Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Bedding the St Fillan's healing stones

Crikey, is it 2014 already? Happy New Year everyone! I hope you're doing great and 2014 is off to a flying start.

Today I was looking at the folklore news as I do everyday and came across this nice little tradition. In a tiny wee village called Killin in Dundee, Scotland they have just carried out a ritual that has been going since the 8th century. That's likely the same time that Beowulf was written. That's old stuff.

The ceremony is called the bedding of St Fillan's healing stones, which involves replacing the twigs, river wrack and straw that the mystical eight healing stones sit on. They are held in the Breadalbane Folklore Centre, where local schoolchildren helped with the ritual.

St Fillan is the patron saint of the mentally ill and was said to have healing powers as well as a glowing arm, allowing him to read scriptures in the dark. There is a St Fillan's Pool in Stirling, Scotland, in which people were dunked, bound and left on a pew or near the font. If the bonds were loose the following day it as said they had been cured of their ailment.

Stones have been believed to have healing properties for centuries, which has recently evolved into a new age belief regarding crystals.