The Welsh  & Celtic TraditionWelsh & Celtic Iconography




The three carved stones, known as the "Pen Arthur Stones" first came to the attention of archeologists in 1856. At that time, they were being used as gate posts on a farm in Sir Benfro (Pembrokeshire) about 1/2 mile north of St. David's Cathedral. According to local tradition they had originally been placed upright around a holy well on a nearby moor.
The Christian symbols inscribed on one of the three, known as the "Gurmarc Stone" show that these stones date from the Common Era. In 1885, they were moved to St. David's Cathedral where they can be seen today.

The oak was sacred to the ancient Celts.
    "The druids (which is what they call their magicians) consider nothing more sacred than mistletoe and the tree it grows on, so long as it is an oak.
" They select oak groves for the sake of that tree and will not perform any religious ceremony without its leaves. In fact the name ‘druid’ can even be derived from the word ‘oak’ if one employs a Greek etymology [drys, oak]."
      -Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79), Natural History, XVI.95

The modern Welsh words for ‘druid’, ‘[stand of] oak’, and ‘[single] oak’ are derwydd, derw, and derwen, respectively.

The carthen or Welsh double cloth has a history that stretches back to
and beyond the days of the Princes of Gwynedd [12th & 13th centuries] making it almost impossible to trace some of the strange and singular designs with which they are adorned. What impresses most about these patterns
is how wholly different they are to the usual patterning that is associated with early Celtic design.[Davies, P. (1999).History of the carthen/Welsh double cloth.]

The soft, earthen colors are the unmistakable sign of authentic vegetable dyes: colors not found in modern Scottish tartans. Welsh sheep have long guard hairs in their wool. The resulting 'kemp hair' fleeces are rough, but if finished correctly in the 'Pandy' i.e., boiled, steamed and pressed, the best of them produced blankets of exceptional warmth and wear resistance, akin to a fine felt.

"Tair swydd iaith: adrawdd, cynhyrfu a ddyfalu" which can be translated literally as "three offices of language: describing, exciting [emotion] and imagining" is one of the Welsh Triads.
The Triads, found in various medieval manuscripts, are collections of historic facts, mythological traditions, moral maxims, or rules of poetry organized in groups of threes. It is believed that they evolved in the bardic schools as mneumonic devices to assist in the learning of narrative material.
Many of the triads contain Arthurian references. For a more complete discussion of them, as well as many more examples, see Gordd Cymru The Welsh Triads

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