of day and night,
the light and the dark, yin and yang, black and white.

Triple goddess, great Maiden, Mother and Crone,
also a ruler of the super natural, otherworld thrones.
Learning from our ancestors, reflecting todays reality,
as we are, the future creators of our own originality.

Channelling our ability of will and intent to discover,
our own roots blossoming and developing, in our culture.
Bringing the mystical and mysterious, back to our planet,
is what is needed right now, to unearth healthy habits.

After Covid19, seeing various and probable futures;
the more we are learning, we’re discovering new solutions.
Victoria Healing ~ 10.5.2020
©The Greatest Mother Of All

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Don-Celtic-goddess

 
 
 

Llys Don lights our fires of inspiration. She rules both chaos and transformation. Reminding us that it is within our power to restore balance to the earth.

Don and her children represent all that is light, and the battle of darkness and evil. The Donwy River is named after her. Her children represented the tribal deities of light as opposed to the children of Llyr, who were the deities of darkness. This Welsh mythology has only partially survived.

 

Image: ‘The Prayer’

by bubug ~ Magdalena Korzeniewska 

Polish artist.  (Gel Pen Drawing )