We had wandered up and down the Royal Mile, back and forth a few times. Each passing, we would notice something new.
Before visiting Edinburgh, I had never seen an actual ‘burning pyre’ (pictured above). I am not sure many of the Scots realize how unique this artifact is, how historically important.
Strangely enough, if the women died during their ‘interrogation’ they were acquitted – deemed to NOT be witches.
Families would do what they could to ensure the death of their loved one – to protect the rest of the family from trial, and to honour the suspected witch.
With the loose rules of witchery, I would surely have been burning on display in Parliament Square. I have moles, they were considered a sign of witchery, I don’t follow conventional ideals – also witchery.
I am fond of crows, and look to the Universe for signs – absolute witchery.
Being a midwife or a healer could land you on the pyre too.
Fascinating facts from artemisilveraven.tripod.com;
When Christianity first arrived, they attempted to convert the pagans, and in all respects, succeeded. However, not everyone finds it so easy to abandon the teachings they had learnt for years. For this reason, some of the Christian holidays and traditions, and even a few saints, are adaptations from paganism. Easter and Christmas fell right around the time of two of the pagan celebrations. Many of the traditions can be traced back to pagan magic in some form. The physical description of the Devil came from the pagan god Pan, who had goat feet, horns and a tail.
There were a few other sights we witnessed – the incredibly embarrassing self-proclaimed Canadian (I like to think he was lying) who was juggling chainsaws in the middle of the Royal Mile.
No, this is not a common occurrence in Canada. As a matter of fact, I have never witnessed chainsaw juggling – but again, I have been living in the city for close to 30 years.
Maybe they juggle chainsaws in rural Alberta, where the cowboys are from. Maybe he is an Albertan. Either way, we were mortified (no offence to the guy who was just trying to make a living).
It was just before 6pm when we arrived to the Castle to discover we were not allowed in, because it was 10 minutes to close. I have to admit to getting a bit cranky about this. I remember saying dramatically and sternly to the door guards (who were very polite, but surely didn’t care);
“Oh excellent, we drove from Berlin Germany to see this bloody Castle, and it closes by 5pm? That is madness”.
“Sorry Ma’am, truly sorry. Why not try again tomorrow?”
“We are out of here by 6am, you open before then?”
“No Ma’am, sincerely sorry.”
Without even responding, I turned around in a huff, leaving my Husband standing alone, stunned and unsure what to do. Now, I don’t get cranky often, but when I do, I am embarrassingly childish.
It was entirely my fault for not checking on the Castle hours, the poor guards had nothing to do with it!
Hopefully I didn’t ruin their night with my rudeness. More people I would apologize to, if I could!
As evening approached, we decided to hunt down some pillows. Unfortunately our current rental car was not as comfortable for random sleeps as our last from Germany.
We found a department type store across from a beautifully lit building that caught my attention for a bit.
We do have a few buildings of this type where I am from in Ontario, Canada (even fewer where I live now in BC), but generally they are Parliamentary in nature and very far between.
We found some fantastic pillows, that still sit on my couch at home.
Crowds were gathering outside our hostel at a cool outdoor pub, for World Cup (soccer) festivities.
The cheers and hollering echoed excitedly through our grim hospital green dorm room. We knew we had to head back out for some more adventure.
We had to do the most invigorating, thrilling (read: scary) thing we could think of – visit Greyfriars after dark.