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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 4380 times)
Crissy Herrell
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« Reply #195 on: February 22, 2009, 12:30:22 am »

from door to door, that each of his worshippers may receive a portion of the divine virtues that are supposed to emanate from the dead or dying god."

The Hare, in like manner, was hunted once a year, but that was on May-day. The modern Irishman fancied it robbed his milch cows of the sweet draught that belonged by right to himself. On the other hand, hares have been styled St. Monacella's Lambs--being placed under her special protection.

The hare, however, was certainly reverenced in Egypt, and at Dendera was to be seen the hare-headed deity. Cæsar mentions that the Celts would not eat of the animal, any more than did the Pythagoreans. In Irish tales witch-hares are declared to be only caught by a black greyhound. Elsewhere it is stated, that in the Cashel cathedral an ornament figures a couple of hares complacently feeding upon some trilobed foliage, as the shamrock.

Only a few months since a traveller gave an illustration of the persistence of some meaning being attached to the hare, even among the educated and Christian fishermen of Aberdeen. When out at sea, and in some danger from bad weather, it is thought unfortunate, and even calamitous, for any one in the boat to mention the name of this creature.

That animal reverence, to say the least of it, continued not in Ireland alone, but even in Scotland, among those of the same race, to quite modern times, is manifest from the fierce denunciation of certain practices relating thereto. The Presbytery of Dingwall, Ross, on September 5, 1656, made special reference to the heathenish custom then prevalent in the North, of pouring out libations of milk upon hills, of adoring stones and wells, and above all, of sacrificing bulls!

The Ossianic Transactions contain some references to

p. 227

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