“The Beating of the Bounds”


There is an ancient custom in the UK and in some parts of Scandinavia and Russia as well called “The Beating of the Bounds”. In the UK it is also called “aganging” because part of the ritual involves very gently( at least in modern times) “banging” the heads of young lads on the boundary markers of a parish which also happens to be those of the village. Such markers might happen to be an old oak tree or some large stone.
This was to insure that the boundaries would always be remembered by the youngest lads of the parish or at least that was the “reasoning”! This custom was generally observed on Rogation days which derives its name from the Latin for supplication or on or near Ascension Day. In the instance of Rogation Days it was to pray for a bountiful harvest. It was also to insure that your neighbor did not encroach upon your village and or parish properties by “remembering” where the boundaries were located.
Perhaps we should do this in Raleigh and other state capitols as well as in Washington. We could lead a procession of Congressional leaders and “bang” their heads, and in these instances, very forcibly. to knock some sense into them. We could do this with the religious nut cases as well. Who knows it might work and afterwards we could retire to a Sacred Space and have barrels of good beer for all who wanted to partake.
We could certainly not do any worse for the wear of it all and most definitely we could improve on the Congressional Record of Insultingly Stupid Do Nothings!

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