Tag Archives: Albion’s Hidden Numina

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Albion’s Hidden Numina
Under the Skin

faber2,434 words

The 2000 novel Under the Skin by Michel Faber tells the story of a female alien called Isserley. We meet her living on a remote Scottish farm from where she takes regular road trips looking for single men. The purpose of these trips transpires to be predatory; she is hunting humans to farm for her fellow alien beings.

Michel Faber has an interesting background. According to Wikipedia:  Read more …

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Albion’s Hidden Numina
Joy Division

CloserCover3,156 words

Joy Division left us with the most relentlessly depressing body of songs since Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder. In some ways, though, this singularity of approach, this lack of light touches to add color to the palate, is responsible for making them enduringly fascinating. Read more …

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Albion’s Hidden Numina
Folk Horror Revival

FolkHorrorRevival2,512 words

Katherine Beem and Andy Paciorek, eds.
Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies
Wyrd Harvest Press, 2015

The term “folk horror” is a relatively recent invention that can be applied to a wide range of artistic creations, not all of them belonging to the horror genre. It was popularized by the 2010 BBC TV documentary A History of Horror where the term was used to describe three horror films: Witchfinder General, The Blood on Satan’s Claw, and The Wicker Man. Read more …

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Albion’s Hidden Numina
The Land of the Green Man

GreenMan1,297 words

Carolyne Larrington
The Land of the Green Man: A Journey Through the Supernatural Landscapes of the British Isles
London: I. B. Tauris, 2015

Is Britain the most mystical of all countries? It certainly seems that way to me, but then I’m irreparably biased. Whilst every human culture has its own folklore, the magic seems more potent, more alive, when it’s our own. “The myth is not my own, I had it from my mother,” as Coomaraswamy (quoting Euripides) would have it. Read more …

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Albion’s Hidden Numina
The Falling

1,120 words

TheFallingWatching Carol Morley’s new film, The Falling, I found myself wondering, slightly obsessively, exactly which year it was set in. I settled on 1970 because the visual cues in the home of the main character, Lydia, suggested that strange point in time where hallucinatory sixties psychedelia ossified into lurid home furnishings. Subsequent googling revealed that it was set in 1969. Read more …

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Albion’s Hidden Numina
“Reynardine”

1,703 words

ReyardineIn the summer of 1969 the members of Fairport Convention were gathered together at a country house in Farley Chamberlayne in picturesque Hampshire. There they were to record their most celebrated album, Liege & Lief, the definitive statement in English folk-rock. The country retreat setting was partly therapeutic as the band had earlier that year been involved in a tragic road accident whilst on their way back from a gig in Birmingham. The drummer, Martin Lamble, and guitarist Richard Thompson’s girlfriend, Jeannie Taylor, were both killed. Clearly, the remaining members of Fairport were looking for a new musical direction as they sought to put the past behind them.  Read more …

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Albion’s Hidden Numina
Andy Goldsworthy

3,213 words

Andy Goldsworthy, Ice Ball

Andy Goldsworthy, Ice Ball

The English sculptor Andy Goldsworthy is a practitioner of Land art, a practice that seeks to create art from natural materials and settings. Other practitioners of Land art include Richard Long, Robert Smithson, and David Nash. Whilst there is this common element of setting art in (or creating it from) the landscape, there is also a particularly striking quality to Andy Goldsworthy’s work that sets him apart from other Land artists. In short, this particular quality of his work might be termed sacred or numinous. For this reason he is both lauded as a contemporary shaman and derided as a twee pastoralist. Neither extremity really reveals much about Goldsworthy’s art.  Read more …

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Albion’s Hidden Numina
Peter Shaffer’s Equus

Uffington-White-Horse-sat

The Uffington White Horse, Oxfordshire

2,486 words

Peter Shaffer’s 1973 play, Equus, is arguably the most pagan work of art created in the 20th century. Ostensibly an extended dialogue between a mentally ill boy and his psychiatrist, Shaffer’s play goes far beyond the realms of psychoanalysis and begins to stir the surface of an incipient numinous awakening. Read more …

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