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Survivals in Belief Among the Celts, by George Henderson, [1911], at

I. The Finding of the Soul (part 2)

Among certain savages the strip cut off at circumcision is bound on the arm; and in the Jewish ritual some of the blood mingled with wine is quaffed by the operating priest. What is tasted by man is a covenant-sign for deity. Clay Trumbull 1 says: "Even down to modern times, the rite of circumcision has included a recognition, however unconscious, of the primitive blood-friendship rite, by the custom of the ecclesiastical operator, as God's representative, receiving into his mouth, and thereby being made a partaker of, the blood mingled with wine, according to the method described among the Orientals, in the rite of blood-friendship, from the earliest days of history."

In Ireland of long ago, I have read somewhere that a usual gift from a woman to her betrothed husband was a pair of bracelets made of her own hair, as if a portion of her very self entered into

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the covenant rite. The blood especially was the very self. It is this belief that explains the idea that the corpse of a murdered man bleeds in the presence of, especially at the touch of the slayer. There are references throughout the literature of the Middle Ages to the bleeding-corpse or cruentatio. It occurs in the Nibelungenlied. And in the Ivain of Chretien de Troies, there occurs a scene where the corpse is brought into the hall where Ivain is, and then begins to bleed, whereupon the men feel confident that the murderer must be hidden there, and they renew their search. The soul is regarded as speaking through or by the blood. In the Highlands 1 I feel confident that there are remnants of such a belief, pointing back to a belief similar to the thought of the Hebrews when they held that "the blood is the life" (Deuteronomy xii. 23). To be remembered, too, are Homer's expressions: "The blood ran down the wound" (Iliad, xvii. 86); "the life (ψυχή) ran down the wound" (Iliad, xiv. 518). A Greek, quoted by Aristotle (De Anima, i. 2, 19), declared that the soul was the blood. The Arabs say "the soul flows" (from the wound), i.e. he dies.

When associated with crime the stains of blood are regarded in folklore as indelible. Let me give

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a piece of Inverness-shire folklore from my notes of 2nd May, 1887. It illustrates other points as well:

“There lived an hotelkeeper at B------ with his wife and three children. Having made him drunk with brandy and taken his head off with the axe, she buried him among the brackens, and put his clothes on the banks of Loch X------. A search was instituted, but the body could not be found. There lived a godly minister not far away, and he dreamed a dream, in which he saw the body among the brackens. When the report was spreading among the people, the wife had the body removed. The people, however, were suspicious of her, and their suspicions were confirmed by marks of blood at the top of the stair; however often the boards were cleaned, or even renewed, the stains of blood would appear. A letter-carrier was passing by one evening at the inn. He put up there at her request, as she wanted him to kill a goat in the morning. She sent him to bed along with her two boys. He slept; but the boys awoke, and their scream startled him out of sleep. They said that they saw something. But he slept off again. This was repeated, and on the second occasion he went down to the kitchen, where he found the woman sitting by the firelight. She told him that she had never gone to bed since her husband was lost. He then twigged that the tathaich, or revenant of the dead, was in the house, and he went off.

“Now, the godly minister referred to owned a white or grey horse; its saddle was always kept beside the entrance door, to which the horse would

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come of its own accord, and as often as he did so the minister accepted it as a beckoning from God to go and make known His ways to men.

"The minister mounted on this occasion, and followed to where the horse led, and he arrived at the church of B-------. This church was a barn, which had a gable of matted willow twigs in which there was a breach. The woman referred to sat outside this breach, with a shawl on her head and with her back to the man of God. In course of his sermon the minister stopped: 'I cannot proceed any further,' he said, 'I have something else to say; there is a murderess in the congregation; and she is troubling me.' He repeated himself, and threatened to name her,—but the woman, being outside, quietly left, as was afterwards found out. On her deathbed she confessed the whole, and related that one day as she was out herding she saw a number of small men playing around her, the husband among the number; he came up to her and gave her a blow, which left on her a blue mark, of which she died. The mark was visible after death."


On the occasion of witnessing an execution there was a special rite to prevent dreams of the dead: to dream of the dead was the next step to their coming back as revenants. When Alex. Mackintosh of Borlum was executed at Muirfield (for an assault on one M‘Rory, a Beauly cattle-dealer who was suspected of having wrongly identified his assailant, and who afterwards was an outcast in Beauly, where he took his own life), we learn how "with mingled

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feelings of sorrow and horror the multitude slowly and silently dispersed, many, if not most of the company, placing a small piece of bread under a stone, which, according to a superstitious tradition, would prevent after-dreams of the unfortunate Alexander Mackintosh." 1

Blood innocently shed might readily call out for vengeance; for the soul was in the blood.

In the etiquette of paying one's parting respects to the dead, before the corpse is buried, no custom is more tenacious in the Highlands than that of touching the body with the finger. To neglect doing so is thought to expose a person to dreaming of the deceased, and by consequence to the danger of being visited by the dead, and of being open to the dread haunting of the ghost. This is the relic of the old ordeal upon the corpse of the murdered—a custom not confined to present Gaeldom, but current in a wider area. For instance, the minister of Pitsligo testifies: "The opinion prevailed till not very long ago, and even yet lingers, that in case of murder, if the murderer touches the corpse, blood flows from the wounds." 2 To touch the body is therefore a sort of folk-ritual to signify that one is at peace with the deceased. In a case of murder, there is a noted instance on record in the Highlands. Let me quote:

“A singular providence, under presidency of the minister, Mr. James Fraser, for the discovery of

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the murderer of Donald Mackwilliam Chui (i.e. Dhuibh): 1

“The signal providence that appeared in this matter was, that though the dead body had layn upon the sod within the flood mark, and the sea ebbed and flowed six times during its being there, yet not taken away. Upon the 3rd day the herdsmen bringing up their cattle discovered the dead man, hasted in to the place, found it was their neighbour, Donald Mackwilliam Chui, murthered. . . . All the people presently flockt to the place, and perceiving that he had been three days missed, and his corps lying upon a flat piece of the bank within the flood, wondered that the sea ebbing did not drive him away, the wind being southerly all the time. But the hand of God was in it to discover the murther of the innocent. The corps is carried to the churchyard, and laid in the common reer with the chapel, and a despatch sent express to the Shirref Deput, Alexander Chisholm, living in Bunchrive, who peremptorly convenes the whole parish, causes strip naked the corps, and lay it exposed upon a broad plank at the entry of the chappel, and chairs set round; and all the gentlemen of the 3 parishes present, concluding that this murder was an act of malice and revenge, and not of gain or lucre, the poor young man being but a servant and had no great trust. The list of the parishioners being read, every one as he was called touched the bare body, laying his hand on it, non of quhat degree soever excepted, men and women to the

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number of 6 or 700. At length, the murtherer, John Mackeanvore, laid his hand most confidently upon the bare breast, and I narrowly observed (sitting at the head of the coffin) that the greatest wound opened and a drop of blood gushed out. I desired he should lay on his hand again, which he did, and men observed a drop of blood issue from the nose. He is suddenly seized and fettered, brought in to the church, and after serious prayer for the discovery of this horrid work of darkness, he is examined and a torture threatened; but no confession. His mittimus signed, and sent in to the vault of Inverness, and secured. Not one man or woman within my parish of Wardlaw, after reading the catalogue, was missed but John Mackeanire, who was seen to go hastily through Kingily and over the burn, as the people were convening for trial, and so escaped. He was seen and known at the Bridge end of Inverness, buying ground tobacco in papers, and so away through Strathnairn, and over the bridge of Dulce in to Strathspey; and no account of him for two years.

"John Mackeanvore, the capital murtherer, being in the pit at Inverness, laid fast in the stocks, continued there but about a fortnight, and both his feet down from the ancles dropt off as if by amputation. When he is brought forth he had a foot in every hand like a shoe last, cursing and imprecating, and praying God to revenge his cruel usage; so that many condemned the judge as too severe, and seemed to vindicate this villain, who is carried away in a sledge through the streets and over the bridge home to his own house in Finask, where his wife

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and friends attend him; falling in a fever is every Sabbath prayed for as for death, and that God wd discover this murther. . . . In fine, I myself out of charity, cured this John Mackeanvore's wounds, untill at last his stumps were as strong as men's fists, without feet; and a contribution made for buying him a horse, and goes up and down the country confidently as an innocent, begging, and no account of John M‘Keanire, who is reputed by all men to be the murtherer, having run for it as guilty; and we are in suspense for two years; the land of Finask (interim patitur justus) blasted upon, neither crop nor cattle thrive: Innocuus clamat sanguis; (innocent) blood cries." 1

In the Isle of Man it is unlucky to let blood, especially that of a king or person of high rank, fall on the ground. Moore 2 states: "It is remembered to this day that when Iliam Dhone, William Christian, was shot at Hango Hill in 1662, blankets were spread where he stood, so that not one drop of his blood should touch the earth." It is thought that this may have some sacrificial meaning; the intent of the act springs from the idea of the soul in the blood.

For the wide-spread character of this belief elsewhere, the reader need only turn to Scott's Fair Maid of Perth (c. 23) with his note on the case which came before the High Court of Justiciary at

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[paragraph continues] Edinburgh in 1688; to the Lay of the Niblungs, where by this ordeal Kriemhild fastened upon Hagan the guilt of murdering her husband Siegfried; 1 in the sixteenth century Christian II. of Denmark, by commanding those present to place their right hand on the breast of the slain, brought about the detection and confession of the murderer, who was at once beheaded. 2

An analogous practice is that of swearing on the skull, of which a case is reported at a recent criminal trial in Germany. 3

Alongside of the blood or body-essence observation falls to be directed to the breath, likewise an essence. The soul is held to be especially in the breath. Breath has long ago been supposed to be the only part of man which will survive him. 4 Breathing accompanies life. An old Highland expression I have heard used by one lamenting a mother's death signifies: 'her breath is not before me'; 5 at death I have heard it said that the soul left the body in the form of a white vapour or smoke, 6—expressions paralleled elsewhere, as among the Slavs. 7 The regular Highland expression for

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[paragraph continues] 'yielding the ghost, giving up the breath in death' is: 'thug e suas an deò.' 1 The Indo-European root of deò signifies 'to breathe': we may perhaps infer from the connotation of the various cognates that the transition of meanings would have been in the following series: breath, soul, soul of the dead, daimon, god. From the same root is the Gaulish dusios, 'daemon immundus, incubus; nightmare'; these Gaulish dusii were impure demons believed to have commerce with mortals, and are referred to by St. Augustine. We see thus that the root in one case yields a word restricted in meaning to the personal breath or soul, whereas in other tongues it connotes a demon, or, as with the Greeks, the god-soul, in its final sense God. When the Highlanders speak of the 'double,' the word is samhl, samhla, a word of like origin with G. samhuil, 'likeness, like,' cognate with Latin similis, English same: the 'double ' is vaguely described as a semi-transparency in which the chief features of one dying or dead are recognisable by the eye: physiologists might regard the 'double' as due to optical illusion. As a fact it is firmly believed that a ghost may be seen; I recollect

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a case where a woman went out one moonlit night to draw water from the well: on looking behind her she saw her own image or ghost (samhl) covered by a winding sheet, with the face veiled. This may be read by physiologists under the idea of the soul-image, or memory-image personified.

Any collection of instances of Second-Sight will give numerous cases where an apparition (taibhse) or vision has been thought to have been seen, and to the imagination these phantoms are real. They are, as the root of taibhse implies, things which 'show or speak,' with the folk-belief reservation that such ghosts cannot speak until they are first spoken to. As regards speech, the control remains with man. Through touch, however, they reveal themselves as dangerous; when parting with one they may leave a blue mark on the body, and as a precaution when travelling at night one must keep to the side and away from the middle of the highway so as not to obstruct their path. There may, according to folk-thought, be even a procession of ghosts as in phantom funerals. The ear no less than the eye is appealed to; it is a firm belief, or was in my childhood, that the shrieking of ghosts may be heard: when the ghost crossed over water it shrieked, or gave a yell, resounding through the rocks and woods, which was termed sgal, a word akin to the German schallen, 'to sound.' I heard it said of a ghost's yell on the way to a cemetery: bha a sgal a toirt fuaim air na creigean 's e 'tighinn sīos Āilean-an-Uchd, i.e. its shriek was resounding through the rocks as it was coming down Āilean-an-Uchd (the Mead or Green of the Brae, Brae-field). Another

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phrase is: ghoir an tāsc 1 = the ghost yelled. Besides deō2 which is the more spiritual aspect of the breath, or the breath as conjoined to the soul, there is another word anail, breath, Old Irish anāl, Welsh anadl, anal, from a root an, to breathe; Gothic anan, to breathe; Sanskrit anila, wind. Differentiated therefrom is G. anam, soul; Old Irish anim (dative anmin), Cornish enef, Breton ene, plural anaoun, 'the souls, the dead'; cognate with Latin animus, anima, Greek ἄνεμος, 'wind.' Thus, by abstraction from the actual visible warm breath (deō) and the agent of the breath (anail), one attains to the idea anam (or soul), which we attain to consciousness of through the body.

It is the essence of man that he came to think of self as something different from the body: how man came first to think and speak of himself as something different from the body is an improper question to put. From the side of body our being is mortal: hence fitly spoken of in Gadhelic as duine, 'man,' a word cognate with Greek θνητός, 'mortal'; English dwine. As sentient, percipient, thinking agent, he is anam, 'soul,' the energy which discovers itself in the breath, the vital motion, the inner impulse which in our consciousness is given us in breath. Here it is of interest to compare with L. anima, G. anam, Gr. anemos, 'wind,' the force of the Sanskrit ásu, 'the breath of life in men and animals,' cognate with Norse anses, souls of ancestors worshipped as gods, meeting us in the

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[paragraph continues] Asen, the highest Norse gods, and in the Anglo-Saxon ése, the lower spiritual beings, the elves. Parallel in concept, though from a different root, is the meaning discoverable in English soul; German Seele, Gothic saiwala, which Persson 1 equates with Old Bulgarian si-la, force, power; Lithuanian sy-là, force, power; Prussian sei-lin, zeal, industry, exertion, effort; plural sei-lins, mind; seilisku, devotion; no-sei-lis, spirit: even were the Lithuanian and Prussian loaned from Slavonic, the roots sei̯, sai̯, si, convey the idea 'set in motion, let go.' When the energy, the inner impulse in the breath had departed, people could not but feel that all had gone, and thus the breath, the soul-in-the-breath, the inner-impulse-in-the-breath supplied the material which thought came to examine further in course of time. The soul was named from a something which it possesses, as an attribute in common with a function of the body. When death ensues one of the phrases is: shiubhail e, 'he went off,' the word siubhal being used usually for 'walking,' and cognate with Welsh chwyfu, 'move, stir,' thus amounting to 'he moved off, he stirred,' and in keeping with the parallel phrase chaochail e, 'he changed,' i.e. = he died, a current Highland expression.

The transition from breath-impulse to the divine through the idea of breath, soul, soul of the dead, daimon, God, may be made by a different path of thought. Just as soul is always given us with

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consciousness of the body, and is thus descriptively the idea of the body, so is also the world-body, and especially are the shining heavens prominent as a part thereof: thus is the Gadhelic Dia, 'God,' cognate with Latin Deus (met with also in Ju-piter), Norse Tiw, 'the war-god,' tívar, 'gods'; Sanskrit devá, Greek δῖος, 'divine'; Zeus, who in Greek has various epithets, as at Dodona, where the official title was Ζεύσ Νάϊος, 'the stream god'; at Sidon θαλάσσιος, according to Hesychius, whence it follows that he was there a sea-god; Pausanias states that Aeschylus, son of Euphorion, applies the name of Zeus also to the god who dwells in the sea,—all which illustrate local transitions to sea-god from the original sky-god, the bright shining heavens. The Germanic races which, as we have seen, use a different root to express 'soul ' from that used in Celtic,—although the concept in both seems to embrace the common element of 'motion,'—have also a different root to express that of God, German Gott. According to the late W. Thomsen, of Copenhagen, the name means 'He to whom sacrifice is made, He who is worshipped'; Professor Höffding 1 thinks of a relationship between the root in God and that in giessen, 'to pour,' with Greek χέειν whose root χυ is taken as cognate with Sanskrit hu, whence huta, 'sacrificed,' also 'he to whom sacrifices are made.' A proto-Indo-European form for God, *ghutom, Schrader has defined as 'the divine element called forth by a charm from the deified phenomena,' and this word is taken as cognate with Sanskrit, hutá, 'called,' Avesta zavaiti,

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[paragraph continues] 'he curses '; Lithuanian zawėti, 'to charm.' 1 This would harmonise with the derivation of religio, 'religion,' from L. religare, 'to bind,' in the sense of what a man binds on the deity acknowleged by him.

Both paths are animistic, i.e. they read phenomena in terms of the soul. Both acknowledge the worship of spirits: the Latins worshipped the mânes, a word cognate with the Old Latin mânus, 'good,' hence 'the good spirits' of ancestors; the Celts worshipped the sīde2 known also as na daoine maith, 'the good people'—all vaguely subordinated to the ancestral spirit, God. All that is the work of and under the protection of so exalted a power is to the Celt holy or naomh; Early Irish nóem, nóeb, which includes perhaps the idea of what is beautiful, whether the word be cognate with Old Persian naiba, 'beautiful,' or as Bezzenberger less probably suggests, with Lettic naigs, 'quite beautiful.'

It will be sufficient provisionally to describe the chief forms of soul-cult, not forgetting the existence of various modifications and transitions, as:

1. Primitive Animism, which includes most primitive phases. Here account is taken of all phases of the body-soul and of the shadow-soul. The recognition of 'soul' as in the various bodily parts has been treated of above; the shadow-soul has to be added. The shadow (faileas) is at this stage in intimate association with the soul. As a development of this thought is the danger of allowing one's likeness to be taken: I have known old people who

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had great aversion to having their likeness taken: it felt to them as if their souls were being abstracted, and any harm done to the likeness might result in harm to the person. On a par are all practices founded on the belief in evil influences from the magic of the living (witchcraft). The sorcerer, in Manx termed by the native designation fear obaidh, has soul-powers ascribed to him whereby he is held to cause illness, madness, death. Rites such as those connected with the 'clay-body' (corp criadh) and with turning of the heart in lead, and spells of all kinds are in vogue; the 'word' is all-powerful; rites such as touching the corpse and placing of water on the hearth after a death (as was done in Tiree, according to my authority, about 60 years ago), and perhaps the belief in the grave-guardian or literally the 'churchyard watch' (an fhaire chlaidh), indicate that religious cult was concerned chiefly with means of protection against the souls of the dead who could 'come back' (tathaich) and as revenants work their evil will. Under this idea, and the cult to be inferred, one might subsume the rites connected with the 'sin-eater' in Wales, springing out of that of eating in common with the deceased; more widely, all forms of communion, the earliest forms of sacrifice.

2. Animalism and Manism, of which Totemism is but a definite grade arising out of sympathetic association. The beliefs centre in the idea of the external soul; these will be treated of in the next chapter. So far as rites arise, at the outset the animal is in the foreground. The animal is on a par, though as a rule above man. Animal descent

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is inferable from certain personal and tribal names. The favour or displeasure of the animal is kept before the thought, and thus arises the cult of various particular animals, which may figure as protecting spirits. Of the Totemistic system, which is widely traceable among the tribes of Australia, Africa and America, we could hardly expect to find clear survivals among the Aryan family. For the Aryans I am prepared to discard Totemism altogether. Mr. Frazer has lately inclined to deduce that system from a savage theory of conception, which is too abstract. Its essence lies in sympathetic association, which allows of a tribe having regard to some mutual help and protection it may have come to believe as real between itself and some animal. Thus in the Highlands a serpent was thought of as incapable of doing harm to a true member of the clan Iver,—parallel to the immunity from snakes claimed by a snake clan (Ophiogenes) in Cyprus. As animal kinship is the essence of Totemism, and not its later social organisation, I submit in dealing with the Aryans that Animalism shading into Manism represents a phase of social belief. The feeling of a tribe's kinship with certain animals need not have been arrived at among all races in the same way.

The serpent, the deer, the horse, the wolf, are all in this category; e.g. a Welsh belief seems to have been that all lizards were formerly women; 1 every farmhouse had two snakes: "They never appeared, until just before the death of the master or mistress of the house; then the snake died." Here may be

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recalled the rite of pounding the embers from a peat fire in one's stocking at the threshold, on the outer door-step, on St. Bride's day, 1—the operant finally saying, "I shall not injure the serpent nor shall the serpent injure me." The old Lochaber hunter, Domhnull Mac Fhionnlaidh, was buried at his request in the skin of the last deer slain by him. 2 And quite lately, in a Highland Deer Forest, a case came to my notice of a workman who, when engaged on repairing a cottage, sat down to take his meal outside at mid-day when a hind passed by, narrowly scanned him, and having entered the house went up the stair and refused to be ejected, with the result that the man took fright and came out for aid, expressing himself to the effect that it was the spirit of a former occupant, now deceased, that had come back in deer guise.

This was no totemistic death ceremony, but it shows a subtle sympathy with the deer; the stag has always been a symbol of delight and of enjoyment. It is thus far parallel to the Black Shoulder (Buffalo) clan of the Omahas wrapping a dying clansman in a buffalo robe with the hair out, his face painted with the clan mark, and thus addressed by friends: "You are going to the animals (the buffaloes). You are going to rejoin your ancestors."

That instance of belief in transmigration occurred last year. At this stage of thought certain tribes may have one animal which they tacitly own as ancestral spirit. By the use of any animal name as

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an emblem of kinship, the individual would indicate to what tribal community he belonged; tribal names such as that of the Ossorians in Ireland allow us to infer the former existence of such a belief among the Celts: "The descendants of the wolf are in Ossory." The treatment must be left for the following chapter.

The second phase of this stage of thought would be a cult of human ancestors, specially of tribal chiefs and clan-heroes: this is Manism or Ancestor Worship proper, culminating in hero worship. It is a subject for future investigation; it is to be noted that the characteristics pertaining to a particular clan or tribal community, which mark ancestor worship, will have fallen very much to the background if they can be at all inferred among the Celts; the relations emphasised will be found pertaining to mythologic concepts and to the Nature-Myth. For, as modifications and transitions in behalf are constant, ancestor worship gets partly transcended. But in Manism the guardian spirit has its specific influence on the tribal consciousness. I recollect Aoibhell of Craig Liath, the guardian spirit of the Dal Caiss, mentioned in the narrative concerning Brian Boru in the Wars of the Gaedhel and the Gall; there is also Mag Molach or Hairy Hand, and Bodach An Dūin of Rothiemurchus, as well as the more familiar belief in the Brownie which renders offices of help in some houses,—a feeble survival of early phases of cult. The central thought is that of Guardian Spirit and comes out in Macrimmon's Lament:

Dh’iath ceō nan stūc mu aodann Chuilinn
Is sheinn a bhean-shīdh’ a torman mulaid.

[paragraph continues] i.e. "The mist has enfolded the peaks of the Coolin

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and the Banshee has sounded her wail of sorrow." In the Highlands of old the ghosts flitted about if the coronach or funeral threnody were unsung; the other side is, when the banshee calls she sings the spirit home. In some houses still a soft low music is heard at death.

3. Daimonism. Here daimonic influences are recognised wherein there is individual consciousness connecting the thought of guardian spirit with localities. From the rites followed at Loch Mo-Nāir, 1 Strathnaver, one may infer a former belief in a guardian spirit presiding over healing; generally at sacred wells the later Christian saints have succeeded to, and supplanted the memories of, the pre-Christian guardian spirits. There are spirits of localities, and among the Celts of Gaul we find traces of such as daimons protecting and avenging thermal springs, agriculture and commerce. Irish mythology has instances to show, e.g. Dian Cecht, as to whom compare Rhŷs's Hibbert Lectures on Celtic Heathendom. Primitive soul-concepts begin to be lost sight of and the qualities of the demons or daimons correspond to those of individual souls: the result is that Water-, Wind-, Vegetation- or Local Spirits, as met with in the Dindshenchus or stories of Place-Names, all border on the Nature Myth, and personify some aspect of Nature as such. For example, the Highland stories of Cailleach Bhearra, the Old Woman of Beare, of whom later.

To return now: with the idea of what is tabu or

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prohibited, or bound under 'restrictions' (fo gheasa), there is connected fear, the fear of breaking the magic word, fear also before the working of demonic powers. In the totem-animals, which a universal survey of comparative human beliefs leads us to subsume as a phase of Manism, primitive man saw the souls of persons, of ancestors migrated. Rites wherein survivals of this exist may be expected to issue in a code which puts the individual on his guard against angering the spirits. My forest friend inferred a 'spirit' in the hind, and felt he was forbidden from repairing the old house for the successor. To another individual's consciousness the spirit might have been in a tree or bird, or even house. It is the sympathetic association of the moment that counts.

One of my acquaintances was suddenly seized by great hunger after passing a certain house: he came up to an old woman, who remarked on his pallid looks: "You have passed a house where people sat and partook of food without having asked a blessing." The individual confessed having passed such and such a house; then his old friend gave him a small piece of bread which she blessed; he partook, and the ravenous craving disappeared.

Or take the case of a boy who goes to an evening's entertainment in Highland hamlets, where he hears lots of ghost stories; he stays until it is late and very dark; if he must come home alone and have to pass lonely roads and places shadowed with trees, or streams where he has heard it said at the céilidh that dogs were seen which tore such and such folks in former times to death, the chances are that he will see more than is good for him: sympathetic

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association renders this inevitable, and the conditions being favourable most lads will experience a presence that is uncanny, a feeling of the eerie. How much more in earlier ages when every birth revealed a 'return'; if raising of the name (togail an ainm) be still reckoned as of import, as I know it to be, much more is the reality of life itself: the child is seen to resemble not its immediate parents but some grand-parents or other relative or ancestor: how account for this? Nature is believed as full of spirits: it is not death that needs accounting for, it is life itself: the mother forms her own inferences wherever she may chance to experience the feeling of quickening, and readily forms a sympathetic association with some object or other at the place and time. A spirit part of some ancestor, she believes, has entered her: a soul has become incarnate.

This would in early ages have been the explanation on the male side of what now exists but in faint survival. I have known an instance, and I have heard of two more, all far apart, where at the birth of a baby the husband was believed to suffer the pains of childbed. In one case the husband was known to turn ill. I believe that such a psychical peculiarity, though very rare, and of great difficulty to verify, is traceable to the idea of a spirit-part (or man-soul) leaving the parent and being thought of as found in the child; the latter's gain was the father's loss. I am absolutely sure of this belief having been known in the Highlands within my own knowledge; it was explained from a power ascribed to certain wise mid-wives of transferring the mother's pains to the father. I rather think it is

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parallel to a belief concerning the first-born in the Punjab: if a son, his father is said to be born again in him, and he is supposed to die at the child's birth; in certain Khatri sections his funeral rites are actually performed in the fifth month of the mother's pregnancy. Rites now connected with male childbed are known as the couvade. Only dim reflections thereof are met with among the Celts. For parts of Ireland it is on record that a woman before childbirth occasionally wears the coat of the father of the expected child with the idea that the father should then share in the pains of birth. The physician who reports it notes that the father is carefully kept out of the way on these occasions, and that "women in childbirth often wear the trousers of the father of the child round the neck, the effect of which is supposed to be the lightening of the pains of labour. I have myself seen a case of this in Dublin, about two years ago." 1

In Man a wife must keep her husband's trousers beside her in bed to prevent her infant being carried off by the fairies (Moore, 157). There are only very faint survivals apparently in Britain so far as known. But Dr. Norris F. Davey reports in the British Medical Journal for 26th Sept., 1891, p. 725, thus: ". . . There was a doubt as to the date of conception, but the husband confidently confirmed the date of quickening because 'he felt so bad himself

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at that time.' He was very much hurt when I ridiculed such an idea, and said, 'You may laugh, doctor, but I always feel bad when that happens without my wife saying anything about it; and why shouldn't I, as I am the father?' This civilised savage (who, I think, came from Wiltshire) was evidently a firm believer in the occult link, but it is not an Essex belief, as I never met with any similar fancy during the thirty-eight years’ experience in that county."

Attempts to shift the pains of childbirth from the mother to the father have been instanced by Mr. Frazer 1 from Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany and Esthonia. For resorting to such enchantments Eufame Macalyne was burned alive on the Castle-hill at Edinburgh in 1591. When James VI. was born, a lady of rank, Lady Reirres, complained "that she was never so troubled with no bairn that ever she bare, for the Lady Athole had cast all the pain of her child-birth upon her." At Langholm, in Dumfriesshire, in 1772, Pennant found a belief that "the midwives had power of transferring part of the primeval curse bestowed on our great first mother, from the good wife to her husband. I saw the reputed offspring of such a labour; who kindly came into the world without giving her mother the least uneasiness, while the poor husband was roaring with agony in his uncouth and unnatural pains."

Ling Roth quotes from a 'well-known Professor of Philosophy,' who wrote to Timehri, ii. p. 160: "If ever you make out the couvade, I suspect you

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will find that its first origin was a real sympathy between husband and wife. I could tell you (if I had space) one or two very odd stories, where, during pregnancy, the husband, at a distance, was invariably affected by sickness—vomiting in one case. Such things are laughed at by the scientific, but if testimony goes for anything (and perhaps it does not), they are well established." The then editor of Timehri, iii. p. 149, speaking of this supposed real physico-sympathetic connection between a man and his wife, extracts the following from the Academy: "In Mr. York-Powell's interesting and able review of Grimm's Teutonic Mythology (Academy, Feb. 23), reference is made to the universal belief among our English and Irish peasantry 'that a man will suffer from such ills as are wont to accompany pregnancy, nausea, neuralgia, and the like, if his wife be lucky enough to escape them.' Just to show that folklore is in many cases but a too free and illogical argument based on facts, I may perhaps be allowed to say that I am to-day acquainted with three persons, one living in Sussex, one in London, and one in Northants, who invariably suffer from neuralgia or vomiting when their wives are enceinte, the ladies themselves having a very happy time of it."

The folk-belief in question is not, however, due to a too hasty generalisation from those coincident ills York-Powell specifies. It is an aberrant form of reasoning, but for the idea which grounds the belief one can adduce parallels: the Central Australian tribes believe that birth is a re-incarnation of a spirit-part—that conception results from the

p. 62

entrance of a spirit-part. 1 The Irish survival of wearing the trousers of the father can surely be only a relic of an earlier rite, wherein the father was credited with having birth-pains, and may be paralleled among non-Aryans from S. India.

In southern India, where Telugu is spoken, the wandering Erukala-vandhu observe the custom. The Rev. John Cain writes in the Indian Antiquary for May, 1874 (p. 151): "Directly the woman feels the birth-pangs she informs her husband, who immediately takes some of her clothes, puts them on, places on his forehead the mark which the women usually place on theirs, retires into a dark room, where there is only a very dim lamp, and lies down on the bed, covering himself with a long cloth. When the child is born, it is washed and placed on the cot beside the father; assafoetida, jaggery, and other articles are then given, not to the mother, but to the father. During the days of ceremonial uncleanness the man is treated as the other Hindus treat their women on such occasions. He is not allowed to leave his bed, but has everything needful brought to him."

Tylor 2 shows that it exists among the Dravidians, though not known as an Aryan Hindoo practice: a man at the birth of his first-born son or daughter by the chief wife, or for any son afterwards, will retire to bed for a lunar month, living principally on a rice diet, abstaining from exciting food and from smoking; at the end of the month he bathes,

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puts on a fresh dress, and gives his friends a feast. Accompanying the couvade, we find restrictions as to occupation, as to diet (even fasting), up to the time the navel string falls off, or longer. The rite implies religious scruple from the outset; there is more even than sympathetic association with the feebleness of child-life; so far it implies affection and self-sacrifice for the young life, and acknowledges succession through the father, and tends towards conjugal fidelity, though not strictly restricted to monogamy. Far from being a farce as such, it implicates some postulates of civilisation, and from the first it implies a religious theory embodied in rite. When it arises it is never felt as fiction or symbolic pretence: it is as a survival, not merely a sign and record of the change from maternal to paternal society, but a dim foreshadowing of future science, the knowledge of the real actuality of fatherhood. Couvade is a rite or custom that implicates some explanation of the introduction of life into the world. It implies sympathetic magic, as when a father diets himself from instinctive physical sympathy with the new-born infant; or by simulating child-birth it relieves the real mother by magical transference of pain. 1

A digression may be allowed here. If there be a rite to implicate some theory of the introduction of life, such as that when you are born you are a spirit-part of some ancestor, would not a rite be

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necessitated to show that death, or the extinction of life, is due to the spirit or spirit-part of an ancestor having assumed another form? Is an ancestor thought of as being in the last dead, and is the last dead thought of as being called to defend his people at the place of burial until the next death? Is not what was ancestral spirit-part at birth not likely to be an ancestral spirit-part at death; and is not the last buried the guardian spirit, perhaps awaiting re-incorporation? Would not the conception of An Fhaire Chlaidh, the belief that the soul of the last buried keeps watch until the next funeral comes to the churchyard and is grave-guardian, fall in with such a view? Instances from the Highlands will be given in the fourth chapter (cf. p. 35 as to 'sitting with the dead').

The belief that even the bones of the dead could be a source of paternity is traceable in the Highlands. Sir Walter Scott, in his notes 1 to Canto III. of the Lady of the Lake, states that it was the account in the Laird of Macfarlane's Manuscript that suggested to him the idea of Brian the Hermit, 'bred between the living and the dead'; and the late Rev. A. Clerk, LL.D., minister of Kilmallie, who speaks of the tale as "the above probable story (!) of his (i.e. the child's) paternity," states that "this account of him is still preserved in the traditions of the place," that "the tradition still preserved in the country agrees exactly with the account given by the old Laird, representing the Gille Dubh (Black Lad) as an able and devout

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man, totally different from the savage seer depicted in the poem." 1 Dr. Clerk writes the name as Gille Dubh mac ’Ille Chnàmhlaich, or the Black Child, Son of the Bones, "for such, unpronounceable as it appears, is the true designation; and though the story may be familiar to many, we give the substance of it here as connected with the locality." I rather think cnàmhlach conveys the sense of mouldering embers of fire, as in the phrase cnàmhlach theine, but in either case the paternity is attributed to the dead. To this child in later life was attributed the building of the first church at Kilmallie, which simply means that the spot was sacred ere the introduction of Christianity. There are large beech trees near now; in 1746 the ash tree burnt down at Kilmallie was the largest and most remarkable in Scotland, being no less than 58 feet in circumference. This gives additional presumption of ancient sanctity.

Dr. Clerk tells how the young people of Corpach and of Annat (i.e. mother-church)—two neighbouring farms—were watching the cattle in the fold. "The place was a small hill a little to the west of the present church, close to the public road, and conspicuous from a clump of Scotch fir covering its summit. It shews some faint traces of its having been fortified as a stronghold, and its name, Cnocna-Faobh, or the Hill of Spoils, tells of its having been the scene of strife and of bloodshed. At the period in question it was strewn with the bones of

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the slain, left there to bleach under summer's sun and winter's snow, which proves that the conflict was between parties animated by the deadliest hate toward each other; for rarely indeed was such dishonour shewn to the dead in the Highlands." From this point I crave leave to quote the Laird of Macfarlane's 1 words: "The people report of a battell focht in old tymes, hard by thar Church, and how long after, hirds feeding ther cattell in that place, in a cold season, made a fyre of dead men's bones ther scattered, who being all removed except one mayd who took up her cloaths and uncovered hirself sum part here, a sudden whirlwind threw sum of the ashes in her privie member. Whereupon she conceaved and bore a sone called Gillie dowmak Chravolick, that is to say the black chyld sone to the bones, who after becam learned and relligious and built this Churche which now standeth in Kilmaillie."

The figure of Brian, whose story illustrates Parthenogenesis or Virgin Birth, goes back on Celtic tradition, wherein he figures as a demi-god. He is a being to whom entreaty is made; he is referred to by a Badenoch poet, Lachlan Macpherson of Strathmashie, who was born about 1723. In a poem humorously descriptive of a certain old gentleman's wedding, he says:

When all had assembled,
They of Brian entreated
That all might survive till their locks
Were grey as the bridegroom's.

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The original of which is:

Nuair a thainig iad a nīos
Rinn iad achanaich ri Brīan
Iad a bhi uile cho līath
Ri cīabhag fhir na bainnse.
    (Mackenzie's Sar-Obair Nam Bard, p. 263.)

[paragraph continues] Another song of about the reign of James VI., and composed by his stepmother to Domhull Gorm Macdonald, speaks of Brian in terms which put him alongside of Cuchulainn, Ossian, Oscar; and in a context, where the strength of sea and sun are invoked, so much so that Miss Tolmie notes Brian as signifying 'Divine Power.' 1

A Highland sleep-blessing is to the following effect:

I lie down to-night with mild Mary and her son,
With Michael the bright-white, and with Bride beneath her mantle.
I lie down with God, and may God lie down with me;
I shall not lie down with Briain, and Briain shall not lie down with me. 2

[paragraph continues] Though similar sleep-blessings are current in Ireland, Dr. Douglas Hyde 3 remarks that he has never elsewhere heard or seen 'this very curious expression,'

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[paragraph continues]Briain, which now-a-days connotes something similar to Satan. Though apparently forgotten in Ireland, it is not yet extinct in the Isles. It there bears the force of "angel, archangel, god, divinity, hence god of evil; a term of exclamation. A bhriain = thou god; a bhriain Mhìcheil = thou god Michael." 1 The name Brian is met with in a poem where St. Michael, as the Gaelic Neptune and patron of the sea, is spoken of as Brian Michael; in other words, St. Michael, venerated among the Celts, has taken the place of the deity Brian.

Thou wert the warrior of courage
Going on the journey of prophecy;
Thou wouldst not travel on a cripple,
Thou didst take the steed of Brian Michael,
He was without bit in his mouth,
Thou didst ride him on the wing,
Thou didst leap over the knowledge of Nature. 2

[paragraph continues] Brian seems to have been in part a sea-god, whose place was latterly taken by St. Michael, Michael of the white steeds, who subdued the dragon. But perhaps he was not always thought of in this aspect any more than the Hellenic Zeus, who is a stream-god (Náïos) at Dodona and a water-god with the epithet θαλάσσιος at Sidon, instead of his usual place as a sky-god.

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The whole figure of Brian—the Michael of pre-Christian times—is rooted in Old Celtic thought; 1 he with his two brothers Iuchar and Uar belong to the Tuatha De Danaan as gods of knowledge, of art and of poetry. Brian, Iuchar (or, in its longer form, Iucharba) and Uar are three aspects of the same deity,—a feature that is common in many countries where a deity is typified as a triad arising from psychic conditions of thought. Together, according to the Dialogue of the Two Sages, they beget an only son, whose name Ecne means knowledge, letters, poetry. Dana, elsewhere called Brigit, is the mother of these three gods or aspects of god-life, and she was wife of Bress, king of the Fornorians, but by birth she belonged to the divine race, her father being the Dagda. The Book of the Invasions speaks of Donand as their mother: "Donand, daughter of the same Delbaeth, that is to say, the mother of the three last, to wit: Brian, Iucharba and Iuchair." These were the three gods of danu, of fate, or, if we render it otherwise, of literature and art. Just as the cult of the goddess Brigit, a name in root cognate with the Continental name Burgundy, was in large measure transferred to the Christian St. Brigit, on whose altar at Kildare there burned perpetual fire, so the cult of Brian, the god, was transferred to St. Michael; just as Brigit was both goddess and female file, 'poet or seer,' so Brian and his brothers Iuchar and Uar are gods of knowledge, art and poetry. Brian, accordingly, is a seer. Brian is a son of Tuireann by Brigit; both

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mother and son are eminent in knowledge: Brian and his brothers have one son in common, viz. Ecna, i.e. knowledge. The same mythic idea is attempted to be expressed by three synonyms. The older form seems to have been Brión, as in the Wooing of Emer (Tochmarc Émire), a form made into Brian in the Fate of the Children of Tuirenn1 The root idea may be seen in brī, dignity, esteem, worth, ideas expressing a sense of what is exalted, hence 'born from on high.' At times he figures as Fortune, if not as Providence. Ossian in a lullaby to his mother is made to say:

If thou art my mother, and thou a deer
Arise ere sun arise on thee;
      .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .
May Fortune (Providence) preserve thee from hoarseness-of-breathing 2
Ere thy voice thy sweetheart hear. 3

Mr. Campbell's variant is rendered by him thus:

"If Brian would take from me his murmuring, before my sweetheart will hear my voice." But the force of the first clause is: "O that Brian would check the srannan (hoarse breathing) of me," i.e. "may B. restrain from me the murmuring," being a wish that Brian, the fairy god, would keep her from making any noise by which her presence would become known to Fionn. Ossian's advice to his

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mother, in her animal-form of deer, that she should get up before sunrise, implies that otherwise she was liable to be shot by hunters; to be up ere sunrise was a sort of taboo comparable to some of the restrictions of the Early Irish kings in the Book of Rights.

Srannan a’ bhāis, 'the rattle of death,' is not so strong a phrase as an cloicheir, the expression for the death-rattle. Since Brian figures as Fortune, we need not be surprised at meeting him as the author of good counsel. Gillies's Collection of Gadhelic Poetry (Perth, 1786) gives The Wise Man's Advice to his Son, maxims largely proverbial in the Highlands and partly current in Ireland, as we see from the lines given at the end of Nicolson's edition of the Proverbs, as well as from Bourke's Irish Grammar. The lines have wisdom, good humour and pithiness in the original, and I may give a literal rendering of some, which are in keeping with his character as a god of wisdom:

Counsel Brian did give to me
Self-minded not to be;
Nor go into fray nor fight
Unless, I thought, I would come back in life.

Another counsel he gave
Which, methinks, was none behind:
  Though mine were the world's wealth
  Not to set it against mine honour.

Of frequenting the Temple be mindful,
Fix not thy purpose on evil:
Let not this world's pelf
Cause thee to perjure thy soul. p. 72

If of a weakling thou hast a foolish report
Put not thine 1 thereto;
Be not surety in a lie—
Let that tale pass bye.

Affable and kind be to thy friend,
With a stranger shun a quarrel;
Say not thou wilt refuse the right
Nor seek nor refuse honour.

In thy palms squeeze not the thorn,
To thy foe thy distress make not known.
A beast of venom never willingly waken,
—A knife's edge in thy flesh.

Be not over fiery nor fierce,
Without a staff frequent not the stream;
Let aught not escape thy lips
That will earn thee reproach.

The fierceness of fellow despise not;
Of boiling fluid sip not a drop,
A clean sharp-edgèd razor-blade
When thou see’st, tread softly by.

Haughty-minded be not; nor self disparage,
Spend not on trifles thy goods.
For folly's sake stir not strife
Nor refuse to fight when it needs be.

Of a trifling flaw be not over-watchful;
Oppress not the poor;
Nor praise nor dispraise the worthless
Until the faultless sage is found.

Dear one, for thy youth sufficeth,
Threap not in a matter disputed;
Thy character to coarse jest expose not
Nor groundless prefer thy complaint.

The latter-day reports indicate clearly that Brian's birth is one of parthenogenesis: possibly an earlier

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age may not have distinguished this from the action of the Dusii, the incubi which were thought of as consorting with mortals. 1 A parallel belief is met with among the Bretons. My reference is in Keightley (p. 441), who quotes W. Grimm: "In the ruins of Tresmalonen dwell the Courils. They are of a malignant disposition, but great lovers of dancing. At night they sport among the druidical monuments. The unfortunate shepherd that approaches them must dance their rounds with them till cock-crow; and the instances are not few of persons thus ensnared who have been found next morning dead with exhaustion and fatigue. Woe also to the ill-fated maiden who draws near the Couril dance! nine months after the family counts one more. Yet so great is the power and cunning of the Dwarfs that the young stranger bears no resemblance to them, but they impart to it the features of some lad of the village."

But the Kilmaillie story is the more primitive one, as it points to belief in the Virgin Birth. We recall Hera who conceived Hephaistos simply by inhaling the wind; the maiden Wenonah of Longfellow's poem who was quickened by the west wind and bore Michabo (i.e. Hiawatha); the virgin Ilmatar fructified by the east wind gave birth to the Finnish

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[paragraph continues] Väinämöinen. Mohammedan tradition spoke of a preadamite race of women who conceived daughters by the wind; the Arunta tribes of Australia hold that a storm from the west brings child-germs. These are only partial parallels, for in the Highland story it is the wind, but the wind reinforced by the bones of the dead. In short, there is ancestral virtue in Brian's birth quite as much as was associated with the birth of Servius Tullius at Rome, where the father was deemed to have been the household Lar. From Irish literature instances of supernatural birth have been given in Meyer and Nutt's Voyage of Bran the Son of Febail, and I must not further enter on the theme here. Even a star is sometimes conceived as fructifying: St. Aidan or Maedoc was born of a star which fell into his mother's mouth as she slept. 1 Commonly at this stage of thought fructification is regarded as due to the swallowing of a worm: the births of Conchobar and of Cuchulainn were accounted for by their mothers having swallowed worms in the draught. Most closely associated is the idea of the Birth-Token. In the Breton story of the King of the Fishes we meet with a poor and childless fisherman who spares the life of a fish with scales of gold, which his wife desires to eat. When re-caught, the fish asks that its head be given her, and the scales buried in the garden: the fish promises that to the wife would be born three children with beautiful stars on their foreheads, while from the scales would grow three rose-trees, one of which was to belong to each of the boys and be his life-token, and when the boy

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was in danger of death his tree should wither. Variants assign parts of the fish to the fisherman's mare and bitch, which bring forth young to the number of the children. 1 In the Highlands we meet with the same story: here the fish tells the fisher: "Thou shalt let no man split me, but do it thyself. Thou shalt put into the pot but a morsel of my liver and a bit of my heart to boil for thyself, and for thy wife, and for thy mare, and for thy dog to eat. Three bones thou wilt find at the side of my head. Go out and bury them in the garden. Thy wife will bear three sons. Thy mare will cast three foals. Thy dog will litter three whelps. When they are born dig up my bones and keep them. Three trees will sprout where the bones are buried, and they will be in leaf and budding, in sap and growing, summer and winter, spring and autumn, every day for ever, so long as the clan shall live. They will droop or wither or die as they do." 2

With these life-tokens thought has already made the transition to the idea of the external soul.


37:1 The Blood Covenant, p. 219, quoting Buxtorf's Synagoga Judaica, c. ii.

38:1 For other references, cf. Strack, Blutaberglaube, 1892, p. 125; Christensen, Baareprøven, Copenhagen, 1900, investigates 'bier-proof'; cf. Wood-Martin, Elder Faiths, i. 323. Herodotus (iii. 18) speaks of the drinking of blood as the highest sanction of a treaty, and alludes to it as an Arabian custom. Mohammed had to forbid it as one of the heavy sins (Kremer, Studien zur verg. Kultur Geschichte, p. 35). Stanley, the African traveller, speaks of exchanging blood through marks on each other's arms, after which there was a treaty of peace, as firm as any made in Europe, he thought.

41:1 Quoted from Celtic Monthly in Inverness Northern Chronicle, 16th August, 1905.

41:2 Rev. Walter Gregor's Folk Lore of North-East of Scotland, 1881, p. 208.

42:1 Wardlaw MS. pp. 516-521 of Scottish Texts Society, edited by William Mackay, p. 517.

44:1 The minister quotes Genesis 9:6 Numbers 35:3 to show that only blood can atone for blood. John M‘Keanire at the end of two years was discovered; he confesses; he was compelled to the deed by John Mackeanvore,—both were hung near the parish church of Wardlaw, the present Kirkhill, Clunes, Inverness.

44:2 Folk-Lore of the Isle of Man, p. 145.

45:1 Lettsom's translation, p. 183.

45:2 Benson's Remarkable Trials, p. 94n.

45:3 Scotsman, March 8, 1907.

45:4 Sola ex omnibus superfutura, Pliny's Nat. Hist. lib. II, c. 53.

45:5 Chan eil a h-anail romham.

45:6 Mar cheo no mar thoit gheal.

45:7 Ralston, Songs of the Russian People, p. 116; for soul thought of as breath, wind, vapour, cf. Skr. atmán cognate with O.H.G. âtum, breath, soul; Irish athach, breath. Modern Greeks speak of the soul at death escaping through the mouth, 'with the soul between one's teeth,' while ψυχή at times denotes 'stomach '--Abbott's Greek Folk-Lore, 193n.

46:1 Cognate with G. deò, breath, are Lithuanian dwesuì dwẽsti, to breathe; dwãse, breath, spirit; dùsas, vapour. Schrader connects Latin Fêralia, from a proto-Italic *dhvêsâlia, a festival in honour of the dead, also probably L. fêriae for *dhvêsiae, feralis, belonging to the dead or underworld, and festus. Certain is the connection with Lithuanian daũsos, in plural meaning 'the air'; Lettic, dwascha, breathe, breath; Greek, θεός, god, from θϝεσός (Brugmann). From a long form of the root, *dhu̯ēs, comes the Middle High German ge-twās, ghost; Lettic dvêsele, soul, life, breath (with which Walde would connect the Latin bestia). From *dhū̆, another form of the root, come Lithuanian dustù, dusau, 'aufkeuchen'; dùsas, sigh; dūsiù, to gasp; Lettic dusu, dust, 'aufkeuchen.'

48:1 Here tannasg, apparition, is either shortened or confused with Ir. tásc, report, etc.

48:2 Spiorad, 'spirit,' is a loan from L. spiritus.

49:1 Bezz. Beiträge, 19, 276; cf. ib. 21, 212, where Mikkola equates Gothic saiwala with O. Bulg. sila, force, energy, power; Prussian seilin, exertion, effort, zeal, from *seilā, sei̯(u̯)l,—the primary root in Servian do-sin-uti se, 'potiri' from *seii̯u̯-n-.

50:1 Phil. of Religion, p. 396.

51:1 v. Schrader's article on Aryan Religion in Hastings, Ency. of Religion and Ethics.

51:2 'Tuatha adortais síde'—Old Irish Hymn ascribed to Fiacc.

53:1 Trevelyan, Folk-Lore and Folk-Stories of Wales, p. 165; cf. the veneration for snakes in Lithuania.

54:1 Cf. Dr. Carmichael's Carmina Gadelica.

54:2 The Gael, vol. v. 330 = Dh’òrduich e a thiodhlaiceadh am bian an fhéidh sin.

56:1 The stress is on Nāir, not on the preceding Mo, which is a suffix of endearment. The accent is quite different from that in Loch Monar in Ross-shire, which has the stress on the first syllable.

59:1 Folk-Lore, Sept. 1893, pp. 357, 359, 'The Women's War-of-Words in the Feast of Bricriu' alludes to the couvade. The Irish tale Cess Noinden Ulad, 'the Nine Days’ Debility (?) of the Ulidians,' may reflect this practice among the Cruithne or Irish Picts, possibly conjoined with the old custom of racing for a bride. Cf. Frazer's Kingship, 261.

60:1 Totemism and Exogamy, iv. 252.

62:1 Crawley's Tree of Life, p. 211; v. Spencer and Gillen's Native Tribes of Central Australia.

62:2 Researches, 2nd ed. p. 301.

63:1 The Highland phrase is: chuir i na piantan air an duine = 'she put the pains on the husband.' This transference is understood as being due to the wife or else to the wise-woman who first attended her.

64:1 v. Scott's Poetical Works. Edin. MDCCCLI. Robert Cadell, St. Andrew Square. Not all editions give this note in full.

65:1 A. Clerk, Memoir of Colonel John Cameron, Fassifearn, 2nd ed. 1858. Appendix, Note A.

66:1 Macfarlane's Geographical Collection, vol. ii. p. 520 (Scot. Texts Soc.), 3907, ed. by Sir Arthur Mitchell.

67:1 Miss F. Tolmie's 'Highland Folk Songs'; it is given also in The Gael. The significant lines are: Gun robh neart Chonchulainn leat | Agus neart na Féinne | Neart Oisein bhig agus Osgair threuna | Neart an daimh duinn as àirde leumas] Neart na fairge thruime threubhaich | Gun robh neart na cruinne leat| Agus neart na gréine | Gun robh Brian dhuit mar tha mise dhuit | Gu bheil mise mar dhearbh phiuthar dhuit | S mur h-eil ni ’s mó tha ’cheart uibhir |.


Luighim sìos le Dia is luigheadh Dia lium
Cha luigh mi sìos le Briain ’s cha luigh Briain lium.
                         (Carmichael's Carmina Gadelica.)

67:3 Religious Songs of Connacht, vol. 2, p. 409.

68:1 Carm. Gad. ii. 232.


Bu to gaisgeach na misnich
Dol air astar na fiosachd
Is tu nach siubhladh air criplich
Ghabh thu steud Briain Mhìcheil,
E gun chabstar ’na shliopan,
Thu ’ga mharcachd air iteig
Leum thu thairis air fìosrachadh Naduir.
                    (Quoted in Carm. Gad. i. p. 200.)

69:1 v. D’Arbois de Jubainville's Irish Mythological Cycle, Best's trans. p. 82.

70:1 v. Kuno Meyer in Eriu, iv. 69.

70:2 Srannan, hoarseness, murmuring in sleep, snorting of cattle, rattling in the throat; srannan a bhàis = death rattle.

70:3 Original in Campbell's Leabhar Na Féinne, p. 200; a variant where Brian is used instead of an Sealbh in Waifs and Strays of Celtic Tradition, iv. 79.

72:1 Lit. thine half-hand.

73:1 Quosdam daemones quos Dusios Galli nuncupant, hanc assidue immunditiam et tentare et efficere plures talesque asseverant.—Augustine, De Civ. Dei, xxiii.; cf. Breton Duz; E. Deuce? The Manx hairy satyr, Phynnodderree,—'its hair or fur is its covering,' says Craigeen (Dicty. 130),—is parallel: story pictures him as an Elfin Knight who fell in love with a Manx maiden (Moore, p. 53). He is the 'Dun Haired One,' and parallel to the Mag Molach (Hairy Paw or Hand) of the Highlands, where it is a synonym for the Devil.

74:1 Rev. Celt. V. 275.

75:1 Hartland, Primitive Paternity, i. 8, quoting Sébillot's Contes Pop. i. 124 (Story No. 18).

75:2 See The Celtic Dragon Myth, p. 37, where Campbell of Islay's retelling is given (Edinburgh, J. Grant).

Next: II. The Wanderings of Psyche