25: More New Findings (September 2023) on the Setantii
Written and published by Linden Alexander Pentecost on the 10th of September 2023. This article includes, comments on the subject, 'Introduction', 'Spiritual beliefs of the Setantii and local serpent entities and 'cryptids' (only a few aspects explored, 8 main points) (8 interconnected primary points explored)', followed by 'More brief comments on Setantii language', and a possible new exploration of their position in linear time, followed by 'conslusive notes, for now' and a sentence in Italics. Unlike most articles posted on bookofdunbarra online, this article has a main focus on mythology. This section contains 3316 words.
Note: I have talked about many of these topics before in different ways, not just the Setantii, but many of the topics connected to that in this text; my Setantii work including in my ebook published last year, titled "In search of the Setantii and the indigenous cultures and languages of West Lancashire and South Cumbria", and elsewhere. This article is a primary presentation of my most recent research on these subjects.
Since I wrote my ebook on the Setantii and discussed them in other articles before, and after; I have in the past month or so begun to build up a more impressionable view perhaps of the indigenous culture(s) that I have called, and have been known as, the Setantii, and those cultures and languages to which they show a connection. Below I will share new research, after giving a brief, new introduction to the topic for those not familiar with this subject. This article talks specifically about new research on the ancient cultures and languages in the Morecambe Bay and Fylde areas of England; this likely came under the "Setantii" region, however, for this article I have decided not to use this name in quite the same way. This article also re-mentions bits of previous research in a new and different way.
Morecambe Bay and the Fylde are located in what was historically Lancashire. Although there are plenty of Norse, and Anglic (particularly on the Fylde), and Celtic connections to these places historically; I personally believe, that the Lancashire witches for example, the local mythology, and unique archaeology and place-names of these regions, point to the indigenous cultures of these regions being something quite different from Celtic, Norse or Anglic, linguistically and culturally. These ancient people settled in the area over 11,000 years ago, during the Upper Paleolithic. They were likely here before that, too, before the Younger Drias period.
These ancient people may have gone by many names, but during the Roman time, they seem to have been identified as the "Setantii", and I believe that this ancient tribal grouping is the same as that extant in the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic times, and that this culture only really became extinct as a unique culture, from the 5th Century AD til the Witch Trials in much more recent history, when the last remnants of our ancestral knowledge and sacred traditions, and perhaps even a few words of our ancient sacred languages, finally became exterminated by the authorities.
Although in my other work on the Setantii I have generally approached it from a much more left-brained, logical angle, in this article I will be talking about the sacred and esoteric nature of our traditions and mythology, about personal experiences, genetic trauma and the authentic spiritual aspects to ancient culture and archaeology which are often completely ignored or misunderstood.
A large number of people in Liverpool, Manchester, Lancashire and Southern Cumbria likely have some Setantii ancestry, including myself, but I am one of literally hundreds of thousands of potential decendents. And I am not applying the name to myself, but rather to those ancestors and in honour and respect of them.
Spiritual beliefs of the Setantii and local serpent entities and 'cryptids' (only a few aspects explored, 8 main points):
The following points will help to demonstrate what I am so far able to have some confidence in with regard to these ancient ancestors. This information is from a mixture of archaeological, cultural, mythological and linguistic research, and also from my own instincts and feelings. I do think that instinct and feelings can teach us an awful lot, when combined with logical research, but please do not think that I claim to know the answers, I am instead only building a picture.
1: The Setantii likely believed that humans possess more than one soul or spirit. This is not unique to the Setantii, and in fact in English, the words "soul" and "spirit" had different meanings, although nowadays they tend to be used interchangeably. Evidence of this comes from that the Setantii (or whoever they called themselves) seemed to place their ancestors' bones into caves, but not in complete skeletons. This implies some kind of post-mortuary ritual involving the belief of spiritual power and a part of the person's soul continuing to reside within the bone. Burials of individual human bones have been found on the Furness Peninsula, Cartmel Peninsula, Dungeon Gill Cave near Nether Kellet, and many other places. Whilst one "part" or aspect to the self was likely believed to have resided within the bones, the evidence of other sacred sites, including a potential de-fleshing site at Heysham Rock Cut Graves, would seem to indicate in this case that another part of the soul "flew" to another place, with the birds that de-fleshed the bodies. Although it is also possible that these were regional differences to some extent.
2: The Setantii cosmology was I think very connected to the balance of sky and sea, the balance of the above and the below, and the cosmic forces which interacted with us from those other "worlds" were often envisioned as being serpent-like. Some of these gods may have been more bird-like in appearance, or perhaps showing some similarity to the Thunderbirds of several indigenous American traditions. A potential carving of the "thunderbird-like" deity was found at Heysham Rock Cut graves, but has I believe been misidentified as a Christian artefact. The Rent Stone near to Beetham is a large erratic that has a mythology, which I think likely indicates it was once a sacred site of some kind. The Rent Stone is shaped like the head of a large serpent or thunderbird-like deity. Another similar stone can be found at the Worm Crag sacred site above the Duddon Valley, one of the stones here is also shaped like an elongated serpent or thunderbird head, and this is interesting, as the name "Worm Crag" implies a serpent or dragon of some kind. This believe in sky dragons or thunderbird-like entities seems to have been found throughout Cumbria especially, with the Langdale Axe factory in Langdale being possibly connected. And in addition, at Hodge Close near to the Langdale Axe Factory, I found a potential ancient serpent carving some years ago. This belief in the balance of sky and water is seen in many Indigenous American stories about the thunderbirds fighting with the horned serpents; these things have been said by some to represent the balance in electromagnetic energy via the interaction between lighting, rain and the earth; but at least in the case of Setantii beliefs, I think that the cosmic forces from above and below were seen as "serpents" of some kind; but this idea of the sky gods using thunder to battle the gods of the earth may be at least partially present in Setantii mythology.
3. The sky serpents and the earth serpents of Setantii mythology may have differed indeed. We find legends of more earth-water based serpents around Morecambe Bay, including the story about the Hag Worms at Arnside, and the eel-like serpent said to have lived around Haweswater close to Silverdale on Morecambe Bay. I do believe that in some senses the past was far more alien than we can imagine, and I would argue that there is some evidence for these "gods" being physical entities as well, or at least, I believe it possible that their form could be more "physical" than purely metaphorically spiritual. Some argue that ancient rocks are fossilised spirits in some way, making the Beetham Rent Stone and other "serpent stones" even more interesting; and, the Arnside mythology about the Hag Worms and Haweswater Serpent has survived until relatively recently. These two legends are I think likely to be vestiges of the ancient Setantii wisdom and reality which they inhabited; that which came before the world as we see and imagine its dimensions today. In the ebook, Progress - History of Blackpool by Nick Moore, the author mentions yet another serpent legend regarding a dragon in Marton Mere close to Blackpool. The author postulates that this could have been a saltwater crocodile due to Marton Mere once being connected to the sea. The author also mentions a motorist, who, after the M55 motorway had been completed, swears to have seen a crocodile heading into Marton Mere. Whilst I think that the being or ancestor in the Marton Mere legend, and which the motorist saw, may have been crocodile-like; I think it was probably not a physical reptile. Whilst the Marton Mere Dragon and the Haweswater Serpent do I believe have a real, strong relationship to the ancient landscape and waterways, I also think that these entities are not really "physical", at least, not anymore, except on rare occasions; and I think that our identification of them as crocodiles or eels, worms or serpents for example, is partially due to that we cannot really see them anymore, and being unable to see their true dimensions, shape and textures, our mind "generates" an image of the closest thing we can come to imagining an interdimensional dragon or goddess/god. I doubt that we have been able to truly "see" them for hundreds of thousands of years, but I think that progressively, due to changes in our cosmological environment, we have been able to see them less and less, although as the recent story about Marton Mere attests to, we still sometimes can see a more physical form to these cosmic energies, and we have to respect them and also keep our distance.
4: The high likelihood of the Setantii being connected to pre-Celtic cultures in Ireland, to me indicates the likelihood that the Setantii shared mythological themes, as well as language, with some of the most ancient and most mysterious aspects of Irish mythology. These links with Ireland exist throughout Northern England and Western Britain, and of course Scotland; but those shared with the Setantii can likely be specific as well. I have mentioned several times the similarity between the name Setantii and the Irish Setanda which was the original name of the Irish god Cú Chulainn. The "Hag Worms" of Arnside, described as flying, hairy serpents, bare some similarity in this "hairyness" to the worm-like ancestor Caorthannach or Caoránach of Irish mythology, who was first born as a small, hairy worm from a witch's thigh. These shared ancient traditions were perhaps also inherited by the wise and white witches of Lancashire; whilst some of the witches may indeed have used this ancient magic for selfish and evil purposes, I believe that most did not, and that the injustice done to them was likely a form of cultural annihalation, just as was I think done to the pre-Celtic ancient people of Rùm and Eigg in Scotland, and to many other surviving groups throughout Britain and Ireland. I have also discussed elsewhere two possible pre-Celtic etymologies with Irish equivalents for the name "Keer", a river which flows into Morecambe Bay. One of the suggestions I made was to Irish caor, as in Caoránach. "Caor" in Irish is a fascinating and anicient sacred word, one of its meanings implies of comet or flying orb. Other connections with Ireland will be illuded to in the language part of this article, down the page further.
5: Before the Norse were in Iceland it is likely I think that a Goidelic-speaking or pre-Goidelic-speaking people inhabited Iceland, and that these people were likely also connected to the prehistoric pre-Celtic cultures of the Hebrides, and perhaps to the Setantii as well. In Iceland these people likely gave the mythology of the Huldufólk to the Icelanders, as well as numerous place-names, and Icelandic words and local traditions. One example of this is the tilberi of Icelandic witchcraft, this is another "hairy-worm" like being that, like Caoránach, is associated with the thigh of the witch; in the case of Caoránach she "comes out" of the witch's thigh-bone, whereas the tilberi attaches onto the witch's thigh bone. These potentially pre-Celtic and pre-Norse connections with Scandinavia might, along with much of my other research, indicate that the language we identify as "Viking" or "Old Norse" may have been present in Britain, in some form, for far longer, although this earlier substrate or base of the Norse language may have been pre-Indo-European.
6: Instinctively, when meditating on the deities of the Setantii, the names of the Irish deities Cethlinn and Dian Cecht came into my mind. Whilst I am less sure about Dian Cecht's exact connection to Setantii mythology, this god of healing was also named Cainte, and I have wondered if perhaps this is another possible cognate to the name "Kent" as in "River Kent" which flows into Morecambe Bay close to Arnside. Cethlinn is a Fomorian deity in Irish stories, and considering the kind of pre-Celtic language and naming associated with the Fomorians, I think that this goddess may indeed have some connection to the Setantii, somehow, or that at least the name and goddess, or a similar goddess, may have had a related sacred meaning to the Setantii. I cannot say exactly. Interestingly in connection to the name Cethlinn and the pre-Goidelic and pre-Norse witchcraft traditions of the Setantii, Cethlinn is sometimes described as a witch figure of some kind.
7: To further add to my comments on serpent ancestors, note that at Haweswater near Silverdale, and at Worm Crag above the Duddon Valley, the serpents are also physically represented as stone-row like lines of stones; in addition to the "serpent head" stone at Worm Crag. The stone row at Haweswater, a potentially prehistoric site I discovered some years ago, is made of large stones, and appears to turn into a kind of portal of two rows of stones, the path between them then going into what appears to be a collapsed cave. I believe this cave may have been a form of natural chambered cairn or passage tomb, perhaps a form of collective burial cave; in which case the "serpent", both mythologically and in its physical, stone-row form, may additionally represent a kind of mediator between the otherworlds and this one, as is common in world stories and religion.
8: Caves were likely generally seen as sacred places to the Setantii, and this is something that can be seen in different ways in other cultures of pre-Celtic and pre-Germanic northern England and Wales; with the pre-Celtic and pre-Germanic cultures of North Yorkshire especially likely having a close substrate relationship with the Setantii in certain ways, as indicated by archaeology.
More brief comments on Setantii language, and a possible new exploration of their position in linear time
I think that the same can be said for Celtic languages, that they may have in a sense originated from a pre-Indo-European or extra-Indo-European language area, and then later “became” the Celtic languages as we understand them today, when they were first incorporated into a formulaic written form, i.e. Ogham and the Latin alphabets.
Based on this assumption, many of the words and place-name elements in the Morecambe Bay region might have their origins in the Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods. Some examples of these possibly-Celtic names include those below; I also listed and discussed these particular place-names several times elsewhere.
Blenkett Wood – likely equivalent to the Welsh blaen coed – summit forest, or summit or top of the forest. Interestingly also the site of a limestone cave in which evidence of post-glacial upper paleolithic tribes was found.
Poll Darkin – likely equivalent to Old Irish Poll Dercan – pool, flooding or muddy area of the hollow or eye (semantically both of these are connected to Old Irish dercan). Interestingly this area is full of ancient field systems and possible prehistoric sacred sites, perhaps from the Neolithic period judging by the type of archaeology they consist of, including one possible stone row behind the Heron Hall in Dallam Park.
Sizergh Castle – the -ergh element in “Sizergh” is likely connected to Old Irish erghe and Scottish Gaelic àiridh – pasture area for cattle; also likely connected to Shetlandic ayre, see my comments on Ayre in my ebook An exploration of Gaelic dialects, other languages, and other sections including the missing Omniglot article. Nearby there is evidence of Bronze Age people who were distinct somewhat from those of the Neolithic, also the name Sizergh despite containing a possible pre-Indo-European element shows clearly Germanic word-order. Does this name represent where a newly arrived people came into contact with an older indigenous culture?
I would like to suggest that the “Cumbric-like” language’s earliest elements may correspond to the Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods, the first indigenous populations; whilst some of the more-Goidelic elements are perhaps also Paleolithic and Mesolithic in origin, it is possible that the name Pool Darkin may correspond to the culture or names that at least expanded in the Neolithic, as the “Cumbric-like” place-names are often more commonly associated with less arable areas. Also the -ergh element in Sizergh is something that, at least as far as Scottish Gaelic goes, clearly corresponds to farming and to a time of farming. This does not mean to say that ergh and poll and dercan are Neolithic in origin, but rather that they may have expanded from their original usage in this period. The Sizergh name may also imply that the pre-Germanic first merged with the pre-Celtic cultures in a large way during the Bronze Age. The pre-Germanic elements may not have had necessarily distinct origins from the pre-Celtic elements, it may be instead thought of as the pre-Germanic elements coming from those indigenous peoples who largely retained a more hunter-gatherer lifestyle until the Bronze Age, when they adopted farming in a large way.
Conclusive notes, for now
There is still much more research to do on the Setantii, but I feel that I have made some progress with this. There are however still major "blank areas" of this history that I am doubtful we will be able to answer unless further evidence appears. I hope that at least some more aspects to Setantii mythology and language are illuminated in this article, including many of my new thoughts on the mythology and language timeline; but I also hope that this article helps to encourage others to explore and research the subject further, and I hope also that this article helps to encourage further respect for our land and ancestors, and for ourselves.
I feel that no references were required in this article, except for the crocodile reference given in the text, originally mentioned in Progress - History of Blackpool by Nick Moore. All other knowledge in this article is from my own knowledge and research, and to a lesser degree from common knowledge regarding the topics in question.
My other articles and books that discuss the Setantii have much more information about their language, archaeology and mythology. This article posted on this website is separate and new content, new research upon the older research. See also my article on this website about the Cumbric language, titled 6: The Cumbric language, the ancient Celtic language of Cumbria, or a Paleolithic language?
I hope that this article was interesting to read :) And may the ancestors walk behind us and our families and bless us and our families, as we should honour nature, and may God guide us.