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The St Clair family had a curious affinity for gypsies, at a time when the laws against harbouring them were stringent.
In the middle of the 16th century, Sir William St Clair, grandson of the chapel builder, not only allowed gypsies to live in a part of Rosslyn Castle, but also intervened to save a gypsy from the gallows on Borough Moor. After this, it became the custom for gypsies to gather in Roslin Glen every May and June to perform plays. (The St Clairs of Caithness also protected gypsies in their lands.)
Significantly the plays that they performed were those telling the tales of Robin Hood - which were also then, like the gypsies, banned by law, because of their pagan and subversive undertones.
(The two towers of Rosslyn Castle in which the gypsies lived were called 'Robin Hood' and 'Little John'.)
Such was the gypsy presence in Roslyn Glen that it became the subject of a Privy Council Enactment in 1623. This pointed out that the law required those in authority to 'execute to the deid the counterfeit thieves and limmers, the Egyptians' and complained that within the St Clair lands at Rosslyn 'they have a peaceful receipt and abode as if they were lawful subjects'. The Privy Council ordered that the Sheriff of Rosslyn - himself a Sinclair - to 'pass, search, hunt and pursue the said vagabond thieves' and to bring them to Edinburgh for punishment for the offence of simply being 'Egyptians'. Eight gypsy men were hanged, and their wives and children sentenced to be drowned, but the King commuted the sentence to banishment from Scotland.
Once a year, gypsies from all over the world head to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in the South of France, to pay homage to Saint Sarah. According to tradition, Sarah was a gypsy who lived in a small seaside town when Jesus’ aunt, Mary Salome, arrived with other refugees trying to escape from persecution by the Romans.
The statue of Sarah, dressed in beautiful robes, is taken from somewhere near the church (since the Vatican has never canonized her) and carried in procession as far as the sea, through narrow streets strewn with roses. Four gypsies dressed in their traditional clothes place the relics in a boat filled with flowers and repeated the arrival of the fugitives and their meeting with Sarah. From that moment on, everything involved music, feasting, singing and showing one’s courage in front of a bull.
It is easy to identify Sarah as another of the many black Madonnas to be found in the world. Sara-la-Kali, says the tradition, came from noble lineage and knew the secrets of the world. In my mind, she is one of the many manifestations of what they call the Mother Goddess, the Goddess of Creation.
Every year the festival at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer attracts more and more people who have nothing to do with the gypsy community. Why is that? The reason is because God the Father is always associated with the rigor and discipline of religion. On the contrary, the Mother Goddess shows the importance of love above all the prohibitions and taboos that we know so well.
The phenomenon is no novelty; whenever religion makes its rules tougher, a significant group of people tends to seek for more freedom in spiritual contact. This happened during the Middle Ages, when the Catholic Church confined itself to imposing taxes and building luxury-filled convents; the reaction was the appearance of a phenomenon called “witchcraft”, which, despite being repressed on account of its revolutionary character, left roots and traditions that have managed to survive across all these centuries.
In earlier traditions, the cult of nature is more important than reverence for the holy books; the Goddess is in everything, and everything is part of the Goddess. The world is just an expression of her goodness. There exists many philosophical systems, such as Taoism and Buddhism, that do away with the distinction between creator and creature. People no longer try to decipher the mystery of life, but rather, take part in it.
In the cult of the Great Mother, what we call “sin”, generally a transgression of arbitrary moral codes, is far more flexible. Customs are freer, because they are part of nature and cannot be considered the fruits of evil. If God is a mother, then all that is necessary is to join together and worship her through rites that try to satisfy her feminine soul, such as dancing, fire, water, air, earth, singing, music, flowers and beauty.
The tendency has grown enormously over the last few years. Perhaps we are witnessing a very important moment in the history of the world, when at last Spirit integrates with Matter, and they unify and change.
Joseph Jones of the Gypsy Council said early photographs show British gypsies with Indian facial features and styles of dress until 100 years ago.
He said the new study was helpful because it had scientifically confirmed the Indian origin of Britain and Europe's Roma community
Horses are very important to Gypsies in Finland. Not because what is in your claim them being Knights Templar but the reason is their travelling nature.
Knights Templar, not only English thing, there were many Knights Templars for example in Scandinavia and being decendant of , i know for sure Knights in Scandinavia were no gypsies, intead they came from noble families.