Coel Ede Wlan Or The Yarn Test
: RHAMANTA, OR OMEN SEEKING.
: Welsh Folk-lore
Two young women took a ball of yarn and doubled the threads, and then
tied tiny pieces of wood along these threads so as to form a miniature
ladder. Then they went upstairs together, and opening the window threw
this artificial ladder to the ground, and then the one who was performing
the incantation commenced winding the yarn back, saying the while:--
Y fi sy'n dirwyn
Pwy sy'n dal?
I am winding,
Who is holding?
This was done three times, and if no lover made his appearance, then for
that year her chances of marriage were gone. The next evening the other
girl in the same manner tried her fortune, and possibly better luck would
attend her trial. It was believed that the spirit of the coming husband
would mount this ladder and present himself to his future wife.
The Rev. R. Jones, rector of Llanycil, told me the following tale. Two
young men from Festiniog went to court two young girls in the parish of
Maentwrog, servants at a farm called Gellidywyll. As they were going
towards the farm one of them said, Let me rest awhile. He at once
seated himself on the ground, and apparently he fell asleep immediately.
This surprised his friend, but he was thoroughly frightened when he saw
a blue light emanate from his mouth, and he attempted to awaken the
man, but he failed to arouse him, he seemed as if dead. However, after
awhile, the blue light was seen returning, and it entered the mouth of
the sleeper, and he instantly awoke, and they proceeded together towards
Gellidywyll. At the very time that the man felt an irresistible
inclination to sleep, his love had used the yarn incantation, and the
unconscious man during his short sleep dreamt that he had seen his
sweetheart in the window, and the girl said that he had appeared to her
at the window. In a few months after this proof of true love they were
Another form of incantation was to walk around the church seven or nine
times on certain nights. This I will call the Twca Test or Knife
Test. This was a very common form of incantation.