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March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
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The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
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Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
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Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
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Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
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The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
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13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
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December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
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November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Considering Mesolithic Britain
Article ID: 14435
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,042
Times Read: 2,229
RSS Views: 11,828
Author: Verda Smedley
Posted: May 1st. 2011
Times Viewed: 2,229
I have been asked, why spend a lifetime studying Mesolithic Britain. It is prehistory about which virtually nothing is known. The archaeological evidence is scant and what has been discovered is often shrouded in mystery. The word prehistory has a way of implying unknowable; something lost forever in the remoteness of antiquity, until you view 6000 years ago on the geological timeline. Then you realize it was just yesterday. Within the “why” of such endless research was something very simple, deeply palpable, a persistent and sometimes sad longing to know my own tribe, the shamanic hunter-gatherers of Mesolithic Britain. It didn’t take me long to understand that they weren’t Celts. I finally found that there existed a tribal people indigenous to the British Isles and I devoted more than thirty years of my life seeking them out. I have to concede I have a passion for them.
Hundreds of books came and went from my life. I was repeatedly shown nothing more than vague accounts of my people’s destruction by aggressors and invaders. So I turned to the sciences and poured through archaeology, geology, ethnobotany, and many other fields. My search extended into animal magic and quantum physics; I studied mythology as though it was the very pump that filled my lungs with air. And sure enough a picture emerged; not a mere glimpse but a full-blown, vibratory understanding that resonated in my blood.
It is my hope that I can bring this exhaustive research, little by little, to the public domain and continue to write stories and essays about these amazing people. They have a profound and vital message, representing as they do the time in history when we as a species might have had it right, living lives that were profoundly spiritual, mystical, magical, and filled with devotion to our planet, true of Mesolithic Britain and the entire hunter-gatherer era worldwide.
I couldn’t find any evidence that suggested that these people worshipped a pantheon of gods and goddesses as recognized in later Neolithic Goddess and Pagan religions. I was continually left with the distinct impression that their worship was of the Primordial Goddess, an Earth religion wholly overflowing with shamanism and yet utterly Pagan. It was the heart and soul of both ancient mysteries and Earth mysteries as well. I based my absolute belief on the ethnobotany of Mesolithic Britain that I painstakingly reconstructed over many years. And it required many more to get into their minds before I grasped the scope of mysticism in their everyday lives.
The magic of Mesolithic Britain had to have been borne out of a comprehensive knowledge and devotion to the natural world, the Earth Mother. Hunting tools were created from powerful plants; each believed a spirit with specific attributes. But the concept of tools was far more sophisticated than the physical objects themselves. There were washes and smoke medicine that purified and empowered the hunter and his weapons. Other plants afforded him protection from malevolent spirits and injury. Some plants made him attractive to his quarry; others protected him against the elements. This was true of tanning too. The plants that were used to process, preserve, and tint hides all had magical properties and imbued those hides with their power.
Every feature of life was mystical including weaving and basket making because the species of plants selected had magical powers. Some saturated articles with specific attributes; others separated the spirit of the maker from the finished product. This was true of drums and flutes, pigments for fiber arts, even tattooing. Many things were made for ritual intent and therefore selected with deliberation and not just harvested from the local environment because it was convenient or readily available. Spirit, it was all spirit, not a single one of which was unfamiliar or unknown.
The essays I have written address in far greater detail these wonderful areas of real possibility. An appendix of indigenous British species organized loosely by property can be found on my website: www.verdasmedley.com. Should there be a thing as fate I hope to produce more essays in the near future about subjects such as the protection for home and hearth; garden magic and companion planting; and companion magic organized by nature’s ecosystems. I would like to add to that list essays pertaining to sacred cycles and shamanic exorcismal practices that sustain balance and harmony; and medicine bundles, bags and prayer sticks. Mysticism can be found in feast foods, sacred first foods and famine foods. I will hopefully address them too. I found that every area of life held the potential to be steeped in magic and it was easy for me to speculate that the Mesolithic people of the British Isles lived deeply spiritual lives. Like everyone else on this planet I have ascended from a tribe, some ancient group that didn’t plunder or exploit and called the Earth, Mother. I found my tribe in the British Isles.
Please note that my studies were limited to the indigenous species of the British Isles. To grasp the resources of the Mesolithic people of Britain might have had at their disposal I had to research many other Temperate Zone tribes. I concluded there was no reason to doubt that tribal Britain didn’t use those species similarly to other tribes’ application of them. In the absence of definitive proof I was left with informed speculation, and although respectably comprehensive, my assertions remain, in the end, speculative. Conversely, there is no reason to believe that many more uses, beyond our understanding now, were known, as well as uses for many other species that now elude us or are, sadly, extinct.
My grama taught me that the plants were disappearing because we didn’t take care of them anymore. My passion isn’t merely to be informed and share that knowledge with others. It is my way of remembering them and honoring our beloved Primordial Mother Goddess, the Earth. I have tried to illustrate that even simple lichens must be remembered if they are to remain our companions on this incredible mystical journey we call life. I want you to remember as I remember so that these extraordinary species and the spirits of our ancestors that revered them don’t leave us.
A full bibliography can be found on my website
Copyright: I hold the copyright on all my work
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Author's Profile: To learn more about Verda Smedley - Click HERE
Other Articles: Verda Smedley has posted 16 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Verda Smedley... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
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