Rock of Ages

A woman clinging to the cross is a symbol of faith. It is often accompanied by the verse Rock Of Ages Cleft For Me signifying that a person’s only hope when lost in a sea of sin is to cling to Christ’s cross.

Behold the pilgrim as he lies with glory in his view,
To Heaven he lifts his longing eyes and bids the world adieu.  1886

A woman holding a cross represents faith.
Such are as faithful in love shall abide with him.



One of the earliest gravestones I have seen can be found in the Copps Hill Burying Ground in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. It’s interesting to note that in order to keep within the design boundaries of this elaborate gravestone, the text has been scrunched together.

In the surname WALTERS, the letters L, T, E have been overlapped using the downward stroke of L to create T and E. The same process has been used in the word THIS where the downward stroke of T is shared by the letter H.

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The inscription on the gravestone uses Old English text and translates as:
Here Lies Buried
The Body Of Captain
Sampson Walters
Aged 53 Years
Departed This Life
August The 13th

Above the winged effigy is the Latin phrase ‘Hodie Mihi Cras Tibi Sic Transit Gloria Mundi’ which translates as My Turn Today, Yours Tomorrow. And Thus Passes Away The Glory Of The World.

On a side note, this phrase is used in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander historical novel series when Claire visits the tombstone of Lady Sarah Fraser at Beauly Priory.

The Cemetery at St. Munn’s Church

A sleeping chamber for eternity, this graveyard is attached to St. Munn’s Church in the village of Kilmun. The village is located on the shores of the Holy Loch in the Scottish Highlands within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Gravestones are located not far from the shore and stretch beyond onto the hillside. What a beautiful serene setting.visit scotland2

All things once
Are things forever,
Soul, once living,
Lives forever.visit scotland

Let friends forbear to mourn and weep
While sweetly in the dust they sleep
This toilsome World they left behind
A Crown of Glory for to find.


Kilmun Argyll

Thy wish is granted thou art free from every earthly pain
We miss thee but it would be wrong to wish thee back again.
But we shall meet thee blest through aught
Where partings never come where endless ages rolling fall
Will find us all at home. – 1855

james carter
copyright Bricheno
Photographer, Bricheno

Weeping Woman

This barefooted woman draped in a long vestment, with locks of hair falling within her hood, leans forward, hands covering her eyes as she weeps. I find this image to be the epitome of grief. There are few of us who have not felt the depth of this woman’s grief, the total despair and heartbreak.


“The grief within me has its own heartbeat. It has its own life, its own song. Part of me wants to resist the rhythms of my grief, yet as I surrender to the song, I learn to listen deep within myself” ~ Alan Wolfelt

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The tomb at which the woman weeps is located near the top of the Cimitero delle Porte Sante, in Florence, Tuscany, Italy.


A gravestone is propped against the exterior of the tomb. I have not been able to find an image that clearly identifies all the details inscribed on the stone. From the few words that are decipherable it would appear that the inscription is in memory of Giovanni, a student who died suddenly of a disease.

An identical statue is also seated beside a sealed tomb in Vvedenskoye Cemetery, Moscow. She weeps through Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

The Weeping Woman appears again seated beside the grave of the family Neumanow in the Evangelical Cemetery in Warsaw, Poland .

Double Headed Eagle

The most recognized Freemason symbol is the square and compass with the letter ‘G’ in the middle.

This double-headed eagle symbol represents the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. With wings spread to give flight, one head looks back to see where you have been and the other looks ahead to see where you are going.

double headed eagle

The number 32 inside the triangle represents the 32nd degree of the Scottish Rite known as the Master of the Royal Secret.

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The Latin motto, Spes mea in Deo est, means My hope is in God.



Who Was Maggie Wall?

There is an interesting 20 foot high monument located near Dunning in Perth and Kinross, Scotland. It isn’t interesting because it is attractive, far from it, when you view the large stones bound together with iron fetters, and a dedication handwritten in white paint. The interest lies in its history, and the memory of a woman named Maggie Wall who was burned as a witch in 1657.

CCL Gordon Brown geograph
Creative Commons License, Gordon Brown. Source:

In fact, there is no record of a Maggie Wall existing or being burned as a witch. Meticulous notes were kept of witch burnings which were rampant in Scotland during the 17th and 18th centuries. Scotland has the unenviable title of being the biggest persecutor of witches with over 4000 alleged witches put to death. The rite of burning usually meant that the woman was strangled before being burned at the stake on a pyre of coal and tar. Six witches were accused in the parish of Dunning; Issobell Goold, Agnes Hutsone, Anna Law, Issobell McKendley, Elspeth Reid, and Jonet Toyes who was the last woman burnt as a witch in Scotland for using her daughter as a flying horse. It is feasible that the monument was erected as a memorial to all the persecuted women accused of witchcraft.

The monument is located on the former parklands of Duncrub Castle, seat of the Rollo family. During the 18th century plans of the Duncrub Estate identify a field with a stone perimeter called Maggie’s Walls. In 1866 a place named Maggie Walls Wood appeared on the ordnance survey map, and it is at this time that the monument appears in records.

So, many questions remain:
Is this the actual site of a witch burning?
If a follower of Satan was burned and died here, why is there a Christian cross atop it?
Who built the memorial?
Who regularly paints the inscriptions on the stones?
And most interestingly, as this story and memorial appears to be fake, why was it recorded as a Category B Historic Listed Building in 1971?

Mors Ianua Vitae: Death is the gate of life