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Britain's Landscape Symbols and Mysteries: Sacred Places and Believes on Northern Scotland


Ancient traditions and believes are still alive and commonly found either in Scotland and Ireland. Hereby I share with you an awesome blog previously posted by the illustrator and artist Ruthie Redden upon holy wells, amulets, and standing stones on her lovely site "5 precious things" a place she set up as a way of recording & sharing her travels.
(All rights reserved by the author)

I hunted down treasures whilst away up North
One day I found wondrous snippets of folklore in Inverness museum
top left - a medieval spindle worn to protect against the evil eye,
centre, elf's arrow pendant made from a pre-historic flint, protection against faeries,
folk once believed these were made by faeries who weren't able to use metals.
The ladle, used to remove the evil eye would contain a piece of silver,
a person suffering bad luck would drink from this standing under a bridge.
The tiny charms, bottom right were sewn into the clothes or the bedding
of children protecting them from the faeries & changeling babes.
these also caught my eye, medieval ring brooches, the Achavrail armlet
and treasure found in 1875 by a lass in a field in Croy.
Another day I crawled down the ancient entrance tunnel into Corrimony Cairn
a chambered tomb or passage grave, built four thousand years ago
I felt its ancientness seep into my very bones as I looked out
at the silent stones standing guard in a circle .
Most moving, the Munlochy clootie well, an amazing sight, a myriad of "cloots"
left by visitors who have visited this place wishing for healing for a poorly loved one.
So many wishes! To make a wish you walk sunrise around the well three times,
splash water from the well onto the ground and say the wish. (Cloot means cloth).
The wells use possibly derives from "the power of water in Celtic tradition"
* * *
I am ever fascinated by these folk who's customs & beliefs I have seen
who lived in a world filled with wonder & fear and feel even more that
these are the stories I want to keep alive, want to work into my paintings.

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