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

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