Friday, September 18, 2009

Quotes: Primitive Beliefs. Concluded.

Fires, Birth Trees and Souls in All of Nature.

Primitive practice 723 " …in Flanders a great log of wood…is still put on the fire; all the lights in the house are extinguished, and the whole family gathers round the log to spend part of the night in singing, in telling stories, especially about ghosts, werewolves and so on, and also in drinking gin…customary to set fire to the remainder of the gin at the moment when the log is reduced to ashes." Frazer, The New Golden Bough. A beautiful custom.

Primitive practice 25 "…kindle fire by friction of wood on Christmas Eve and keep it burning till Twelfth Night." Frazer, The New Golden Bough.

Primitive practice 726 "…need-fire [ritual fire in seasons of distress and calamity]… sometimes… known as 'wildfire' …necessary preliminary to the kindling of the need-fire all other fires and lights in the neighborhood were extinguished, so that not so much as a spark remained alight; for so long as even a night light burned in a house, it was imagined that the need-fire could not kindle." Frazer, The New Golden Bough.

Primitive practice 730 "…brands taken from bonfires are commonly kept in the houses to guard them against conflagration…homeopathic magic, one fire being thought to act as a preventive of another." Frazer, The New Golden Bough.

Primitive practice 733 "…king of Aix, who reigned for a year and danced the first dance round the Midsummer bonfire, may perhaps in days of old have discharged the less agreeable duty of serving as fuel for that fire which in later times he only kindled."

Primitive practice 760 "It is a Jewish custom to plant a cedar at the birth of a boy and pine at that of a girl; when they marry, the trees are cut down to provide wood for the 'wedding bower.' ” Frazer, The New Golden Bough.

Primitive society 108 "To the savage the world in general is animate, and trees and plants are no exception to the rule…thinks they have souls like his own, and treats them accordingly…why should the slaughter of an ox or a sheep be a greater wrong than the felling of a fir or an oak, seeing that a soul is implanted in these trees also?" Frazer, The New Golden Bough.

Comment: A very entertaining book. RayS.

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