The equinox arrived and so did the the end of summer, just as I rolled into Vannes, a medieval city of Bretagne. Before setting off I posted a final tranquil farewell reading from the beautiful hermit hideaway in Ecalgrain, La Hague, Normandie (the land of the Dukes of Normandy and William who conquered Britain in 1066).

This is my first visit to Bretagne and I’m so excited to be here. It’s a place that steeped in mirroring history between Bretagne and Briton. Which came first? Le coq or the egg? It seems a very confusing issue that all wrapped up and fogged over with shared folklore, legends and myths that surround not just the languages but also the origins of King Arthur and Merlin (more about this in a later blog).

It’s as if the body of water the British call the ‘English Channel’ and the French ‘La Manche’ hardly seems to exist since these early tribes were all seafaring cultures that traded wheat from the Middle East, joining Bretagne, Cornwall, Devon, Wales and England in a tangled web of their respective Celtic histories. The connection between the Brittonic languages of Breton and Cornish are staggering to say the least as well as with Welsh. Most of the place names in both Cornwall and Bretagne begin with Ker, Tre and Pen. In the medieval period a vast area just west of Vannes was called Cornouaille or in the Breton language Kernev and in Cornish Kernow, both pronounced the same way.

The entire region is covered in the world’s largest collection of Neolithic standing stones that to this day baffle archaeologists. Early bronze age finds in Brittany seem to show that there were connections to the Beaker culture. This is named after many ceramic beakers from around 2800 BCE – 2300 BCE. These finds here however, strangely also have links to Wessex in ancient Briton so there has been much early to-ing and fro-ing. After that there appears evidence of the Únětice culture which has Czech origins. Slavic, the old Czech tongue is closely linked with Sanskrit! So no simple answer to who was here first, last or at all times in-between. We have always been nomadic and have migrated.

Vannes is now a thriving medieval tourist city that has done well by preserving its past especially its narrow medieval cobbled streets. The echos of history are woven into each cobblestone, at every step you drift through endless epochs of history. Past times unfold before you as you pass through old stone arches and iron gateways.

Vannes all began way back with the Vaneti tribe of Gauls in the south western part of Armorica, in then Gaul. Vaneti is Gaulish for “the kin or the friendly ones” and this fascinates me as it links with the Norse “Vanir”, meaning friendly ones. The Vaneti were seafarers and their trading overseas influenced the customs and culture of the southwest of ancient Briton.

They were eventually defeated by Junius Brutus Albinus in a naval battle in 56 CE. Interestingly the postal code for Vannes today is 56000. During Roman occupation their seafaring skills were stopped to control them. Instead they were taught agriculture and farming which flourishes to this day. Most of the Vaneti were slaughtered or sold into slavery by the invading Roman army. The settlement was renamed Darioritum and so this era of Vannes was relinquished to the annuals of time.

At around end of the 4th century, after the fall of Rome many Celts from Briton’s Roman legions who had been stationed in Bretagne were now the dominant force. The remaining Gauls living in the region were slowly displaced by the arrival of yet more Celts fleeing the Saxon invasion of Briton during the 6th Century. They brought with them their native tongues and customs and the Kingdoms of Brittany were born. This new Celtic wave of immigration brought with it their new, Christian religion and the Bishoprics of Brittany were established as the four Breton-speaking dioceses of Trégor, Léon, Cornouaille and Vannes.

The diocese of Vannes was created in the 5th century. The Council of Vannes first met in 461. During the early 6th century their power and greed saw them annexe their neighbouring region of Cornouaille. Soon after in 635 CE they agreed to join with Domnonia, another Bretagne kingdom with its roots in Devon.

Each region had its own distinct Brittonic tongue and the dialect of Vannes is almost unintelligible to the other Breton languages as it has Gaulish words and consonants absorbed into it.

Bretagne remained stubbornly independent until the French Revolution in 1789-1799 and defended itself against a British Royalist invasion. It is said that most inhabitants of Bretagne were happy to join the new republic as they were exhausted by the greed of the high taxes imposed by the ruling aristocracy. Especially Vannes et sa femme.

The Bretagne Fairies

Not me cheeky. There does however seem to be a lot of Breton folklore energies still alive in the time soup all around this area. I’ve been very aware of the frequencies of water fairies or Groac’h. These beings traditionally live in the wells and springs and tempt people into their dwellings before turning them into fish and eating them.

Trying to discover old water sources around Vannes is extremely difficult but after many hours digging around I stumbled on a building project where an ancient well was unearthed dating from around 2000 years ago according to pottery found. I reached for the local map only to discover that it is 100m from where I am staying.

I was so thrilled at this as I have been hearing fairy bells tinkling from within the house for a few days. When I went to visit the place it is still awaiting the block of flats that are to be built there. I’m not sure it’s advisable right now to mess with the Groac’h though but that’s commerce for you. Greed will not be rewarded, ultimately.

Masked Market

Saturday is market day and many hundreds of locals pack the medieval centre of the city to visit the market to buy local produce. With the current Covid restrictions in the old part of town, everyone is out and about but covering their faces.

I was thinking about how in Tudor and Jacobean England a Masque was a play or fantastical folly acted out at court or at Aristocrtic soirées. I couldn’t help but titter at this modern masque where we all walk about pretending that all is normal wearing our masks, while those dining or drinking coffee or even smoking a cigarette, stand and sit outside all the bars and cafés all around us, entirely maskless.

The absurdities that we all accept are mystifying to me. Small samples of food are still available for all try and pick up by hand without any fear of any infection reaching the other free samples on the food stalls. The French, unlike the British are famous for handling fruit and vegetables for quality before purchasing so the folly of viral caution seems to stumble at the first hurdle.

Pick a Gargoyle

Gargoyles are gothic architecture’s solution to drainpipes. These four gargoyles are however at ground level on the Cathedral in the centre of Vannes. What’s needing to be flushed out of your system?

Time Stamps

1/ 1:58
2/ 14:25
3/ 26:10
4/ 40:14

Thanks for reading my blog. With luck I’m cycling to some Neolithic sites as this video goes live, so talk among yourselves until I get back.

Wassail Russell

42 Replies to “autumn – the bonfire of the vannes étés

  1. It looks medieval, I bet fascinating to walk through. So as long as your sitting with food or drink, no mask, just don’t walk around that way lol they arrested a woman here in the states for not wearing one, and it’s still a $100 fine in Florida!! Maybe our next stage will scare it off of them with bigger fish to fry!? Anyway another awesome blog, I need to do some thinking on those Gargoyles. Thank you Russell 🙂 xoxo

    1. It’s truly a joy. I’ve been wearing my mask and then buying food or having some water to gain a little respite from the lack of oxygen. I’ve hired a bike for three weeks as you don’t have to wear it when cycling. I’ve just completed the gargoyles reading. There are some awkward energies to tackle in some but if that’s the shadow work then that’s what I must express. I did say dark humour was rising. Tomorrow I’m off to see some Neolithic stones. So excited

  2. Great blog Russell! Why does this place un-nerve me? Stay protected! I’m sending a shield of light to you. Fascinating journey this. Thanks again for bringing us along! Ps I was married to gargoyle no. 4

    1. yes there are some tricky frequencies here. Time soup and lots of ghosts. Thank-you. I can’t say I feel scared but there is lots of distortions here everywhere for sure. Neolithic stones tomorrow. I’m so over excited about them ‍♀️

  3. Thank you Russell. Funnily enough I heard about the Romans’ way of imperialism, replacing culture of the invaded people with agriculture earliee today, through a link someone sent me.

    Enjoy the fairies.
    Much Love

    1. Oh how I adore the syncing. I just learnt about it today. I learnt so much today. Tomorrow it’s esoteric learning for me and Neolithic stones. So excited

  4. Being from Ametica, I am always amazed at old buildings considering they have been around longer then the US has been a country. It is so pleasurable to run my hands over an old building,or cobblestone that has stood the test of time and survived all that it has been subjected to by Us As you walk the Medeval streets and connect with the energies, I walk with You taking it All in. Thank You Russell Thank You. Such beauty and Joy!❤

    1. Thank-you Patricia. It is amazing yes seeing things and places that have witnessed so much. Tomorrow I’m off to some Neolithic stones that have been in place for 5000 years. I wonder what I’ll learn there. I’m taking cards to plug in for us all ‍♀️✨

  5. Such a treat! Learning about places that I may never have experienced . You weave mystery and magic into your adventures, I feel fortunate to read and watch along the way. Enjoy the stones, and Thank You for sharing with all of us.
    I choose #3 if it’s the lower left one. Blessings to You ✨✨

    1. It is the lower left one yes. I’m so pleased you enjoy these blogs. They are such fun but lots of work too. Readings are much easier

  6. how fitting the title I am eagerly anticipating hearing from the Menhir. The Galdr magic rings throughout the Earth!‍♂️ Blessed Ye Are and Blessed Ye continue to Be! MIghtily protected‍♂️‍♀️…Ye have free Agency and Passage a fortnight and three⚡

    1. I just reread your “About Me” info and wish to once again say Thank You. Thank You for being You, thank for sharing your perspective and your gifts snd talents with the world. It is wonderful to see so many beautiful souls uifti g the world. Thank you for being a central hub with which we can all connect, uplift, encourage and stand as reminders and as beacons of the inherent beauty and goodness of all that is

      1. That’s so thoughtful and caring of you Lisa, thank-you. I feel so lucky to have slipped out of the UK to go on this adventure just now ✨

        1. I feel very lucky, grateful and blessed that you have and that the advenrure is underway. I see beautiful things ahead. Much love,

          1. Aw thanks. I’m off to Carnac tomorrow to see the world’s largest collection of standing stones

  7. Love it! So beautiful and so historic! As soon as I read the bit about you hearing the tinkling of fairy bells something fell down in my closet. I didn’t think there was anything positioned to fall lol. If the Groac’h turn people into fish and eat them it may be a good thing that that old fairy gate was closed. Something about it felt deceptively enticing lol. Also, I recently came across a video about Irish pronunciation using names about a week ago. Aoife and Siobhán are the two that I’m obsessed with!

    I’m gonna go with 2 this time! Tempted to go with 3 because it reminds me of jade. Such an interesting pick this week as well! Can’t wait to see the messages. And hope you find something good out there among the stones!

    1. That gate will open when it’s time. Clearly they’re knocking on it yes Irish pronunciation is very completed. I taught a girl whose name was spelt Sorcha but was pronounced Sehrika. Groac’h has a ‘K’ at the end in Irish but in Breton a softer ‘arhage’ like French pronunciation of ‘cage’ (caaaarge)

      1. That’s a gorgeous name! I’ll be patient and allow the mystery to unfold. Speculating at every turn isn’t gonna do anything to help lol.

          1. I don’t wanna get too predictable lol! I am curious to see what it is now though! Didn’t you say you switched around 2 and 4 for me last week? Now here I am at 2. Seems like you got me down lol

  8. How absolutely enchanting for us to be able to join along on this adventure! Thanks for all the details.
    Earlier today I chose ,for my dog Buster, to hasten his passage onward. . I miss him .. So, to have found this post has been helping me to quiet down
    Looking forward to reading the next bit of your venturing about .

    1. Oh Rita I feel this release of Buster enormously. There’s a reading on my YouTube channel about exactly that moment. It’s called ‘Good Grief – When a perfect passes’. It’s a beautiful reading that my own dog delivered when she was set free. It’s a long way back but I’m in a purple t-shirt if that helps you scroll back? It’s full of uplifting thoughts. I’m sending you much love

  9. That is a thoroughly charming town! The market looks wonderful. Here in NYC we must line up at the outdoor market and we don’t touch anything, the stall staff do the choosing. I cannot imagine that happening in France.

    1. Oh my that’s a layer of stress nobody needs. They can’t stop the French from touching the veggies. It’s how they buy

  10. Love the way you are! Such clarity and so succinct. You heal my mind and heart and spirit. Thank you. I am so grateful to you.

    1. Oh Julieanne that’s so kind and so wonderful too. I’m so glad it moves you so much. Thank-you ✨

  11. Really enjoyed this blog and where you are at now. I wish I was there with you I’m picking 1 and 3, and going to find out what messages they bring ❣️ Also enjoying your journey Thank You So Much for sharing Russell Love the Pic’s ❣️

    1. Thanks Mary Jo. I’m so happy to hear that these blogs are enjoyed and I’m so honoured to share it all with you all

  12. Hi Russell, I am very much enjoying your readings, wow that was very powerful and enchanting connection, what a beautiful sound blessing you gave us too! love all the wonderful photos, I love France (lived there for 15 years!) dont know that part at all tho… Russell I wrote you an email asking for a sound shower on Sept 24th, hope you have found / seen it?! keep well!

    1. Oh I will take a look. Apologies for being so tardy. My email folder is so full I need to summon up the energies to dive in. Sure we can do that. You just need to forward the payment to my PayPal account and add a comment that you are requesting that and I will contact you to arrange it. Especially after the power of the Priestess frequency joined my singing it should be very powerful

  13. Happy belated birthday Russell ❤️ I hope your day was magical Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

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