Cursed Irish Farmer Calls in The Druids
A Cork farmer has employed the services of druids to end his decade of bad luck after a bull damaged an ancient standing stone on his land. The Irish farmer, Donal Bohane, owns a 30-acre (12.1 ha.) farm in the townland of Coolnagarrane in County Cork. He claims he has suffered a string of years of “bad luck” having lost fields to floods, costing him thousands in revenue, and many of his cattle have died from a variety of infections. The fact that Mr. Bohane believes in luck, like many of us might, determines he’s prone to non-scientific supernatural thinking, and it comes as almost no surprise that he employed Dutch druids living in Kerry to change his fortune.
Moving Standing Stone Causes a String of Bad Luck
Superstitions can entirely change the way we perceive, and interact with, reality. While some will risk their lives stepping onto roads to avoid passing beneath ladders, others touch wood when they think they’ve “tempted fate”. Superstitions generally rise from fear of the unknown or an unjustified trust in magic that leads to irrational abject attitudes towards the way nature works, in which the supernatural is used to rationalize the superstition.
Druids belonged to a high-ranking social class within ancient Celtic European cultures and served communities as religious leaders, legal authorities, adjudicators, storytellers, medics and advisors to leaders. The reason druids were called to work in Ireland is because Mr. Bohane claims the only thing that has changed on his farm was the location of an ancient one-tonne (2,204 ib) boundary marker.
An article in the Irish Examiner helps along the cursed-stone narrative by throwing in that perhaps the standing stone marked a sacred place , such as “a place of worship or a burial ground.” Whatever the old stone originally represented, Mr. Bohane claims that ever since it was knocked over by a bull ten years ago he’s had “a string of bad luck.”
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After a decade of bad luck, an Irish farmer contacted a folklorist to ask for help, who put him in touch with druids Jan and Karren Tetteroo, seen here, who were willing to offer their services (Valerie O’Sullivan / Grove of Anu )
Farmer Turns to Modern Druids for Answers
After the bull tipped the ancient stone the Irish farmer contacted a folklorist at the University College Cork to find out more about folklore around luck. According to the folklore expert, Dr. Jenny Butler, Mr Bohane inquired about “a possible ritual that might help him” and so she put him in touch with druids Jan and Karren Tetteroo.
Mr. and Mrs. Tetteroo are a colorful pair who earlier this year announced a new festival aimed at “shortening the winter with a spectacular opening equinox parade through the streets of Killarney,” explains an article in the Killarney Advertiser . A fortnight ago, the pair turned up at Mr. Bohane’s farm and “performed a two-hour ceremony before the stone was replaced with the help of a digger.”
Druids Spiritual Respect
The druid ceremony required communications with inhabitants of the perceived spiritual world. The pair told the Irish Examiner that they “addressed the unseen people who live in the fort and said what we were going to do.” You’d have thought seeking permission from the ghosts of the nearby fort would have done the job nicely, but to make sure, they used water from their self-appointed “ holy well .”
Pomponius Mela was the first author to record that druid teaching and instruction was “secret and took place in caves and forests.” Druidic lore consisted of a large number of verses learned by heart and Julius Caesar remarked that “it could take up to twenty years to complete the course of study.” A pretty serious discipline.
Returning to modern Ireland, what kind of training did Jan and Karren Tetteroo undergo to communicate with supernatural spirits and to activate the holy powers of blessed water? The couple run the website Grove of Anú , on which they claim to be druids of “the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids ” serving the Irish community.
Top image: After a ten year run of bad luck, an Irish farmer contacted druids who performed a ceremony. Source: heywoody / Adobe Stock
Editors Note: This article was updated on 12-11-2020 to better reflect the nature of the discussion between Mr Bohane and Dr Butler.
By Ashley Cowie