How I came to the British Mysteries

One of the reasons I am so pleased that The Dancing Floor film is being made is that my first contact with the mysteries was through something similar. Looking back, I see that contact as the start of a path that I have walked all my life. I hope that The Dancing Floor will become a doorway into the mysteries for a new generation.

I’m talking about way back in the 1960s when I was a teenager, avidly reading books and watching anything on TV that fed my curiosity for the mysterious side of life. I remember quite clearly watching the first episode of a children’s TV programme called The Owl Service,  based on Alan Garner’s book of the same name.

In the story three modern-day teenagers are caught up in the legend of Blodeuwedd, playing out a tale of betrayal, revenge and forgiveness against a background of class conflict and sexually-charged adolescent jealousy. You can read more about it on The Owl Service website, which also has links to buying a DVD of the series. (By the way, I noticed when reading the website that the first episode went out on the Winter Solstice of 1969 and the last one went out just after Imbolc 1970, which all seems quite appropriate!).

If you want to have a taste of the series, there are some episodes on Youtube:

After watching The Owl Service I knew that I wanted to find the original legend, but it took a while to find a copy of the Mabinogion – in those days the only real resource for a teenager was the library – but before too long I did manage to find the Lady Charlotte Guest translation and although I found it very hard going, I kept revisiting it over the years.

It was many years later that I first became involved in a British Mysteries group, working with Lyn Webster Wilde in the House of Arianrhod. I think this kind of work is important for the health of our land and the people that live in it. So I want to support the film that Lyn is making, The Dancing Floor, because I hope that it will become a doorway for young people hungry for the mysteries!

The Dancing Floor

About singinghead

druid, mathematician, blogger, gardener...
This entry was posted in Magical Life, Welsh sources and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How I came to the British Mysteries

  1. lynww says:

    Reblogged this on Lyn's blog and commented:
    Rod writes about the Owl Service by Alan Garner, a book which many people remember with a frisson.

  2. Love this. I think modern retellings of the old stories have always been the way the next generation has been inspired. What are the written versions that we use as primary sources today but the retellings of their day, after all? One of the ways I came to love these stories was from modern writers such as Morgan Llywelyn and Lloyd Alexander. They inspired me to seek out what we now call the originals.

  3. Looks great. I haven’t read ‘The Owl Service’ but sounds like it’s about really living and inhabiting the mysteries, which for me, is what it’s all about. Could you tell me a little more about the House of Arianrhod?

  4. singinghead says:

    Hi Lorna – thanks for getting in touch! The short answer is that the way you work with Gwyn ap Nudd seems very similar to the way we work with Arianrhod. Lyn wrote a book about her experiences called ‘Becoming the Enchanter’. The house is still in operation, but you had better ask Lyn if you want more details (as she is running it). I’m sure she’d be happy if you got in touch via her blog

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