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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

32 Superstitions About Cats

  1. When you see a one-eyed cat, spit on your thumb, stamp it in the palm of your hand, and make a wish. The wish will come true.
  2. A kitten born in May is a witches cat.
  3. A black cat seen from behind - a bad omen
  4. A black cat crossing your path - good luck.
  5. A black cat crossing one's path by moonlight means death in an epidemic. (Irish superstition)
  6. A strange black cat on your porch brings prosperity. (Scottish superstition)
  7. English schoolchildren believe seeing a white cat on the way to school is sure to bring trouble. To avert bad luck, they must either spit, or turn around completely and make the sign of the cross.
  8. In the USA, Spain and Belgium a white cat crossing your path was considered to be good luck.
  9. To see a white cat on the road is lucky.
  10. It is bad luck to see a white cat at night.Dreaming of white cat means good luck.
  11. Stray tortoise shell cat - bad omen
  12. In Normandy, seeing a tortoiseshell foretells death by accident.
  13. Cats bought with money will never be good mousers
  14. It is bad luck to cross a stream carrying a cat. (French superstition)
  15. Cat sneezing once means rain
  16. Cat sneezing three times - the family will catch a cold
  17. A cat sneezing is a good omen for everyone who hears it. (Italian superstition)
  18. In the early 16th century, a visitor to an English home would always kiss the family cat.
  19. A cat washing on the doorstep means the clergy will visit
  20. If a cat washes behind its ears, it will rain. (English superstition).
  21. When the pupil of a cat's eye broadens, there will be rain. (Welsh superstition)
  22. A cat sleeping with all four paws tucked under means cold weather ahead. (English superstition)
  23.  In the Netherlands, cats were not allowed in rooms where private family discussions were going on. The Dutch believed that cats would definitely spread gossips around the town.
  24. If cats desert a house, illness will always reign there. (English superstition)
  25. In 16th century Italy, it was believed that if a black cat lay on the bed of a sick man, he would die. But there's also a belief that a cat will not remain in the house where someone is about to die. Therefore, if the family cat refuses to stay indoors, it was an omen of death in the family.
  26. When moving to a new home, always put the cat through the window instead of the door, so that it will not leave.
  27. A cat on top of a tombstone meant certainly that the soul of the departed buried was possessed by the devil.
  28. Two cats seen fighting near a dying person, or on the grave shortly after a funeral, are really the Devil and an Angel fighting for possession of that person's soul.
  29. If you kick a cat you will get Rheumatism.
  30. To kill a cat brings seventeen years of bad luck. (Irish superstition)
  31. Killing a cat is an absolute guarantee that you have sacrificed your soul to the Devil.
Collected from various sources

Cat In The Cradle Spell

In a ritual similar to the Thai Marital Fertility Spell, this time from Switzerland, approximately one month after the wedding, visiting friends should bring a tomcat (not neutered) and a cradle to the new couple's home. The cat is rocked in the cradle before the newlyweds.

From: Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells

Thai Marital Fertility Spell

In this Thai ritual, during the actual ceremony, an older couple ritually prepares the bedroom so that it will be ready for use by the bride and groom. The room must be spiritually cleansed, protection set up and talismans left behind to radiate good fortune.

Talismans include bags of rice, sesame seeds, coins, and a tomcat (for happiness and fertility). The cat doesn't have to be a gift, it can be someone's pet that just hangs out in the room for a little while, emanating energy. The one caveat is that the cat may not be neutered. It defeats the purpost of the spell.

Note: This may be a good opportunity to adopt a stray from a shelter and let it participate in the ceremony prior to neutering.

From: Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells

The Cat as a Magickal Ingredient

  • Ruler: Bastet and/or Freya
  • Type: animal
  • Magickal Form: alive, whiskers, hair
This animal is the most common of the witches' familiars. They are very sensitive to occult workings and wise in the ways of the goddess. In order to make the cat a familiar, it must taste the blood of the witch. The correct way to do this is to let the cat become your familiar in his or her own time. You will know when this occurs, as he or she will take a good hard bite out of your hand, cheek, or leg and draw blood. Voila! You are now bonded for eternal life.

When a cat drops a whisker, place it on the altar for good luck. It is very bad luck to cut or pluck a whisker from a cat. Cat hair may be obtained by rubbing the back against the grain. Add the hairs to gamblers' luck potions to increase your chances of winning.
  • Black cats are very lucky indeed and you will be blessed when one crosses your path.
  • Red cats and calico cats bring money.
  • A Gray cat will protect you.
  • A Siamese cat will bring laughter into your life.
Found in: The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients

Petition to Freya Cat Spell

Freya, "She Who Shines Over the Sea," has associations with cats as powerful as Bastet. The old Norse tradition of paying tribute to Freya and seeking her aid or guidance involved feeding milk to cats.

  1. Put out milk for stray cats. If you don't live in an area with stray cats, bring contributions to a shelter or adopt a gray stray cat.
  2. Feeding isn't done by rote but as a conscious offering. Speak with Freya simultaneously, explain your needs, desires, and broken heart and request assistance.
  3. Pay attention; her response may come through the cats themselves.

Found in: Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Old New Years Customs and Lore

In Madagascar New Year's is celebrated with much feasting and sacrificial killing of oxen takes place.

Chinese custom requires that every boy who calls on his neighbors or relatives on New Year's day, should receive a couple of loose-skinned oranges, or he is considered shamefully treated. The name of orange means luck, fortune, and auspiciousness.

On New Year's eve while the clock is striking twelve, repeat three times: "Good Saint Anne, good Saint Anne, send me a man as fast as you can," and you will become engaged within a year.

At the beginning of the New Year in Natal, a ceremony is performed by the chief by spurting from his mouth a mixture of the New Year's fruits in different directions as if upon his enemies. After this ceremony it is lawful for the people to eat the New Year's fruits. They are only eaten by stealth before.

It was a custom of the Jews to serve up sheep's head on New Year's at their chief entertainment, as a mystical representation of the ram offered in sacrifice for Isaac. When a family or company sat down to this repast, each person took a piece of bread and dipping it in honey, said, "May this year be sweet and fruitful."

In several parts of Belgium it is customary for the people to make waffles on New Year's day. Around Liege the first waffle is crossformed or cut cross-wise, and placed on the chimney-piece as a New Year's gift to the crucifix. It is believed that this waffle or cake is blessed; it does not rot and a small piece given to a sick man or beast makes them recover.

An old New Year's custom which is still observed in some of the northern counties of England, is called "Going about with a vessel cup." Poor women and girls desirous of obtaining charity take two dolls, representing the Virgin Mother and Infant Jesus, and go about from house to house during the week before New Year's singing a quaint old carol and at its conclusion presenting for the receipt of alms a small cup, which is known as a "vessel cup." To turn one of these vessel cup singers unrequited from your door is to forfeit all good health and good fortune for the approaching new year.

In Westmoreland and Cumberland early in the morning of New Year's the "Taex Populi" assemble carrying stangs (long poles) and baskets. Every inhabitant or stranger who falls into the hands of this ruffian band will be sacrificed to their favorite Saint; a man is mounted on a stang, a woman is basketed, and carried shoulder high to the nearest balance and weighed. None are allowed to follow their accustomed occupations on this day.

In Guria in Asiatic Russia, the New Year is prepared for a month before the time comes; the people pen up poultry, turkeys, ducks and geese; but the chief animal for food is the pig which is fatted up a month before and killed two or three days before New Year's. The New Year in Guria might almost be called the feast of St. Yicelie the Great, because it is believed by them that the prophet Mahomet had an argument with that saint as to who could work the greater miracle. The saint said that he would strike with an iron rod a rock and out of it water should flow. Mahomet said he would stick his staff into the ground and wine should flow from it. On New Year's day the miracles were performed. The saint struck the rock, and a spring came out and flowed. When he saw the miracle, Mahomet took the saint to a place where he had put some wine skins under the earth. But when they reached the place where Mahomet intended to stick his staff into the hidden wine-skins, they found some pigs had rooted them up and they were to be seen scattered over the ground. In this way was Mahomet defeated by pigs, and thus the pig is the animal for the New Year's feast. Mahomet cursed the pigs and ever since his followers will not eat Dig's meat; but the saint blessed them, and with his foot pressed tneir tails into the ground and they are killed in his honor in Guria.

The old Romans did not give up New Year's day wholly to feasting or idleness, as is done in most countries, but everyone wrought a little at his trade for the sake of luck throughout the year.

In England it was customary to give and receive gifts on New Year's day with the superstitious design of securing good fortune for the year, as well as for affection and to promote good neighborhood. Even the kings of England accepted presents from their courtiers on this morning.

In France New Year's day is still distinguished by a universal system of present-giving.

The Romish Church as well as the Church of England celebrated the first of January in honor of the circumcision of Christ.

Yorn Kippur, the day of atonement, is the concluding ceremonial in the observances of the Jewish New Year, called Rosh Hashanah, which falls in either September or October. While Rosh Hashanah, the day on which the fate of the pious is inscribed in the great book, is given to rejoicing and merry making, Yorn Kippur, the day on which the book is sealed, is observed by fasting, praying, repentance, and reconciliation.

A cock is taken by its legs by the eldest male of the family and swung nine times over the others' heads, praying God to transfer their sins into the body of the fowl. The bird is then either killed as a sacrifice or given to the poor.

In the basement of the synagogue are placed long boxes with sand. Each worshipper brings with him a candle, sticks it in the sand, lights it, and beseeches God to let the light of his mercy shine upon him and as a sign thereof make the candle burn long and clear, to indicate a long and happy life for the supplicant.

We find that the Walloons (Belgians) have many observances and beliefs in common with their Gaulish neighbors, while the descendants of the Franks by whom the ancient Gauls were dispossessed of the fertile plains and driven into the mountains, have preserved more pagan usages.

The Christian era was not generally used in Flanders until the reign of Charlemagne. The year began on various days according to the different departments of life; but as soon as the Frankish supremacy was established in the southern region, now known by their name, and that had adopted the first of January as the beginning of their civil year its adoption in Belgium followed as a matter of course.

In the Teutonic provinces it is especially honored and surprise greetings are used, when the person first saluted has to give the other a present.

On twelfth night, festivity is universal in Belgium and a cake with a bean in it is cut for the kingly place. These solemnities are thought to have come down from Roman civilization and to have been introduced by Gaulish ancestors.

At Mechlin the Sawyer's Guild have taken the "Three Kings" as patron saints on a punning interpretation of the text, "They saw the Star."

The Chinese, in this country as well as at home, bid good-bye, annually, to the god of the kitchen, giving him thanks for his protection of the family during the year, after which he is supposed to make his annual journey to heaven to report to the "pearly emperor" the condition of the family and how it has behaved during the year. To avoid unpleasant disclosures, the god is regaled with quantities of candy so sticky that his lips are too full for utterance, being glued too tight to speak. The night before the Chinese New Year, the dusky little god is supposed to return, and gets another supply of sugar and delicacies which he is supposed to like.

In the small hours of New Year's morning take place the interesting ceremonies of sacrifice to "father heaven" and "mother earth" by the head of the family, who offers fruit, rice, vegetables, and tea to both these divinities, asking blessings on the hour and the New Year. A quantity of gilt paper-money is burnt, which passes in smoke to the heavens above and in ashes to the earth below.

Prostrations and reverence before the household gods, the shrines of the ancestors, and the older living representatives of the family, are all gone through with for luck.

The presents chosen by the Chinese at their New Year are of a significant nature. A kind of orange, called "kat," is handed around on the supposition that it is a good omen for the year, from the fact that the name has the same sound as the word which means "lucky." For the same reason, thin-shelled bivalves, called "hien," are eaten, this word being identical in sound with the word for intelligence. A kind of carp is also in much demand, as its name is the same as "profit."

Source: Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World

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