Bennachie is the name attributed to the dominant mountain range of the ancient Meiklian territory. It’s gaelic translation – Hill of the Breast, could derive from the second highest point called Mither Tap, Tap meaning Bap or Breast in old scots. There are also two other peaks which lend to the Breast symbolism; the highest point of the range, Oxen Craig and its partner Watch Craig. Through such anthropomorphic naming of significant features in the landscape we can discern that for the peoples of deep time, earth and nature may have been recognised as an earth goddess.
For anthropologist Mircea Eliade the importance of a high mountain located near an archaic culture will become revered, ‘the sacred mountain is where heaven and earth meet and is situated at the centre of the world’. It is important to note that Eliade defines ‘world’ to be the reality in which local people are living, and goes on to stress the importance of their local mountain. Eliade sees such a mountain as ‘the zone of the sacred, the zone of absolute reality’ and a true centre in the world local peoples exist within.*