An illustration I wanted to do since almost two years now : young Merlin watching the epic, prophetic fight between the red and the white dragon that were sleeping under the hill on top of which King Vortigern wanted to build his tower. Arthurian legends and Britain’s mythology are an awesome source of inspiration. AND a great excuse to paint over-the-top dragon fights.
Imagine for a moment you’re a Chinese solder in the Korean war. This isn’t the Korean war of our universe. This is a longer, much more violent one.
The conflict has entered its fourth year now. You yourself, are storming a hill occupied by Australian forces. Or they may have been Canadian, you’re not entirely sure. Regardless, you grab your ‘burp’ gun, and start rushing up the hill. Fire is light, but quickens heavily, although you don’t have to worry too much, as you aren’t in the first wave. Luckily, enemy air power isn’t present so early in the morning, and their artillery crews seem off the ball. Your regiment presses hard once combat picks up, but it’s difficult as you’re fighting into the rising morning sun. You crawl into a shell hole, one of the many that dot the hill from your sides preparatory mortar barrage. Its not that deep, but every millimetre counts when you’re under Bren gun fire. You’re on your back, facing away, checking your kit, when you feel the sun crest the mountains in the distance, incredibly bright.
Then it hits you. You’re facing West on a crisp winter morning and the sun only rises in the east.
A mushroom cloud rises, kilometers in the distance, the fireball having just crested a hill from your line of sight. You wonder how the higher ups in your regiment will deal with having their logistics and command elements quite literally atomized. In the far distance, you can make out four contrails and a tiny bright dot flying west ward.
As the combined shockwave and boom of the bomb hit you, the firing on the hill dies down. In the silence, a new sound is picked up. You hear what can only be described as a cheer from the enemy lines, and more ominously, a buzzing. It gets louder and louder, the men around you nervous. One of them in a panic stands and charges, being cut down mercilessly from a burst of machine gun fire. The buzzing is extremely loud, and approaching rapidly.
There’s a flash of a black object, low and fast, followed by more. A small object lands a meter from you, but your eyes are on the objects flying past. Like bicycles, they have riders, but they move with the propellers of aircraft. The object on the hill rolls into your lap. Its what looks like grenade.
Juhannus was originally a celebration for Ukko the supreme god of weather and harvest. It was also a time for making magic since the spirit world was more active at the time of the white nights. A loud feasting and drinking brought luck in love as well as a good harvest and kept the evil spirits at bay.
1. Roll in dew
If you roll around naked in a field, your
future spouse will appear in your life within a year. Dew was believed
to have a healing effect and rolling in it was supposed to make you
beautiful and healthy. Earlier, dew was even collected in cloths and
pressed into bottles for the year to come.
2. Put a spell on a field
Find a four-leafed clover from the yard in the
evening. Hide the clover under your shirt, next to your bosom. When the
clock strikes midnight, let your hair loose and run to the field. Go
around the field three times. When the person of your fancy will eat
bread made out of the wheat from that specific field, they will fall in
love with you.
3. Collect seven flowers
Collect seven different types of flowers from as
many meadows. When going to bed, put the bouquet underneath your pillow.
You will see “the one” in your dream. Flowers and plants have an important role in
Midsummer celebrations. Previously, it was common to scatter tree leaves
on the floors and build tree houses in the yards. Even cows were
decorated with garlands, so as to secure a good year for the cattle and
4. Sweep naked
Sweep your bedroom floor naked, just a red thread tied around your waist, and the ghost of your love will greet you.
5. Tie a sauna whisk, vihta
Vihtas are always made for the Midsummer
sauna. They are usually made out of birch as its fresh leaves are soft
and have a lovely fragrance. For your magic spell, the Midsummer bath
whisk should be made out of eight different tree and flower types. After
the sauna, throw the whisk on the roof of the sauna. Climb up after it
and see whereto the stem of the whisk points. That is the direction from
which your future spouse will come.
6. Make a bonfire
The smoke of the bonfire will turn to the person who will find their spouse next. When the flames start to go out, jump over the bonfire to bring luck in love.
7. Look into a mirror
When you put two mirrors opposite each other on a midsummer night, you can see your future spouse in the reflection of the other.
8. Listen to the first sound
In the wee hours of the night, climb up somewhere
high – on a hill, on top of a fell or a big rock. To a place where it is
easy to hear surrounding sounds. Your future spouse will come from the
same direction as the first sound of the morning. If you hear music, it
means an approaching wedding. If you hear a child crying, it is a sign
of birth. The number of cuckoo sounds tells how many years you have to wait until you find love.
Cloud Divination is the art of discovering the past, present, and future through the aid of clouds.
This type of divination is very open to interpretation since it’s determined by:
Color (Red= passion/anger, Pink= romance/relationships, Black= negative energies/death etc.)
Direction it moves in (N=
Adaptability, charm, creativity, sociability, wit
Physical strength, health, adventure, loyalty
Confidence, business, energy, persistence
Trust, sincerity, love, compassion)
Position of the cloud (High clouds = high chances of something happening Low clouds= low chance of something happening Center = neutral)
Shape or formation (this can mean physical shapes the clouds make such as hearts or the splitting/reforming of one or more clouds)
How to preform Nephelomancy
This practice it best preformed on a mountain top or hill where it is easier to see a wide range of the horizon
*The sky should also be bright or clear to get more accurate answers*
Lay down and look at the sky, have a specific question in mind to ask the clouds. Phrase this question to be as specific as possible so the answer can be clear.
(ex. Will I be able to repair my relationship with my friend?)
Close your eyes and clear your head of distracting thoughts, focus on the question you want answered.
When you’re ready open your eyes and look for any formations or colors in the sky
(ex. if the clouds were connected together high in the sky and are a white/pink hue there’s a high chance you can repair the friendship)
The most important thing to remember about cloud divination is that you should not force any shapes or colors you immediately see to fit into your answer. This practice requires a lot of patience and it’s okay if you don’t get an answer immediately, hence the importance of a specific question. It can take multiple tries to get one answer.
Once you’re finished remember to thank the clouds and nature for their guidance!
I have and a few GITM encounters but this one is the weirdest
(For @sixpenceee !)
When I was about 8 years old I went on a road trip with my mom, dad, brother and I. This was before my parents got divorced but I was around the same age that they did; I was 7. We went to Frank Slide, Canada, which is a town that was completely covered by the landslide and it killed a lot of people. There was a telescope on top of the hill that cause the landslide and I wanted to look at the moon.
At the time I was pretty obsessed with astronomy- I had tons of books on the solar system. I knew what the moon looked like down to every crater and all of its phases so when I looked in the telescope I was really surprised to see what I thought was Mars but that telescope was pretty bad so it was hard to believe I was seeing Mars even though it didn’t look like Mars at all. I looked around more and saw the moon right next to this “Mars”.
I was satisfied enough and looked away but when I looked up at the sky with my naked eye I could still see the red planet. It was slightly smaller than the moon that was to the left of it. My brother and my dad and I all saw it and we freaked out so we jumped in the car onto our next road trip destination. I followed the mysterious red planet all the way until it went behind a hill top.
When we got past the hill the mysterious planet was completely gone. Nowhere in sight, even when we were driving by open fields.
I usually mentioned it to a few of my close friends but one day I mentioned it to someone I had just recently started befriending and she said she saw the same thing at the same age of 7. I don’t really know what it was but I’ve seen a red moon and it wasn’t the same. Plus the moon was right beside it in all its white glory, not red. Still freaks me out
Some say that his tears are adhesive, and that if he caught fire he’d burn for 1000 days. Some say that his ears aren’t exactly where you’d expect them to be, and that once, preposterously, he had an affair with John Prescott. We suddenly realise that we have no idea what the truth is. Who is the strange creature? What does he want from us? All we do know, is that he’s called The Stig.
It’s the year 2056. Bruce Forsyth is now 141 years old. He’s outlived his family, he’s outlived his old co-stars. He’s outlives everyone he knows. He’s outlived all of us. The apocalypse happened 10 years ago and Brucie is the only one left. He is the last man on Earth.
You’re in Tescos just before Election Day. You stop by the news and magazines section expecting to find some quality political analysis on the front page of your favourite paper, but all you find is rows and rows of the same image. Ed Miliband eating a bacon sandwich. At least that’s what the headline says he is doing. But you look closer. And that most certainly is not bacon.
You’re on the settee. You’re sort of half asleep-half scrolling Facebook for quality bants. ITV is on in the background but you haven’t been paying attention since Jezza Kyle went off. Something suddenly forces you to snap back to reality. In the corner of your eye you see an oversized white collar, thick rimmed black glasses… No, no, I thought it was over, please tell me he isn’t back, isn’t it over?? You turn to see the collar is now poking through the telly, and he’s there. Staring. There’s only one way to find out… FIGHT
LAD culture is taking over. Every word in the English Dictionary is quickly being replaced to include with word “bant” in it somewhere. All dinosaurs have been renamed Bantersauruses. At Christmas the only thing you can watch at the theatre is a Bantomime. Law dictates that the only things we can put in our gardens are blants, particularly of the
chrysbanthemum variety. We don’t even wear normal underwear anymore. We literally wear bants.
I wonder what ever happened to Dec, you wonder as you watch Ant presenting Britain’s Got Talent solo. You’re suddenly very aware that you haven’t seen him in a while, but Ant has never mentioned where his counterpart has gone. But wait. Ant looks different. The more you stare at his face the more obvious it becomes, but somehow only you can see it. Dec is trapped inside Ant’s massive forehead.
It’s been a long time since Freddos were 10p. A long time. And the price of them is no long a humorous topic used to express faux-indignation at the ever rising cost of living. They are a sad subject now, and it is deemed rude to even bring up the topic of Freddos in good company. Every time your gazes flickers to the £1 label beneath the untouched stack of Freddos at Morrisons, you die a little bit inside, a tear rolls down your cheek.
There’s growing evidence that a landmark flat-topped hill in Dumfriesshire was the site of the first major battle of the Roman invasion of Scotland.
By Willie Johnston, 26 August 2016.
“Archaeologists have been trying for 300 years to assess the role of Burnswark in the Roman occupation.New excavations suggest the truth is more bloody than had been thought up to now. Burnswark rises a thousand feet from the Solway plain and is clearly visible from miles around.On its summit the remains of a native hill fort. On the north and south slopes, two huge Roman camps capable of housing 6,000 soldiers or more. But what went on here?
One theory is that the Romans used the abandoned fort to train their men in weaponry - an early firing range. Another suggests that the fort was still occupied by local tribes people and came under prolonged siege to starve them out.
But new evidence points to a third - much bloodier - version of events. Lead archaeologist Andrew Nicholson believes it was the first assault in the Roman invasion of Scotland around 140 AD. "What this probably is, is the start of the Antonine push from Hadrian’s Wall, conquering all of southern Scotland,“ he said. "After the emperor Hadrian has died the new emperor Antoninus Pius needs a victory as the incoming emperor.
"Southern Scotland is beyond the wall, beyond the borders, it is barbarian and Burnswark and the rest of Annandale and everywhere south of the Forth-Clyde line is its intended target." A two-week dig last summer is being following by another now. “I would suspect that probably nobody survived this and the Roman army moved on into the rest of Scotland.” - John Reid, Trimontium Trust.
Using metal detectors it has been found that massive amounts of lead-shot were fired at the fort - and not in a way indicating target practice. More evidence is the known presence of a general Lollius Urbicus brought here from the Middle East to do the emperor’s dirty work. John Reid of the Roman Heritage group the Trimontium Trust says Urbicus had "previous”. "He made his name in the Jewish war which had taken place in Israel in the previous four years where they had literally gone through the whole of Judea taking hill forts one after the other,“ he said.
"He was given the job of taking Scotland, we know that from Roman literary sources. "So he was here and this is where they blood their troops." It seems very clear they meant business. Many of the lead bullets found at Burnswark have identical 4mm holes in them which, initially, was a mystery. John Reid went to Germany to consult an expert in sling shot ballistics, Joerg Sprave.
And the effect of the hole became obvious when replicas were made and fired.
"You’d hear this screeching noise that you’ve never heard before or experienced before in your life,” explained Mr Nicholson. "What sort of unearthly spirits are these dreadful Romans conjuring up to assail you with amongst all their missiles? "I hear this keening sound through the air and the chap with the spear next to me drops dead and I wonder what on earth is doing it. I’d be utterly terrified.“
So, the personnel involved and the quantity and type of slingshot used suggests complete overkill against a weaker, poorly-armed enemy. "The Romans were well recognised for what is called exemplary violence,” said Mr Reid. "These people literally did suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
“This literally is a site where people suffered an attrition to the very end and I would suspect that probably nobody survived this and the Roman army moved on into the rest of Scotland." More work will be required to prove this new theory definitively and that’s planned in the years ahead. But those involved here are confident that - in police slang - they’ve got the Romans bang to rights.”