Sí an Bhrú

Posted by on Tuesday, December 20th, 2022

In a time before we measured time 
With calendars plotted by murderous kings, 
A people lived who called themselves 
By long lost names we can never know.
Back we wander toward them at Winter, 
Haltingly, hopeful, hungry for light,
As we witness the death of Autumn herself, 
Laid on the riverbank, frosted with rime.
Slowly, approaching the quartz-bedecked grave mound, 
Looming there above the meandering Boyne,
Owl-like, we swivel, our gaze turning Sunward,
Praying for a bright dawn to light up that tomb
And warm the dark chambers built for Gods reigning silent
Over a temple long sacred to farmers who read stars;
And who knew in their core that Winter fathers Summer
And Spring births all life, while Autumn weaves shrouds.

We’ve dug and we’ve sifted through soil and ash,
And measured and counted the beads, bones, and pins, 
Tracing the paths of the stones and their carvers to Meath–
We call the place “Center” as did bards long ago,
Despite being the outskirts of the hinterlands still–
And there at the hip flare of water curving like a woman
Those neolithic architects raised acres of shrines
Graven with orbit, and circuit, and ray. 

The river named for She who loved and birthed Gods,
Recast as a sinner by church scribes long past,
Because she opened her legs and her heart as she dared.
Mate to Horse Lord and Good God, and mother to Youth.
For Boand was fruitful–she nurtured the world,
And the mere act of washing herself in a well
Bore a river, which carried her stone-dead away–
The day she loved Dagda, then ripened seed into fruit,
And bore Aengus Og, Princeling of Tuath–
All wrought with such beauty the Sun paused for a peek.

Still we can’t find their names, but their math was ingenious
And served as a cheat sheet for eons long since.
And ever and after their calendars call out
“We promise, the Sun will wend back here again–
Go revel at Stonehenge if you’re traveling east,
Watch Knowth for the balance points,
Dowth calls Summer to Start
Bryn Celli Ddu and Maeshowe shall remind you of hope
In the darkness of winter, just like Sí an Bhrú
We left stone upon stone to remind you to live.”

Copyright 2022, Amy Ripton


Recording on Bandcamp


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Pelican Promissory for Kunigunde

Posted by on Thursday, November 24th, 2022

Winged Nike, harbinger of Victory,
Fly to our shores and let sing your lyre,
For we gather to praise your Beloved
Lady Kunigunde von Darmstadt,
Friend of heroes, host to a kingdom,
Mistress of lists and recorder of glories.

She who welcomes novice and knight with equal grace
And tames all tourney quandaries with her quill,
Shall be known across the world as a winged peer,
For her vulning has been recognized by all
Who tred her field or rest by her hearth.
We shine bright glory on one we now call Meisterin,
And let the whole fabric of darkness collapse away.

Thus we elevate her to the Order of the Pelican,
And secure her Letters Patent, to wit:
Per chevron gules and Or, two acorns and a sea-lion counterchanged.
So say we, Abran King and Anya Queen at our Holiday Faire,
this 19th day of November, Anno Societatis LVII

Text by Lanea
Calligraphy and Illumination by Kolfinna Valravn

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Laurel for Suphunibal rabat bat Abdeshmun

Posted by on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

To Lady Suphunibal
This is the hallowed place, built in the month of the sacrifice of the sun,
as a gift in the temple by Lærimoðir Álfrún ketta, scholar and artist.
For Suphunibal has raised our people in glory for these many years,
sharing her most venerated knowledge of dyes, draping, and adornment.

Let her years under Tanit’s sky be as many as the stars above.
The Laurel adorns those whose scholarship, teaching, and art shine out,
as does the genius of Aelia Suphunibal.
Let her brow be encircled in the glossy leaves of Noble Bay,
and her form wrapped in purple most prized.
Bid her lead student and apprentice in atelier and auditorium
so all may share her insight
with those who would learn
and her art with those who prove worthy.

During the reign of Cuan and Adelhait, she is granted a Patent
and raised as Suphunibal rabat bat Abdeshmun
For King and Queen have called her Laurel
in the month of Masan as the war of Pennsic paused,
on this day in August, Anno Societatis LVI


Text by Lanea, 

Calligraphy and Illumination by Kolfinna Valravn

Research and exemplar info: 

Pyrgi Tablets: https://www.museoetru.it/works/lamine-doro-da-pyrgi Inscriptions, end of the 6th century BCE, Production place: Cerveteri, gold, engraved leaf, Dimensions in cm: length 19; width 9, at Museo Nazionale Etrusco

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/W_1857-1218-29?fbclid=IwAR1WW1R5-9vmyny1ilDLYfyoxsKP_DyjpAUum4qzGVUQLH_a99UNp3DxWqI Fragment of limestone stele: Carved; with four lines of inscription remaining, top line almost completely lost. Below is a wreath between two Tanit symbols on standards.

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/W_1860-1002-1 Limestone votive stela; 4 line inscription; below the inscription is a lotus flower flanked by a hand raised in blessing; in the apex is a Tanit symbol.

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/W_1927-0922-1 Tanit symbol flanked by a hand and a caduceus. The Tanit symbol is incised with double lines except for an elongated lozenge at the top of the triangle just below the crossbar. band of bead and reel. The Tanit symbol has some unusual features, especially the use of caduceus finial with snakes’ heads. The elongated lozenge is also unusual. It has been suggested that it is meant be either male or female genitalia. On this figure it could be either.


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Pearl for Hlāford Bran Mydwynter

Posted by on Friday, August 12th, 2022

Pearl for Hlāford Bran Mydwynter

Flourishing his quill, Raven-wise
in sun bright torc and amber beads
Hlaford Bran Mydwynter
awen inspired
Glorifies the worthy,
Leads students to strive–
Their hands ink-stained
And scrolls spiral wreathed.
Honor his genius with a
Lustrous Pearl
And grant him arms
To mark his mastery.
Done at the Pennsic war
by Cuan Rex and Adelhait Regina
Anno Societatis LVII


Text by Lanea, Calligraphy and Illumination by Kolfinna Valravn

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Counties for Jane and Eckehard

Posted by on Monday, April 4th, 2022

Rose and County scroll for Countess jane Alexandria Fitzpatrick: 

Come dance silver sandalled by the sea 
And sing in high and joyous melody
Of She who graced Our thrones with shining mirth,  
As blossoms entwined her path to mark her worth. 

We name her Countess Jane, Beloved of the Sun. 
And rejoice to know her path will wend along.
No bloom may overshadow Our newest Rose’s grace
Blush rose, sweet rose, gentlest rose of all my days.

Cuan Rex and Adelhait Regina do award her the sole and exclusive right to bear arms, by Letters Patent, to wit: Per chevron vert and azure, a chevron Or between three sunflowers proper. Done this second day of April, Anno Societatis LVI at Our Coronation.

Illumination and Calligraphy by Lady Kolfinna Valravn (mka Korrin Villman)
Text by Ollam Lanea, text based on W.B. Yeats “To the Rose Upon the Rood of Time”

County for Count Eckehard Thurn: 

Come near me, while I chant the ancient lays:
Atlantians battling above the bitter waves;
One Crowned, resplendent, strides on laughing-eyed,
And casts down enemy to fall beneath the tide;

But to our people comes peace and wealth untold
As he graces ridge to shore with pearls and gold. 
Now name him Count Eckehard, the sword’s keen blade
And recall his deeds in Atlantia’s book of days. 

So say we, Cuan Rex and Adelhait Regina,
this second day of April, Anno Societatis LVI at Our Coronation.

Text by Lanea, calligraphy and illumination by Kolfinna Valravn

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A Pearl for Nezhka

Posted by on Sunday, February 13th, 2022

When we scored the assignment to make Nezhka’s pearl scroll, we knew dragons needed to be involved, and that no one would be killing any dragons. Honoring the recipients is a huge part of the process for Korrin and for me, and we worked hard to do right by Nezhka. I opted to use Eglamour of Artois, c. 1350 as a text exemplar, beginning with the dragon tale on line 685. Korrin’s beautiful art is here.


In Atlantia, as I do tell,
There lives a dragon, fierce and fell,
   Hearken all to what I shall now say:
That fiend is of so great renown
That no one dare go near his town–
   Steering at least seven miles away.
The king called: “Baroness! Find the fiend!
Go now and slay him with thy hand. 
   Defend our people from the grim affray!”
She said, “I have talents greater,
With grace and wit, I shall do better,
   If I fail, the cruel beast may end my days.”

She steeled her heart and away she rode–
She cried her leave of Raven’s Cove. 
     “I shall return with my Muse’s aid; 
My promise is as pure as gold, 
Keep yourselves well, my aerie bold, 
    I must face the dread wyrm unafraid!”
Forth she journeyed to the wyvern’s lair,
And there she found his dealings, dire.
    His victims strewn around the murky glade. 

She wept for grief, then called the beast
To listen to her song of peace.
    Lilting sweet, our Nezhka sang and played. 
The dragon, dumbstruck, quenched his fire,
And turned to hear her strumming lyre
    His anger quickly soothed by her chorale
She sang of grace and love and art
And calmed that beast’s ferocious heart
    Through melody and lyric he was enthralled.
“Dragon, I will play and sing
If you swear to serve our Queen and King.
   If you will guard our borders, I shall be your Skald.”
The Wyrm, so soothed, agreed to the pact
And presented a gem to seal the act
   Thus Baroness Nezhka shall shine when Pearls are called.

Done this 12th day of February AS LVI at Ymir by King Eckehard and Queen Jane
I, Triton Principal Herald, do attest that Nezhka does have sole rights to bear these Arms: Sable, a dragon’s head couped and in chief three compass stars one and two argent.

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A Kraken for Valdimárr

Posted by on Saturday, February 12th, 2022

This man set out for battle at the dawn,
Ringing him, fortified, a wall of shields.
Savagely attacked, seeking slaughter,
Storming, thundering, the sound of the assailants.
Stalwart, astute, strong this man
With stabbing spear and slashing sword
Above the blood tide, he slew the foe.
Wading in strife, blows raining on heads,
In the court the warrior was humble,
Before Valdimárr Broddson great armies groan.

Eckehard Rex and Jane Regina
Call him Kraken and grant him arms
As Ymir lays down his bones for us to stand on
This twelfth day of February, AS LV

Based on verse XIV, Y Gododdin

Design by Bran, calligraphy and Illumination by Kolfinna Valravn.
Words by Lanea

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A Pearl for Ela

Posted by on Sunday, March 28th, 2021

Knowing how much Ela liked the translation of Song of Amergin I did a few years ago, it seemed like a good thing to base an award text on. Bran and Korrin did an amazing job designing and creating the scroll, and I was overjoyed to have a hand in the process.  You can see the images and process videos here

A Pearl for Ela

She is the voice on the wind–the verse–
The scop whose lyre calls us to the hearth,
Her stanzas shaping the land.
Melody’s lift and rhythm’s drop she marks.
Call her untangler of tongues, 
Wrangler of sheep,
Spinner of yarns and tales,
Weaver of cloth and truth,
Embroiderer of silk and story–
Who is the scholar at the slate?
The poet with her pen?
The dyer at her vats? 
Students aid and drummer’s muse? 
What more loyal friend to Caedmon and Gawain?
What kinder ally to the wolf and mare?
Who better to be draped in Pearls? 

Ealawynn Maeru, bard and artist, called Ela by her friends,

We recognize as a Companion of the Order of the Pearl,
And grant her arms so blazoned:
Vert, a horse passant contourny Or between three lozenges argent.
Done by Anton Rex and Luned Regina
From Stierbach’s Walls where gates remain secure
This 27th of March, Anno Societatis LV.


Calligraphy & Illumination by Lady Korrin Valravn
Design by Bran Mydwynter
Text by Ollam Lanea verch Kerrigan

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Navan Ash

Posted by on Saturday, February 27th, 2021

A new poem grew out of some research into the archaeology of Navan Fort. mythologically known as Emain Macha. 

Navan Ash

Here I sit, thousands of years later
clutching a book of burnt offerings and blood
described by scholars loathe to judge those Gaels
who orchestrated arson for their Sidhe.

I dream bereft Ulaid piling Navan high with logs,
so rare a fuel now on those verdant hills.
They struck their steels and burned it all to ash, 
and perplexed scribblers still balk at their choice.

But as I totter on this cliff of sparking nerve
where joy, and grief, and rage for poison’s seat
jolt through me on and on for that lost home
that failed us age on age, from stone to circuit,
and left but drunken, beaten fosterlings lost
with homes on fire and myths made up of rags;

I have to hope some wise ones saw his rot
And how his evil tainted all their land,
And crumpled, and wept, and bellowed:
“It’s poisoned through–we go.
Leave the gold and gear, gather just our loves
and what will feed the herds and children still.
When the burned king crumbles finally to ash,
we’ll build anew, and beg verdant Ériu ‘stay afloat.’” 



From Dying for the Gods: Human Sacrifice in Iron Age and Roman Europe by Miranda Aldhouse Green.  Page 71:

“Certain monuments belonging to Iron Age Britain and Ireland appear to have been subjected to deliberate, probably symbolic, firing. This is what seems to have happened at Navan Fort in Co. Armagh in the early first century BC. Navan is almost certainly to be identified with the royal Ulster site of Emhain Macha, recorded in early Irish historical and mythic texts, such as the Ulster cycle if prose tales, dating to the twelfth century AD in written form, though retaining resonances of earlier, Pre-Christian material.  Archaeological investigations at Navan during the 1970s revealed a curious sequence of events associated with the construction and almost immediate destruction by fire of a great monument (Lynn 1999, 33-57). A multi-ring oaken structure, with a colossal central timber upright, 40 m in diameter — too large for a permanent roof — was erected soon after 95/94 BC (dendrochronological date) when the trees were felled. A carefully built cairn of limestone blocks was then packed inside the wooden structure, forming a radial pattern that respected the timber alignments of the building itself. The stones of the cairn showed some signs of weathering, as though they had, perhaps, been removed from existing monuments rather than freshly quarried for use at Navan. A few human bones, including a clavicle, had been deposited among the cairn stones. The building of the wooden structure and the cairn took a considerable amount of time, effort, and person-power, so the next episode in the site’s history is, on the face of it, inexplicable:  the entire edifice, wooden uprights, the cairn and a layer of red clay placed over the surrounding ditch was apparently deliberately set alight and razed to the ground.  Dudley Waterman, the principal excavator of Navan, found charred twigs and straw which he interpreted as the remnants of heaps of kindling piled up against the outer timber wall to get the fire going. These finds, together with the thoroughness of the destruction, argue for intent. The final incident in this strange sequence of events was the careful construction of an earthen mound, made of soils and turves of various types, probably derived from several different locations and environments.”  

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Ragnarr’s belated AOA

Posted by on Saturday, October 10th, 2020

Sometimes the world falls apart and things get left behind.  That happened quite some time ago when some friends died unexpectedly, so Korrin and I decided to help pick up one little piece and try to make something kind and beautiful together for someone we adore.  


O for a bounding sea, that would crash 
Its frothing waves on shores that grace a realm
Built of sand and water and flimsy dreaming hope.
See the dais, draped in silks and ermine
With thrones of gilded oak and polished shell.
Here sits Queen Muirgen, grace and beauty wreathed
Beside the Dread King Kane, in raven cloaked.
All nobles to behold the joyous scene
When still they walked among us in their youth!
Then call the warlike Ragnarr, who himself
Assumes a bat-like grace; and at his heels,
Leash’d in like hounds, should kindness, wit, and prowess
Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
The wan, exhausted spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
Such sweet reflection: can this vellum hold
The memories of an age, a kingdom bright, 
These greying locks recast as ebony
And prospect now fulfilled–then still but wish. 
Or may we cram within these stilted lines
Upon this ink stained scroll the very crowd
That did rejoice the day Ragnarr was made lord?

Thus far, with rough and all-unable pen,
Your bending bard hath recalled the story,
In little room confining aging friends,
Mangling by starts the full course of their glory.
Small time, but in that small most greatly lived
This star of Atlantia: Fortune graced his sword;
By which the land’s best reigns may be achieved,
And of it left his loved ones over-awed.
Ragnarr, wise, Black hammer on his shield
Of court and tourney did this Duke succeed;
Which oft our tales hath told; and, for their sake,
In your fair minds let this acceptance take.

Lord Ragnarr Blackhammer: Grant him arms to wit Per pale gules and sable, a lion rampant Or charged on the shoulder with a hammer sable.
On this 16th day of October Anno Societatis XXVIII (A.S. 28/1993)

Verum Est

Rex Kane I, Regina Muirgen I
May they rest in peace. 

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