torsdag 24. april 2014

The Dragon Leaves - Press release

The Dragon Leaves: Now on Amazon
48 pieces of short prose and poetry from the Norwegian poet Filidh Lochlannach is now available on Amazon in e-book format. "The Dragon Leaves" is a collection of stand alone texts that tell an entire story if read together. Unpack the flashes of beautiful nature and wonderings of what happened when Christianity suppressed Paganism, all wrapped up in a poet's paper.

The e-book can be downloaded here: The Dragon Leaves

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About "The Dragon Leaves"
"Your book draws me in. It's like a mystery I know I will not solve, but it keeps me turning the page of my kindle all the same. I love entering your vivid world of poems and vignettes. You are such a confident traveller in this landscape and its shadows. I feel safe as I travel with you through the smoke and fire to learn and to forget so much!" - a reader's review 
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Go for a walk in the woods, find the old pathway up the hills, and follow it up to the old hill forts. By the steep trail, you see the ground all covered with Dragon Leaves. Pause for a while, watch them, kneel and turn them. Read the stories of the people that once lived there, of their world view and their relationships to Nature. Read the poems of how they revered Women and Female properties in the world around them, and learn a lesson of why humans today create their own sorrows. This hill of poems and stories features a panoramic view into the past, including history, ecology, philosophy and religion. Throughout, these tales of an ancient culture reveals conflicts, greed, despair, but also a hope of love, harmony and peace as the Dragon is about to return

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"Time... Can we humans really comprehend what time is? Milky Way winds like a snake over the night sky. The Earth spins around herself somewhere in the body of the snake. I am a part of that snake, and I meander around its pupil in the centre of the Universe. What is the snake keeping? I am never coming back to where I started. And all revolutions the Earth has done have created invisible veils of time, and that seems impossible to penetrate. Yet I know that when I look at the stars far up there - way out there it is not the present moment I see. I look far into the past many light years backwards in time." - from The Past Meets the Present

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"In seconds, the room is loading as if a thunderstorm is just about to come hammering us. The invisible ions in the space around us are making our hairs rise like alerted dogs, but where is the sultry feeling that is so characteristic for a coming storm? We are light headed like on a sunny day – easy - almost flying." - from The King of Harts
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About the author
Filidh Lochlannach is the pen name for the Norwegian author Hege Fossum (1974) when she writes poetry and vignettes. Hege has studied natural philosophy at OBOD, and her works are inspired by her studies.
Find out more on her Amazon blog







mandag 21. april 2014

Author FAQ

Where did you get the idea for this book?
Hiking is one of my main interests besides writing books. I like to walk to places with a purpose of finding out about their own unique histories. I've found old buildings, farms, hill-forts, old trails in the mountains and much more on my journeys, and some questions always pop up in my head. "What imprints were made on this land that shaped it into what it is today?" and "Who did it?" and "Why?"  During my studies of nature philosophy I learnt how to get answers to these questions and I became very fascinated by the "Spirit of the Land" and the "Songs in the Wind". I had thought about putting it all down on paper for a long time. I had kept some kind of a messy journal mixed with historical research, old myths and my own experiences from my walking. Then I joined the "National Writing Month" in 2013, a contest where the participants are supposed to produce 50.000 words in a month. I grabbed the opportunity and transformed my research into a story. I won the challenge, but there was still a lot of work to do to finish the novel. All I had was a very raw text that needed to be put a lot of effort into to become a manuscript, and I suddenly got that nudge in the right direction of going through yet another transformation - making the novel a collection of poetry and short prose. I happened to love to write in such a free manner. I chose a writing style that had few strict rules, and my creative imagination and intuition got the chance to flow more easily when I didn't have to think about rules and compositions. My pieces of writing became snapshots of my own experiences. They became descriptions of moments that can stand alone, although I think they are strongest when they are read together from start to end.

What traits and tidbits do you share with your main character?
I think I share with her the need for wandering around while wondering, and by doing so, opening up to get possible answers to questions nobody else bothers to care about. By getting those answers, the questions seem to get important after all, you just didn't know until you got the answer. The overall concept of my texts has a student-teacher theme. My main character is the student, and all of her experiences are her teachers. I guess I can relate to that.

Did any of your inspiration for this book originate in your real life experiences?
The wanderings and the landscapes are real. I have changed some details to make each text go together with the concept of the whole story. The insights and teachings that sprang from them are presented by the teacher-archetype by the bonfire.

What made you decide to self-publish?
When I finished my manuscript I thought thoroughly through how I should get it out for people to read. Then it dawned on me that it would be a very time consuming task for an unknown writer without the right network like me to even be considered of interest. I needed that time to go hiking on new adventures, researching my new book, and writing. I knew that it would be very hard to sell a lot of books without a big publisher, and if I chose to work with a small press, the benefit for me would probably not be enough to be worth it, but on the contrary I also found out that I am not interested in doing changes on my piece of art to make it more marketable. It is what it is. Some will like it, some will not. Some will never find out that they would have loved it because they never gave it a try. I don't really care. I decided to walk the self-publishing path because of freedom.

Are there any specific authors whose writing styles or subject matter inspired your book?
Many authors and scientists deserve to be mentioned for their works that woke my imagination:

- Philip Carr-Gomm, for all of his writing and teaching on the topic of druidry
- Tom Egeland, for being my favourite author, and specially for having written the book "Paktens Voktere"
- Harald Sommerfeldt Boehlke, for having written "Viking Serpent"
- Phillip Gardiner, for all of his works on Gnosticism
- Fish, for all of his poetry up through the years
- Snorri Sturlusson, for making the stories of the"Edda" available for us so many years later
- Maria Kvilhaug, for her thesis on Norse Mythology "The Maiden of the Mead"
- Toril Nikolaisen Kilde and Dag R. Linnerud, for having written "Norrøne Arketyper" and helping people to know their roots
- Ingvild Forbord and Marit Clemenz, for having written "Gudinnens fortellinger" and for waking up the Goddesses
- Tryggve Bernt, for his thesis on hill forts in Norway

I've also been greatly inspired by the Bible and Campbell's Biology for giving me sparks of Life and Light, and a dual perspective.

Do you have another project in the works? If so, what is it?
Besides working on making the e-book available in paperback and translating it into Norwegian I have started doing some research for the runner up to "The Dragon Leaves". I've also enrolled the studies of the ancient culture of Nubia to learn more about how people lived and organized themselves thousands of years ago. I have given my next book the working title "The Priestess of the Waterfall" and it will be some kind of a runner up to "The Dragon Leaves". At the moment it will be another collection of vignettes. I can say as much as it will be a story of a girl that plunges in the waters to fulfill her task of nursing the old dragons, giving them a chance to come back with their way of living, teaching the people of today that there is a better way.






torsdag 17. april 2014

Under the Leaves 3 - Mother Earth - Father Sky

"Mother Earth and Father Sky" is an Indo-European concept.

"Father Sky" is usually the father of a pantheon (all the Gods in a culture), and he is complementary to the "Mother Earth" who is the mother of all gods, a fertility goddess who is connected to the Earth where all life sprang from.

The idea that the Earth is female and nurtures humans came from ancient cultures from the Middle East. We have to go back more than 10.000 years to trace the beginning of the worshipping of the Mother Earth. Has it always existed as long as this Earth has been a home for humans? The "Mother Earth" or "The Mother of Life" came into Hebrew as "Eve" that we all know from the Bible. In Norse mythology she is Jord (Mother of Thor), Hlodynn or Fjorgyn. The Irish Celtic "Great Mother" was called "Danu", while the Welsh Celts worshipped Don. You can trace their cultures by place-names, very often rivers, such as "Don" and "Dnepr". 

I would like to mention something interesting from the Norse mythology. The goddess Frigga is Odin's wife. She is also the mother of many strong and powerful Gods. She is the daugther of Fjorgyn, a daughter of the "Mother Earth". She was the stepmother of the war-god Tyr because Tyr was the son of Odin from a former relationship. But Tyr seems to be a whole lot of older than Odin. His name can be traced backwards from Norse, through germanic and at last to the indo-european root word -dyews.

This word means "Day" or "Heaven" and might mean that he is a younger variant of the ancietn Indo-European "Sky Father". His godly attributes were probably later taken over by firstly Thor, and then lately Odin. This happening could point to a phenomena where older gods were degraded to sons when new mythology were written, and it is likely that new mythologies were written when new cultures of mankind took over for the older ones. When a new God was about to take the stage, he had to be seen as the origin of the other Gods to be able to gain respect and power. Same goes with Frigga. She was a daughter of Fjorgyn, the Earth, and she had several handmaids. Some of them was Hlin, Var, Eir, Gna and Fulla. Eir was skilled in medicin, and maybe she was the same goddess that gave Ireland its name, Eire. Var has the same attributes as the ancient Indo-European goddess Varuni, and might be a variant of her. I can't stop thinking that these handmaidens probably were older and degraded goddesses from a former culture. Odin (a Father Sky) and Frigge (a Mother Earth) came together and had a son called Balder. Balder was married to Nanna Nepsdaughter (the daughter of the great Earth Mother).

The Sacred Marriage between Mother Earth and Father Sky, or the interplay between the Sun and the Earth that is creating our weather patterns, is the magic of fertility called Life.

You can look inside my books on my author profile on Amazon Filidh Lochlannach




lørdag 29. mars 2014

Under the Leaves 2 - Jupiter - a planet and a god

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. He is entirely made up of gases and has a belt of at least 67 moons around his waist. He has a big red "eye" on his surface that can be seen from space that is a huge storm centre in his atmosphere. Jupiter plays an important gravitational role for us. He is actually holding our solar system together and the planets in the right place. His force is stopping asteroids and meteors from crashing into the Earth's surface, his gravitation pulls in most of them so they stay away from us. Jupiter is easy to spot in the night sky in the winter half of the year. He looks like a big, bright star, and he is almost always up there if you look closely. If you're not sure if it's him you have seen, you can check it up on different phone apps.

I don't know who gave Jupiter his name, or why, but I can understand why they did. Jupiter is the name of the Roman God of sky and thunder. Well it actually fits very well with the eye of the storm and the matter of fact that the planet easily could be associated with a ruler of the sky, being the largest, shining object, always to be seen travelling over our heads.

In Celtic mythology, the God of thunder was called Taranis. He was often depicted with a thunderbolt and a wheel, just like Jupiter. The wheel could be an early symbol of his journey over the sky, but it is also a symbol of the circular movements of everything in the Universe. Celtic polytheism ( the several Gods of the Celts) has a wheel God that is a sky-, thunder- or sun God. This is proably coming  from an earlier indo-european culture and the carvings of sun crosses, the wheels with four spokes, are often seen in petroglyphs from the bronze age. His sacred tree was the oak.

In Norse mythology, the God of thunder, lightning, storms and oak trees was called Thor. Besides his famous hammer, he also had a strength belt that doubled his strength when he wore it. It just links him so well to the Jupiter's belt of moons, I think. Thor also rode a wagon over the sky when he was out fighting giants. The wheels made sparks of lightning and the beating of the hammer made the incredible loud and scary sound that was thrown between the mountains. His wagon can be seen in the night sky as the big dipper, or the "Karl's wagon" as it is called in Scandinavia. Thor was the God of the "Karls" of the Norse people, or the farmers.

Most of the short term comets is believed to come from Jupiter, and it is most likely that life on Earth came from a comet, so the old stories of Mother Earth and Father Sky are probably very valid tales and is certainly still working.

The Roman, the Celtic and the Norse mythologies are all evolved from the Proto-Indo-European religion. That is why we find all these similarities in these three (and more) mythologies and traditions. I don't know if the ancient Europeans based their stories on astro-theology, but I like to wonder. So I wonder.

People's worldviews seem to expand just like the Universe. As above, so below.

You can look inside my books on my author profile on Amazon Filidh Lochlannach


torsdag 27. mars 2014

The Past meets the Present - a quote from "The Dragon Leaves"


From the brand new collection of vignettes "The Dragon Leaves". 
I am currently working on the Norwegian translation of this book and researching a runner up with the working title "The Priestess of the Water Fall"


søndag 23. mars 2014

Under the Leaves 1 - Filidh

"Filidh" is a Scots-Gaelic word deriving from proto-Celtic and meaning "seer" or "seeing".

There is reason to believe that the "Filidhs" were people who worked in society as prophetic poets and philosophers who foretold the future in verses and riddles, rather than in simple poetry. The word could also be written like this: "file". 

The Filidhs kept the oral traditions of the pre-Christian Ireland alive. Telling stories by verses accompanied by music would make people better understand and remember the messages they wanted to get through.Their deeds were not only meant to entertain but also to teach. 

Another group of poets was called bards, and the Norse culture had a similar function called "skalder". Snorri Sturlusson became the most famous among them for writing his "Edda". 

Many of the filidh's manuscripts have survived and can tell us something about druids, Celtic religion and the Celtic world. 

You can find out more about the Filidhs at the digital gaelic dictionary Dwelly-d

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Under the Leaves is a series of articles about the subjects that inspired the poetry in "The Dragon Leaves".

You can buy "The Dragon Leaves" on Amazon.