Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury Tor

One of the most infamous landmarks of Glastonbury is the Tor. It is extremely popular in the Arthurian legends. The Tor is a tall hill that ascends over 158 meters from Glastonbury and hosts panoramic views of the English countryside, viewing the three counties of Somerset, Dorset, and Wiltshire. During the legendary Isles of Avalon, this would have been the highest point on the isles. Geologically the Tor rises from Lower lias clays and limestones from the Middle and Upper Lias to a deposit of hard midford sand at the cap of 521 feet and is called the “Tor Burr”. The Tor has a conical shape made up of horizontal bands of limestone, and clay, and capped with sandstone. As erosional forces dug away with limestone and clays, the sandstone lasts resisting erosion and creating steep slopes. Historically, this Tor would have towered as an island above the flooded Somerset Levels, but as the levels were drained over the ages for agriculture and other uses, it is now a hill blended into the landscape. The terraces on the slopes date to Medieval times when the hillside was one of the few dry locations where locals could farm and graze animals. The Tor is believed to have been a sacred site of pilgrimage for over 10,000 years and is still used today. It is believed to be a gateway to the Otherworld. Lithics and other artifacts show the presence of humans here for thousands of years.

It was said that Joseph of Arimathea 63 C.E. founded a settlement here. Archaeologically the earliest found was a 6th-century settlement, the earliest found in Glastonbury and many believed was the first Christian community in the area founded by Joseph. Evidence from the 6th century was found during excavations of 1964-1966 that exposed occupation during this time, and the second phase of occupation from 900-1100 C.E. by the finding of a head of a cross that was probably monks cells cut into the rock on the summit, a tradition of a monastic site on the Tor was confirmed by the 1243 charter granting permission for a fair at the Monastery of St. Michael at this location.

During the 8th century, the Great Abbey was built on the site of the present abbey ruins in the 8th century and then rebuilt becoming the wealthiest abbey in Britain but destroyed in 1539 by the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

In the 13th century, it is said the first Church on the Tor to be built was St. Michael’s Church in the charter of 1243 C.E.

These ruins are what you see today the most notable part of which is St. Michael’s Tower. These ruins are from the 2nd church replacing the original that was destroyed in the 1275 C.E. earthquake. This second church lasted until 1539 until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The earliest legend after Joseph of Arimathea is the mid-thirteenth century story of St. Patrick coming from Ireland and becoming the leader of the hermits here. He was said to have discovered an ancient Oratory in ruins atop the Tor after climbing through dense woods.

In the historic era, this is the location where Richard Whiting, the last Abbot of Glastonbury, and some of his monks were hung.

“Glastonbury Tor, one of the most famous and sacred landmarks in the West Country. From the summit at 158 meters, you can get amazing views over three counties – Somerset, Dorset, and Wiltshire. What is the tor? “Tor” is a West Country word of Celtic origin meaning hill. The conical shape of Glastonbury Tor is natural – due to its rocks. It is made up of horizontal bands of clays and limestone with a cap of hard sandstone. The sandstone resists erosion, but the clays and limestone have worn away, resulting in the steep slopes. A historic landscape: Before modern drainage, the tor in winter would have towered as an island above the flooded Somerset Levels. The terraces on the slopes date back to medieval times when the hillside was one of the few dry places where people could grow crops and graze animals. A place of pilgrimage: The tor has been a place of pilgrimage for over 10,000 years. Many thousands of people still visit it each year, some for its links with religion, legends, and beliefs, and others because it is such a renowned landmark. History of the Tower: on the summit is St. Michael’s Tower, part of a 14th-century church. It was built to replace a previous church which had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1275. The second church lasted until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. At this time, the tor was the scene of the hanging of Richard Whiting, the last Abbot of Glastonbury. The Tor was the site of a 6th-century settlement, the earliest yet found in Glastonbury. Some believe this was the first Christian community in the area, said to have been founded by Joseph of Arimathea in AD 63. 8th Century: The great Abbey: A stone church was built on the site of the present abbey ruins in the 8th century. It was rebuilt and became one of the wealthiest abbeys in Britain, but was destroyed in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. 13th century: A church on the tor – The first written record of St. Michael’s Church on the tor is in a charter of 1243. The building was destroyed in an earthquake in 1275. 14th century- St. Michael’s Tower – in the 14th century, a new church was built on the tor, which survived until the Dissolution. St. Michael’s tower is all that remains. Glastonbury Tor rises from the Lower lias clays and limestones through the Middle and Upper Lias to a deposit of hard midford sand on the cap, 521 ft. high known locally as Tor Burr. This is more resistant to erosion than the lower levels making the slopes steep and unstable. These steep sculptured slopes, rising dramatically from the isle of Avalon in the flat Somerset levels, have encouraged much speculation about the origin of the Tor in legend. The earliest reference is a mid-thirteenth century story of St. Patrick’s return from Ireland in which he became a leader of hermits at Glastonbury and discovered an ancient ruined oratory on the summit after climbing through a dense wood, scattered fines of prehistoric, roman, and later objects suggest the Tor was always used by man, but evidence for actual occupation from the 6th AD was uncovered in the excavations of 1964-6, the second phase of occupation between 900-1100 was distinguished by the head of a cross and what were probably Christian monk’s cells cut into the rock on the summit, the tradition of a monastic site on the Tor is confirmed by a charter of 1243 granting permission for a fair at the monastery of St. Michael there. The present tower though later modified is essentially the 15th century and is associated with the second of two major churches which stood on the summit. The second one was probably built after the destructive earthquake of 1275. The monastic church of St. Michael closely associated with the Great Abbey in the town below fell into ruin after the Dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 when Richard Whiting the last abbot of Glastonbury was hanged on the Tor.” ~ information signs on the Tor, Glastonbury, England.


Helltown (Boston, Ohio) creative commons share
Boston history sign at Cuhuyoga National Park, image Creative Commons share

So while on an archaeological survey project in Ohio I was investigating local myths, legends, and urban lore. One of the sites of interest to pop up on my radar was the government take-over eminent domain of a town formerly known as “Boston, Ohio”. It is now fabled in urban legend and called “Helltown”. I dismissed visiting because according to Atlas Obscura, all remnants of the town had been bulldozed and flattened, there’s nothing to see there since 2016. It would have been a 4-5 hour round-trip excursion, so I decided not to go. Plus rumors of a toxic dump just not something my asthmatic ass needed during a pandemic. So it was boxed away in my mind as a lost ghost story. Then upon return to the Pacific Northwest while looking for something to watch … the pseudo-documentary by the Travel channel of Series 1, episode 1 : Helltown popped up on Amazon Prime. It was free since I was subscribed to Discovery Channel, so why not. It was the Blair Witch Project in a different light. The completely false story, narrative, and made-up mythology based on actual urban lore and legend. There was no more than one episode, and it was released in 2017. I assume they took real video on location before the Park System razed it to the ground.

Helltown, Travel Channel’s Documentary?

In 2017 the Travel Channel released a documentary/docudrama to explore the different theories and facts around what had happened to Boston Ohio in 1974 and why it was called “Helltown”. It’s true that in 1974 President Ford ordered the evacuation of the town of Boston, Ohio. No one really knows why, but the official story was for the preservation of natural beauty to turn into a National Park. There was a chemical spill, but that’s all that is really known. Locals claim the Wendigo run around the site, that there was a satanic cult operating in the town, there were mutations caused from the spill, it was a hangout for serial killers, and it has a crybaby bridge. None of these stories have proof to them. So what did happen?

The docudrama by the Travel Channel claimed “Boston, Ohio” aka “Helltown” was inhabited by the “WW” cult that worshipped the wendigo. While the government was clearing the town in the 1960s, there was a Waco-style shootout between the Feds and the cultists, leaving 14 dead. In 2016 a local teenager investigating “Helltown” was attacked on a YouTube live stream and eaten by a Wendigo. According to Snopes, none of this actually occurred.

The Documentary followed stories of a military cover-up of a mutation causing a chemical spill forcing the government to evacuate the town for a clean-up and restoration. At the same time, an Irish Catholic turned Pagan turned Satanic Cult started animal sacrifices to a wendigo in the woods, and a shoot-out happened between the military and the locals leading to death. Not to mention the all too common missing kids story. The Docudrama included supposed interviews, re-enactments, fake newspaper articles, fake YouTube videos, and fake professors. All hogwash and “Blair Witch Project” style shock-journalism.

The local legends

All too famous in local lore, Helltown, Zombieland, and many stories run all over the place – especially during Halloween. Every state has the satanic rituals stories as do their intriguing crybaby bridges, missing children, and mutations. There is no evidence of missing kids, Waco-style shootouts between the Feds and cult members. The Army didn’t kill locals. No bear was killed. No teenagers attacked or eaten by said bear. These parts were created by the “Helltown” docudrama. The locals, however, pre-filming, did have their own legends and ghost stories. The 20 second long YouTube video supposedly uploaded in 2016 depicting a girl screaming amidst flashing lights was faked.

The Satanic Church

There was a local church existing in Boston, Ohio that had some upside-down crosses in its architecture, belonging to a typical Gothic style architecture. There were no Satanists operating out of the church or in the town. It was a Presbyterian Church called “The Mother of Sorrows”. It was not formerly an Irish Catholic Church as the fake documentary dictated.

The Crybaby Bridge

Every town has them … its a local bridge where one claims late at night you can hear babies crying either coming from the bridge itself or the nearby woods. Some claim that tiny hand prints would appear on your car windows or hood.

The Murder Bus

Before the town was demolished, apparently there was a graffit laden old school bus that locals claimed housed “serial killers”. It was however, just an abandoned bus that a local family lived in while building their home. No evidence of actual serial killers living there.

The End of the World

Many dark roads especially those with ledges along them get this nomenclature. The one in Boston, Ohio was a steep section of Stanford Road, so could look like one driving it was dropping off at the “End of the World”.


Because the local Krejci Dump was known to have chemical contamination, numerous stories flooded the area with tales of mutated giant frogs, the Wendigo, mutated glowing people that were zombie-like, or glowing head creatures wandering the woods. The dump is real. The chemical spill was a problem. The National Park bought the landfill to use for their own waste, but local rangers got sick from it and suffered chemical burns due to its heavy metals and chemicals in the ground. It was closed and cleaned up by 2015 after it was declared a Superfund site.

The Wendigo of Boston Ohio

The local Algonquin tribes did have lore about a humanoid creature with deer antlers that would eat humans, and it lives around the Great Lakes and/or Nova Scotia. There however has been no scientific documentation of its existence, nor real records of sightings in this area outside of what the docudrama claimed.

Real History:

The original inhabitants of the area were the Delaware or Lenape people, by an Algonquin tribe known as the Mingo, who had a village next to Clear Creek in Ohio. There was bloodshed between the Euro-American settlers and the local Native Americans and was quieted with the Treaty Of Easton. They left in 1755. The settlement was re-founded in the 1770s by the Lenape and was called “Clear Town” after the “Clear Creek” it was established at. Some claim that the German word for “Clear” is “hell” and it was nicknamed “Helltown”. They abandoned the village in 1782 after struggles with Euro-Americans and Colonial American troops. The Gnadenhutten Massacre of 1782 occurred killing 96 Lenape. After the bloodshed in 1782, the village was abandoned as it supposedly sits along a battle trail that stretched from Sandusky through the Cuyahoga River valley. After struggles vanished, Euro-American homesteaders settled the area and built the town of “Boston, Ohio”. According to Archaeologists in the late 19th century, the village was a high mound composed of sandstone rocks with packed earth. Supposedly Lenape graves were buried there, but a local farmer plowed over them in 1881. Apparently, the only artifacts recovered were an iron tomahawk, two iron knives, stone arrowheads, a stone ax, a gunflint, and some brass mountings from a musket.

The town was named after its township and settled by Euro-Americans finally in 1820 officially. It was home to a sawmill in 1821 and called Boston Mills. A post office was established in 1825 until 1957.

Congress passed Public Law 93-555 in 1974, permitting the U.S. Government to establish the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area. The government purchased the town of Boston and relocated its residents out of the area. This eminent domain action condemned hundreds of homes and businesses, closing the town of Boston. After clearing the town, the Government fell behind on the development of the National Park. This left the area a ghost town with abandoned buildings and empty streets. Locals came up with their own conspiracy theories, claiming the government felt the site was haunted, a wendigo was killing people, serial killers were hiding in the area, and a toxic spill was causing mutations. The government demolished the last structures in 2016. President Gerald Ford claimed the area needed to be turned into a National Park to preserve the environment, taking large swaths of land surrounding Boston, Ohio. However, while by 2016 they finally demolished all remnants of the town, they didn’t turn it into a park for over a half a century after taking it from its residents. The U.S. government took it from the indigenous tribes, then took it from its own people.

Visiting Helltown

According to Atlas Obscura, nothing exists of Boston, Ohio. It is however in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and therefore easy to visit, though there is nothing to see they say. It is in the Boston Township just west of Brandywine Falls. Travel to Brandywine Falls, exit 271, and fine the “road closed” sign.

Bibliography/Recommended Readings:

  • Atlas Obscura 2019 “Helltown, Ohio”: visited 5/19/21.
  • Case, H.B. “Description of Mounds and Earthworks in Ashland County, Ohio.” In Miscellaneous Papers Relating to Anthropology. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1883. p. 74.
  • Didymus, John Thomas 2019 “Is Helltown Real or Fake? Was Ohio Teenage Girl Killed in Wendigo Attack?” Monsters and Critics 23 September 2019.
  • Evon, Dan 2019 “Does Helltown Film Document Weird Happenings in Abandoned Ohio Town?” SNOPES. Website referenced: on 5/19/21
  • IMDB 2017 Helltown, Season 1, Episode 1 viewed on Amazon Prime.
  • Urbex Underground n.d. “The Actual Truth About Helltown Ohio”. Website referenced 5/19/21:


Spirits and Entities, the spirituality of Alcohol

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Spirits, Dublin, Ireland

Spirits and Entities of Alcohol
by Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions

It always amazes me how the world really doesn’t understand the “root” of all things, nor pay attention to the “history” of various items or substances that they use occasionally or daily in life. I strongly believe it is very important to know the “root” and “makeup” of anything one puts in their bodies. Regardless of whether one is religious, spiritual, or scientific – the role of religion and spirituality in all aspects of life has some intriguing elements that should not be ignored.

The proverb “You are what you eat”; has a lot of elements of truth in that saying because what you put in your body affects it chemically, physically, mentally, emotionally, and yes, spiritually. I won’t debate between science and religion in this article and for those readers that are atheist and don’t believe in spirituality – while reading this – simply ignore the spiritual overtones of this article and focus on the chemical aspect of what is being put in your body and understanding the elements you allow into your temple. For those readers that are avid drinkers – think about the drink you are putting in your body and go for higher quality substances as one really should consider changing to “organic” and “triple distilled” spirits instead, and for the spiritual user – know the entity or “spirit” you are inviting into your being.

This is not a negative article on drugs, substances, or alcohol, but rather a spiritual understanding of why we use them, the benefits, and the dangers associated with them. Alcohol use needs to be practiced responsibly, for abusing it can lead to serious consequences. There really is more to “being under the influence” than you can rationally understand. Historically and spiritually, in all world cultures and religions, in folklore and mythology, every substance, every herb, every mineral, and every plant has a “spirit” or “entity” or “deity” assigned or associated with it. Drugs – Alcohol, barbiturates, hallucinogens, chemicals, or what-not are made of compositions of plants, herbs, minerals, and living matter.

Drugs are medicines as well as poisons, with positive and negative effects on a living host that ingest them. Side effects from these drugs create various moods, effects on the body, mind, spirit, and persona. Many of these effects are utilized for spiritual visions, trances, omens, oracles, prophecies, messages, or communication with the beyond in the realms of religion. When abused, they often consume the body and the soul and will create a degradation of a being. Regardless of the substance: alcohol, marijuana, psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, barbiturates, etc. – Each substance has its own entity or spirit that culture attributes certain persona and effects to. It is pretty important to understand what entities you are dealing with, and how to gain advantage from a temporary relationship with them, and how to avoid them taking advantage of you.

Dr. Mangor’s Absinthe Collection, Los Angeles, California

For this article, I’m focusing on “spirits” or “alcohol”, as it is the most common grouping of entities that the mass population deals with. Why is “Alcohol” given the name “spirits” in the annals of history? The words “alembic” and “alcohol” are metaphors for “aqua vitae” (Life Water) and “Spirit”, often refer to a distilled liquid that came from magical explorations in Middle Eastern alchemy. “Alcohol” comes from the Arabic “al-kuhl” or “al-ku??l”, which means “Body Eating Spirit”, and gives the root origin to the English term for “ghoul”. In Middle Eastern Folklore, a “ghoul” is an “evil demon thought to eat human bodies”, either as stolen corpses or as children.

Since the root of the name “alcohol” is related to the concept of “body eating spirit”, this is also one of the early roots to traditional taboos on imbibing alcohol in the beginnings of Islam and similar prohibition faiths. In Islam, consumption of any alcohol is punishable with 80 lashes. To many “Pagan” or “Heathen” faiths, the imbibing of spirits and the temporary relationship with these entities gives definition to the “aqua vita” beliefs or “life water” or “connection/communication with spirits” that can be quite beneficial. In fact, faiths that had their roots in Paganism, such as Christianity and Islam, have carried over beneficial beliefs about the consumption or imbibition of alcohol.

As Middle Eastern alchemists ingested alcohol they reported that their senses deadened and this is why they saw the elixirs produced as possessing “body taking” qualities. This is where the Europeans are believed to have derived the use of “spirits” for “alcohol”. What is ingested affects a living body spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Some believe it will affect the soul as well and that it is all about relationships. Some faiths and cultures have credible valid positive reasons to abstain from drugs and alcohol, while others have equal reasons to promote them.

Many cultures see drugs and alcohol as negative, but if one looks into the history of these elementals, there exist many positive elements in their usage, especially when balanced with spirituality and religion. Many cultures and faiths traditionally ingest something in order to commune with the Divine, God/desses, and/or spirits. Whether the wine and bread of Catholic Mass or the trance induction of peyote with South American Shamans, the use of these substances have an honored tradition throughout history.

Shamanic use of trance-inducing drugs are not considered destructive, but rather gifts of the Gods that allow the body and spirit to commune with higher planes of existence. Peyote, ayahuasca, Salvia Divinorum, absinthe, psilocybin, and other substances are assigned to induce spirit communication, clairvoyance, and the ability to heal. Most forms of Christianity consume alcohol as part of everyday life and nearly always use “wine” (fermented grape juice) in their central rite with the Eucharist or “Lord’s Supper”. The beliefs surrounding this practice state that Christian Tradition and/or the Bible teaches that “alcohol” is a “gift from God that makes life more joyous, but that overindulgence leading to drunkenness is a sin”. The key of Christianity is “moderation”.

19th century Protestants attempted to move from this earlier position of thought and pursuing “abstention” or “prohibition” of alcohol believing its use to be a “sin” even to the extreme of a sip (i.e. Mormonism). The Bible repeatedly refers to alcohol in use and poetic expression, and while mainly ambivalent to it, still states them to be both a “blessing from God that brings merriment” and a “potential danger that can be unwisely and sinfully abused”. “Wine” is often portrayed in daily life as a symbol of abundance and physical blessing, and negatively as a “mocker” with beer being a “brawler”, and drinking a cup of strong wine to the dregs and getting drunk can be presented as a symbol of God’s judgment and wrath. As puritans often spoke in their sermons that “Drink is in itself a good creature of God, and to be received with thankfulness, but the abuse of drink is from Satan; the wine is from God, but the drunkard is from the Devil”. Bible warns that alcohol can hinder moral discretion, and that alcohol can be corrupting of the body and a substance that will impair judgment and distract one from God’s will of life.

While the Ancient Egyptians promoted beer and wine, they did warn of taverns and excessive drinking. However, the Greek Dionysus cult promoted intoxication as a means to get closer to their Deity. Macedonians viewed intemperance as a sign of masculinity and were well known for their drunkenness. Alexander the Great was a proponent of the Cult of Dionysus and known for his inebriation. Ancient and Modern Roman celebrations on March 15th of Anna Parenna celebrates the Goddess of the Returning Year by crossing the Tiber River and “go abroad” into Etruria and picnic in flimsy huts made of branches, drink as much alcohol as they could, as it was thought that one would live for as many years as cups of alcohol one could drink on this date. Once finished they would return to their homes in Rome.

Most Pagan religions encourage alcohol use and some pursue intoxication promoted as a means of fostering fertility. To Pagan faiths it is believed to increase sexual desire and to make it easier to approach another person for sex. Norse paganism considered alcohol to be the sap of Yggdrasil and drunkenness as an important fertility rite in this religion. Alcohol was also used for medicinal purposes in biblical times as an oral anesthetic, topical cleanser, soother, and digestive aid. Problems associated with industrialization and rapid urbanization were also attributed and blamed on alcohol including urban crime, poverty, high infant mortalities, though it’s likely that gross overcrowding and unemployment were the actual root cause.

The modern world then started blaming personal, social, religious, and moral problems on alcohol. This led to modern movements of prohibitionism. A typical Buddhist view on Alcohol use is as a shortcut for the pursuit of happiness as it produces a short-term euphoria or happiness and this is the reason millions of people drink it repeatedly every day. Buddha teaches alcohol as well as all drugs, leads to misjudgment, blocks rational thinking, and therefore preached against amongst its disciples even though in some Buddhist disciplines it is used as offerings to Deity and spirits. Islam, Jainism, the Bahai’ Faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Church of Christ, Scientist, the United Pentecostal Church International, Theravada, most Mahayana schools of Buddhism, some Protestant denominations of Christianity, and some sects of Hinduism – forbid, discourage, or restrict the drinking of alcoholic beverages for various reasons.

Science tells us alcohol releases dopamine into the brain, stimulating the pleasure sensation. There are a lot of “expectations” with alcohol, and many of these will still operate in the absence of actual consumption of alcohol when the individual believes they are consuming alcohol. Research in North America shows that men tend to become more sexually aroused when they think they have been drinking alcohol, even when they have not been drinking it. Women report feeling more sexually aroused when they falsely believe the beverages they have been drinking contained alcohol. Men have shown to become more aggressive in laboratory studies when they are drinking only tonic water but believe it contains alcohol, they also become less aggressive when they believe they are drinking only tonic water, but are actually drinking tonic water that contains alcohol.

In Magical Views, the use of alcohol, especially in ritual and rite, is a very powerful vehicle for altering states of consciousness, communicating with spirits, Deities, Ancestors, and entities. It aids in relaxation for ritual. It frees the mind of responsibility and control, and is a great aid to those very logical individuals that have to be “in control”. However, it can be detrimental to those who have a lot of natural psychic or medium-ship abilities that have been raised in families or cultures that demonized or invalidated these gifts. As alcohol and drugs impair the left brain first (logical) and enhance right brain activity (where spirit communication and psychic abilities reside), thereby increasing psychic or mystical experiences while under the influence.

The effects are dependent on the individual and their type, as it can be dangerous with some people – those susceptible to possession and toying by spirits, excessive drinking is similar to “throwing open the saloon door and calling out to a crowd of alcoholics – ‘Bar is open, drinks are on (in) me’”, which will attract lower astral entities to enter the body and soul to experience the alcohol vicariously through the person. It is easier for spirits to influence one when they are intoxicated, some of which are very “low life” or “demonic” entities. (Many are good and powerful, including Deities like Dionysus, Maeve, etc. but usually, associate with the particular elixir being imbibed) Mixing of “Spirits” can be dangerous and very toxic on the body and spirit, as the doorway to the soul can be an orgy of spirits that the person cannot handle, often leading to alcohol poisoning, sickness, illness, and/or death.

Historical: Ancient China had wine jars in Jiahu dating to 7,000 B.C.E. and considered a spiritual food rather than a material food with high importance in religious life. Neolithic wine making was found to date from 5400-5000 B.C.E. as archaeologists uncovered a yellowish residue at Hajji Firuz Tepe in a jar that analysis determined came from winemaking. Early brewing dates in Egypt showing alcohol was presided over by the God Osiris. Chalcolithic Era Indus Valley civilizations in India date from 3000-2000 B.C.E. with Hindu Ayurvedic texts describing beneficent uses. Babylonians in 2700 B.C.E. worshiped a wine Goddess and other wine deities. Xenophon (431-351 BCE) and Plato (429-347 BCE) praised moderate use of wine as beneficial to health and happiness but were critical of drunkenness. Hippocrates (460-370 BCE) praised it for its medicinal properties (wine).

Some Native American peoples developed an alcoholic beverage called Pulque or Octli as early as 200 C.E. that was used for visions, religion, and prophecy. The first distillations of spirits came from the Medieval Period, with the School of Salerno in the 12th century, and fractional distillation developed by Tadeo Alderotti in the 13th century. Distillation of whiskey first performed in Scotland and Ireland for centuries, and the first written confirmation of whiskey comes from Ireland in 1405, Scotland in 1494.

Alcoholic beverages are drinks that contain “ethanol” (a.k.a. “alcohol”). They are divided into three classes: beers, wines, and spirits. “Spirits” often related to distilled beverages low in sugars and containing a minimum of 35% alcohol by volume. These are often referred to as Gin, Vodka, and Rum. Alcohol is legally consumed in most countries, though regulated by over 100 countries in terms of production, sale, and consumption. In most countries and religions, alcohol plays a major role in social events, rituals, and traditional celebrations. Alcohol is a psychoactive drug with a depressant effect that reduces attention and slows reaction speeds. It can be addictive and those addicted are considered to be under the sickness called “alcoholism”. Science shows that alcohol is beneficial in moderate amounts, especially a glass of wine drunk daily as it aids in digestion. If food is eaten before alcohol consumption, it reduces alcohol absorption, and the rate at which alcohol is eliminated from the blood is increased. The mechanism for faster alcohol elimination appears to be related to types of food especially those with alcohol-metabolizing enzymes and liver blood flow. Consumption of alcoholic drinks during Medieval times was a method used to avoid water-borne diseases such as cholera as alcohol kills bacteria.

is the world’s oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, and the third most popular drink after water and tea. It is produced by brewing and fermenting starches derived from cereal grains – most commonly by means of malted barley, though sometimes with wheat, maize, or rice. There are two main types of beer: Lager and Ale. Ale is classified into varieties such as pale ale, stout, and brown ale. Most beer is flavored with hops adding bitterness and as a natural preservative. Beer is usually 4-6% alcohol by volume but can be less than 1% or more than 20%. It is a stipend of the drinking culture of most nations and has social traditions such as beer festivals, pub culture, pub crawls, and pub games. The Christian Bible refers to beer as a brawler. Medieval monks were allotted about five liters of beer per day – allowed to drink beer but not wine during fasts. Many Saints and Deities were associated with Beer, such as St. Adrian, the patron saint of Beer; St. Amand, patron saint of brewers, barkeepers, and wine merchants; and The Ancient Egyptians believed Osiris gave their people “Beer” as he invented it and it was a necessity of life, brewed in the home on a daily basis. In Ancient Egypt, Cellars and wine presses often had a God who was associated with each of the 17 types of beer they created. These were used for pleasure, nutrition, medicine, ritual, remuneration, and funerary purposes. Babylonians often offered beer and wine to their Deities as offerings.

Wine: Alcoholic beverages distilled after fermentation of non-cereal sources like grapes, fruits, or honey. It involves a longer complete fermentation process and a long aging process (months or years) that create an alcohol content of 9-16% by volume. Sparkling wines are made by adding a small amount of sugar before bottling, creating a secondary fermentation in the bottle. The Bible refers to wine as a symbol of abundance and physical blessing, bringer, and concomitant of joy, especially with nourishment and feasting; as well negatively as a mocker. It is commonly drunk with meals, as the Old Testament prescribed it for use in sacrificial rituals and festal celebrations.

Jesus’ first miracle was making copious amounts of wine at the wedding feast of Cana where he instituted the ritual of the Eucharist at the Last Supper during a Passover celebration that “wine” is a “new covenant in his blood”. Under the rule of Rome, the average adult male who was a citizen drank an estimated liter (1/4 of a gallon) of wine a day. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican monk and the “Doctor Angelicus” of the Catholic Church said that moderation in wine is sufficient for salvation but that for certain person perfection requires abstinence and this was dependent upon their circumstance. Wine has been associated or assigned to various Saints, Deities, and Spirits such as St. Amand, patron saint of brewers, barkeepers, and wine merchants; St. Martin, the so-called patron saint of wine; St. Vincent, and patron saint of vintners. In Ancient Egypt,

Cellars and wine presses often had a God who was associated with each of the 24 varieties of wine they created. These were used for pleasure, nutrition, medicine, ritual, remuneration, and funerary purposes. Babylonians in 2700 B.C.E. worshiped a wine Goddess and other wine deities. Babylonians often offered beer and wine to their Deities as offerings. In Greece, the art of winemaking reached the Hellenic peninsula by 2,000 B.C.E. – the first of which was Mead, and by 1700 BCE wine making was commonplace and incorporated into religious rituals. Balche’, a Mayan Honey wine, was associated with the Mayan deity Acan.

Spirits: Unsweetened, Distilled alcoholic beverages that have an alcohol content of at least 20% ABCV are called spirits. These are produced by the distillation of a fermented base product, which concentrates the alcohol, and eliminates some of the congeners. These can be added to wine to create fortified wines such as ports and sherries.

These are often Vodka, Rum, Gin, Whiskey, Whisky, Tequila, and other spirits.

Some commonly believed changes in personality with ‘types’ of alcohol:

  • Beer: Boldness, Braveness, Becoming Boisterous, Loud, Obnoxious, Lush behavior, Know-it-all attitudes, and Dumb-ness.
  • Wine: Romantic connotations, sexuality, relaxation, restfulness, tranquility, lushness.
  • Vodka: Bravery, Boldness, Invincibility, Strength, Attitude, Security.
  • Tequila: Boldness, wildness, sexuality, aggression, and lush behavior.
  • Absinthe: Creativity, Inspiration, Desire to do Art, Write, or Music; imaginative thought. Rumored to be psychedelic and produce hallucinations. Inspires oracles, omens, and prophetic thought.
  • Rum: Wildness, craziness, boldness, and lust.
  • Gin: Intellectual thought, healing, lethargy, and numbness.
  • Whiskey: Aggression, testiness, boldness, violence, invincibility.
  • Irish Whiskey: Revitalization, Rebirth, Renewal, Invincibility, and Intellectual discussions.


The Breckenridge Fairy Forest

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Breckenridge Fairy Forest – Exploring Breckenridge, Colorado: September 30, 2020.

This was a major bucket list item of mine, but I snoozed, and loss. The city has “closed” the Fairy Forest. “Fairy Lives Don’t Matter” as per Will Smith’s humor in the movie “Bright”. They claim it is being revegetated, though that’s government speak for “you’re not welcome”. It’s a sad loss for Breckenridge, mainly because residential property owners, don’t want tourists or hikers invading their local trails, “polluting” it with kid-made art in this gully behind homes.

What it was like

Apparently it was an artistic fun-filled joyous space in nature for kids of all ages (and adults to) to embrace their imagination and creativity, creating homes for fairies, gnomes, elves, and creatures. Apparently someone maintained the neighborhood and protected the art from the snow and weather, where it would dissapear just before snow arrives, and magically appear in June again. But this time, it is said, it won’t be coming back. Supposedly the neighborhood changes dwellings every year as well, and it always looks different. Like a Fairy Burning Man city in miniature scale. “Leave no trace” during the winter periods, seems to be the rules, and no litter year round. But the city believes it’s all trash, and shouldn’t exist.

It is said it was started by a neighbor a few years ago and just kept growing. So I’m not sure how the forest is disliked by the human neighborhood around them. It’s gotta be the bias against outsiders or tourists that made it come to an end, much to the same degree as why the Breckenridge Troll had to move hoods.

Hopefully it will be reclaimed and rebuilt, not treated like a homeless camped being cleared out repeatedly by the government. Poor fairies. From Breckenridge, take 4 O’clock Road, park at the Snowflake Lift, hike down the Sawmill Trail 1.5 miles. Take right at end of Sawmill Trail, hike up a bit, take 2nd right, you’ll see the boardwalk to cross the creek. Turn right on Four O’Clock trail, trail will veer to left, and head up hill under the ski lift, across an open hill, and you made it.

The official word: City of Breckenridge said that due to the popularity of the area, damages were caused to the trail and surrounding forest. The single-track trail has expanded to 30′ width in some areas. Claims that many unnatural material including plastic has been left along the trail (though I’ve never seen such things in any published photos). They closed it Summer of 2020 to revegetate and reduce the trail back to a single track. The trail is now closed to public access. They state: “The single-track trail grew, in some areas, to 20-30 feet across. This resource damage has grown to the point that necessitates a trail closure. There are several critical reasons for this closure. First, extensive re-vegetation needs to be completed in the area. Second, the trail needs to be narrowed and re-worked with proper drainage and tread. Third, all unnatural materials need to be removed. This area has seen a lot of impacts, and now it needs time to heal and recover.” Officially the future of the Fairy Forest has come to an end. The Town of Breckenridge made the decision NOT to restore the installation. Because they do not own the land underneath Four O’Clock Trail, “we cannot construct or manage anything other than trail infrastructure”.

These Fairy forests exist in many places. There is one in Utah as well.


  • 9news n.d. “Fairy Forest is a Delightful Hike for Toddlers” Website referenced 3/18/21 at
  • Bookbreck n.d. “Breckenridge Fairy Forest” website referenced 3/18/21 at
  • Sienkiewicz, Taylor 2020 “Breckenridge Fairy Forest to be removed as town closes Four O’Clock Trail for Restoration” website referenced 3/18/21 at
  • Town of Breckenridge 2020 “”Fairy Forest ” Will Be Closed to Public Access” Website referenced 3/18/21:


The Breckenridge Troll

The Breckenridge Troll – Exploring Breckenridge, Colorado: September 30, 2020. The Adventures of Sir Oisin Leif:

Isak Heartstone – The Troll of Breckenridge

There’s a troll in the woods, and his name is “Isak Heartstone”. He’s been a resident of Breckenridge for quite some time, and recently changed hoods. He’s 15 feet tall and is a recycled wood art sculpture created by infamous Danish artisan Thomas Dambo. He is an icon for upcycling and recycling. Today, Isak lives off the Trollstigen Trail in Breckenridge Colorado just southeast of the Ice Arena parking lot. He was manifested through the annual Breckenridge International Festival of Arts in 2018. He was moved from his original location to one that was closer towards town and parking, as parking issues as well as maintenance, monitoring, and care was too difficult before. He and the trail will still not be maintained during the winter months. The troll is a fantastic family fun-filled adventure for all visitors large and small. A quick walk from the ice arena, he’s not to miss if you’re in Breckenridge.

The artist Thomas Dambo believes that the world is overwhelmed with overconsumption, and that’s why he focuses on creating something from the trash and recycled materials that can be appreciated. The trash does not need to be what the world is drowning in. He has created over 51 recycled/upcycled artistic creations around the world, including many other trolls. Isak is merely one of them. His first troll, Hector El Protector, was created from recycled pallets in Puerto Rico in 2014. Because of his popularity, Breckenridge was bombarded by tourists seeking out the troll and created a liability. Breckenridge in the silence of the night chainsawed Isak and removed it. The public outcry would not let them get away with it. Breckenridge worked with BreckCreate to relocate it, asking for Dambo to come back and rebuild the troll in the new location near Illinois Gulch. Much the same happened with the Fairy Forest, but whether or not it will be restored, as most likely it will be lost. Great gratitude to those that saved the Troll. Isak won’t be troubling the neighbors, landowners, and residences any longer – he’s next to public transportation and parking.

The new location doesn’t fully serve Dambo’s idea – of creating and putting sculptures in nature to represent the forces of nature. He still has an audacious idea of building 5-10 trolls in different faraway places across Colorado to encourage a network of hikers to travel there by foot.

To visit: From the Welcome Center, 203 South Main street, Breckenridge, Colorado – head south to Peak 9, take a left on Boreas Pass, go past the Railroad Park to the Stephen C. West Ice Arena parking lot, go to the southeast corner of the lot, by the Illinois Gulch Trailhead, and follow the Troll signs.


  • Breckenridge Creative Arts n.d. “Exhibitions: Isak Heartstone”. Website referenced 3/18/21 at
  • Englert, Chris n.d. “A Troll in the Woods”. Website referenced 3/18/21:
  • GoBrek n.d. “How to Find the Breckenridge Troll”. Website referenced 3/18/21:


Multnomah County Poor Farm

Multnomah County Poor Farm (Now McMenamins Edgefield) Troutdale, OR

photo by Ian Poellet – via Wikipedia.
The Multnomah County Poor Farm (built 1911) in Troutdale, Oregon,

Deep in the heart of Troutdale was an early 1900’s farm that housed the homeless, sick, poor, and unfortunate. It was a place for those desperate to come and stay in exchange for work.  Legend has it, many died while working the farm, and the place had a continual flow of people.  In 1990, the Portland chain McMenamins built a hotel, brewery, and venue atop the property and have had claims of strange happenings ever since. Room 215 is claimed to be the most haunted room on the property. The front desk has a log of strange happenings at the property.


  • Tindrick, Ryan 2014 “11 Scariest Haunted Places in Oregon”. Website referenced 10/10/15 at


Crosian Creek Road kids

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The kids of Crosian Creek Road

Salem, OR

There exists an urban legend or ghost story of a little girl and boy apparitions walking along the road outside of Salem, Oregon. Legend has it the little girl was killed while walking across the road and ever since she’s haunted the roadway with her brother. Some say they see a ball rolling across the street with a girl chasing it, and a little boy waving them to slow down.


  • Tindrick, Ryan 2014 “11 Scariest Haunted Places in Oregon”. Website referenced 10/10/15 at


The Bandage Man of Cannon Beach

The Bandaged Man

Hwy 101 near Cannon Beach, Oregon

There is a mysterious legend along with the coastal highway 101 on the Oregon coast – that of an apparition of a man walking along the highway covered in bandages. He is often seen on the side of the road or in one’s rear-view mirror. Some have claimed to see him in their backseat through their rear-view mirror. When they turn to look in person, he’s not there. The reports of this apparition go back to the early 1960s.

Most claim that the best way to see him is to go down the older highway 101 that runs parallel to the main highway through the forest. This is now an abandoned road not in use, and it is said to travel at night, as very few reports seeing him in the daylight. Some call this “The Bandage Man Road”. Most notably where Highway 26 intersects with Coastal 101. He is said to vanish just before reaching the town. His name is “The Bandage Man” because he’s a man with a bandaged face.

Almost a ghastly mummy, he’s wrapped in bandages and apparently haunts the Cannon Beach community, based on urban lore. He’s described as a bloody figure of a man, covered in bandages drenched in blood, and the stench of rotting flesh follows him. He’s been said to jump into vehicles passing on the road out of Cannon Beach, especially into pickup trucks and open-topped vehicles, sedans, station wagons, and sports cars. He’s been claimed to have broken windows and leaving behind bloody bandages in his aftermath.

Some claim he is the unrestful spirit of a lumberjack who was sliced and diced in a sawmill accident nearby. He is said to have killed people along the highway and to have eaten the dogs of neighboring communities.

One of the original tales is about teenage kids “Parking and sparking” along the Bandage Man road. The boy had an old Chevy pickup and they were kissing when they felt the truck bounce with something moving in the back bed. They looked out the window to see a man in a bloody bandaged face with weird eyes. He began banging on the glass and top of the cab. The kid revved his engine, put it in gear, and raced away in terror to Cannon Beach to the safety of their parent’s service station in the greenhouse. He was gone.

The bandaged man has also been reported to be seen along the route from Lincoln City to Seaside. Some tag on that Bandage Man was a criminal shot by the police along the highway – he was transferred from the hospital to the jail, escaped, ran into the woods, and never seen again.

In the area are also tales about flying pots in Seaside, a haunted hotel in Nehalem Bay, and many mysterious apparitions in Astoria giving a great backdrop for films like Goonies, The Ring 2,  and The Fog as well as inspirations for Lovecraft film Cthulhu.


  • Alexander, Stephen 2014 “Haunted Oregon – Interesting before scary” Portland Tribune. Website referenced 10/12/15.
  • Hagestedt, Andre 2006 “Oregon Coast Ghosts, and Other Paranormal Legends” Website referenced 10/12/15.
  • Shadowlands 2015 “Haunted Places in Oregon” Website referenced 10/12/15.
  • Tindrick, Ryan 2014 “11 Scariest Haunted Places in Oregon”. Website referenced 10/10/15 at
  • Sluggo 2009 “The Bandage Man of Cannon Beach” website referenced on 10/12/15.
  • Unexplained Mysteries 2015 “” website referenced on 10/12/15.


Gmok am c

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Coming soon!


Cairns and stacked rocks

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Potential power quest cairns

Potential power quest cairns

Cairns and Stacked Rocks
By Thomas Baurley

The stacking of stones is a widespread cultural practice all around the world. You know it is a remnant of modern, historical, or prehistoric cultural manufacture because they were not placed there by nature. Most likely a “human” moved one stone atop another. They vary in size from one or two rocks or more stacked on top of each other in simplicity to complexity of mounds, cairns, pyramids, tombs, and massive megalithic complexes.

The meaning behind the practice varies between cultures and time periods throughout history. Archaeologists however, are only interested in those that are at least 50 years old (historical archaeology in America), 100 years old (Europe and other parts of the world), or prehistoric (hundreds to thousands of years in age).

They can be field clearing piles, fence piles, burial mounds, markers, signifiers, monuments, spiritual tools, graves, food stores, game drives, rock alignments, power quest markers, altars, shrines, prayer seats, hearths, circles, and/or memorials. Their uses can vary from remnants of field clearing for plowing, stabilizing fences, make walls, clearing or road construction, markers of a road trail or path, survey markers, memorial, burial, vision quest marker, or part of something bigger like a structure, burial, tomb, underground chamber, prayer seat, tipi ring, or offering to Gods, spirits, entities.

These commonly can be found along streams, creeks, lakes, springs, rivers, waterways, sea cliffs, beaches, in the desert, tundra, in uplands, on mountaintops, ridges, peaks, and hilltops. In underpopulated areas they can represent emergency location points.

North American trail markers are often called ducks or duckies because they have a beak that points in the direction of the route. Coastal cairns or sea markers are common in the northern latitudes can indicate navigation marking and sometimes are notated on navigation charts. Sometimes these are painted and are visible from offshore. This is a common practice in Iceland, Greenland, Canada, and Scandinavia.

stacked rocks

Cairns / stacked rocks Public Lands near Malin, Oregon – Bryant Mountain.


Often the practice of stacking rocks is used to mark a trail, path, or road. Many say without these markings, it is often hard to follow a laid out trail, especially in areas that receive deep snowfall. When modern cairn builders place their art or message of ego along a trail they can be causing harm, hiding the true trail markers and if placed in a wrong place can lead a hiker astray or get them lost.

Original use is often a route marker and it’s important to preserve that integrity. Modern application of this practice can not only lead people astray but disrupt cultural studies, archaeology, geology, and the environment. Moving stones can upset plant life, insect habitats, as well as homes of lizards, rats, mice, and other creatures.

Other times these rock stacks have spiritual or religious purpose. These are sometimes offerings to the little people, fairies, faeries, nature spirits, Saints, entities, or God/desses. Sometimes these are arranged for a vision quest, other times as a prayer seat, or part of a stone circle.

Many times if found around rivers, streams, creeks, or springs they are offerings to the nature spirits, water spirits, nymphs, naiads, and/or dryads. Sometimes these are markers for portals, vortexes, gateways between worlds, lei lines, or places of spiritual importance. They honor spirits, Deities, Ancestors, or the Dead.

Sometimes these stacked rocks are considered art, a meditative exercise, or something someone does out of boredom.

Cian making cairns

Prince Cian making Cairns


In spiritual new age hotspots, modern creations of these cairns or rock stacks are actually quite problematic because they have become invasive upon the landscape, blocking access or movement. In addition, modern creations of them destroy, hide, or change importance of historical or prehistoric ones that existed before.

This is a similar impact between modern graffiti and rock art. This has become a major problem in places like Sedona Arizona; Telluride, Colorado; Arches National Park, Utah.

Prehistoric use
Aborigines, Natives, Tribes, and Original Peoples have utilized cairns and rock stacks all over the world. Mostly the intent was as a marker. In the Americas, various tribes such as the Paiutes as well as early Pioneers left them to mark important trails or historic roads. The Inuksuk practice used by the Inuit, Inupiat, Kalaallit, Yupik, and other Arctic aborigines in North America ranging from Alaska to Greenland to Iceland are markers for wayfinding and to locate caches of food, supplies, and other goods.

Cairns and rock stacks have been used prehistorically for hunting, defense, burials, ceremonial structures, astronomical structures, or markers. (more…)