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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 5750 times)
Crissy Herrell
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Posts: 3407

« Reply #210 on: February 22, 2009, 12:41:21 am »

a pin from clothes, is sufficient. Pins should be dropped on a Saint's day, if good luck be sought. As Henderson's Folklore remarks, "The country girls imagine that the well is in charge of a fairy, or spirit, who must be propitiated by some offering." Some well-spirits, as Peg O'Nell of the Ribble, can be more than mischievous. Besides the dropping of metal, or the slaughter of fowls, a cure requires perambulation, sunwise, three times round the well. On Saints' day wells are often dressed with flowers.

Otway has asserted that "no religious place in Ireland can be without a holy well." But Irish wells are not the only ones favoured with presents of pins and rags, for Scotland, as well as Cornwall and other parts of England, retain the custom. Mason names some rag-wells:---Ardclines of Antrim, Erregall-Keroge of Tyrone, Dungiven, St. Bartholomew of Waterford, St. Brigid of Sligo.

The spirits of the wells may appear as frogs or fish. Gomme, who has written so well on this subject, refers to a couple of trout, from time immemorial, in the Tober or well Kieran, Meath. Of two enchanted trout in the Galway Pigeon Hole, one was captured. As it immediately got free from the magic, turning into a beautiful young lady, the fisher, in fright, pitched it back into the well. Other trout-protected wells are recorded. Salmon and eels look after Tober Monachan, the Kerry well of Ballymorereigh. Two black fish take care of Kilmore well. That at Kirkmichael of Banff has only a fly in charge.

"The point of the legend is," writes Robertson Smith, "that the sacred source is either inhabited by a demoniac being, or imbued with demoniac life." It is useful, in the event of a storm near the coast, to let off the water from a well into the sea. This draining off was the practice of the Islanders of Inn is Murray. The Arran Islanders derive much comfort from casting into wells flint-heads used by

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