By Chloe Roads
This assortment investigates the origins of our so much interesting out of date superstitions, lots of which we nonetheless locate ourselves abiding by means of this present day. thousands of the ideals handed down in the course of the generations have their foundations in our ancestors' efforts to thrust back evil, which they blamed for problem, disorder and injustice in occasions whilst lifestyles was once, as usually as now not, 'nasty, brutish and short'. Black Cats and Evil Eyes units those superstitions of their ancient and social context, explaining how worry of the satan, demons, evil spirits and witchcraft drove humans to arm themselves with rituals and talismans to repel darkish forces and make allowance them to reside lengthy and fit lives. In analyzing lots of our universal superstitions, this ebook illuminates the customs, ideals and practices that hyperlink us to an historic, and sometimes darker, human previous.
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Additional resources for Black Cats and Evil Eyes: A book of old-fashioned superstitions
During this time of restlessness it would look for other souls to keep it company on its journey, so doing anything to antagonize the newly buried was seen as foolhardy in the extreme. ) By the eighteenth century the superstition had evolved so that a more generalized misfortune would befall anyone who walked on a grave. ’ The belief remains prevalent in America and across much of Europe. In predominantly Catholic Brittany there is a walled cemetery at the Church of Lanrivoare where 7,727 ‘unnamed saints’ are buried, which is so strict about the superstition that you can enter only after you have removed your shoes.
The superstition has deeper roots than the need for frugality. There is evidence that since prehistoric times, tribal communities have believed in sympathetic magic – the idea that like produces like, so a yellow fruit might cure jaundice, and that two things which were once connected retain their connection, even after they have been physically separated. These notions were first described by influential Scottish social anthropologist James Frazer in his book The Golden Bough, published in 1890, which compared mythology and religion across the world.
The best we can do to dispel any bad luck we incur is to keep our fingers crossed or hold our breath as we pass. In the mid-nineteenth century, however, our forefathers were doing their best to avoid it, probably because of the association between stairways and the pathway to heaven. ’ In the mid-nineteenth century the living world was seen as much more closely linked to the spirit world than it is today. Despite the emergence of atheism in the previous century, most people still believed in the afterlife and in the ability of spirits who hadn’t found rest to appear to the living.
Black Cats and Evil Eyes: A book of old-fashioned superstitions by Chloe Roads