The Story Tellers Art

silbury and west kennet (5)A guest post by my friend and co-author Stuart France

In ‘Sunken Cities’ the author, A.J. North, contends that in Math the son of Mathonwy, one of the Four Branches of the Mabinogion, we have an instance of what can only be regarded as racial memory.

In this story, Gwydion, the Arch-Mage, and his protégé and foster-child, who at the outset of the story has neither name, combat arms, nor the hope of securing a livelihood and hence a fitting mate, journey three times to the ‘strong-hold’ of Arianrhod in order to acquire from her, by fair means or foul, the child’s three-fold birth-right.

On the first journey, in order to secure the child a name, they walk together to Arianrhod’s seat of power, which is situated in Anglesey. On their second sojourn together, in order to secure combat arms, they have to wade to the fortress and on their third sally forth, in search for the lad a wife, they sail there in a boat.

It is North’s contention then that, as it was only over the slow course of millennia that Anglesey actually became an island, what we have here, preserved for all time in this story, is a folk record of the earth’s gradual evolution into that state.

This is a big idea. Yet it is not so big an idea that it cannot be held and wondered about, nurtured and cherished by anyone who cares to, or anyone who so has a mind. That so few people today do have a mind to, perhaps, is something of a pity for it is only by fostering such ideas that we maintain the link, our true birth-right, with the land into which we are born.

Avebury (29)

There is a similar notion inherent in the mythology of the Norsemen who conceptualised the ice flows of this earth’s Ice Age as ‘Frost Giants’ and gave to them the role of creator ‘Gods’ for perchance they felt it worthy of remembrance that those mighty energies formed the landscapes in which they came to live and die… and have their being.

Or again, as another unmet friend once asked, whilst sitting beneath the branches of an expansive oak tree and blowing the seeds from a dandelion into the breeze, “who speaks for earth?” And then, after a time honoured pause for dramatic effect, answered the question himself with a twinkle, and a knowing smile, “we speak for earth.”

That is why we tell stories…


Crucible of the SunCrucible of the Sun: The Mabinogion Retold
A new book by Stuart France

“I will dazzle like fire, hard and high, will flame the breaths of my desire; chief revealer of that which is uttered and that which is asked, tonight I make naked the word.”

Available from Amazon worldwide in paperback and for Kindle.

ISBN-10: 1494785137

ISBN-13: 978-1494785130

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in Ancient sites, Books, Crucible of the Sun, Heart of Albion, Landscape, Life, Love and Laughter, Mythology, Photography, Poetry, Spirituality, Stuart France and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Story Tellers Art

  1. Another delightful post, with a great reminder to pause and cherish the slow process of earths formation. I’ve always loved that the Norse myths show an understanding of the forces which shaped their lands…..and long before the modern science of geology 🙂
    The Math story has always seemed to me like a tale of the initiation grades of the goddess, but I love this other truth woven into it’s telling. The best stories have many layers!


    • Sue Vincent says:

      We have so many media to preserve knowledge and wisdom these days .. the old tales were many layered, condensing all that was known and understood into a a story that could be passed mouth to ear. And so much still survives… that’s magic. 🙂


  2. ksbeth says:

    indeed, it is, stuart.


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