Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Loch-mo-Naire pilgrimage, and the serpent We discussed in the Book of Days on August 1 how Lughnasadh (Lammastide) was for Celtic people and others in Europe a time for visiting healing wells and springs. Today we look at an ancient healing waters custom from Scotland that was practised annually on August 4, leading one to postulate (do you like that? "leading one to postulate") that it was a Lammas commemoration. Its rites contain actions that remind one not only of Celtic practices, but also the Christian sacrament of baptism.

Loch-mo-Naire, a lake in Strathnavon, Sutherlandshire, famous for its supposed miraculous healing qualities, was a site of pilgrimage for the lame, sick, impotent, and mentally ill. At midnight, these faithful unfortunates would gather on the shore of the loch to drink from its sanative waters, strip naked, and walk backwards into the loch. After immersing themselves three times, they would throw offerings of silver coins into the depths.

An old tradition informs us how the loch obtained its wondrous qualities and its name. Long, long ago, an old woman had somehow come to own some bright crystals, which, when placed in water, had miraculous powers of rendering the liquid an infallible cure for all "the ills to which flesh is heir". As the fame of these wonder-working pebbles soon spread far and wide, it soon attracted the greed of a member of the neighbouring Gordon clan, who made up his mind to secure the miraculous crystals for the Gordons' exclusive use.

To this end, Gordon feigned sickness, but the moment he presented himself to the crone, she divined his intention and fled. Escape, however, was impossible, because she was old and her pursuer had youth and swiftness on his side ...

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted

Categories: , , , ,


Anonymous MaryL said...

"leading one to postulate" You got the form right AND made me think of a lecturer who inspires a great deal of snoring. And thanks for 'sanative'; had to look that up. MaryL

5:13 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker