Skip to main content

‹‹‹ prev (47)

(49) next ›››

opposite direction was called widdershins, and would be
counted a curse.
Many pebbles and precious stones were looked upon
as having talismanic virtues, and that their possession
brought great benefit and good fortune to their holders.
The Stewarts of Ardvoirlich held one of these, and the
Campbells of Glenlyon a second, and the Earl Marischal
a third. The Robertsons had the Clach-na-hratach,
whose colour boded victory or defeat. Usually these
stones were used in the cure of cattle, like the coin in the
possession of the Lockharts of Lee. Innumerable wells
were also believed to possess miraculous powers of
healing and blessing. When the person desired the
benefits of one of these he was required to proceed to the
well and to follow certain procedure, which might differ
in each case. A present or gift, in the form of a piece
of money, clothing or ornament to the spirit of the
deity of the waters, was required before efficacy could be
The Druids had a way of trying the guilt of their
criminals by making them pass between two fires.
Indeed, the passing through fire was followed in many
other instances. Even the infant was handed over it to a
person on the opposite side, and this custom was con-
tinued long after the country was Christianised. There
seems little doubt but that the Apostle Paul witnessed
something of the same nature in his travels, as he speaks
of it in his Epistles, and we may assume that the custom,
like many others, is a product of the east. The nomen-
clature of places still shows where the Druids held their
assizes. One of these is Doch-an-le-las in Perthshire,
which, when translated, means "The agony of the flame
of fire."
We have thus shown a part, at least, of the pagan
worship of our forefathers, and it is but right now to say

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence