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The harp, of the small portable type played by Celtic minstrels, is the oldest official symbol of Ireland. Through not as recognizable as the shamrock, the harp is widely used. It appears on Irish coins, the presidential flag, state seals, uniforms, and official documents. But the harp is most often associated with Guinness, which adopted the harp as its trademark in 1862.
The shamrock is undoubtedly the most identifiable symbol of Ireland. Shamrock comes from the Irish Gaelic word Seamrog, a word that refers to the plant's three leaves. Legend has it that during a religious debate with the Druid priests, St. Patrick plucked a shamrock to demonstrate the mysteries of the Christian Trinity--three leaves held together by a single stem. Whether or not this story is true, the shamrock is regarded as the national plant of Ireland and always worn on St. Patrick's Day.
The Irish Flag
The Irish tricolor flag made its debut in 1848. It was based on the French tricolor; however, the colors were altogether Irish. One outside band was made green, the color that had long been used as a symbol of the Catholic majority. The other outside band, a stripe of orange, was chosen to represent the Protestant minority. And the middle band of white represented their unity. This flag is not the flag of the Republic of Ireland, which is also tricolor, but rather the flag that represents all of Ireland.
Mystic Charms, Spells, and Incantations
Charms and invocations have been used in Ireland for centuries since the time of the Druids. These mystic formulas have come down to them through centuries of tradition; nobody would venture to laugh at them, or an evil fate would certainly fall on the scorner. For, above all things, fervent faith is necessary while the mystic words are uttered, or the charm will not work for good.
Pluck ten blades of yarrow, keep nine, and cast the tenth away for tithe to the spirits. Put the nine in your stocking, under the heel of the right foot, when going on a journey, and the Evil One will have no power over you.
The seed of docks tied to the left arm of a woman will prevent her from being barren.
To Tame a Horse
Whisper the Apostle's Creed in his right ear on a Friday, and again in his left on a Wednesday. Do this weekly till he is tamed; for so he will be.
To Attract Bees
Gather foxglove, raspberry leaves, wild marjoram, mint, chamomile, and valerian; mix them with butter made on May Day, and let the herbs also be gathered on May Day. Boil them all together with honey; then rub the vessel into which the bees should gather, both inside and out, with the mixture; place it in the middle of a tree, and the bees will soon come. Foxglove or "fairy fingers" is called "the great herb" from its wondrous properties.
To Extract a Thorn
"The briar that spreads, the thorn that grows, the sharp spike that pierced the brow of Christ, give you power to draw this thorn from the flesh, or let it perish inside; in the name of the Trinity. AMEN."
To Find Stolen Goods
Place two keys on a sieve, in the form of a cross. Two men hold the sieve, while a third makes the sign of the cross on the forehead of the suspected party, and calls out his name loudly, three times over. If innocent, the keys remain stationary; but if guilty, the keys revolve slowly round the sieve, and then there is no doubt as to who is the thief.
Here Are More Articles About Irish Folklore, Recipes and History:
- IRELAND’S CASTLES & THEIR FASCINATING FACTS
- ST. PATRICK
- THE LEPRECHAUN
- WHAT IS AN IRISHMAN?
- HISTORY OF ST. PATRICK
- THE BLARNEY STONE
- FACTS ABOUT THE BLARNEY STONE
- IRISH RECIPES
- MORE IRISH RECIPES
- IRISH SYMBOLS - MYSTIC CHARMS, SPELLS, AND INCANTATIONS
- IRISH PROVERBS
- IRISH BLESSINGS
- IRISH BLESSINGS 2
- ST PATRICK - IRELAND'S PATRON SAINT
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