While wandering around the property of Islay House I come upon an ancient cemetery filled with a number of tumbledown tombstones. I puzzle over a sign warning me of danger falling quite awhile. Images of headstones ready to bump me off buzz in my when I wandered inside, but as far as I can see, the tombstones are polite and respectful and stay in their places.
It's in cemeteries like these that you can find traces of the old ways of the Inner Hebrides. The ancestors were Celtic, not Christian. Those curly designs like plants could be Viking or Mayan or Indian. They are what I call feminine-based cultures. When I write feminine, I mean Yin not Yang. These cultures were agricultural based communities that were matriarchial in structure. In other words, they celebrated Mother Earth. Women were important valued members of the community.
Feminine cultures still exist today, however they are what we consider indigenous cultures. There are still cultures that contain more feminine, or Yin, than masculine, energy. Masculine cultures are Teutonic, like Germany or Switzerland or the USA. Feminine are Latin cultures, India, many countries in the Far East, and Native American. Roads and systems and hospitals work well in masculine cultures. Feminine countries are more connected to the body, to the rhythms of life, to the emotions and family and rituals. Celtic is feminine. Anglo-Saxon is masculine. The shift from the feminine to the masculine occurred as society moved from hunter gatherer toward cities.
Have a look at this Celtic cross. The two arms have the same length as the north and south arms. The cross is a vertical and horizontal line intersecting, surrounded by a circle. It symbolizes the Earth and the Sky intersecting in perfect balance. It represents sacred balance. It was only when Christianity took over these areas that it was adopted into the Christian lore. Heaven and earth intersects right here, in the human heart.