Snakes, serpents, vipers, adders – they all convey ancient power of life over death, of emerging in ones full power to take back what belongs to them, of transformation and return. A potent ancestral spirit and augur from the Land of the Dead. Adder The Adder Vipera berus is the only venomous snake in Britain.Continue reading “Ancient word of the day: Adder”
Around ten years ago now I tasked myself with learning Polish. Not for shits and giggles or just to challenge myself but for the very practical reason of being able to communicate with my partner’s family who live in Poland. It was a hard slog and some even consider Polish to be the hardest ofContinue reading “Eight words in Polish that have no English equivalent”
The ancient Muslim empire in the city of Baghdad was the birthplace of the word (and the concept of the) algorithm. In the year 820 AD, a Persian genius named Muhammed ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi created the concept of the algorithm and algebra in an ancient book called Kitab al-Jebr. The book Kitab al-Jebr (later latinisedContinue reading “Ancient word of the day: Algorithm”
The ancient word of the day is Uncanny. This is the feeling of encountering a landscape, person or object that is both frightening and unsettlingly dissonant. Freud coined a similar word for this “unheimlich”— which is to say, eerie and both homely and unhomely. I’m sure you would be able to recall some uncanny encounters,Continue reading “Ancient word of the day: Uncanny”
Today’s ancient word of the day is vernation. This is the genesis of new leaves sprouting during springtime. This is the arrangement of the buds as they erupt forth into the world.
A thalassophile is a lover of the sea or someone who is powerfully drawn to and by the ocean. This ancient word comes from the Ancient Greek θάλασσα (thálassa, “sea”), and φίλος (phílos, “dear, beloved”). I took this photo on Enoshima Island in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan back in early October 2018. As the sun set,Continue reading “Ancient word of the day: Thalassophile”
Whelm originates from Old English and it means to overturn or capsize a hollow vessel (a boat, a heart); to bury by wave, flood, storm, avalanche. The etymology is from the Old English hwelfan, to ‘upheave’. This explains the modern use of “overwhelmed” and “underwhelmed”. No voice divine the storm allay’d, No light propitious shone;Continue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Whelm”
“The Nekyia is no aimless or destructive fall into the abyss, but a meaningful katabasis … its object the restoration of the whole man. Carl Jung
Weltschmerz: n: (literally) World Pain (from German). The feeling of sadness at the suffering that surrounds you in the world. The pain of being an empath and sensitive to all despair and distress in the world. An ill-defined weariness at the burdens carried universally by all of humankind. “Sickness brought me this Thought, in thatContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Weltschmerz”
These delicate patterns are most visible in autumn as decay befalls the forest floor and the wind crumbles away the leaf litter leaving behind the frail leaf filigree, a ghost echo of summer’s full flush.