The land of William Wallace, Rob Roy, and kilted highlanders, is filled with ancient mysteries and legends. Here are some of the customs, superstitions, and folklore associated with the Bonnie Land.

 

Sayings:

“The wind from the northeast, neither good for man nor beast.”

 

 

Items with Mythical Properties:

  • Black Wool and Butter: The two were used to cure bad luck.
  • Evil Eye: delivering a curse by means of expression or vision. Also called, “overlooking,” “eye-biting,” or “fascination.”
  • Forespoken Water: Water that has been blessed, or prayed over. It was used for cleansing and protection.
  • Intoxicare: A Middle Age verb for poisoning.
  • Laurel: Laurel was believed to have many medicinal powers. It was thought to cure epilepsy, it was an antidote for demonic possession, and repelled lightening. If someone tried to poison your drink, and you had a laurel cup, the cup would crack.
  • Sea Nut: The fruit of a cocoa palm, once called “sea nut,” was held in great regard. It was called a “sea nut,” because no one knew its origin, which we know today as Madagascar. The sea nut was reported to turn solid black if you wore it, and someone wished ill upon you.
  • Coral: The primary ingredient in a concoction to “cure” epilepsy and demonic possession. It was often administered to children when they were born. Adults often wore coral pendants pinned to their clothing.
  • Moles’ Feet: Will save you from poverty if you carry them in your coin purse.
  • Birds’ Bones: Will protect your health if carried in clothing pockets.
  • Fairy Pennies: In some reports, these were rounded pebble stones. In others, they were enchanted pennies that could make men become wealthy. To have one was to be prosperous.
  • Squills: The sea onion was used to ward of sorcery from the wearer.
  • Foxtree or Foxglove: used as both a medicine and a poison.
  • Oil of Worms: Oil extracted from earthworms. It was believed to restore the mind.
  • Woodbine or Woodbind: Branches were fashioned into a wreath. It cures hectic fever and tuberculosis if a patient is passed through the center 3 times.
  • Horseshoes: Horseshoes nailed over stable doors, or house doors, keeps witches from entering. As late as 1813, era-historians record there were seventeen horseshoes nailed over doors of London streets.
  • Fox Head: The head of a fox was used exactly the same way as horseshoes, and also to ward off witches.

 

Traditions:

  • The earth from the site of a murder was used to cure pain and ulcers.
  • The clothing worn by criminals when executed held curative powers. It was wrapped around the head to cure headache, the torso to cure indigestion, etc.
  • Weapons from a murder, such as a knife, will make foods curative if used to prepare it.
  • Touching corpses on the scaffold cures scrofula, warts, and wens.
  • Touching dead criminals on Scaffold- cures scrofula, warts and wens.
  • Items that are “sanctified” or blessed could be used as a preservative.
  • Blue is a mystical color.
  • Circles could be used for evil, but generally protected those within from devils or demons.

 

Mystical Stones:

Adder stone: If tied around the knee during labor, it eases pain. Primitive historians once believed snakes created these stones. They were suspended from the neck of those suffering with whooping cough or distempter. Just holding the stone ensured prosperity and repulsed evil. It had to be stored in an iron box so the fairies wouldn’t steal it. Fairies hated metal. Water, infused with the adder stone, was taken 100 miles to administer to the sick in the Highlands. Elf arrow heads were boiled alongside adder stone to cure a poisonous bite. Elsewhere, they’re also called “Hag Stones,” “Witch Stones,” Serpent’s Eggs,” “Snake’s Eggs,” among other names.

Crystal Stone: We know it as crystal quartz. It was used to ease labor pains.

Toad-Stone: This variety of trap rock was once believed to originate in the skull of a toad, hence “Toad stone.” This was used to prevent housefires and sinking ships. If worn by a military commander, his men would either achieve victory, or quickly die in battle. The toad-stone was also said to have a plenthora of medicinal uses.

Mole Stone: Rings of blue glass. They were believed to help with vision problems.

Cock Knee Stone: What is really the shell of a sea urchin was once believed to come from the knees of a rootster, or “cock.”

Snail Stone: A small, hollow cylinder of blue glass with 5 or 6 rings. It was believed to cure eye ailments and alleviate pain in labor. It was believed to come from a snail’s head.

Amber: A mystical gem with a multitude of benefits in luck and health.

St. Convall’s Chariot: The parimary ingredient in miraculous curative lotions centuries ago. It was said to be made from a massive rock that ferried St. Convall to the banks of the Clyde.

Lady Crawford’s Amulet: This was a mystical amulet worn by, “Lady Crawford.” If an epilepsy sufferer wore the amulet to sleep for five nights in a row, their sickness would be alleviated.

 

Other Scottish Curiosities:

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