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Welsh Folk Lore - Rhamanta, Or Omen Seeking.

Clefyd Yr Ede Wlan Or Yarn Sickness
About twenty years ago, when the writer was curate of Llanw...

Rhamanta Or Omen Seeking
Rhamanta was a kind of divination that could be resorted to w...

Coel Ede Wlan Or The Yarn Test
Two young women took a ball of yarn and doubled the threads...

Divination With The Twca Or Knife
The proceeding was as follows:--The party who wished to kno...

The Washing Test
Another well-known and often practised form of divination w...

Troi Crysau Or Clothes Drying Test
Young maidens washed linen after the household had retired,...

Hemp Seed Sowing
A young married woman, a native of Denbighshire, told me th...

Pullet's Egg Divination
Mr. J. Roberts, Plas Einion, Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, told m...

The Candle And Pin Divination
The process is as follows:--A couple of young women meet, a...

Water In Basin Divination
Should young persons wish to know whether their husbands we...

Hairs Of A Lover Found Under A Holly Tree
This test is to be carried out on All Hallow Eve. The youn...

The Bible And Key Divination
A key is taken, and placed on the 16th verse of the 1st cha...

Testing A Lover's Love By Cracking Of Nuts
This divination is common to many countries, but the writer...

Gay Describes The Ceremony:--
Two hazel nuts I throw into the flame And to each nu...

Coel Ede Wlan Or The Yarn Test


Two young women took a ball of yarn and doubled the threads, and then
tied tiny pieces of wood along these threads so as to form a miniature
ladder. Then they went upstairs together, and opening the window threw
this artificial ladder to the ground, and then the one who was performing
the incantation commenced winding the yarn back, saying the while:--

Y fi sy'n dirwyn
Pwy sy'n dal?

I am winding,
Who is holding?

This was done three times, and if no lover made his appearance, then for
that year her chances of marriage were gone. The next evening the other
girl in the same manner tried her fortune, and possibly better luck would
attend her trial. It was believed that the spirit of the coming husband
would mount this ladder and present himself to his future wife.

The Rev. R. Jones, rector of Llanycil, told me the following tale. Two
young men from Festiniog went to court two young girls in the parish of
Maentwrog, servants at a farm called Gellidywyll. As they were going
towards the farm one of them said, Let me rest awhile. He at once
seated himself on the ground, and apparently he fell asleep immediately.
This surprised his friend, but he was thoroughly frightened when he saw
a blue light emanate from his mouth, and he attempted to awaken the
man, but he failed to arouse him, he seemed as if dead. However, after
awhile, the blue light was seen returning, and it entered the mouth of
the sleeper, and he instantly awoke, and they proceeded together towards
Gellidywyll. At the very time that the man felt an irresistible
inclination to sleep, his love had used the yarn incantation, and the
unconscious man during his short sleep dreamt that he had seen his
sweetheart in the window, and the girl said that he had appeared to her
at the window. In a few months after this proof of true love they were

Another form of incantation was to walk around the church seven or nine
times on certain nights. This I will call the Twca Test or Knife
Test. This was a very common form of incantation.

Next: Divination With The Twca Or Knife

Previous: Rhamanta Or Omen Seeking

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