Monday, October 17, 2011

The Sacred Tree in Religion and Myth by Mrs. J H Philpot




In so dealing with one of the many modes of primitive religion, it is perhaps inevitable that the writer should seem to exaggerate its importance, and in isolating a given series of data to undervalue the significance of the parallel facts from which they are severed. It is undeniable that the worship of the spirit- inhabited tree has usually, if not always, been linked with, and in many cases overshadowed by other cults ; that sun, nioon, and stars, sacred springs and stones, holy mountains, and animals of the most diverse kind, have all been approached with singular impartiality by primitive man, as enshrining or symbolising a divine principle. But no other form of pagan ritual has been so widely distributed, has left behind it such persistent traces, or appeals so closely to modern sympathies as the worship of the tree ; of none is the study better calculated to throw light on the dark ways of primitive thought, or to arouse general interest in a branch of research which is as vigorous and fruitful as it is new. For these reasons, in spite of obvious disadvantages, its separate treatment has seemed to the writer to be completely justifiable.
















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