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The Religion of the Ancient Celts

Page: 90

The elder, rowan, and thorn are still planted round houses to keep off witches, or sprigs of rowan are placed over doorways—a survival from the time when they were believed to be tenanted by a beneficent spirit hostile to evil influences. In Ireland and the Isle of Man the thorn is thought to be the resort of fairies, and they, like the woodland fairies or "wood men" are probably representatives of the older tree spirits and gods of groves and forests.

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