Nymphs & Nettles

The Nettle Nymph

On Thursday afternoon, I was sitting in the sun outside Chichester College.
waiting for my course to start .

Feeling quite pleased ‘cos I’d just got off the phone to the next Wwoof  farm that I plan to work at. This one is at Cuckfield near Haywards Heath, and is an organic fruit farm where I will learn more skills.

On Sunday I leave Peacehaven to go to a donkey farm near Burgess Hilll .
I am there until the 22nd June before moving on to the fruit farm.

Hopefully I shall at last have consistent internet! I really don’t understand why the signal is so poor up here in the Downs. If I walk half a kilometre West I can see a massive telecommunications mast.

Make a phone call beneath one of these structures that are dotted all along the top of the South Downs and you’d get interference from the International Space Station asking for new plumbing! Why then is the T-Mobile signal so rubbish?

Rumour has it that on Saturday night the annual Nettle festival takes place and all the local people will get together for this secretive Pagan celebration.

This involves everyone seeking out a model of ’Nasty Natalie the Nettle Nymph’, I luckily found the above example while having a rummage behind Poly2. There is much music and consumption of Nettle wine, after which we all run naked through the fields to the site of the burning of the nymph, whilst thrashing each other with nettles.

"Oooh! Right a bit......"

The giant effigy

After the setting of the fire more alcohol is drunk until anyone still standing gets to chase a young maiden through the fields.

This old Sussex ritual usually ends with one reveller catching the maiden, who will likely retaliate by punching her captor’s lights out, being in a much more capable state!

It was not always so of course, back in medieval times legend has it that a successful union of captor and quarry was looked upon favourably by the nettle Goddess.

Further East, in Daddy Papersurfer land (in days of yore the area was called ‘Earbee Dragnz‘), the ritual eventually died out when legend has it a mysterious warrior Princess named Saskia Witch arrived from a strange land over the sea far to the West. Some said that she came from a frozen land and her vessel was made of ice.

So enraged was she when she saw the degradation of the young women, that she changed the odds slightly, a special set of wings were constructed (from nettles of course) that the maiden would slip into when nearing the cliffs.

After luring the baying rabble towards the fearsome heights, she would launch herself off at the last moment, soaring out while her would-be captors followed drunkenly over. The wings weren’t very aerodynamic however and she would quickly descend, albeit rather more safely.

This is thought to be the inspiration for the first hang glider, which of course because of its questionable aeronautical inefficiency, became known as ‘A low veerer’.

Of course the warrior Princess was practically deified for saving the maidens , and to this day the local womenfolk are worshipped as Goddesses.

The winged maiden

Saskia Witch, some say the name Saskatchewan is derived from the fearsome warrior Princess.

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9 thoughts on “Nymphs & Nettles

  1. So that’s how it all started – my, my GW you have been working hard on your research. I now understand why I seem to nettle goddesses – tee hee heeeeeeee.

    [Sounds as if you’re going to have a fascinating Summer ….. and I hope that WordPress works OK for you. I must say, I think it looks very good – nice and clean. Don’t go bananas and add too much ‘stuff’ so it begins to look confusing and complicated]

    Love the bottom piccy – which reminds me – time to worship the TG!!!!

  2. Ta DP……….. research?? Common knowledge surely? Talking of nettle Goddesses, I showed it to young Abby (the bike chick from Oregon) and after she had read it, she gave me a worried look and said “well, if there is a Nettle Festival, I don’t think I will be taking part” (bless!).

    Not sure about design, think it’s a bit dark, and I already had one set up with Artisteer but can’t activate it. No fear of adding too much stuff, i’ve already tried to add a clock and can’t.

    Does the bottom pic remind you to worship, because the Warrior Princess is wearing that sword?

  3. wow the Nettle Festival sounds very interesting .. good luck I hope it isn’t too cool when you run round naked lol

    Like the new site it is very … well …. green 🙂 but very slick and fuss free .. yes I agree with DP [but don’t tell him] re adding loads of stuff …. but hey it is your blog but I just ignore the adverts anyway 🙂

    Must get on and sort out my Word Press

    • Excuse me if I don’t sit down, OUCH! Sorry, just been having an early morning practice run AAIEH! Gahhh, that tingles! I suspect it was all a cunning ploy by young Abby, so that I don’t get too close to her, or anyone, or anything, OWWWW!

      • here’s hoping the Doc leaves kicked in

        GW your link from Blogger to here doesn’t work you know??

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