Coel Ede Wlan Or The Yarn Test

: Welsh Folk-lore

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?

br />
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.