Various writers had previously published specimens of Gaelic Incantations, but so far as I am aware, our volume contains the first collection of them. Old writers on Highland superstitions make frequent reference to Charms; but while they give descriptions of Ceremonies, they unfortunately pass over the Incantations with contempt. There can be no doubt that many interesting relics of antiquity have thus been lost to the folklorist. The belief in these matters is rapidly becoming a thing of the past ; and the Charms and Incantations are lost as each successive year, death carries away the old people among whom alone they are to be found. While thus the field where Charms and Incantations may be got is becoming more and more limited, the collector has further to contend with these difficulties that those who know them and believe in their efficacy will not communicate them to anyone on whom they may look as an unbeliever; and (second) that many who know them as matter of tradition are frequently ashamed to own the fact. It is satisfactory to know, however, that many of these relics of the past have been rescued, and it is to be hoped that members of this Society may do what they can to add to our store of this peculiar kind of folk-lore ere it be too late.

 

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Gaelic Incantations, Charms and Blessings of the Hebrides - W Mackenzie

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