folk lore

The Boneyman will come and get you!

In Britain during the Napoleonic Wars Napoleon Bonaparte replaced the Boogeyman as the night time terror of choice to keep children quite. Parents warned their children, “the Boneyman will come and gobble you up”. 

An early 19th century English lullaby,

Baby, baby, naught baby,
Hush! you squalling thing, I say;
Peace this instant! Peace! or maybe
Bonaparte will pass this way.
Baby, baby, he’s a giant,
Black and tall as Rouen’s steeple,
Sups and dines and lives reliant
Every day on naughty people.
Baby, baby, if he hears you
As he gallops past the house,
Limb from limb at once he’ll tear you
Just as pussy tears a mouse.
And he’ll beat you, beat you, beat you,
And he’ll beat you all to pap:
And he’ll eat you, eat you, eat you,
Gobble you, gobble you, snap! snap! snap!

I grew up reading books full of folk and fairy tales, the Norse myths included, soaking them and their violence, their humor, their logic, their magic, into my soul. My major was inspired by folk lore and fairy tale, and part of my love for Neil Gaiman has always come from the way the structures of fairy tale weave through and warp in his works, and his incorporation of mythic figures from a full compendium of folk lore figures. Because of that, it was unlikely that I’d have any reaction other than adoration for his new book: a collection and retelling, in his own words, of the main stories of Norse mythology. So it was with little surprise but a lot of happiness that Norse Mythology was as good as I had expected, my first read of the new year as chilly freezing rain fell and my cat curled near my feet. 

Neil Gaiman takes the Norse myths as we know them and retells them in his mysterious, careful writing. He has studied his characters carefully, and Thor’s strength and relative ignorance, Odin’s wisdom, and Loki’s trickery and desire for chaos, all emerge beautifully in this collection. He acknowledges in the introduction that it’s unfortunate that so many tales of the Norse goddesses have been lost, but gives strength and complexity to the female goddesses and giants who appear in his works. The Norse mythology is reborn in a magnificent storytelling voice that makes your heart ache over tales you already knew and jump through tales you hadn’t yet heard. Gaiman knows how to write folklore, and without lengthening the tales, he makes the gods both terrifying and familiar, the stories haunting and funny. He has done his research, but most of all, he just knows how to tell a story, and that’s the most important piece of passing down mythology, something born through oral inheritance over the centuries. Neil Gaiman’s newest literary masterpiece comes out on February 7, 2017. I recommend you pre-order. (As a side-note, it’s also one of the best smelling books I’ve ever held in my hands, and the book design is stunning.) I received this review copy from @wwnorton in exchange for an honest review, and this truly is an honest and happy review.

“The Norse myths are the myths of a chilly place, with long, long winter nights and endless summer days, myths of a people who did not entirely trust or even like their gods, although they respected and feared them.”

“Before the beginning there was nothing—no earth, no heavens, no stars, no sky; only the mist world, formless and shapeless, and the fire world, always burning.”

anonymous asked:

hello! i've been trying to research magic, but unfortunately most books i find are specific wicca, which i'm not interested in. do you have any book reccomendations that arent wicca centric? thank you! i love your blog :^)

Oh heckin yes I do My amazon wishlist is literally like six pages long… ALL BOOKS

WARNING: This Is Going To Be Extremely Long!

First though I want to note that while I 100% understand your feelings about the Wicca stuff (being a very NOT Wiccan Witch), not all books that are Wicca leaning are bad! I’ve gotten loads of useful information from books that tended to be a little new agey. That’s where being objective comes in! With ANY book, you should take it with a grain of salt, and some with a whole shaker. But it’s up to you to pay attention to misinformation and conflation, and to know how to do research to prove or disprove that something in a book you read is true or not. Does that make sense?? 

Anywho, a couple of books that are still kind of “Wicca-y” but great:

Those are all books from my personal collection that I would recommend! Now as for the Non-Wicca Books, Let’s dive in! Not all of these have I read or owned, and they are in no particular order. You’ll notice most of them relate to “Traditional Witchcraft” or West Country, because that is where my practice is focused. 

PHEW!

That was a lot! Okay anon I hope this gives you a good starting place! 

constantly-disheveled.tumblr.com/ask

Edible Magickal Flowers and Folk Lore

The culinary use of flowers dates back thousands of years to the Chinese, Greeks and Romans. Many cultures use flowers in their traditional cooking, medicine, and magick.

 Adding flowers to your food can be a nice way to add color, flavor and a little magickal whimsy. Some are spicy, and some herbaceous, while others are floral and fragrant. The range is surprising. Flower petals can be used in salads and as garnish for desserts, but they also inspire magickal creative uses as well. Use them to make floral spirit water for rituals, as a medicinal tea, or add to a healing spell or love potion….  the possibilities are endless.

 TIPS FOR SAFE AND TASTY DINING:

  •        Not all flowers are edible (those listed below are safe for consumption) - As lovely as eating flowers can be, some can also be a little … deadly, so only eat flowers you know to be consumable — if you are uncertain, consult a reference book on edible flowers and plants. (Always refer to the botanical name when verifying whether a flower is safe to eat.)
  •       Just because a flower is edible doesn’t mean it will taste good. Some will be more to your liking than others – it’s all a matter of taste. Keep in mind that the stamen, pistil and sepal of some blossoms are bitter and can contain pollen that may detract from the true flavor of the flower. Consuming only the petals will further heighten the appeal factor.
  •       Eat flowers you have grown yourself, or know to be safe for consumption. Flowers from the florist or nursery have probably been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.
  •       Do not eat roadside flowers or those picked in public parks. Both may have been treated with pesticide or herbicide, and roadside flowers may be polluted by car exhaust.
  •      Eat only the petals, and remove pistils and stamens before eating.
  •      If you suffer from allergies, introduce edible flowers gradually, as they may exacerbate allergies.
  •     To keep flowers fresh, place them on moist paper towels and refrigerate in an airtight container. Some will last up to 10 days this way. Ice water can revitalize limp flowers.


1, Allium
All blossoms from the allium family (leeks, chives, garlic, garlic chives) are edible and flavorful.  Flavors run the gamut from delicate leek to robust garlic. Every part of these plants is edible. Garlic is masculine in nature and associated with the planet Mars, the element fire and the sign Aries. It is sacred to Hecate and is a suitable offering to her left at a crossroads.  Garlic has antibiotic properties, but should not be used directly on wounds or in poultices or salves because it can be irritating to the skin and may inhibit blood clotting.

2. Angelica
Depending on the variety, flowers range from pale lavender-blue to deep rose and have a licorice-like flavor. Believed to have originated in Syria, angelica is now found just about everywhere. In ancient times it was used to ward off the plague and evil and as a cure for poison and… well, just about everything else. Angelica is associated with the angels Michael and Gabriel. It is aligned with the sun and the element of fire and sacred to Venus. Angelica tea is useful for colic, gas, indigestion, hepatitis, heartburn, nausea, ulcers and various other digestive ailments.

3. Anise Hyssop
Both flowers and leaves have a subtle anise or licorice flavor. Anise is one of the oldest known plants that were grown for both culinary and medicinal use. Anise is associated with the element of air, the God Apollo, the planets Mercury and Jupiter, and the astrological sign Gemini. Anise is also considered masculine.

4. Basil
Blossoms come in a variety of colors, from white to pink to lavender; flavor is similar to the leaves, but milder. The word Basil comes from the Greeks, meaning “King”.  Basil is sacred to Vishnu, Tulasi and Erzulie, masculine in nature, and associated with the element of fire and the planet Mars. Basil helps steady the mind, brings happiness, love, peace, and money and protects against insanity.

5. Calendula / Marigold
A great flower for eating, calendula blossoms are peppery, tangy, and spicy — and their vibrant golden color adds a dash of magick to any dish. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all loved calendula and used it for culinary and healing purposes. During the medieval period it was considered a cure for just about everything.  Marigold is associated with the Sun. Calendula symbolizes love and constancy.  It is great for wedding bouquets and decorations. It is the traditional “he loves me, he loves me not” flower and is useful for love potions. Dried petals can be strewn to consecrate an area or burned in consecration incense. They are also a good addition to dream pillows.

6. Carnations
Petals are sweet, once trimmed away from the base. The blossoms taste like their sweet, perfumed aroma.  In ancient Rome, carnations were known as “Jove’s Flower” as a tribute to their beloved king of the gods, Jupiter.  Carnations are masculine, associated with the Sun and Jupiter, and with the element fire.  Those things that fall under the rule of Jupiter are ideal for use in magickal applications related to luck, money, good fortune, status, legal matters, fertility, friendship, ambition, career, success and protection. The flowers can be used to lend strength in healing applications. The practitioner can also use carnation essential oils to increase health and vigor.

7. Chamomile
Small and daisy like, the flowers have a sweet flavor and are often used in tea. Ragweed sufferers may be allergic to chamomile.  The Romans used Chamomile for incense.  Chamomile was used in ancient Egypt for fevers and was dedicated to their Sun God Ra.  Chamomile is associated with the sun, Leo and the element of water. It helps cleanse and invigorate the throat chakra (5th). It is associated with various Sun Gods, including Cernunnos, Lugh and others.  It is used in spells for money, peace, love, tranquility and purification.

8. Chrysanthemum / Mum
A little bitter, mums come in a rainbow of colors and a range of flavors range from peppery to pungent. Use only the petals. In Celtic folklore, chrysanthemums in the garden were considered a meeting place for the faeries. Chrysanthemum is masculine in nature and resonates with the energy of the Sun and the element of fire.  Chrysanthemum has been used for burial rituals and is a suitable decoration for Samhain and for ancestral altars.  The dried flower heads of chrysanthemum can be burned during house blessings ceremonies. 

9. Dandelion
The bright yellow flowers should be gathered as soon as they open. Remove the green bits from the base of the flower before using. These can be added to wines, vinegar or jellies. The name dandelion comes from the French, “dent de lion” which means “tooth of the lion”.  The dandelion is masculine in action and associated with the planet Jupiter, the element of air and both Pisces and Sagittarius. It is also associated with any solar deity, Hecate, Brigid and Belenos.  A tea of the flowers and leaves may be consumed to increase psychic ability, while pouring boiling water over a bowlful of roots will aid in calling spirits.   You can also make a wish and blow the seeds off a dandelion head.

10. Lavender
Sweet, spicy, and perfumed, the flowers are a great addition to both savory and sweet dishes. Some of the earliest recorded uses of lavender are by the Roman soldiers who used the wild-growing plant to perfume their bathwater and wash their clothes. Lavender is masculine in action and associated with Mercury. It is also associated with the element of air and the astrological sign Virgo. It may be used as an asperging herb (to sprinkle water for purification purposes) and dried lavender sticks or wands can be burnt like incense. It is also useful in spells to sharpen the mind, to encourage or strengthen pure love and to encourage fertility. The scent of lavender is relaxing and uplifting all at once making it a great aromatherapy for stressed out or depressed individuals. Try adding some lavender oil to your bath or add it to mild oil for a relaxing massage at the end of a hard day. Stuffing a pillow with lavender buds may help insomniacs relax and fall asleep and soothes headaches.

11.  Oregano
The flowers are a pretty, subtle version of the leaf. Oregano is ruled by Venus and the element of air and associated with Aphrodite. It is used in spells for happiness, tranquility, luck, health, protection and letting go of a loved one. It can also be used in spells to deepen existing love. When worn on the head during sleep, it is said to promote psychic dreams. Oregano symbolizes joy. Use it for rituals celebrating joyful occasions, or in spells to bring joy into one’s life.

12.  Rose
Remove the white, bitter base and the remaining petals have a strongly perfumed flavor perfect for floating in drinks or scattering across desserts, and for a variety of jams. All roses are edible, with flavor more pronounced in darker varieties. From the time of Solomon, the rose has been the flower most closely linked with love. The rose was sacred to Venus, the Roman goddess of love, and was connected to her messenger, Cupid. Roses have been cultivated for over 5,000 years. Roses are associated with Aphrodite, Adonis and Eros. Rosewater is a protective agent worn on clothes. Rose petals can be added to charms against the evil eye.

13.  Rosemary
Flowers taste like a milder version of the herb; nice used as a garnish on dishes that incorporate rosemary. The word Rosmarinus is from the Latin meaning “dew of the sea”.  Rosemary is also associated with Aphrodite and appears in many ancient images of Her. Rosemary was used to ward off evil spirits and nightmares. The wood was used to make musical instruments. Rosemary is male in nature and ruled by Leo, the element fire and the sun (or Moon, depending who you ask).  It’s sacred to Hebe, Aphrodite and the Virgin Mary. Rosemary can be used in spells for fidelity and remembrance as well as to dispel jealousy. Rosemary is useful for ritual baths, and for making sacred herbal water for ritual cleansing, blessing and purification. Bathing in rosemary will enhance your memory.  

14. Sage
Blossoms have a subtle flavor similar to the leaves. Sage is a hardy perennial of the mint family.  The Romans regarded sage quite highly and much sacrifice and ceremony was associated with its harvest. They believed it stimulated the brain and memory and used it to clean their teeth. Sage is masculine in nature and associated the element of air and the planet Jupiter. Sage is sacred to the Greek Zeus and Roman Jupiter. It is also a symbol of the Virgin Mary. Sage is used in magical workings for immortality, longevity, wisdom, protection and the granting of wishes. Sage is also believed to help alleviate sorrow of the death of a loved one.

15. Sunflower
Petals can be eaten, and the bud can be steamed like an artichoke. Sunflower is associated with the sun and all solar deities. Its essence helps balance the first chakra and also helps with confidence in leadership roles. Sunflower oil can be used as carrier oil for healing oils used in massages and ointments.

16. Violets
Another famous edible flower, violets are floral, sweet and beautiful as garnishes. Use the flowers in salads and to garnish desserts and drinks. In Roman mythology, violets were said to be lesser goddesses who once dared to rival the beauty of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty.  Violets are affiliated with the planet Venus or Pluto and are associated with the nymphs of ancient Greek myths.  Violets are also associated with death and rebirth through the story of Attis. Violets are useful in love spells and may be carried as an amulet to increase one’s luck in love. Try combining them with lavender for an enhanced effect.

 Sources:  HerbalRiot, Cheralyndarcey, Witches of the Craft, Inspirationforthespirit,  Witchipedia 

  • My mom: So, why did the fairy in "Sleeping Beauty" go bad originally?
  • Me: Well, in the fairy tales, it was because she wasn't invited to the christening, which was a public event and therefore a huge snub.
  • Mom: Why wasn't she invited?
  • Me: In the German version, they didn't have enough place settings. In the French version, they hadn't seen her in a while, so they assumed she'd died.
  • You know, after summing it up in those terms, I'm really not surprised she was so pissed.
Isobel Gowdie's Wind Conjure


“When we raise the wind we take a rag of cloth and wet it in water. And we take a laundry stick and knock the rag on a stone, and we say three times:

‘I knock this rag upon this stone,
To raise the wind in the Devil’s name –
It shall not lie until I please again!’

When we wanted to lay the wind, we would dry the rag and say three times:

‘We lay the wind in the Devil’s name –
It shall not rise ‘til we like to raise it again!’

If the wind does not instantly lie after we say this we call upon our spirit, and say to him:

‘THIEF! THIEF! Conjure the wind, and cause it to lie’”


- Isobel Gowdie, Witch - 1662

Italian Vernacular Prayer Against the Evil Eye

“Affascine ca vaie pe’ la via

da ________ non ci ire

che è bona nata

battezzata, cresimata 

A nome de Die

e della Santissima Trinitate.”

‘Fascino going along the way,

don’t go to _________

for she is well-born

baptized and christened

in the name of God

and the holy trinity.’

From Witchcraft, Healing, and Vernacular Magic in Italy by Sabina Magliocco

Folk-lore as the True history of Witches


What has come to my mind recently is the nature of our historic understanding of witchcraft/cunning craft/etc as practiced in Europe over the course of the past 200 or so years. We base much of our knowledge, and further more most of the pages of the known literature, on the testimonies of parish priests, inquisitors and confessions often made under duress and torture. This body of knowledge has become, for the worse of history, the basis in which contemporary craft practice has been rooted. It is a framework of Christianity, a universe predicated on a savior, and a god who forbids such acts in law. An Abrahamic cult brought to the British Isles by the Roman in the 6th century. A patriarchy of knowledge control and subjugation.

Yet there exists, starting in the early 17th century, a profound body of knowledge that is not derived from tortures or confessions but on stories and knowledge freely given amongst locals in villages and towns. It is the body of what we now call ethnographic study, but is most commonly known as folklore. Starting in 1878 The Folk Lore Society in London began publishing a series of ethnographic studies, both in magazine and book format. But such folkloric study goes back several centuries before to men from the Brothers Grimm, Thomas Crofton Croker, Dalyell, Henderson, Kirk, Lady Wilde, and many others over a span of 300+ years. People who went into the pubs and gardens and talked to the real people of these places. Who listened and wrote down the stories of warding off beings and banishing dead souls. The instructions for curing illness and the nature of laying on hands and second sight.

This body of knowledge is a directly transmitted oral testimony, storytelling and folk beliefs handed down within families and gathered together by the folklorists and antiquarians from across regions of the British Isles and Europe. There are hundreds of books of these beliefs, many with detailed descriptions of spells to attack, to ward off spirits, to bind and banish and drive forth. Often listing exact components of charms and dances. Studies on the nature of folk magic in Scottish highlands, on horse magic in East Anglia, of the witch bottles and warding wands of Wales, and endless stream of valid information on the flowing tradition of folk magic as a living practice in the UK over the past half of a millennia. As well as documenting the exact pronunciation of regional words, curses, and spirits terminology, often with a glossary!

And yet this body of knowledge is almost completely overlooked in the contemporary literature on witchcraft practice. Which instead relies on the testament of Church torturers as to what was said, on the scant testimonies of victims of a system of abjuration pointed against herbal healers and common folk practitioners, more often than not elderly widows whose properties could be confiscated by the Church warden.

Its time for a rethink of our understanding of the nature of folk magic. How it is the very essence of true witch practice and is at its heart older and truer a practice that those tainted by the narrative of the Church over the past thousand years of attempted suppression. We must dig into this lost literature, much of which is available online for free as pdfs hidden on archive.org and in google books.


[I intend to post a list in the near future compiling links to some of the better documents of contemporary folk practice, particularly that from the UK.]

You can call the spirits that live in the pools and trees God’s grace if you like, old man. But if Jesus were from this land he’d be putting milk out for the fairies himself.
—  Confessions Of A Pagan Nun
Lemon and Pins Curse

“A number of spells made use of the transformative power of the moment of the elevation of the host during Mass. A Sicilian spell to make an enemy fall ill involves taking a lemon or an orange to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, removing a bit of peel, and piercing it with pins while reciting ‘Tanti spilli infiggo in quest'arancia [or questo limone], tanti mali ti calino addosso'  ('As many pins as I stick in this orange [or lemon], may as many ills befall you’). The fruit is then thrown into a well or cistern.”

– From Witchcraft, Healing, and Vernacular Magic in Italy by Sabina Magliocco

Slender Man 

Stories of the Slender Man commonly feature him stalking, abducting or traumatizing people, particularly children. He is depicted as an unusually tall, slender man with a blank face. Slender Man exemplifies the similarities between traditional folklore and the open source ethos of the Internet, and that, unlike those of traditional monsters such as vampires and werewolves, the fact that the Slender Man’s mythos can be tracked and signposted offers a powerful insight into how myth and folklore form. Wikipedia.

Must be the Season of the Witch 

The Signs as Pirates

Aries: A crew of pirates that hail from a port city overrun with corruption. Their acts of disobedience put the crew at risk of being silenced forever so they escaped to the sea to develop their plan. They deliver supplies to residents of the city in the form of food and basic necessities as well as weapons for the brewing rebellion. The crew is on the run from corrupt officials but viewed as protectors by civilians.

Taurus: No other crew has been at sea as long as this one. This pirate crew is composed of several families that have sailed the same huge ship for countless decades. Their extensive knowledge of the sea is made clear by all the riches they have acquired and the jewels that dangle from their bodies. Other crews regard them with deep respect, making them pseudo-royalty in the seafaring world.

Gemini: A playful crew of master tricksters, sailing the world on a ship unlike any other–the crew constructed and repaired it as they traveled, which resulted in a ship with parts from all around the globe. The eclectic ship suits the crew well because each member joined the crew at a different location, creating a very diverse group. Days on the ship are filled with discussions, pranks, and learning about each member’s past life on land.

Cancer: The youngest known pirate crew. However, what they lack in years they make up for in courage and compassion. This ocean-eyed bunch boarded their ship and sailed away from a tragic past in a destroyed city. The crew protects each other from the dangers of the sea and takes in any lost children they encounter. Often underestimated for their youth and kindness, the crew surprises other pirates by coming to the rescue when another crew is in need.

Leo: These pirates sail in a ship plated with gold, crowned with ruby red sails and led by a beautifully carved marble lion figurehead. On board, the crew enjoys all the riches of the world, from diamond rings to emerald-crusted goblets. Exotic animals roam the deck, tigers and leopards dozing in the open sun and lionesses standing regally at the side of each crew member. It is considered an honor for your city to be visited by these pirates.

Virgo: Pirates that keep their ship docked in rocky caves with crystal-covered walls carved out of cliffs by ocean waves. These secret caves are also home to the crew’s legacy: tunnels leading to rooms filled with books written by crew members long passed, tables littered with hand drawn maps, and unique inventions and creations from all over the world. These pirates are known as the first to map the Seven Seas. 

Libra: Pirates who drifted away from civilization and became overcome by the beauty of the world. The crew can be found on islands with their immaculate ship anchored nearby, dancing in ankle deep water on white sand beaches to music made with their own handmade instruments. Seashells and pearls are tangled in their hair and they sip a beverage similar to wine.

Scorpio: This pirate crew is known by most people as half reality and half folk lore because they are rarely sighted and never communicate with people outside the crew. The dark sails of their ship loom on the horizon every full moon for only a few moments before they seem to disappear without a trace. People speak of their wild eyes and jewelry made of shimmering fish scales, crystals, and dark gemstones.

Sagittarius: A ragtag band of rogues and outlaws, banished from their homeland for refusing to support a tyrannical ruler. They have been given a bad name by authorities but this reputation could not be further from the truth. This crew remains deeply loyal to each other as they travel the sea and find themselves in risky situations. While battling sea monsters and saving stranded refugees, they risk their lives for each other and constantly display their “all for one and one for all” philosophy.

Capricorn: This pirate crew has roamed farther than any other, reaching the Arctic Circle. They’ve adapted to the freezing climate, living in solitude for most of the year and migrating back to the mainland along the equator only when they need supplies. They are industrious inventors and skilled hunters, but record all their secrets in a coded language that only crew members can decipher.

Aquarius: This pirate crew is known for the strange events that seem to follow them wherever they go–hurricanes suddenly calming when their ship approaches, worldly objects disappearing from their homes and reappearing on board the ship, and the strange way the crew abandons the ship for the sea every night, trading their legs for scaly fish tails in the light of the moon… The crew itself is few in number and each member is of the same rank.

Pisces: A pirate crew that drifts from coast to coast in a ship that reflects the sun in a way that makes it appear to be made of silver. The sails seem to be the color of the ocean itself. These pirates let the stars guide them across the sea, stopping in port cities periodically to trade handmade tapestries for supplies. Their arrival is met with anticipation because most people believe the crew has been gifted with the otherworldly power of clairvoyance.

Sneezing Rhymes

A touch of folklore related to sneezing in England:

Sneezing Days
“Monday for danger, Tuesday to kiss a stranger,
Wednesday for a letter, Thursday for something better,
Friday for sorrow, Saturday see your lover tomorrow.”

Number of Sneezes (successive)
“One for a kiss, two for a wish,
Three for a letter, four for a better,
Five for a silver, six for a gold,
Seven for a secret never told.”

Also, sneezing before breakfast predicted a gift to come, and anyone who did so regularly was said to have good long life. It was lucky to sneeze once but not twice in Cornwall, while in North Yorkshire it was always lucky to sneeze before a meal particularly after dinner.
In Scotland, however, a baby’s first sneeze was greatly anticipated as it marked the end of the period in which the child was in the power of the fairies.

– All of this information comes from Superstitions and Folk Remedies by Charles Dillon

Day 25: Rabbit Lore

This post came about when I was looking through “Folk Beliefs from Arkansas” by Mary Celestia Parler and I found a series of verbal charms related to the rabbit. Here are the charms I found, although if there are this many recorded, from several different locations in Arkansas, there are probably even more that have been passed down without being written down.

“Good Luck; if the first word you say on arising on the first of the month is rabbit.”

“If you sit up in bed on the first day of the month and say, "rabbit, rabbit,” before you do anything else, you’ll have good luck all month.“

"Dr. Riley of the History department told a friend of mine that her mother strongly believes in superstitions and on the last day of each month before going to sleep, the last thing she says is, ‘good night hares.’ The next morning the first thing she says is, 'rabbits good morning.’ This will bring a month of good luck if she says nothing at all between 'good night hares’ and 'rabbits good morning.’”

“On the first day of every month when you first wake up in the morning, you should say 'jack-rabbit’ before you talk to anyone and you will have good luck for the rest of the month.”

It’s interesting to look at the similarities between the charms, and I don’t really have any theories about how they came about, other than to say there’s a long tradition of rabbit lore in the South from among Whites, Blacks, and Native Americans alike. Rabbit is seen as a trickster figure, and there are a lot of folk tales that go along with that idea. He’s also seen as an omen of good luck and good fortune, hence the use of the rabbit’s foot (pictured above) in certain folk practices. There’s also an interesting association that I’ve managed to find, that might point toward an origin for these charms. Among several different Native American tribes in the Southeast, specifically the Cherokee, the Rabbit is also associated with the dawn, or the sunrise. It’s an interesting thought considering these charms are all related to performing a certain action as you wake up in the morning.

Vance Randolph also has a couple rabbit folk beliefs that he records in “Ozark Magic and Folklore”:

“It is bad luck for a rabbit to cross your path from left to right; you can take the curse off, however, by tearing some article of clothing just a little. If the same rabbit crosses your path twice, it means that you are needed at home immediately.”

“Another well-known tale is concerned with a witch who assumed the form of a swamp rabbit and lived on milk. A farmer saw this big rabbit sucking his cow and fired at it with a load of turkey shot; the animal was only about thirty feet off but seemed quite unharmed. The man rushed home and molded several slugs of silver, obtained by melting half dollars. Charging his shotgun with these, he fired again and killed the rabbit. A few hours later came the news that an old woman in the next holler had been shot to death; the doctor couldn’t find the bullet, but everybody knew that it must have been a silver slug that killed her.”

The idea of the witch turning into a rabbit most likely comes in through European folklore. There are many folk tales about milk-hares (pictured above from a 15th c. Swedish wall painting), or witches disguised as rabbits who suck all the milk out of cows. In Scandinavian folklore there are several milk-thieves, one form includes a rabbit, there are also the troll-cats and troll-balls that are supernatural creatures who steal milk. For more information about the milk-hare I suggest the article “The Witch as Hare or the Witch’s Hare: Popular Legends and Beliefs in Nordic Tradition” by Bodil Nildin-Wall and Jan Wall. 

LGBT movies I recommend!

Brokeback Mountain 

(I really hope you have already seen this tho, its a classic. Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger plays two shepherds falling in love in 1960 Wyoming)

Jongens 

(Dutch, two teenage boys fall in love and deals with it) 

Freier Fall 
(German, two police officers, one with a baby on the way, develops feelings for one another. One of my favourite movies of all time) 

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