We Are The Raven-Fed

Just what is it about the making of pictures? Endless pondering on the nature of image-making, of the desire and the need to make images, has left me no closer to that mirage despite all the assiduous musing.

From where do images come – for they must have an origin – and how do we make sense of them and, through them, make sense of ourselves?

The images we make are not mirrors – or if they are, they are imperfect ones at best. They reflect those things we cannot clearly behold except by the imperfect process of drawing and painting.

The process is of course inspiration, a will o’ the wisp disguised as a discipline, the elusive resource upon which all depends. By the flickering light of that ignis fatuus masquerading as a profession, the midnight oil of the small hours of the mind, artists the world over sketch, draw, paint… create.raven-transparent-16

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The Battle of “Magh Rath”: Its True Site Determined

e74c7de423c46d324afc05174bfbaef2_william-morris-letter-t-by-free-clipart-medieval-letter-t_236-236 he battle of Magh Rath, fought A.D. 637, is one of the most important recorded in the Irish annals; it is mentioned by Adamnan, Abbot of Iona; by the Annalist Tighernach; also in the Chronicon Scotorum, the Annals of the Four Masters, and O’Flaherty’s Ogygia. The entry of Tighernach is as follows :-” A.D. 637.-The Battle of Magh Bath was fought by Domhnall, son of Aedh, and by the sons of Aedh Slaine, (but Domhnall at this time ruled Temoria), in which fell Congal Cacth, King of Uladh, and Faelan, with many nobles; and in which fell Suibhne, the son of Colman Cuar.” O’Flaherty’s entry is much more minute and copious. We quote from Hely’s translation :- “In the year 637, the battle of Moy-rath, in Ulster, is fought by Domnald the Second, King of Ireland, and the sons of Aid Slany, monarch of Ireland, against Congall Olaen, the son of Scandal, King of Ulidia, who was [had been] vanquished in a battle at Dun Kethern, in the year 629, and banished into Britain for his factious and aspiring measures. He levied a great army for this battle, composed of Albanian Scots, with their king Domnall Brec and his brothers, of Picts, Anglo-Saxons, and Britons. In this battle, which continued for seven days, Congall was killed, the rest obliged to fly in the utmost consternation, and Suwney, the son of Cuar, lord of Dalaradia, was drowned. Concerning this war, Adamnan says as follows:-‘ This prediction was fulfilled in our days, in the war of Rath, when Domnal Bree, the grandson of Aidan, was depopulating, without any provocation, the provinces of Domnill, the grandson of Ainmireeh; and, from that day to this, they have been reduced to the last extremity by foreigners: which gives me the most heartfelt concern.'” But the longest and most interesting account of this battle is found in a historical tale of the fifteenth century, the “Cath Muighe Rath”, translated and edited by Dr. O’Donovan, for the Irish Archeological Society, in 1842 and which the editor says has been evidently compiled from earlier accounts.

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The Origin of The Martenitsa (Произходът на Мартеницата)

Martenitsa is one of the oldest and most interesting symbols. For its meaning and origin there are different views. Some researchers seek connection with the time when Tsar Kaloyan lived, others returned further back in the past – in the era of Asparuh. There are those who try to impose their belief that the oldest martenitsa is from the land of Iran. Overall, however, all these statements are based mostly on personal desires and are not supported by solid arguments. I think the truth is quite different and it may surprise many of my countrymen.

Although we do not know the details of how much further in time the tangled roots of white and red thread goes, we instinctively feel that it concerns something important, something which has arisen in the past but due to its importance has survived until today. This is no accident, it is just instinct, many of our scientists believe that the martenitsa  has an apotropaic impact, i.e. it is a charm having magical powers and ability to protect the holder .

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