Folklore & Old Wives Tales

Folklore and Old Wives Tales include traditional beliefs, customs, stories, songs and sayings. Human nature,  inanimate objects, magick, charms, luck and disease and death. Customs and rites such as marriage, childhood and adult life, festivals, warfare, hunting, farming, and fishing. Old myths, legends, folktales, ballads, songs, proverbs, nursery rhymes and riddles keep folklore passed along in cultures all over the world. Folklore comes from every culture on the planet, current and extinct.

Pagan and Wiccan magick are rooted in folklore. Studies of herbs, divination, tree magick, astrology, animal guides and weather magic. Any magick you look at will be full of old ideas which science is only recently looking at. Just by doing a little research you will find which old wives tales are having a second wind and are already available at a drug store near you. Divination is a belief custom based on folklore, early ideas of science. Every tradition from tarot, dowsing, crystal gazing, scrying to reading the bumps on a head can not be proven to work by science. Still, divination in all its varied forms is a very popular form of magick. Of course, some folklore is truly a fable or superstition. It will be up to your own explorations and common sense to dig deeper and decide which are fable and which are facts.

Portend1. To serve as an omen or a warning of; presage. 2. To indicate by prediction; forecast.

~If an apple bursts in the oven while baking, good news is on the way for the cook.
~Eggs that crack while boiling are a sign that visitors are expected.
~When rice forms a ring around the pot while cooking, the cook will become rich.
~Knocking over the sugar bowl is another sign of money (as sugar used to be expensive) Spilling pepper signifies a coming fight, while spilling salt is a well known sign of trouble. Throw a pinch of salt or pepper over the left shoulder to avoid the hex.
~Accidentally mixing up the salt and sugar in a recipe is a sweet sign, it predicts good news.
~Forgetting to add spice to a recipe while cooking signifies trouble ahead, and you must remedy this by adding the spices as soon as possible before you eat.
~Bubbles in your morning coffee predict money. If they are near the side of the cup you drink from the money will come soon, if on the far side, money will come slowly.
~If you must add a lot of water to boiling food, rain is on the way. If the coffee pot boils over more than often it’s also as sign for rain.
~Crossing knives while setting the dinner table fortells a long journey.
~A piece of bread falling from someone’s hand means a beggar will soon be knocking at your door (a friend that’s low on cash).
~Spilling water on the tablecloth signifies rain is on the way.
~If you drop a glass and it doesn’t break, this is proof you have friends that would go through fire for you.
~Silverware dropped at the table indicates the impending arrival of a visitor – fork represents a man, a spoon a woman.
~If you knock your chair over while getting up from the table, it’s a sign you lied while sitting there.
~A bird flying into your house for no apparent reason, is a sign of good luck and fortune for the owner- not so much for the bird! It may also be a sign of news from a distance.
~Snakes are good luck. One crawling up your doorsteps portends that someone from another country will enter your home. A snake in the garden brings good fortune.
~Wild animal tracks in the snow, completely encircling your house are another sign of good luck.
~Seeing a spider in the house is good luck, killing one brings bad luck.
~A spider or bee entering your home through an open window indicates news is on the way.
~Doors opening themselves signal the arrival of company.
~Cracks in the ceiling indicate bad weather is on the way.
~A falling picture predicts a journey for someone in the family.
~If a broom drops across a doorway, you will soon head off on a journey. (make sure to pick it up quickly and don’t step over it) If it falls anywhere else, unwelcome company is coming.
~Never take your broom with you when you move, always buy a new one or any bad luck you had will follow you.
~When your cupboard doors are left open, people are gossiping about you.

An Omen…is a sign that signals a future event; many Omens are historically based upon ancient superstitions and cultural folklore.

Some omens are indicative of good fortune, while others are symbolic of impending hardship and doom. Bad Luck and Superstitions are mostly Christian based, as history will show some were & still are, very superstitious. Here are some Christian based Superstitions….

Unlucky #13 – Many Christians believed it started with witches’ covens having 12 members, making 13 only when the devil appeared at satanic ceremonies (although, prior to Christianity, 13 was considered a sacred number, representing the 13 moons of the year.) 13 was also the number at the Last Supper, when Judas betrayed Jesus.
Breaking a Mirror
– Our ancestors began this superstition, because they thought the image in a mirror, contained our actual soul. Thus, a broken mirror, represented the soul being pulled from your body and being trapped in all the shattered pieces. – The reason the bad luck lasted for seven years, was because the Romans believed that after seven years, the body was physically renewed and the soul could once again return whole. Cure: To break the spell of misfortune from a broken mirror, you must wait seven hours, (one for each year of bad luck), before picking up the broken pieces, and bury them outside, in the moonlight.

Walking Under Ladder – If you walk under a ladder you supposedly break a spiritual triangle (the Holy Trinity) that will leave you vulnerable to the devil.
Black Cats -
Black cats have long been believed to be a supernatural omen, since the witch hunts of the middle ages, Christians associated a witches black cat to be connected to evil. Since then, it is considered bad luck if a black cat crosses your path.

Friday the 13th- It is claimed that Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden on a Friday, Noah’s flood started on a Friday and Christ was crucified on a Friday, so it is likely these days and numbers combined were given the signal of bad luck.
Spilling Salt
-At one time salt was a rare commodity and thought to have magical powers. It has long been useful as a preservative, in medicine, and is also used in magic, ritual, and superstition to purify, bless things, and drive away evil. It was unfortunate to spill salt and one had to take a pinch of it and throw it over their left shoulder to undo any bad luck, and ward off the devil that may lurk behind.

I wanted to show the difference between “Wives Tales” and “Superstitions”. Witches are not “superstitious” as most superstitions are Christian, and based on bad luck, evil and devil & deathly outcomes. ~Aldora

50 Responses to Folklore & Old Wives Tales

  1. Cassandra says:

    Ηey! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the superb work!

  2. manuela says:

    What does it mean spilling coffee ?? Could n’t find it anywhere.. Thank you…

    • Aldora says:

      Spilling coffee, I only know the dream interpretation for….Drinking coffee is a pleasurable morning ritual for most people, so if you dream of drinking coffee, you might be feeling content at this time in your life. If you are making coffee in the dream, you want to start your day off right, or you might be nurturing yourself, family, or friends. If you dream you have spilled coffee, you are worrying that you have lost something you hold dear.

      Blessings Aldora :)

  3. Miles says:

    In my family, it is bad luck to be in public on the night of the full moon, although it is perfectly fine to stay at home and do whatever you will; nature walks,fires, or whatever comforts you. If on vacation during full moon,either stake out a place in nature to enjoy it or stay away from the public.
    This superstition is actually considered common sense in the southeast United States ( LA,MS) and is based on the concept that the lunar energies have strange effects on people that don’t know how to handle those energies correctly thus leading them into lunacy. Cops, emts, and hospital folk will usually tell you the same thing. Things seem to go awry when a full moon rolls around in public places.

  4. John King says:

    I have saved this site of your, because of it’s content. I found it very informative and knowledgeable, I want to thank you for this information. I am a practicing witch myself and only wish that people would learn more about our ways, instead of judging us on what we believe . What witch has ever hurt another, with out just cause, we have helped more people than hurt them. Can the Christians say the same thing. The Christians are just afraid of what they don’t understand, and to pig headed to want to learn.

    Thank you again
    Mr. .J. King

    • Aldora says:

      Thanks John, I do agree with you…ignorance is bliss. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Some are just too quick to judge and cannot form opinions themselves. Sometimes it’s hard but we must just “smile and wave”. Don’t let anyone bring you down to their level or negatively impact you. Stay positive and positive things will come to you :)


  5. Kat says:

    I’m not a wiccan, but I am a firm believer in the color of the rings around the moon. Especially since my dog died three days after the ‘blood moon’ appeared. I know that white means rain/snow within three days, too…but what does it mean when the color is yellow or orange or pink? I’ve tried to pay attention to what happens after I see them, but I haven’t noticed anything odd or significant. I could just be making a big deal out of this, but I feel like it means something somewhere. :)

    • Aldora says:

      The moon is very powerful! It’s something to be worshipped all on it’s own :) I have no knowledge of what the colors mean around the moon, and I’m very sorry about your dog. Sincerely, Aldora.

  6. David says:

    Thank you for all the excellent information !

  7. Tanya says:

    My mom recently made pancakes and biscuits. Her pancakes were flat and the biscuits were hard. I find this peculiar, since she is an awesome cook. What are your thoughts? I was sure that it meant some thing.

    Also, I have an old friend that has entered my house the last two times and has broke a glass vase the first time and a drinking glass the second. Good or bad omen?

    • Aldora says:

      Hi Tanya,

      Since I’m also a scientific nut, I always look to things like – were the eggs past their due date and had a counter effect on the pancake’s rising? Was the baking powder old? Was it a low pressure weather system coming through at the time? I always look to things like that before I jump to Omen’s…especially if nothing out of the ordinary happened afterwards. As for your friend they may be preoccupied or naturally clumsy…maybe your friend feels uneasy at your place and the awkwardness gets the best of them? Good or Bad Omen, Bad on the person who has to replace the items…

      Blessings, Aldora

  8. Janey says:

    Is it true that one red kitchen utensil will bring the cook good luck?

    • Aldora says:

      In Chinese culture the color red symbolizes luck and is believed to ward away evil…but as for one red utensil – it could be just one cultures old wives tale?

      Blessings, Aldora

  9. David says:

    What if you see the number 23 on the clock several times a day? Like I just seen 1:23am for instance, and 12:34am or pm or both. What do you think it might mean?

    • Aldora says:

      It’s called the confirmation effect. Subconsciously if you’re looking for one, you’ll start seeing it everywhere – because you’re looking for it. Most digital codes that evoke memory are double digits or countdowns such as 1, 2, 3. The numbers usually signal changes in the patterns of your life. They may confirm something that you are experiencing whenever the numbers appear to you. You may dream also about the numbers, linked with things you do not as yet understand, or wake up at the same time every night with those numbers on your digital clock. I always see 11:11 or 1:11 and the more I am aware of it, the more I notice it. The mind works in mysterious ways :)

      Blessings, Aldora

      • David says:

        Thank you Aldora,
        another thing, on the other part of your webpage – Apothecary. I asked you a question about elves and fairies. I got another question, At my friend Kiernan’s we noticed that two summers ago he had a Fairy Ring or two in his back yard farthest away from his house. We didn’t mess with it or anything but I think that summer on the other side of the yard along the fence next to his house. We found 4-leaf clovers one after another, we found about 30-40 each. What is your take on this abnormal phenomenal experience? and do you think it could do with anything with the inhabits of fairy/elves – rings nearby?

        • Aldora says:

          Hi David,
          As for the 4 leaf clovers – the odds are about 1 in 10,000. However there are similar plants Oxalis tetraphylla & Marsilea quadrifolia, It has four leaflets and is actually known as four-leaf clover in some places. Hopefully you weren’t mistaken with this species instead? It is commonly thought that 4-leaf clovers are actually caused by a genetic defect in the root of the clover plant. Most clovers in patches are either growing from one plant or a network of plants. So, the chances are that if you’ve found one defected clover, there’s likely to be more there. Four-leaf clovers are more abundant in disturbed and/or trampled areas, and better found at Summers end. Each leaf of the white clover is said to represent wealth, fame, love and health. The Celtic people carried four-leaf clovers with them for protection against dark spirits. Children in the Middle Ages used four-leaf clovers as a way to find fairies because it was believed that the clovers allowed you to see the fairies.

          Now for the fairy ring…it was a ring of mushrooms/fungi, correct? The mycelium (mushroom spores) grows underground; It is a mass of elongated, hungry cells that feed on nutrients, pushing and growing through the substrate as long as there is food available. When the food supply is constant and uninterrupted–the mycelium grows ever-outward, leaving behind the nutrient-poor substrate it has consumed and pushing into new territory. If the mycelium decides to produce mushrooms, the result is a fairy ring. Each year, a typical fairy ring expands its radius.

          However, Those who know the fairies will tell you that fairy rings are where the Fairies dance and perform many of the rituals of their own magic. Legends warn you that those who join the Fairy dance within the circle under the moon are sometimes lost to time and place. They may even disappear from mundane space forever. Those who do return are always thereafter a bit apart from other human folk. They are still listening to the music of the magic realms. When you come upon the Fairy’s Ring. Bring a gift to leave, perhaps some food or some cloth or bright stones. Some special thing of your own, such as a song. Sit near the ring in a meditation to commune with Fairies and Deva.

          Choose what words you will, hope I helped ;)

  10. Kim says:

    I tend to have dreams, that later comes true in some form. What does this mean. I dreamt water before hurricane Katrina came, not knowing until i u actually happened. … any thoughts

  11. Kizzy Etienne says:


    • Aldora says:

      That’s a good one! Well I think ultimately it has a lot to do with Hand & Eye coordination and your proprioceptive sense. Perhaps there was an impairment in your proprioceptive senses that caused the “glitch” such as adolescent growth or body building, weight loss that would confuse your receptors. It can also happen if you did a lot of new exercising such as stretching, contorting, and new found flexibility. Proprioception is occasionally impaired spontaneously, especially when one is tired. One’s body may appear too large or too small, or parts of the body may appear distorted in size. So summing it up, maybe you just didn’t get enough sleep?

      Sweet dreams, Aldora ;)

  12. Sam says:

    So I’ve read every where about the broken mirror. What if it’s not a mirror that gets broken? I have lived in my house for 7 years and never had a broken dish. Within the last 48 hours i’ve had 2 cups, a bowl and a plate shatter to pieces. The plate fell off the edge of the counter, the bowl slipped out of my hands, the first cup fell out of the cabinet, and the second one fell from the strainer after I had just finished washing it. Now usually I am ok with believing that things happen…just to happen. But I find it very strange that all of these have happened in such a short time and it has been so often. I can’t help but to think that I am missing something. Can you help? Thanks.

    • Aldora says:

      It sounds as though you are atomically disoriented at the moment, your vibrations are not in sync and this is affecting delicate objects , in this case glass that is resonating to your vibrations. Sometimes we can hold on to negative energy coming from outside sources (friends & family) and forget to let go of it. You really need to calm your inner self down. Probably something is really worrying or upsetting you . If this is not the case , you may be trying to get 30 hours out of a 24 hour day or maybe people are demanding too much of your time. Your body is sending this message. Slow down, take time to bring yourself back into a state of balance, take time for yourself, do some personal meditation. Leave the outside world to it’s own devices for a while (except for your work ). All the very best. Look after yourself. Aldora

  13. Gina says:

    Love your site, my dear!!!!!!!!! As a child, I was mesmerized, enchanted and filled with curiosity when I listened to stories of the “old way”s from my grandparents of Italian and Mexican heritage. I continue to study today!!!!! They planted a beautiful seed deep within me!!!!!
    Blessings of much Inner peace, Happiness and Harmony,
    Blessed be,

    • Aldora says:

      Thank you Gina, it’s always great to hear that someone enjoys my site! I love the “old ways” myself – going back to our roots is my kind of zen and harmony to my own “inner peace & balance”. It’s a nice spot once you find it, some days you don’t want to wander back to the “real world”, lol. Have a wonderful journey on your path. Blessings, Aldora

  14. Patty N. says:

    I found an old china set and the set has mostly 12 pieces for each item. But the dinner plates – there are 13. We are talking back to like 1937-1940. Was there an old wives tale or superstition about having a 13th plate to avoid something else? Just don’t understand why every other piece has 12 of them and just the dinner plates have 13……

    • Aldora says:

      I’m not sure Patty – I would say the most credible answer would be that someone picked up an extra plate from another collection? I’m not personally superstitious, and have not heard that one before. Good luck with finding out, Aldora.

  15. Wet says:

    I’m wondering if flooding or a leak in a new home is a sign if something? 3 of my friends and I have all recently moved. We have all had a flood or leak within the first few weeks of moving in.

    • Aldora says:

      I have bought and sold many houses and can honestly say it’s just poor craftsmanship. Houses need to be checked and maintained and inspected properly. I wouldn’t put a spiritual connection to it as it’s very common. Good luck, Aldora.

  16. Sarah says:

    While washing up tonight, a mug landed on a dinner plate and it cracked into 4 pieces. Any suggestions as to what you think it could represent?

    • Aldora says:

      I’m a very optimistic person, so my opinion on that may not be welcoming to you. It’s clumsiness, paired with maybe extra soapy water and less inferior tableware. The problem people have is they put too much question into why something happened and try to make it seem like something spiritual may have taken place when there is a perfectly scientific reason that it happened. Now if your cupboard doors started opening and closing and your lights flickering on and off at the same time it all happened, then I’d have a different answer – Aldora ;)

  17. Kami says:

    i heard that it is bad luch or a bad omen when an adult trips and falls. is this true? and if so what is it associated with?

    • Aldora says:

      Nothing to do with luck, mostly clumsiness – nothing to do with omens. Just watch where you’re going, train on awareness and perception!

  18. Limar says:

    Good day. We recently found a yellow mushroom growing out of our wall close to the terrazzo floor. We clean and mop our home every week so to see this is strange. When we pulled it out two more began to grow a week later. Does this mean anything other than we may have to fumigate?

    • Aldora says:

      It means that temperature and moisture conditions are correct for the fungus to put up a mushroom. It’s a natural part of our world. If you have a damp or water damage problem it may lead to more spore growth and possibly mold. You could leave a fan heater in the room (with the extractor fan on too) to push some dry air through. You might have to do this for more than 24 hours. Then spray with an anti-fungicide. I wish there were some other magical reason that they just appeared! Sorry, good luck – Aldora

  19. Skie says:

    I got a stillborn egg and was wondering what that meant..?

    • Aldora says:

      That’s just natural selection. It wasn’t meant to be – sometimes we try to read too much into what’s going on in life when it’s just a simple everyday happening. Enjoy life, worry less, be happy the most – Aldora :)

  20. new homeowner says:

    I recently moved into a new house, and have noticed over the course of a few weeks living here that someone is placing a slice of bread in the same location in my front yard. Approximately every weeks or so I find a slice of bread in the same exact spot in my yard in front of the house. What do you think about this?

    • Aldora says:

      Hmmm…that does sound unusual. Are you sure someone isn’t just feeding the birds? The United States is home to a belief that placing bread and coffee under your house will protect you from ghosts and demons – but your’s is being placed in the front yard. It also has great religious significance and is normally associated with communion and “partaking of the bread”. It’s thought to be a major sin to throw away unwanted bread, and if you do, it’s said you will go hungry. SO….maybe take it as a symbol of someone wishing you well, welcoming you and attracting an abundance of food your way. Blessings, Aldora

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  22. Samantha says:

    Lately things have either been falling around me or dropping near me. Does this mean anything? For example, a pillow with bells on it was sitting against my couch then somehow fell over. Another example, a paring knife sitting on my kitchen window sill fell into the sink. Lastly, I was at the store today and a package of rolls just dropped off the shelf. Does this mean anything or just coincidences. Thanks

    • Aldora says:

      To be honest Samantha, they aren’t significant enough to be anything but coincidences to me. Some people just pay attention to everything around them more than others and you happen to be one of them. It’s a good sense to have, being keen and more aware of your surroundings than others will greatly benefit you some day. Blessings, Aldora.

  23. Tami Lamb says:

    Hi I’m new to your site and found it right after I broke a mirror upon arriving home I’m in Canada and we have 6 feet of snow out there not much moonlight either any other suggestions to help avoid 7 years bad luck Sincerely Tami

    • Aldora says:

      Hi Tami, I added the old wives tales to the page just for pure entertainment – I personally am not superstitious, so I wouldn’t even worry about the mirror. I believe the only way a person will feel ill will is when they bring on the the negative attraction by thinking it’s bad luck. Reverse it right now by being strong and confident and project positive thoughts for the day instead. Hope this helps, Aldora :)

  24. Carter says:


    First off, I wanted to say that I enjoyed reading this. Not only does it have superstitions, but it also has some history as to why some of them exist. I have a few questions: I was on a trip, and I stayed there for a while. On the next morning after my first day there, I saw a plastic cup with some herbs and water (the water was yellow, but I think it’s because of the plants). Is there any possible witchcraft that relates to this???? Literally, the people who I stayed with in the building all got sick, including me. Also, is there/are there any special spells or things someone can cary to protect themselves from future robberies/break-ins???? People have broken into my house. Thank you

    • Aldora says:

      There is always an answer for everything – it could have been someone’s tea for all we know. There are spells, practices and rituals all over the world in every different culture with many different items. There’s no way that I can tell you if it was or was not a spell. Pandemic outbreaks of flu’s are happening every day. I would not worry myself with it. Here is a good protection spell;

      HOUSE PROTECTION JAR (keep it by the side of your home’s entrance)

      You will need:
      1 glass jar
      1/2 to 1 cup salt
      3 cloves garlic
      9 bay leaves
      7 tsp. dried Basil
      4 tsp. dill seeds
      1 tsp sage 1tsp anise
      1 tsp black pepper
      1 tsp fennel
      1 bowl

      In the morning ideally on a bright sunny day assemble the items. Place in the bowl and say:
      “Salt that protects, protect my home and all within.”
      Add the cloves of garlic:
      “Garlic that protects, protect my home and all within.”
      Crumble the Bay leaves and place in the bowl:
      “Bay that protects, protect my home and all within.”
      Add the basil and say:
      “Basil that protects, protect my home and all within.”
      Add the dill and say:
      “Dill that protects, protect my home and all within.”
      Add the sage and say:
      “Sage that protects, protect my home and all within.”
      Add the anise and say:
      “Anise that protects, protect my home and all within.”
      Add the fennel and say:
      “Fennel that protects, protect my home and all within.”

      Mix together the salt and the herbs with your hands, throughout the movement of your hands and fingers lend energy to the potent protective items, visualize your home safe and as a shining secure place. Pour the mixture in the jar and cap tightly,
      Place it in your home with these words:
      “Salt and herbs, nine times nine
      Guard now this home of mine”

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