Skillywidden

Skillywidden is a name that appears in Cornish Folklore. He is a Cornish Piskie. Here is a story about him (traditional retold, not mine) ~

I adopted the name for a character in a novel I am currently re-editing. I chose it for it’s sound and it’s relationship to the word Widdershins.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/widdershins

Legend holds that demons always approached the devil widdershins. Not surprisingly, such a path was considered evil and unlucky. By the mid-1500s, English speakers had adopted “widdershins,” (from the Old High German widar, meaning “back” or “against,” and sinnen, meaning “to travel”) for anything following a path opposite to the direction the sun travels across the sky (that is, counterclockwise). But in its earliest known uses “widdershins” was far less malignant; it was used simply to describe a case of bad hair in which unruly locks stood on end or fell the wrong way.

My Skillywidden is older than time. He is a creator. And he is certainly not malignant but ‘counter clockwise’ and ‘unruly’ seemed appropriate. He is a weaver and a potter, spinning the world and unruled by time and place.

Here he is~~~~ (extract from my novel for which I claim all rights. If you share please retain my authorship) ~~~

From the Raven and the Storyteller ~

Huge oaks grew close to the stones, their deep earthed roots causing some of the stones to lean. Sitting with his back to one of the oaks was a man of small stature. He wore a green jacket the colour of moss, with many buttons and wide lapels and his trousers were tucked into brown boots. In his high hat he wore a pheasant’s feather and a daffodil. He was weaving at a loom that was made of branches and twigs. Moon couldn’t see his face, as shadow fell across it at first.

Moon slid down off Braveheart’s back and moved closer. The man looked up as he approached. His face was weathered; both young and old, and he had twinkling green eyes that seemed to lead into the depths and shades of the wood. He nodded and smiled but continued to weave. He patted a mossy stone at his side, inviting Moon to sit. Moon felt himself in the presence of something deeply magical and ancient but also a quietly sustaining peace.

The man smiled broadly and gestured toward the weave of the cloth which was of intricate and ever changing designs in many colours, both subdued and bright. The weave seemed endless although its length was only enough to reach to the little man’s brown boots.

Moon felt himself drawn in. He saw image after alluring image, some fleetingly and some more clearly but it was the fleeting ones that captured his mind amidst the longer tales. He saw stories, but to him they all looked like one story, one story with many choices, just as we choose our paths through a wood, a world full of possibilities, but in all this he felt the pull of the earth or some central well where all streams lead.

He saw the woman of the gold coins in the City, dressed in pale blue and soft pink. The woman sat at a fireside smiling and laughing as a small boy played at her feet. His mind briefly drifted to Gan-Galar, his own mother. He saw a door with an intricate silver knocker like a hand reaching down, and on a little stone wall at the side there was a small white statue of a unicorn curled up asleep.

He saw a far-off sunlit valley where a hare ran weaving side to side through tall grasses and seed pods scattered into the breeze of his passing.  He saw dragons sleeping under the land stir and turn in their sleep. He saw a land that was full of orchards. He saw a girl, her long hair tumbling down as she moved in a circle dance. He saw a man chopping wood outside a hut in a clearing. He saw an archer.

As if in a dewdrop on a dark spear-shaped leaf he briefly saw a face, a beautiful face both gentle and strong with clear grey eyes that looked straight at him in recognition. The face seemed unknown to him but was also like a distant memory. He remembered those eyes. Moons hand reached out to touch the face and everything vanished, the man, the loom and the weave, all instantly gone.