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Pont-y-Pridd Rocking Stone

Rocking Stone


An insight into what those Victorian druids got up to, courtesy of Wirt Sikes:
Midsummer Eve, or St. John's Eve (June 23rd) is one of the ancient Druidic festivals, still liberally honoured in Wales. The custom of lighting bonfires survives in some of the villages, and at Pontypridd there are ceremonies of a solemn sort.

Midsummer Eve, in 1878, fell on a Sunday. Upon that day the 'Druids and bards' at Pontypridd held the usual feast of the summer solstice in the face of the sun. There is a breezy common on the top of a high hill overlooking the town, where stand a logan stone and a circle of upright stones constituting the 'temple of the Druids'. Here it is the custom of the present-day adherents of that ancient religion, beside which Christianity is an infant, to celebrate their rites 'within the folds of the serpent,' a circle marked with the signs of the zodiac.

The venerable archdruid, Myfyr Morganwg, stands on the logan stone, with a mistletoe sprig in his button-hole, and prays to the god Kali, 'creator of sun, moon, stars and universe'. Then the white-bearded old man delivers a discourse, and new members are initiated into the 'mysteries'. Occasionally these new members are Americans from over the sea, and they include both sexes.

Large crowds gather to witness the impressive spectacle - a shadow of the ancient rites when from Belenian heights flamed high the sacrificial fires. It was a former belief that these fires protected the lands within their light from the machinations of sorcery, so that good crops would follow, and that their ashes were valuable as a medicinal charm.
From 'British Goblins' (1880).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
24th August 2005ce

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