Tree tales

On Saturday past the Pagan Council held a Tree Walk around the Ipswich Arboretum in which I shared myth, poetry, folklore, and pagan magical traditions connected to the species of tree that we saw. There was a nice turn out on the day, the weather held well, and it raised just over £20 for the Woodland Trust (every little helps). Afterwards we had tea and cake in the cafe in Christchurch Park. It was a lovely, relaxing afternoon and we may well run something similar next year, going on a different route with other trees and their folklore.

This story is a short version of one of the most famous Irish tragic sagas, Deirdre of the Sorrows. I include it here because of the appearance of the trees at the end of the tale. There are several versions of the saga, each with slight variations (not all include the trees, for example). One day I might do a fuller version of this story, fleshing out some of the characters that just get glossed over in this recording.

Soul Food

I recorded a rather rambling podcast for the Pagan Federation virtual moot. This is almost the same, but in this version I remembered to say what I forgot to say in their version. The theme set was 'Food for the Soul' and so I've reflected on the way in which storytelling - from novels to family narratives to mythical sagas - shapes our lives (scop's them, if you want an Anglo-Saxon pun) for the better or worse. We feed our bellies with bread, but our souls with sagas.

One day I might transmute these disparate ideas into something cohesive, but at the moment you'll just have to endure the meandering version. I've been asked to write something a bit clever for an anthology ardently read by people who are very, very clever (and some who just think they are). I'm wary of doing so because they also seem to relish ripping one another apart in the way that posturing academics and pseuds in equal measures are prone to do. If I ever manage to produce a chapter, i…

Festival of Paganism 2017

This Saturday at Oddfellows Hall, High Street, Ipswich, the Ipswich Pagan Council will be holding a free event to build bridges with other pagan communities around East Anglia, help people new to paganism find their feet (pssst... they're on the end of your legs), and answer questions on paganism from those who are just curious.
This is a free event which runs as follows -

10.00       Doors open
10.15       Pagan Suffolk, with Robin Herne
11.00       Tales of the Native American nations, with Robert Lummis
12.00       Music and poetry over lunch
1.00         The Feast of Lupercalia, with Robin Herne
2.00         Paganism & Politics, a panel discussion
3.00         Greek mythology storytelling
3.30         Ethics of Healing, a panel discussion
4.00         Thanks & Farewell

Refreshments will be provided throughout the day. There will be displays on different branches of paganism, activities for children, and a friendly welcome for friendly faces. Just drop by and enjoy the …

Falling in love again

The announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor Who has flooded social media with rivers of bile, both from those who loathe the idea with every ounce of their being and equally those who love it but despise those who are even slightly equivocal on the subject. As so often, some people make a great show of tolerating everyone - except those who hold a different opinion.
I have seen a lot of rather sneering claims that large swathes of science fiction fans are lost in a world of fantasy and emotionally inadequate because of it (or vice versa, depending on whether a given pontificator thinks the chicken came first or the egg). Observing these shenanigans, I have been reminded that many readers openly wept when they read the death of Little Nell when Dickens' serial hit the stands in 1841. When one business tycoon read A Christmas Carol two years later, he was so stung by his own similarity to Scrooge that he immediately gave his wage slaves the rest of the day off. People famo…

Journey of a thousand miles

Tomorrow night I have been asked to give a talk on Kemeticism (Egyptian paganism) at the Lowestoft Moot - which takes so long to get to on the train it might well feel like a journey of a thousand miles. However, the title of this post refers to a story about how the goddess Aset (Isis) began her long expedition across Egypt to flee from the vengeance of her brother Setekh. The opening part of the story - I suspect there were probably many sections to the saga at one point in time, but much of them have been lost, or at least remain untranslated from their hieroglyphic status - details how she acquired her seven golden scorpions.

If you are in Lowesoft tomorrow, come along to the Telecom Social Club, Clapham Road South, Lowestoft NR32 1QR between 7pm and 9pm.

Time to study?

A couple of recordings to make potential students aware of the degrees which I lead at the University of Suffolk. If you know of any possible Religious Studies and/or Ethics students, do share the link - or get them to contact me via



Speaks for Wolf

Should have posted here earlier, but work has been manic.... On Saturday 17th June, 7.30pm at the Ipswich Oddfellows hall on the High Street I will be telling myths and legends involving wolves as a means of fundraising for the UK Wolf Trust (which looks after a number of wolves in their sanctuary and does a lot of educational and environmental work as well).

Turn up, bring alcohol if you want it (I will provide tea/coffee) and make a donation to the charity tin. Stories are drawn from various cultures and sources - Roman, Irish, Greek, and assorted others.