Black Clad

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fairyphyre
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Black Clad

Postby fairyphyre » 06 Oct 2005, 19:25

I am not sure if this is the right place to post this but I have heard of something called the Black Clad man or Rowan Warriors. I was wondering if anyone knows anything about them at all b/c my husband and brother are both very interested in learning more. Thank you for your help ahead of time and please excuse any misspellings, my cat is attempting to type with me here. :D
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treegod
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Re: Black Clad

Postby treegod » 23 Apr 2010, 22:37

Did you have any luck with this? Just googled them up but couldn't find anything immediately significant. Where have you heard them?

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Re: Black Clad

Postby Scylla » 18 May 2012, 15:48

I couldn´t find anything remotely similar to it either. Are you sure those are the correct terms?
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Michael C. Page
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Re: Black Clad

Postby Michael C. Page » 18 May 2012, 19:34

Nothing here. I also noticed that fairyphyre has not been even on the board since 2009. I wonder where she went... :where:
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Jack Greenman
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Re: Black Clad

Postby Jack Greenman » 13 Jun 2012, 16:29

Now that this thread has been resurrected ...

"Black" immediately rings a bell with me!

In Scotland, there's a traditional belief that if the First Footer - the first person to cross your threshold after midnight on Hogmanay (New Year's Night) - is a "black" man, it will bring you luck for the coming year. There were no gentlemen of African descent in the Highland town where I lived in the 1950s, so what was meant was obviously a man with black hair. If you had fair hair, you took something black, such as a piece of coal, as a present when you went First Footing.

Now I live in Germany, where little figures of chimney-sweeps are used as lucky symbols at New Year. German chimney-sweeps still dress in the traditional black suit and top hat, and of course have sooty faces when they've been sweeping solid-fuel chimneys. It is also supposed to bring you luck to have a chimney-sweep thus attired at your wedding.

Don't ask me why - just my observations!

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Corwen
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Re: Black Clad

Postby Corwen » 17 Jun 2012, 10:31

The 'Man in Black' or 'Black Clad Man' is, according to those who believe in the existence of traditional covens, the person who co-ordinated activities and kept contact between several covens, whose members wouldn't otherwise know each other or know how to make contact. I guess the idea being that ordinary coven members wouldn't be able to give each other away in the event of persecution. Whether these people ever existed is open to debate.
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DaRC
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Re: Black Clad

Postby DaRC » 21 Nov 2012, 12:26

I'm just getting back to this and was interested in the Rowan Warriors link. I found nothing obvious, bar an anime series, but did find great reference on the Rowan...
http://www.merciangathering.com/rowan.htm
Where the Rowan was used to keep witches away - there would be natural conflict between the Black Clad man and the Rowan warriors it would seem.
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Re: Black Clad

Postby Gwion » 22 Nov 2012, 11:59

I think that the discrepancy about rowan may actually be a discrepancy about the term “witch”. I read a library book recently (“Cunning-folk: popular magic in English history by Owen Davies”) which looked at evidence from witchcraft trials. Part of the author’s argument was that those who practiced folk magic did not see themselves as, or call themselves, witches – they were cunning men and wise women. A significant part of the magic they were asked to perform was, in fact, to counter the spells/curses of “witches” who seemed to be universally thought of as “bad”. It seems that the term witch was, throughout the mediaeval period, a pejorative one – even the followers of the “old religion” and the wise women and cunning men did not seem to see themselves as witches. (Of course it needs to be borne in mind that the evidence is coming from witch trials where the prosecutors were biased and the defendants likely to be either terrified or dissembling – or both.) Nevertheless the available evidence suggests that the use of rowan against “witchcraft/witches” might simply imply it was efficacious against curses.

It’s only one possibility/viewpoint of course but I wonder if the idea of “witchcraft” as a neutral term is as much a twentieth century appropriation of a name that may have meant something else in the past as the seventeenth century appropriation of the word druid was the appropriation of a title that may have meant something very different two millennia ago?
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Re: Black Clad

Postby Narvl-Years » 04 Dec 2012, 22:14

From: Pagan Celtic Britain by Anne Ross, Academy Chicago Publishers, Chapter 1, Page 83:

...It is noteworthy that the only reference to the Druidic priesthood in Britain is that made by Tacitus in his description of the attack of Paulinus on Angelesey in A.D. 61. He describes the blood-stained groves, the howling priests, their arms uplifted to heaven, the black-clad screaming women brandishing flaming brands, and he describes how, as a result of the heroism of the Roman soldiers, the whole Stronghold of the British priests was wiped out. (112)

Note: 112 Annals, XIV:30 Kendrick, 1927: 92

brand n. [ME < OE brand, brond, a flame, tourch, sword , base of biernan, brinnan, BURN]

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