The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday the 13th and other Superstitions



Good Afternoon,

Happy Friday the 13th! Does this day scare you, maybe a little? There really is no reason for that. The superstition for the day of Friday the 13th considered by many to be a day of  bad luck, or having bad things happen to you, was a rumor whipped up in Medieval Times when everyone was fearful of witches and demons and the devil getting you!

Early Christians in their zealous attempts to get the Pagan populous to convert to Christianity, employed many methods to achieve this end. They built cathedrals on Pagan Sabbat gathering sites, they adopted and Christianized the holy days found on our Wheel of the Year, and also those things which were directly associated with the Goddess, such as days like Friday, which was a day associated with love Goddesses, and the whole industry of love. From being in love, making love, using love potions, brews and love spells, these were all considered evil and consorting with the devil, according to the priests of the New Religion.

So days like Friday and May day (also known as Lady's Day in honor of Her) even numbers like 13, which s a combination of the number 1 which stands for the Divine source and the number 3 which stands for the Holy Trinity, Maiden, Mother, Crone (The three aspects of the Goddess) all became suspect. The simplest way to get people to stay away from what you don't want them to 'play with' is to tell them it's bad for them, or bad luck. Many people attribute the bad luck of Friday the 13th to the last supper with Jesus Christ and his disciples (of which there were a total of 13 people in attendance) and his crucifixion the next day, which some religious scholars believe it to have been on a Friday.

I think because the death of Jesus started the world on a new path, which was to eventually almost eliminate the Goddess from religious worship, that both theories  have influenced the common modern day belief that this day is bad luck. But luck is truly what you make it, so it is up to you to decide if this day is bad luck or good luck.

There are many superstitions, especially in New England. I have, for many years, studied New England superstitions and I personally feel that many of the Old World Magicks brought to this country by immigrants can be found hidden away in the superstitions people believe in. Let us discuss some of them here:

Red Doors -  In Germanic and British folk magick the color red was used to fend off evil spirits and unwanted ghosts. It is believed that the front doors of homes in New England are a throw back to these old customs, that are now found to be superstitions. But different cultures use colors in different ways. In Asian cultures, for instance, the color of red was for prosperity and abundance. There is a Christian belief that the color red represents the blood of Christ and that by painting the front door red, it will protect those within the home.

Weddings: There have always been many superstitions surrounding weddings, even to this day. You've heard of a bride wearing  something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. These come from British folk magick and are believed to bring good fortune to the bride and groom and their married life.

When a man and woman would marry in Colonial America, they would then move into a house to start their lives together. One of the first things the husband would do would be to plant an evergreen tree on either side of the front door. Almost any type of every green was acceptable, except Yew as that was a plant that would herald in death and was regulated to cemeteries and grave yards.  The evergreen trees or bushes on either side of the front door was to assure a long, happy and prosperous married life together. As the evergreen never loses it's foliage, it is symbolic magick that the relationship would never die.

Interestingly, in Colonial America, summer weddings were not as popular as winter weddings. It is believed that the winter season was a time for festivities and the summer was a busy time with farming and tending the fields. Thanksgiving eve was an especially popular time to get married, as the entire family was usually present and a feast was already planned.

Some other fun superstitions from old New England:

If a cat starts washing it's face you will soon receive company. Hmmmm, since cats clean themselves daily, visitors must have been dropping in on a regular basis back then!  And another sign of company coming to visit is if a bumblebee flies in an open window. Much more likely happening back then than now as they didn't have window screens in Colonial America!

New Englanders in the Colonial days were by majority Puritans, and while the Puritans were a religious lot they were just as superstitious. They felt the devil was around every corner just waiting to get them. And that their lives were ruled by luck, either good or bad. They saw omens for good or bad luck in almost everything! Such as:

They were fond of putting old shoes within the walls of buildings they were constructing to keep evil demons and bad luck, such as lightening strikes away. Many times things such as coins, shoes, nails or other 'good luck' tokens were placed within the corner stone of a new building being constructed.

If your buttered bread fell butter side down it was a sign of bad luck. Kind of goes without saying!! As many of the floors in Colonial America were dirt, the 10 second rule probably didn't apply!

If you spill the salt on the table, you might argue with your best friend. Break this 'spell' by throwing salt over your left shoulder.

If a strange dog or cat comes to live with you it will bring good luck! (I firmly believe this one!!) And if you have a black cat it will bring it's owner good luck. Huh, this last one is interesting as nowadays many people believe a black cat is bad luck. But that most definitely is not true.

And of course, even today, finding a penny is one of the best harbingers of good luck. "Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day, you'll have good luck."

There are a myriad of superstitions that our fore fathers believed in, and some have remained to this day. As far as superstitions go, and if I believe in them? I believe that if you believe in them it makes them true, and if you don't then they are not true. For our beliefs shape our reality, each and every day.

Have a peaceful and magickal evening! Ms. Faith


Peace and Happiness




© 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

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