Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Plough and Wood

The blog continues in London and in this shot, retains a some connection to wood. In this picture, taken by my son, the wood - a garden trellis, seems to echo the plough shape in this pleasing pub sign (and equally pleasing pub, The Plough!). Interestingly the plough was not part of Celtic mythology in any way. Celtic gods did not rate agricultural activity highly. It was seen as either servile to warrior status or as merely technical. The story of Culhwch and Owen features the farmer Amaethon whose secondary title was ambactos or "servant". Ploughs are part of agricultural society and symbolise the male principle acting on the matter of the soil, the female principle. So the plough is very much a symbol of creation in Egypt, China, Thailand, India and was important in Christian thought. It is felt that the wood and iron of the plough symbolises the unity of Christ in the Cross. The plough depicted is not that ancient. The design first appeared in the mid 1600s as the Rotherham Plough and this was later developed in Berwickshire to become known as the Scots Plough in 1763.