‘Imagine if you can’t remember’ – Charlotte Hussey
It has been well over a millennia since the gods of these islands were called by their name, since hymns and songs were sung in their praise, since offerings were laid in streams, sealed beneath the soil or burned on pyres for them. Over 80 generations have lived and died since the lives of the people on this landscape were bound together with the lives of the gods and the changing of the seasons.
If a god can die, then surely many have. Names forgotten, disappeared as wood has rotted, memory has faded and whatever temples or shrines erected in their honour have fallen to time and human hands.
Then along we come, trying to remember them. Striving to bring them back into memory so that as another generation passes they are not diminished.
It is a romantic notion; that people once lived in a divine relationship with the gods and the landscape. All three merged into one; no such thing as religion, just the three bound together in daily life. Romantic or not, it is something we are looking not to reconstruct, but to reconnect to. We live in the 21st century, the majority of us don’t farm the land ourselves to subsist or to make offerings and sacrifice – we live in a world of electricity, advancing technology and mass transportation across an ever shrinking globe. But through all of that, the land is still beneath our feet, it still makes us who we are and the gods and spirits of that land are still there and willing to speak to us if we will listen.
This is what we hope to do; to listen, to record, to share and to pass on what they have to say, to enshrine in the written word for the first time ever, in some respects, the hymns and songs we sing to the gods and to bequeath to the next generations the lives we have lived with gods and land.
What we hope to do is remember.
We want this blog to be based on contribution from as wide a range of people as possible, all with the similar aim of reconnecting to, remembering and living British/Brythonic Polytheism
We aim to post on a fortnightly basis, with three initial works in the first week to lay the foundation for what is clearly going to be a running theme over the first year of the Brython blog; the ritual year. Kicking off will be a post about the ritual year as broken down into six seasons and the festivals therein. Then, we move straight into the first ritual season of Calan Mai with an essay looking at the significance of the early summer months and the rituals celebrated by Brythonic Polytheists.
As the year progresses, we will cover each of the seasons in turn until we lay out a full twelve month ritual year. Individual festivals will get more coverage as time develops and our shared practice either grows together or even splits into newer and more individual forms as we build relationships with the gods and landscape.
We also want to have more devotional work on the blog, so there will be hymns and poetry along with research essays recalling to our memories the gods of these islands. In the first year there will be works for Nodens/Nudd/Lludd and Gwyn ap Nudd for sure.
We also want to start addressing and writing about the broader issues facing polytheists; things like ethics, environmentalism and the dreaded politics. We live on a land alive with spirits and gods; they are part of it. We should to some degree then care about what happens to that landscape and how it is treated, it might be cliché, but if the landscape is our cathedral, we should be concerned with those who would want to tear it down or sell it off. We cannot shy away from politics, because politics and the political will not shy away from the things we hold dear.
Whilst we will initially have a small group of contributors made up from people within Brython, we really do urge anyone who wants to get in touch or to contribute and take part to do so. Please email or visit our website and forums to chat, discuss or offer some time to help others remember the gods you hold important.