This is a video I made about why I write to encourage support for my work on Patreon.
My name is Lorna Smithers and I am a poet and author based in Penwortham, Lancashire, North West England, in the UK. I am also a polytheist nun dedicated to Vindos, later known as Gwyn ap Nudd, one of the Old Gods of Britain. Gwyn is a ruler of Annwn, ‘the Deep’, the Otherworld.
I had experiences of Annwn in my late teens but it wasn’t until I hit thirty I discovered their source and my religion, Brythonic polytheism. This is because when I was at school I was taught only the Greek and Roman myths and not the British ones, and of the religions of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism but nothing of our ancient British religion.
It was only when I discovered Paganism and Druidry in 2011 that I found out we have our own Gods, who are known from Romano-British archaeology, Roman records, and medieval Welsh texts which relate not only to Wales but much of Britain (as England and southern Scotland shared a Brythonic culture with Wales until the Anglo-Saxon invasions).
When I finally met Gwyn at the head of a local fairy funeral procession I realised He was behind my initiatory visions. I had been seeing His world, Annwn. I soon afterwards dedicated myself to Him as my patron and since then have been serving Him as an awenydd ‘person inspired’ by bringing His myths and those of other Brythonic Gods and Goddesses back to the world.
I write because I believe these stories can not only help us reconnect with the land and Gods of Britain but are of importance to our souls. They contain deep mysteries, the wisdom of Annwn, which can guide us in navigating the environmental and spiritual crises of our modern world. They can provide us with a deeper understanding of our psyches, including their darker sides, and aid those of us who are struggling with mental health problems.
Not all people need religion but everyone needs stories. Thus I am currently working on a series of novels called ‘The King of Annwn Cycle’ reimagining the story of Vindos/Gwyn from His birth and creation of His kingdom through His conflicts with the Children of Don and oppression and demonisation during the Roman invasions and Christianity into the modern era to the end of the world. I am hoping they will be accessible to polytheists and non-polytheists alike.
You can support my writing and help me work towards making a living from my vocation by signing up to Patreon HERE in return for a quarterly newsletter, exclusive excerpts from my novel-in-progress, In the Deep, and other rewards.
*I struggled with making this video as I felt I needed to look at the camera and it didn’t come naturally. I was very tense and couldn’t stop blinking! I’m not sure if this is an autistic trait. I know some autistic people struggle to make eye contact. I’m not too bad at that but eying a camera feels very awkward and unnatural to me.