The slice of 'Verse belonging to a certain Connor from Long Island. He's a SUNY Geneseo student, a writer, and a fan of: every geeky pursuit under the sun, beautiful works, science, politics, and other assorted oddities. Please enjoy this space where ideas and dreams converge. Welcome to the Fuckin' Multiverse. timelines are active.
Puzzlewood is an ancient woodland site, near Coleford in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England. The site, covering 14 acres, shows evidence of open cast iron ore mining dating from the Roman period, and possibly earlier.
In 1848 some workmen, after moving a block of stone in the woods, found a small cavity in the rocks. In this cavity, hidden away, were three earthenware jars containing over 3,000 Roman coins. No-one knows why the coins were hidden away in the cliff face nor by whom.
J. R. R. Tolkien, a frequent visitor to the Forest of Dean, may have visited Puzzlewood, and many believe Puzzlewood was the inspiration for the fabled forests of Middle-earth, such as the Old Forest, Mirkwood, Fangorn or Lothlórien contained within The Lord of the Rings. J.K Rowling is also said to have visited Puzzlewood, and it may have been this that influenced her idea of The Forbidden Forest in the Harry Potter books.
Not all those who wander are lost.
I plan to celebrate the celebration of Valentines Day (Previously the Greek holiday in mid-febuary that celebrated the marriage of Zeus and Hera) the traditional roman way. For this Lupercalia, I will first sacrifice two goats and a dog, then anoint two young wolf-priests with the blood. They are expected to smile and laugh at this. I will come to school naked with a few cohorts. I will run and laugh drunk around the hallways, whipping young women with leather thongs who will intentionally present themselves to me in hopes of receiving the blessing of fertility and marriage. Through whipping. Certain nobles and rich patricians may choose to have an orgy or two involving animals, children, and torturous acts of depravity.
Now, of course this isn’t near the way we celebrate it today. With the Christians rising to prominence way back when, they did as the Romans did before them and adapted the far more popular Roman myths and holidays into their own fantastic fictional tapestry, including most holidays. They marked the mid-march celebration as a time of fertility, marriage, and love, and found the perfect excuse in Saint Valentine, a saint who (allegedly) was jailed for performing secret marriages for Christians, and put to death when he tried to convert Claudius while in shackles. And, naturally, dozens of other cultures have a love festival, many towards the beginning of the year due to the Romans never ending reach and influence. Many of these practices and customs have been cherry picked and hobbled together over the course of history to make the strange celebration we have now.
Remember this, dear readers: We celebrate a holiday that has been romanticized, commercialized, and Hallmark-ized far, far from its point of origin in history. Don’t feel bad about being single: feel bad that you were born just out of place in history, and will not see scores of naked youths whipping each other in the name of their wolf god.
Happy Valentines Day!