daughter of fire speaks

Bear with me my few faithful readers as I try to 'weave' together some thoughts I've had over the last few days and also share a beautiful gift with you. First, the gifting: my beloved has been on the hunt for a celtic design ring for me for a very long time. Why celtic? well, without trying to sound too 'new age-y', the celtic designs appeal to me because of their symbolism: they contain the idea that there is no beginning and no end to our journeys - much as I feel about my love for my beloved. It is a love than truly feels 'destined' - a love that always 'was' and I know will always 'be' deep in my heart and soul.

I know. I know. My words are clumsy. Here is a photo of a common celtic knot pattern to give you a visual and a quote regarding the knot's 'meaning.'

Knotwork patterns are symbolic of life’s journey, an attempt to make sense of the maze of existence. They represent a continuity of life with no beginning and no end, a journey to one’s spiritual center, an inner quest for spriritual rebirth and a pathway to the sacred and divine source.
My beloved's journey led him to a jewelry designer in the uk by the name of Vin Bootle. Vin commonly uses celtic designs in his work. And as fate allowed us, (and I do believe that all timing is of essence, destined, not randomized,) we found a few of Vin's pieces at a small gallery in Masham on one of our day trips.

As soon as I saw the ring, I knew it was perfect. I slipped it on my finger - perfect fit. The gallery owner explained to us that this was not a Celtic design but a Brigantia design - a 6 stranded braid. Soubriquet explained to me a little of the history of the Brigantians, the one tribe that allied itself with the Roman invaders of Brittania. He told me of their fiery leader, a woman named Cartimandua, and her place as one of only two queens written of in Roman historical texts.

I was intrigued by the history and by the queen. Soubriquet recalled reading Daughters of Fire by Barbara Erskine. A historical fictional epic about Cartimandua and the Roman invasion of Brittania.

So I am reading and enjoying a rather rackus romp through the Iron Age history of Northern Britain - home of my beloved Yorkshire and Yorkshireman. If you know Barbara Erskine, then you know her style. She reminds me a bit of Victoria Holt's novels that I read as a teenager: historical fiction, suspense and romance all rolled together.

Now, for my last bit of thread. As I shared in my opening posts, I am in a mental crisis and have been for the better part of this year. Why? I don't know, honestly. So many pieces of thread to weave and braid together. I can list the big three, but the big three have been around for a few years now. And I have asked for your patience, kindness and most of all, kindredship. I need open hearts, encouraging words. But the braid is of my own making and of my own choosing. And therefore, let me be clear, it is up to ME and ME ALONE to find each thread and follow its course; re-weave a new pattern for my life.

I do not think that it was by chance that we found this particular ring, at this particular juncture in my life. And I welcome and love all comments and emails that send encouraging thoughts, inspirational thoughts, or even the occasional kick in the pants that I need. But I know that I have to face these irrational thoughts and fears and conquer them myself. Actually, conquer is not the correct word. I must incorporate my fears, acknowledge the irrationalities, and face my challenges, scared, but with the gumption of my mule-headed self: to try and try again.

Hence, the talk therapy. And geesh don't I wish she'd only charge me a nickel per session !!

So ..... love me. hate me. disown me. or befriend me. I'm on a journey and I need support. Not saviors. Supporters. Remember, I'm a red-headed double dragon ......... i'm trying to get my roar back.

much love


Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

Red-headed double dragon, yeow!

Pauline said...

that's why we live such long lives - gives us time to sort things out ;)

giving thanks is a great way to start the day, so thanks for an interesting post and a glimpse into your life.

Ulysses said...

Hate you? Disown you? We know you better to take offence when the other head burns us. We're all here to savour, none of us a savior.

With so much Love and Beauty all around you, I expect Grace must be closing in on you.

red dirt girl said...

Gary - hahaha. I'm more of a 'Puff the Magic Dragon' ilk .... My smoke is much worse than my fire!!


red dirt girl said...


Thank you. Whenever you speak, I listen. I know wisdom when I hear it. Yes. Giving thanks is a very good place to start. I'm thankful for you!


red dirt girl said...


I believe Grace has been trying to pin me down for quite some time. I'm a bit slippery - you know, all those slimy scales covering me ....


red dirt girl said...

Gary, Pauline, Ulysses -

Thank you. I AM grateful for your readership and more for your friendship. Thank you for listening.


Dave Mows Grass said...

Are vacuous rambles about nothing welcome? I'm good at those!

soubriquet said...


Tribe of the Brigantes

The powerful Brigantes counted as their territory all of the north of England except Humberside. They seem in fact to have been a collection of amalgamated tribes that took their name from the Celtic goddess Brigantia. The Brigantes had few hill forts and their settlements were mostly in the form of small hill crofts.

Subdivisions seem to have existed, for instance, the later Elmetians in the district of Leeds, and others on the northern fringe of Northumbria, such as the Carvetii in the region of Carlisle (Roman Luguvalium), who may themselves have only become distinctly separate when the Romans founded Luguvalium. Directly east of them were the Lopocares and the Textoverdi, while in Lancashire were the Setantii, and in North Yorkshire were the Gabrantivices. Some or all of these may only have become apparent after the Roman conquest of Northern Britain.

The later Romano-British kingdom of Rheged was a west-coast evolution of this tribal territory.

(Additional information taken from The Oxford History of England: Roman Britain, Peter Salway.)

AD 43 - 69

Queen Cartimandua


Initially, the pastoral Brigantes accept the arrival of the Romans and act as a client kingdom.


An outbreak of violence among the Brigantes forces the Roman governor to break off his campaign against the Deceangli and deal with the rebellious faction, but the existence of an anti-Roman faction in the north is now clear.


Cartimandua betrays the High King, Caractacus (Guiderius), following his defeat in the territory of the Ordovices, handing him over in bonds.


Cartimandua's husband, Venutius, leads a rebellion against her. The Romans put down the rebellion, and Venutius and Cartimandua bury their differences and are reconciled.


Cartimandua deserts her husband for his armour-bearer, Vellocatus. The infuriated Venutius foments revolt within their scandalised tribe and summons help from outside. The Roman governor, Vettius Bolanus, sends a force of auxiliary cavalry and infantry which, amid some bitter fighting, can do little more then rescue the queen. Cartimandua disappears from history.

69 - 72


72 - 79

Faced with the prospect of their northern border having a now-hostile tribe on it, the Romans invade under the new governor, Petillius Cerialis (who made a notable escape from total defeat during the Boudiccan rebellion in AD 61), and after what seems to have been a hard campaign, conquer the Brigantes.

Some archaeological evidence, and a second century map by Ptolemy, reveal the possibility that some Brigantine elements fled to Ireland and settled there.

c.100 - 105

The northern Brigantes apparently revolt, perhaps under the leadership of Argiragus, High King.


The Brigantes in the north revolt again.


The Brigantes revolt as Emperor Antonius is pushing north from Hadrian's Wall. The revolt is quickly put down.

154 - 155

The Brigantes revolt again, burning down the Ilkley fort (Olicana). They are soon overcome and the fort rebuilt. As a punishment, the Brigantes suffer the loss of their territories. For a time the civilian population is probably administered under direct military rule before a civil administration is appointed.

It is likely that at this time the local Romano-Celtic British tribes in the vicinity of Leeds (Loidis) detach themselves from the Brigantes and form an alliance with the Romans. The Romans always find it convenient to rule by alliances with local chiefs. The local tribes form themselves into the Elmetians. The remainder of the Brigantes' territory emerges as the kingdom of North Britain in the late fourth century.

red dirt girl said...

DAVE !! dave! you're back. vacuity always welcomed, friend - as are you. You need be only yourself. So how are things in CEO land ???


red dirt girl said...


thank you for the timeline AND the read. i finished it. feel sad that it is over. a tempestuous woman was Cartimandua. But the author, Ms. Erskine, contends that Venutious and Cartimandua always loved one another - they just happened to have fallen prey to a jealous druidess and some bad spells .....

However, they've managed to re-unite in this lifetime, beat the bewitchery, and are living and loving tempestuously & happily ever after.

sigh. i love happy endings.


GEWELS said...

Oh my God! Where have I been that I've missed all of these posts? (oh yeah, working and dodging more work- now I remember).
My, my, but you've been prolific since your return. Must be good therapy.
And just so you know- the second decade of my life is devoted to conquering fears. Must be the place we're both in right now.

Also, I'm always good for a kick in the pants (delivered by me to you :-) ) What are friends for anyway?

red dirt girl said...

dearest gewels !

girlfriend, i KNEW you'd be the one brave enough to deliver the swift kick. prolific = procrastination. i could use that kick !!