Sons Of Arthur

Wild Thyme - The King of Britons Badge

Every Scottish Highland clan has their own wild plant badge. The plant badge is symbolic of the clan's homeland, which the warriors defended with their lives. The wearing of the plant badge was an essential lucky charm, thought to offer the magical protection of the land herself. Many clans chose plants common to their own ground like heather or pine, but Wild Thyme (Thymus Serpyllum) is the plant badge of the ancient Clan Arthur.

The direct translation of the Gaelic name for Wild Thyme, lus mhic righ Bhreatainn, is 'Plant belonging to the King of Britain's son!' This is just one more of the many fragments of evidence that support the ancient MacArthur claim to 'King' Arthur as their patriarch.

Wild Thyme was also known as 'King's Plant' because the ancient nobility favoured the aroma for calming pre-battle nerves. The name Thyme is derived from the Greek for courage or strength. A natural antiseptic, the herb could also be used during battle to reduce swelling from wounds, and was added to the ritual post battle bath to help wash away the sorrows of conflict - Truly a warrior amongst herbs.

A plant ruled by the planets of Venus and the Sun, Thyme helps to combat headaches, hangovers and coughs. In magical terms, it is burned in incense to purify an area, however, the travelling folk consider Thyme very unlucky as it is reputed to grow only where violent death has occurred!

On a recent excursion to Tir Artair (Arthur's Land) on Loch Tay side, I had no difficulty in locating this remarkable plant growing wild on Creag Tir Artair (The Rocks of Arthur's Land). The virtue of Clan Arthur's badge has been immortalised in the ever-popular Scottish folk song recently released by top Scottish band The Silencers:

Wild Thyme
O' the summer time is coming
And the trees are sweetly blooming
And the wild mountain thyme
Rolls around the purple heather
Will you go lassie go?
And we'll all go together
To pluck wild mountain thyme
All around the purple heather
Will you go lassie go?
Wild Thyme

Copyright Hugh McArthur 2001

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Darwin, Tess
The Scots Herbal - The Plant Lore of Scotland
ISBN 1873644604

Hopman, Ellen Evert
A Druid's Herbal
ISBN 0892815019


SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO:

hugh.mcarthur@clannarthur.com



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