Wednesday, 26 November 2008

snow and wicca

Icy cold day today. La Rhune was snow-capped for the first time that we've seen, very pretty too. The mountain looms ever present, residing over St Jean de Luz. The maps say it is almost 1000m high, making it the same height as Scafell Pike, almost as high as Snowdon and a definite Munro. Although it rises from sea-level at the western end of the Pyrenees it never actually looks that high.

They say that the name translates in Basque as 'good pastures' and it is with Basque culture that La Rhune (or Larrun in Basque) is held in highest esteem. Many myths and legends surround the mountain. Until the late C18th locals paid a monk to dwell on the mountain full time in order to ward off the hoards of witches it was believed lived atop the mountain. So prolific were witches in these parts that the Spanish Inquisition undertook its most ambitious witch trials in the C17th just over the border in Navarre. Goya's 'Le Sabbat de Sorcieres' depicts wicca in practice.

I haven't seen any witches yet but will let you know if I do.