A Charm for Clefyd y Galon/ Heart Disease, Charms in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Eglwys Fach Wales
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Category: Charms
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Title: A Charm for Clefyd y Galon/ Heart Disease


The Rev. J. Felix, vicar of Cilcen, near Mold, when a young man lodged in Eglwysfach, near Glandovey. His landlady, noticing that he looked pale and thin, suggested that he was suffering from Clefyd y galon, which may be translated as above, or love sickness, a complaint common enough among young people, and she suggested that he should call in David Jenkins, a respectable farmer and a local preacher with the Wesleyans, to cure him. Jenkins came, and asked the supposed sufferer whether he believed in charms, and was answered in the negative. However, he proceeded with his patient as if he had answered in the affirmative. Mr Felix was told to take his coat off, he did so, and then he was bidden to tuck up his shirt above his elbow. Mr. Jenkins then took a yarn thread and placing one end on the elbow measured to the tip of Felix’s middle finger, then he told his patient to take hold of the yarn at one end, the other end resting the while on the elbow, and he was to take fast hold of it, and stretch it. This he did, and the yarn lengthened, and this was a sign that he was actually sick of heart disease. Then the charmer tied this yarn around the patient’s left arm above the elbow, and there it was left, and on the next visit measured again, and he was pronounced cured.
|There were various ways of proceeding in this charm. Yarn was always used and the measurement as above made, and sometimes the person was named and his age, and the Trinity was invoked, then the thread was put around the neck of the sick person, and left there for three nights, and afterwards buried in the name of the Trinity under ashes. If the thread shortened above the second joint of the middle finger there was little hope of recovery; should it lengthen that was a sign of recovery.


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