So the story goes that way way back in the day the ancient Celtic people of the Highlands believed in a multitude of Gods.
Not just one, which even superstitious I struggle with the concept of, but they seemed to think there were a whole bunch of these shiny deity type figures hovering here and being meaningful there.
Clootie Well was believed to be an earthly manifestation of one of these gods in the guise of an unusual spring which, seemingly from nowhere, pops out of a very unassuming hillock.
As part of a healing ritual the locals would dip various garments, cloths, rags, (and it would appear, teddy bears!!) into this natural spring.
Then the now rather soggy object were to be tied, strapped, hung or shackled to a near by tree, usually with a message about the person, there name and illness and instructions if you will, which, in my own opinion should really have been given to a doctor! The idea behind this was that the object's gradual deterioration would be mimicked by that of the ailment.
Like many ancient rituals, today this looks rather silly. In the same way that a wizard at Stonehenge during the summer solstice looks utterly ridiculous with his robes flapping in the wind like Jesus in a wind tunnel. The rags hung on the trees just don't really seem to fit into the glorious Highland landscape, making it resemble a favorite location for Celtic flytippers rather than an ancient holy well.
I would like to say at this point, to the many groups of people who hung nylon shirts and rubber based shoes, for your sake I hope all this really is mere superstition for other wise your friends are surely dead and they are waiting for you in the afterlife (hmmm!) ready to beat the stupidity out of you.
Rant over, I do rather enjoy the presence of these places as they stand
as a memorial of how far the most of us have come, both religiously and intellectually...or maybe i could just remove head from arse and simply say that it takes a nice picture!
Enjoy the pictures and come back soon.