Friday 21 April 2023

Charity Shop Find: The Cult of Water - The Line & Circle

The Cult of Water is a delightfully weird little book which I picked up in a charity shop for just 50p. It's one of a series brought out by the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. It seems I found a bargain as it's a lovely read with delightful illustrations by Pete Fowler. This is what it says on the back cover:

"Aided by a witch and the magician Alan Moore, David Bramwell takes an occult journey back in time up the river Don, in search of the supernatural secrets of our waterways and to solve the mystery of a drowned village which has long haunted his memories. Travelling through the industrial destruction of our landscape he arrives in a pre-Christian era when well and springs were worshipped as living deities, bringing him face to face with Danu, the goddess of primordial waters, who gave her name to the Don. Can Bramwell face his demons and unravel the symbolic mysteries of our ancient ancestors? Who is the mysterious Vulcan? And will there be a pie and a pint waiting for him at the end of it all?"

It's one of those visionary works of literature which leave you wondering how much is true, how much is personal gnossis and how much is just creative writing. Did the author really experience time-slips, rediscover an offering left as a child, and encounter the Goddess Danu?  I just don't know, and maybe it doesn't matter. Like other psychogeographical literature, such as Iain Sinclair's Lud Heat, it's probably more poetry than a factual account of anything that happened. After all, the MWM describes the series it's part of as "hallucinatory fiction".

However, I asked Morgan Daimler, an author of many books on Irish and British mythology, whether the river Don was associated with the Goddess Danu. Morgan said: "Most scholars accept a linguistic connection between Dôn and Danu, so it's possible they're cognates."

I'm planning a walk along the course of a London river soon. I doubt I'll encounter anything as mysterious as the events described in The Cult of Water, but I can hope. 

You can view The Cult of Water on Amazon.

Previous related posts

No comments: