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Observations placeholder

Old King Cole



Type of Spiritual Experience


The indication from the rhyme is that Old King Cole derived his shamanic experience by smoking [pipe] something and ingesting something [bowl], and listening to fiddles.  In effect, the combination of pipe smoking, ingestion of some plant brew and music played by the fiddle was enough to help Old King Cole on his spiritual journey.  Or maybe not – see symbolism [chortle]

Alfred Watkins – The Old Straight Track
The New English Dictionary gives a rare obscure word ‘Cole’ as meaning a juggler.  Also as of more frequent usage ‘cole prophet’, sometimes spelt ‘cold-prophet’ a wizard, sorcerer or diviner.
In Rowland’s ‘Mona Antiqua Restaura’ the word cole is mentioned in connection with tumuli and cairns and it is said that there are ‘grounds of probability that it really was some solemn appurtenance or religion, although now quite forgotten’
It appears to have a Celtic origin, for in Pugh’s Welsh Dictionary will be found:  Cole – an omen or belief; ..cole y beirdd, the alphabet of the bards; Colecerth; omen of danger, beacon, bonfire; Coelfain, the stones of omen


A description of the experience

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler he had a fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
Oh there's none so rare, as can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three

The link is hilarious - the joy of Nursery rhymes - if they only knew

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps