Interestingly, my two most popular posts this year are my two most recent ones. I really hope that's the start of a trend! These were Ideas for Celebrating Epona’s Day, here, and Why You Should Be Wary of Celtic Facts on Patheos. I really poured my heart and soul into the Epona piece, and although it’s aimed at one day of the year, most of the content is applicable any time.
I’ve only been on Patheos for a few months, and most of my posts there have done well, but one which was especially popular was Horses of the Dark Time, the first in a series of pieces about horse mumming traditions. This one covered Cheshire souling plays that take place around Samhain, and feature a skull horse. For an unsensational piece on folklore, I can only guess that its popularity was due to the timing and a striking lead photo of a Mari Lwyd.
photo by Rhyn Williams
The Story Shawl was the first piece of fiction I ever published on the blog, and it also did well. It was intended as a metaphor concerning the value of mythology to a society. I was pleased with how it turned out, and that it was popular, but amused that many readers seemed to miss the analogy between the fictional shawl and mythology. Oh well!
In October I was haunted by the tale of The Wild Mare. It came to me in instalments over a few mornings while I was still in bed, almost in the same way that much of the story itself unfolds in the main character’s dreams. I hardly feel that I can claim credit for this one. I wrote it down, but I have no sense of having composed it. I hope there will be more like it, but who knows? You can now buy it in print, along with some poems on a horsey theme, in chapbook form.
My personal favourites
I only write about things I love, and there are a few posts that I especially wish had been read more widely. If you have time, check some of these out. If you find one you love, perhaps you will share it.
The Blackface Sheep Speaks is a post that sits close to my heart. I believe that my oracle cards have a lot to teach us, and this one is among my favourites from this year. The overarching spirit of the card felt very close when I was writing this one.
The Evil That Efnisien Did explores an episode from the Mabinogi that had been bothering me for some time. The answers I came up with in some ways dovetail with what I wrote in the Lughnasadh piece mentioned above.
Another post that meant a lot to me was The Romany Gentleman, my review of Tom Lloyd’s film about his father, Walter Lloyd and their associations with the Romany and Traveller communities at Appleby horse fair. Not only is it a great film, but I so much enjoyed doing research about Walter Lloyd, who turned out to be one of the most ildánach people I have ever encountered.
Tom LLoyd and friends
In Making Friends with Celtic Mythology I offered what I hope is some useful advice to readers who aren’t sure how to approach this awfully big subject of study. I see a lot of questions about this on social media. Here are a few answers.
On Patheos I also have a couple of favourites. One is Mabon is a God, in which I try to explain that I don’t mind people honouring Mabon at the Autumnal Equinox, but why I do object to them using His name as the name for the day. The other is Moon Drum, in which I describe the events of a particularly potent full moon ritual.