‘Cursing stone’ found on Isle of Canna

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  • #15529

    anonymous
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    'Cursing stone' found on Isle of CannaA stone discovered by chance on the Isle of Canna is Scotland's first known example of a bullaun "cursing stone", experts have revealed. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-18130259A bullaun (Irish: bullán; from a word cognate with "bowl" and French bol) is the term used for the depression in a stone which is often water filled. Natural rounded boulders or pebbles may sit in the bullaun. The size of the bullaun is highly variable and these hemispherical cups hollowed out of a rock may come as singles or multiples with the same rock. Local folklore often attaches religious or magical significance to bullaun stones, such as the belief that the rainwater collecting in a stone's hollow has healing properties. Ritual use of some bullaun stones continued well into the Christian period and many are found in association with early churches, such as the 'Deer' Stone at Glendalough, County Wicklow. The example at St Brigit's Stone County Cavan still has its 'cure' or 'curse' stones. These would be used by turning them whilst praying for or cursing somebody. In May 2012 the first cursing stone to be found in Scotland was discovered on Canna. It has been dated to circa 800. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullaunand more...By EMMA COWING Published on Sunday 20 May 2012 00:00 AN ANCIENT “cursing stone” used by Christian pilgrims more than a thousand years ago to bring harm to their enemies has been discovered on Canna. The round stone with an early Christian cross engraved on it, also known as a “bullaun” stone, is believed to be the first of its type to be found in Scotland, and was discovered by chance in an old graveyard on the island. More commonly found in Ireland, the stones were used by ancient Christian pilgrims, who would turn them either while praying or when laying a curse, and were often to be found on sacred pilgrim routes. Traditionally, the pilgrim would turn the stone clockwise, wearing a depression or hole in a bigger “socket” stone underneath. ... In Ireland, folklore attached magical significance to bullaun stones, such as the belief that rainwater collected in the stone’s hollow could have healing properties. The St Brigit’s Stone in County Cavan in Ireland was used as a “cursing stone”, and locals would turn the stone while cursing a sworn enemy. ... http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/heritage/rare-canna-stone-s-a-blessing-and-a-curse-1-2306186

  • #17856

    Jamie
    Keymaster

    That's fascinating!  Thanks for finding this and sharing it with us!

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