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ethnological studies; and that the same combination should occur in the sculptures of Mexico is very remarkable.

It seems certain that the Druids employed some sort of stone, under the name of serpent's egg, both as a charm and an emblem of some divinity, probably of that obscure deity called Esus or Hesus, supposed to represent the Earth; and in the medicinal properties ascribed to this curious stone, we may see the first traces of those wonderful properties ascribed to precious stones as already related; and also one of the earliest historical notices of the reverence paid to stones in Britain, a reverence which seems to prevail among almost all semi-civilized races, and a survival of which may be traced in our veneration for the coronation-stone at Westminster, which, singularly enough, appears to have come originally from the neighbourhood of the great serpent mound at Loch Nell, and may, perhaps, have some connection with it.

Numerous instances in which stones of a peculiar shape have been found in ancient barrows are given in Dr. John Evans' Ancient Stone Implements of Great Britain, and these are almost always either oviform or conical, and among them may be specially noted one found in a barrow near Stonehenge, described as a sardonyx, striated with belts of colour, and spotted all over with very small white spots. Two at Caer Leb, Anglesea, supposed to be amulets, had also a band of little pits round them, which would seem to connect them with Pliny's anguinum ovum. Two egg-shaped objects, apparently of Carrara marble, were found in Luneburg tunnel; and in the churchyard at Penneynedd, Anglesea, numerous skeletons were found with a white oval pebble near each. The learned author says- "It is doubtful whether these bones were those of Christians or not," but adds-" In interments of earlier date, such instances seem to point to some superstitious custom, probably like that in India, where the mystic Salagramma pebble held in the hands of the dying Hindoo is a sure preservative against the pains

of eternal punishment." This pebble it must be remarked was black.

But the most remarkable proof of the connection between the serpent and pebbles of a conical form as emblems of the sun, may be seen in vol. ii. of the Archæologia, where a deity is figured evidently representing the sun, the upper half that of a woman, her head surrounded with the conical projections already noticed, and holding in her hand a conical pebble, the lower part of the body terminating in a serpent's tail.1 This remarkable figure was found in a tumulus in Tartary, but similar figures may be seen among Indian and Etruscan sculptures and paintings.

It is generally conceded that this great serpent myth was of Turanian, that is Mongoloid, and pre-Aryan origin, and it is worthy of notice that the only civilized countries preserving the old veneration for the serpent or dragon are China and Japan, both Mongoloid empires. There too the royal ceremonial boats are still made in the form of serpents, as formerly those of Scandinavia and probably of Egypt were also. In China a dragon is still appointed as guardian of every province, and if he refuses to listen to the prayers of the people to grant them rain or fine weather as desired, he is banished for a time.

Perhaps the nearest modern approach to the serpent's egg of the Druids is to be found in Dahome, where Dank, the Heavenly Snake, is said to make the Popo beads, and to confer wealth on man; and there, as also among the Zulus, the snake is identified with the rainbow, which may also be figured in the Scandinavian Eirek's Saga, where "Eirek, journeying towards Paradise, came to a stone bridge guarded by a dragon, and entering into its maw found he had arrived at the world of bliss.'

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The inferences to be drawn from all these instances in which we find stones of various kinds associated with the serpent, or with a race of serpent-worshippers, appears to me to be that the whole egg-and-serpent

1 Among Turanian races the sun is usually a female divinity.

myth originated in the far East, probably in India or Scythia; that it was of Turanian origin, and became disseminated over the whole world by colonists of that race, and although it was repudiated by the succeeding Aryan races, who brought with them their own mythology, and probably rejected with scorn the traditions of the conquered, turning the beneficent Agathodæmon into the terrible dragon, the emblem of sin and of all evil, yet the older traditions lingered among the aborigines, who became probably largely mixed up with the conquerors, and hence we find among the folk-lore of almost all nations, traditions in which the serpent or dragon becomes a powerful agent for good as well as for evil, a healer, a treasure guardian and wealth-giver. It also seems probable that these early serpent races were in all cases the pioneers of civilization; all the traditions clustering round them point them out as agriculturists and metal workers; their monuments would seem to show that they were astronomers and architects of the cyclopean type; but they appear also to have mixed up with their superstitions the bloody rites of human sacrifices, although probably in the beginning their creed was pure sun-worship, and the serpent was simply a totem, the tribal emblem of some great ancestor or benefactor, to whom they had been indebted for much of their knowledge and the power it gave them over the rude tribes to whom they carried the arts of civilization, and by whom they became venerated as great good serpents. The serpent was thus looked upon as the very emblem of the Creator, or great ancestor, and from this became developed that worship of ancestors which is so peculiar to Turanian



DIVINATION-BY THE ROD AND BY THE ARROW.1 Witch-doctors and Diviners-Modern Dowsers-History of the Divining-rod-Its Shape-To be cut from a Fruit-bearing Tree-Connection with the Sceptre and with Horns as Symbols of Power-The Bifurcated Stick with Rings borne by many Gods-Augury by Birds-Survival in the Wishingbone-Miracles wrought by the Rod-Extreme Development of Rhabdomancy among the Finns-Miraculous Virtues ascribed to Trees-Divination by Arrows-Used in casting Lots -Belomancy practised by Nebuchadnezzar and by the Ancient Greeks-Lots among the Anglo-Saxons, Hottentots and Kaffirs-Connection of Rods and Arrows with Ancient Alphabets Magical Virtues of Runes-The Etruscan Tages and Greek Python-The Irish Alphabet-Rhabdomancy and Belomancy traceable to pre-Aryan Race-Possibly possessed of a Power unknown to us-Subject for Psychological Research.

IN investigating the early history of the human race, we cannot fail to be struck with the great part played by those who are now denominated witch-doctors among savages, but who in earlier times and under various names have followed the arts of Divination, for in some form divination has been practised by every nation, civilized and uncivilized, with which we are acquainted. It doubtless had its origin in the world's infancy, when men began to see in natural objects things incomprehensible, and were led by dreams and visions to a belief in the supernatural, and by a further step in the same direction to associate the spirits of the departed with things animate and inanimate. Hence arose an elaborate system, divided into numerous branches, requiring

1 Reproduced with additions from the Journal of the Anthropological Institute, April 1876.

as its exponents trained men skilled in the deep mysteries of nature, and admitted to a knowledge of those dexterous juggleries whereby natural phenomena were made to assume awful and threatening aspects in the eyes of the ignorant and superstitious multitude, in order the more securely to maintain that authority obtained by a reputation for supernatural power. Thus the magicians of Egypt, the astrologers of Chaldæa, the magi of Persia, the augurs of Etruria, Greece, and Rome, the Druids of Gaul and Britain, all diviners, exercised probably more real power than the kings and chiefs of their respective countries, who were commonly only the ministers of the will of the gods as interpreted by their priests.

To treat of divination as a whole would be manifestly impossible; the subject is so vast that it would require volumes. I therefore purpose to take two branches only of this wide subject, believing that in their extensive range and singular affinities they present matter of especial interest to anthropologists, whilst the survival of one of them in our own country at the present day is a curious instance of the durability of superstition notwithstanding the advance of education and civilization.

Among the Mendip Hills, in the old mining districts of Cornwall and Derbyshire, Rhabdomancy, or divination by the rod, still flourishes, and only last year a long correspondence took place in the Spectator and some other papers with regard to its use in various parts of England for the discovery of water, the operators being in almost all cases well-known dowsers from the West of England. One of these I have myself seen at work in the neighbourhood of Bath, and can testify that water was certainly found at the spot indicated by him, in consequence of the violent agitation of the hazel-rod he carried.

These diviners always assert that the power of the rod is confined to very few, not one in a thousand being able to make use of it; and I certainly never heard that those who ridicule the practice have themselves been able to control the motions of the rod, which in many cases becomes so violently agitated as to break in the

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