Folk Lore: Or, Superstitious Beliefs in the West of Scotland Within this Century

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A. Gardner, 1879 - Folklore - 190 pages
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Page 163 - Perthshire in the year 1769, tells us that " on the first of May, the herdsmen of every village hold their Bel-tien, a rural sacrifice. They cut a square trench on the ground, leaving the turf in the middle ; on that they make a fire of wood, on which they dress a large caudle of eggs, butter, oatmeal and milk ; and bring besides the ingredients of the caudle, plenty of beer and whisky ; for each of the company must contribute something.
Page 163 - The rites begin with spilling some of the caudle on the ground by way of libation. On that, every one takes a cake of oatmeal, upon which are raised nine square knobs, each dedicated to some particular being, the supposed preserver of their flocks and herds, or to some particular animal, the real destroyer of them. Each person then turns his face to the fire, breaks off a knob, and, flinging it over his shoulder, says, " This I give to thee, preserve thou my horses : this to thee, preserve thou my...
Page 92 - Thou art my confidence;" 25 if I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; 28 if I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; "and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: 28 this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge; chapter 31: 28 57 for I should have denied the God that is above.
Page 92 - The moon was an ancient N idol of England, and worshipped by the Britons in the form of a beautiful maid, having her head covered, with two ears standing out. The common people in some counties of England are accustomed at the prime of the moon to say ' It is a fine moon. God bless her.
Page 162 - ... blindfold draws out a portion. He who holds the bonnet is entitled to the last bit. Whoever draws the black bit is the devoted person, who is to be sacrificed to Baal, whose favour they mean to implore in rendering the year productive of the sustenance of man and beast.
Page 45 - ... in some parts of Scotland, at the beginning of the century, the young wife was lifted over the threshold, or first step of the door, lest any witchcraft or ill e'e should be cast upon and influence her. Just at the entering of the house, the young man's mother broke a cake of bread, prepared for the occasion, over the young wife's head. She was then led to the hearth, and the poker and tongs — in some places the broom also — were put into her hands, as symbols of her office and duty.
Page 125 - Britons, he stood under an oak tree. The ancient Hebrews evidently held the oak as a sacred tree. There is a tradition that Abraham received his heavenly visitors under an oak. Rebekah's nurse was buried under an oak, called afterwards the oak of weeping. Jacob buried the idols of Shechem under an oak. It was under the oak of Ophra, Gideon saw the angel sitting, who gave him instructions as to what he was to do to free Israel. When Joshua and Israel made a covenant to serve God, a great stone was...
Page 127 - Mr. Simpson in his work, Meeting the Sun, says, "The Llama monk whirls his praying cylinder in the way of the sun, and fears lest a stranger should get at it and turn it contrary, which would take from it all the virtue it had acquired. They also build piles of stone, and always pass them on one side, and return on the other, so as to make a circuit with the sun. Mahommedans make the circuit of the Caaba in the same way. The ancient dagobas of India and Ceylon were also traversed round in the same...
Page 129 - Highlander goes to bathe, or to drink waters out of a consecrated fountain, he must always approach by going round the place, from east to west on the south side, in imitation of the apparent diurnal motion of the sun. When the dead are laid in the earth, the grave is approached by going round in the same manner. The bride is conducted to her future spouse, in the presence of the minister, and the glass goes round a company, in the course of the sun. This is called, in Gaelic, going round the right,...
Page 94 - Here we find that it is not the spittle alone, but the joint action of the spittle and the middle finger which works the influence. The middle finger was commonly, in the early years of this century, believed to possess a favourable influence on sores ; or, rather, it might be more correct to say that it possessed no damaging influence, while all the other fingers, in coming into contact with a sore, were held to have a tendency to defile, to poison, or canker the wound. I have heard it asserted...

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