that of the union by means of the nail or the rag with divinity, but apparently to a somewhat later stratum of thought. Since the spread of Christianity the reason for the sacredness of many trees or wells has passed from memory; and it has consequently been natural to substitute any tree or any well for a particular one. This substitution has favoured the idea of transfer of disease, which has thus become the ordinary intention of the rite in later times.
Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/478
Pin-Wells and Rag-Bushes.