Feral Words

Author blog of William A. Young; journeys through the mythology of the northern fringes of Europe

Category Archives: Celtica

The Serpent Stone

The Serpent Stone is one of the more striking of the works of the McGlashen stonemasons of late 19th century Edinburgh. It was carved as a gravestone for the Greenock-born … Continue reading

March 5, 2017 · 3 Comments

The Figure of the Witch-Queen in Northern Mythology

   “At length, when night was setting in, they saw a deep and unknown glen of joyless aspect before them; they descended into it, to avoid the bleak winds of … Continue reading

April 24, 2016 · 12 Comments

Getting High – 5 of the 10 Tallest Mountains in Scotland

This is mainly a photo piece, covering a long weekend I spent with my brother, John Young (photographer & soldier of limited fortune), climbing the Cairngorm Mountains. We made it … Continue reading

March 27, 2016 · 13 Comments

The Last Temple of the Celts

The west of Europe used to be full of Celtic temples. In every settlement, every holy grove, every mountain top and ring of stones that held any import for the … Continue reading

March 13, 2016 · 86 Comments

Winter in the West

I try to get in one big winter trip, every year, just to remember what a proper frost feels like. It’s not long now until I’m off on the next … Continue reading

February 21, 2016 · 12 Comments

The Queen of the Snows

Scotland gets a wee bit magical this time of year, much of the time. When the snow falls on the mountains and the frost falls on the earth, everything seems … Continue reading

January 31, 2016 · 18 Comments

‘Merlin’s Valley’ on the Upper Tweed : Field-guide #1

In the course of my journeys around Britain and Ireland I’ve had the good fortune to come across some wonderful places that aren’t hugely well-known. I thought I’d start posting … Continue reading

January 4, 2016 · 25 Comments

The Isles of Life & Death

‘Under the earth I go, On the oak leaf I stand, I ride on the filly that was never foaled, And I carry the dead in my hand.’   These … Continue reading

December 28, 2015 · 13 Comments

Otherworlds #2- The Prisoner of the Tree

The first writers from the bright-lit lands of the Middle Sea, gazing north into a gloom of silver clouds and fog and endless trees, described how the peoples of the … Continue reading

December 7, 2014 · 7 Comments

The Endless Knot- Edinburgh’s Forgotten Celtic Art

Edinburgh is a place for secret things. The city feels like a labyrinth; a maze of tangled stone in which the works of generations hide themselves. They pile up, layer … Continue reading

November 16, 2014 · 5 Comments