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The Horseman's Word


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Urisk's picture
Urisk
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Joined: 15 Oct 2008

Quite an interesting prospect. Aparrently in north east Scotland between the 18th and early 20th Century there existed a strange sect with a paranormal link. By the sounds of it, the Horseman's Word appeared to have a practical "trade union"-esque quality for ploughmen, blacksmiths, horse trainers etc.

Initiation was full of occult symbolism from bringing offerings of whisky, bread and jam/fruit to reciting Bible passages backwards; blindfolded initiates would be given the "word" which was said to allow any horse to be tamed when whispered to it. They recited an oath not to write, recite or misuse the oath, and immdiately told to write the word down. Any who fell for this were rapped across the knuckles. Finally they were required to "shake hands wi' Auld Hornie", often a stick covered in fur, a man in garb and sometimes a mask and brandishing a hoof, or a live calf.

Quite something: a forward-thinking society with a sense of humour, or something more sinister?

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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Re: The Horseman's Word

This is new to me Urisk, then again there are no doubt a large number of these 'secret' societies. I take it only people who worked with horses could join.  I love secret societies:)

Urisk's picture
Urisk
User offline. Last seen 18 weeks 6 days ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Re: The Horseman's Word

I believe so, Ian. It's got a nice wee feature in the Reader's Digest book on British mythology. The chapter on Aberdeenshire, Inverness and Grampian. Sadly nothing on the Yird Pigs though.

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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Re: The Horseman's Word

The Wiki page for it say they used Masonic-style oaths, gestures, passwords and handshakes.



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