[Click the cover below to check it out! If you don’t see a book cover below it’s probably ad-blocker settings]
[Is it weird that my first thought when I saw this cover is that I thought it’d make a cute themed/grouped tattoo?]
“Hundreds of beliefs passed down through the generations have their foundations in our ancestors’ efforts to ward off evil, which they blamed for hardship, illness, and injustice in times when life was, as often as not, “nasty, brutish and short.” Black Cats & Evil Eyes sets these superstitions in their historical and social context, explaining how fear of the Devil, demons, evil spirits, and witchcraft drove people to arm themselves with rituals and talismans to repel dark forces and allow them to live long and healthy lives. In examining many of our common superstitions, this book illuminates the customs, beliefs, and practices that link us to an ancient, and often darker, human past.”
[For a tiny little book this was a really hearty description]
This book is adorable, both in size, the cover, and just kind of how it’s a quaint little book on superstition.
It was a very quick read and a really enjoyable one, both because superstitions [especially ye olde ones] are pretty hilarious, but also that there is/are a ton of superstitions I had no idea about. That, and it was interesting finding out the roots for the ones I already do/did know about.
Everything from superstitions that are still common today [saying ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes, saying ‘knock on wood,’ and people not wanting to open umbrellas inside, as examples] to really really old one that obviously were left in the past, such as wearing toads on necklaces to ward away the Plague. [lmao]
There’s not a lot to tell about the book really, other than it was educational and really interesting to see the wacky things we used to and still do believe.
So I decided I’d choose a random entry to post here:
It is Bad Fortune to Use Scissors on New Years Day.
In folklore, scissors were imbued with special powers to sever more than just the fabric and paper for which they were designed. In the Middle Ages, they were used as a protection against witchcraft and were hidden near a doorway to prevent witches from entering, or secreted beneath a cushion or under a rug to make a witch feel uncomfortable in a room and force her to leave without using her wiles to harm the inhabitants. Their protective powers were thought to be magnified if they were left open in the shape of a cross, adding the divine protection of the crucifix to the strength to the iron and steel of and keenness of the sharpened blades. Using such a powerful instrument on the first day of the year, even for a minor domestic task, was frowned upon because it was thought to risk cutting off good fortune for the coming year.
I give Black Cats and Evil Eyes 5/5 Upside-Down Bread Loafs [Read and you’ll understand]