Lately I’m concerned that we are not teaching our younger people the old sayings and superstitions that will aid them in making good decisions in judging other people they might choose as friends or future mates.
This little list is by no means all inclusive. I am trying to stir your curiosity so you will further investigate our superstitions and folklore and pass it on to the younger folks. This just touches briefly on some of the old superstitions. We need to be teaching kids our past and we need to include the foolish along with the serious. This could teach them to know the difference between fact and fiction.
Hair – “For shiny, glossy, long and attractive hair, bury a twist of your hair under the roots of a white walnut tree in the light of the moon.”
“Silk pillowcases will cure frizzy hair, wrinkles, and zits.”
“Cut your hair at the waxing of the moon (full moon) and it will continue to grow. If you cut your hair when the moon wanes the growth will be slow. Throw the cut hair in a place where it will remain damp and your hair will grow to be thick and full. Burning your cut tresses will destroy new growth completely.”
Mirrors – Never break a mirror. “Mirrors have the power to confiscate your soul and if you break a mirror your soul will be trapped inside it.” Remember you will need your whole soul when you deal with a sorry man so be protective of your mirrors.
Marriage and Men – “Make the foot of the bed before the head or else, my dear, you’ll never be wed.”
“Completely peel an apple so the peeling is in one piece. Throw the peel over your left shoulder. When the peel lands, look for it to have formed the shape of an alphabet letter. This letter will be the initial of the man you will marry.”
“Throw a shoe over your shoulder. If it lands with the toe pointed at the door, you will marry in one year.” Do not tear up the shoe. They are expensive. Do not hit the man of your dreams with the shoe.
Look for a man with a prominent or tip-tilted nose. He will make a fine husband. Be sure his ears are well shaped and not to narrow. The larger the ear lobes, the greater the intellect. Remember this: “Dimple on the chin – Devil within.”
“Trust not the man whose eyebrows meet for in his heart you’ll find deceit.” I read this many years ago and since that time I have always shaved my nose and between my eyes.
“My right eye itches and now I shall see my love.” I suspect this old saying resulted from allergies in the girl and probably coincided with “In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Always emphasize the word “lightly” as you think of this and you will always know how to tell him what he can do with his “fancy.”
If he shows up with the left hind foot of a rabbit as a keepsake for you and to enrich you with great luck and fortune just remember what happened to the rest of the rabbit.
Crossing fingers was a sign used centuries ago for Christians to recognize other Christians it also was used to ward off witches. I don’t recommend too much of the finger-crossing routine because, if every time he tries to hold your hand, your fingers are all crossed up he might think you are crippled and you won’t be able to cook and wash dishes. You could scare him off.
Knocking on Wood – Good spirits were thought to live in trees and knocking on the tree was a calling up of the good spirits for protection. We still knock on wood but the old saying mentioned nothing about dead wood as in furniture or particle board computer desks and what if you wake a good spirit when you knock on his tree at an inopportune time? Will the good spirit be in good spirits?
My favorite superstitions came from a list of beliefs black people in the US are fond of quoting:
“Never buy your husband or boyfriend a pair of shoes as a gift.” I think this is great advice. Don’t give him the impression he can just walk away.
And the last one: “Don’t go to the zoo when you are pregnant.” This is excellent advice for if the tree spirits don’t feel particularly protective the day you go to the zoo you might wind up giving birth to an alligator.
There is a lot of truth in these old adages, beliefs and superstitions. Use the good ones and trash the others. Make the good ones work for you.