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But aside from its healing and magical powers, the Odin Stone was perhaps best known for the part it played sealing agreements and binding marriages and unions. People from every corner of Orkney, in particular young lovers, would visit the stone to make their vows absolute by clasping hands through the hole and swearing the Odin Oath.

Magical traditions "It was said that a child passed through the hole when young would never shake with palsy in old age. One old folktale tells how a farmer from Turriedale in the parish of Evie: The Odin Oath But aside from its healing and magical powers, the Odin Stone was perhaps best known for the part it played sealing agreements and binding marriages and unions. Click here for more details.


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The Odin Stone and its wedding connections. The original design of this hole was unknown till, about twenty years ago, it was discovered by the following circumstance: The young man was called before the session; the elders were particularly severe. Being asked by the minister the cause of so much rigour, they answered, You do not know what a bad man this is, he has broke the promise of Odin.

Celto-Germanic Culture, Myth and History: Odin Stones and the Odin Stone

Being further asked what they meant by the promise of Odin, they put him in mind of the stone at Stenhouse with a round hole in it, and added that it was customary when promises were made, for the contracting parties to join hands through the hole, and the promises so made were called the promises of Odin. It's online here, in Archaeologia Scotica http: Posted by Rhiannon 27th January ce Edited 16th June ce. All that can now be known of it must be learnt from Barry's or the Marchioness of Stafford's drawings, for the unfortunate tenant of Barnhouse cleared it away.

The stone, which was of much the same shape as those still left, was remarkable from being pierced through by a hole at about five feet from the ground; the hole was not central but nearer to one side.

Stone of Odin

Many traditions were connected with this stone, though with its name I believe them to have been imposed at a late period; for instance, it was said that a child passed through the hole when young would never shake with palsy in old age. Up to the time of its destruction, it was customary to leave some offering on visiting the stone, such as a piece of bread, or cheese, or a rag, or even a stone; but a still more romantic character was associated with this pillar, for it was considered that a promise made while the plighting parties grasped their hands through the hole was peculiarly sacred, and this rude column has no doubt often been a mute witness to "the soft music of a lover's vow.

This agrees with the description of Mr Leisk; but Barry's plate would lead us to imagine that the height was at least double that given above.

This can be read online courtesy of Google Books. Posted by Rhiannon 27th January ce Edited 27th January ce. The Odin stone, long the favorite trysting-place in summer twilights of Orkney lovers, was demolished in by a sacrilegious farmer, who used its material to assist him in the erection of a cowhouse. Black and edited by Northcote W. At the OrkneyJar webpages http: It is said that he was engaged to the daughter of a Stromness merchant, and that they'd pledged their betrothal by joining hands through the Odin Stone. After he was hanged, his poor girlfriend it is said had to travel all the way to London, to touch his hand and so release her from the oath.

What a terrible thought.

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You rather hope the story isn't true. Posted by Rhiannon 12th September ce Edited 27th January ce. In practice, I found these figures to be wrong as the points do no meet. When the lines were extended until they did, the position of the stone was too far S according to other reports. Watch Stone - 18xE of N. However, this information can be interpreted in different ways: When assuming 'North' to be 'True', the result was that the stone would have been in Harray Loch.

Excavation in by Dr Colin Richards located the probable position and socket for the Odin Stone complete with stone packing. The stone socket was an oval feature measuring 1. Natural bedrock formed the base of the socket. This was situated c. Skip to main content. Background Colour Default Contrast. View on large map. Digital Images 1 Other 1.