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 Wookey Hole A series of limestone caves near Wells,

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Date d'inscription : 14/04/2010

MessageSujet: Wookey Hole A series of limestone caves near Wells,   Dim 18 Avr - 11:27

Wookey Hole A series of limestone caves near Wells,
England, which were carved away over time by the River
Axe. In pagan times, the winter death rites of the Goddess
may have been celebrated here. Such rites, performed
at Samhain (observed October 31), included the sacrifice
of oxen in observance of the dying of the earth (see sabbat).
The Goddess was represented by a high priestess.
The cave also may have been used to initiate women
into a pagan priesthood (see initia tion). In 1912 excavations
at the site uncovered the bones of a Romano-British
woman. Nearby were the bones of a goat and a kid, as well
as a comb, dagger and a round stalagmite that resembled
a crude crystal ball.
According to legend, a bloodthirsty “Witch of Wookey”
lived in the cave. In one version, the witch had once
been spurned in love and in revenge cast spells on the
villagers of Wookey and demanded human sac rific e.
The terrified villagers appealed to the Abbot of Glastonbury,
who dispatched a monk to confront the witch in
the depths of the cave. Her evil spells were of no avail
against the monk. The witch tried to escape, but the
monk succeeded in sprinkling her with holy water, turning
her into stone. In another version, the witch directed
her maleficia against lovers throughout Somerset. She
cast a spell that ruined one couple’s wedding plans. The
would-be groom took holy vows and became a monk. He
exacted revenge by sprinkling the witch with holy water
and turning her to stone.
A 20-foot high stalagmite inside the cave is said to be
the preserved remains of this witch.
Further reading:
Bord, Janet, and Colin Bord. Ancient Mysteries of Britain.
Manchester, N.H.: Salem House Publishers, 1986.
Folklore, Myths and Legends
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