magpie related

It is 12:14 on a Saturday night and somehow I find myself researching superstitions related to magpies.
Did you know that In Scotland a single magpie near the window of a house is not just bad luck but the sign of impending death; possibly because they were believed to carry a drop of the devil’s blood under their tongue, and in some parts of the UK when you see a magpie, you salute it and say “Good morning Mr. Magpie, how is your lady wife?” to ward off bad luck, because a singular magpie is considered bad luck and ill-fortune, due to the fact that magpies mate for life and there’s a children’s rhyme affiliated with it (One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told), so if you see a singular magpie (one for sorrow), saluting it and asking after it’s wife is supposed to suggest two for joy, therefore reversing the sorrow and bad luck the magpie brings with it.
This useless information is now yours to keep, do with it what you will, you’re welcome.

Hair Folklore

Hair has been a subject of folklore found in many cultures across the world.   

Celtic

Hair was an important ritual and spiritual symbol to the ancient Celts. 

  • Warriors wore their hair long and their beards untrimmed when they went into battle, sometimes treating it with lime to give a more wild appearance.
  • Women’s hair was long as well, often braided or dressed; their hair was a symbol of feminine power.
  • Red hair was especially significant, for it showed that fairy blood rain in the person’s veins.
  • Mermaids lured sailors by combing their hair, and according to the principle of sympathetic magic, it was dangerous for girls to comb their hair when their brothers were at sea.
  • Animal hair also had power, especially that of horses, which would come alive if put in water.
  • Should a person, especially a child, be bitten by a dog, the wound had to be bound with hair from the animal to ensure healing.
  • In Scotland, some people believed that there is a relation amongst magpies, your hair, and your time of death. If magpies steal your cut hair and use it for their nests, you are going to die within a year.

Native American

  • For Native Americans, long hair represents strong spirit. They believe the longer the hair, the stronger the spirit.
  • The Cree people claim that their hair is another part of their soul.
  • The Sioux people only cut their hair in a time of mourning.
  • Only certain people were allowed to touch one’s hair.
  • In some tribes, it is also a symbol of knowledge, as it is a physical extension of one’s thoughts.
  • Cutting one’s hair was considered a taboo amongst most tribes.
  • By attaching a lock of a loved ones hair, in your hair, or by carrying their hair on your person, one is able to carry the thoughts of their loved ones with them on their travels.”
  • Braids symbolise oneness and unity.
  • There were communities that used mixture of bear fat and soot to make their hair darker

Asian

  • There are good and bad days to wash your hair; Indians believe that you should not wash your hair on a Thursday.
  • There is an old Indian tradition that widows should shave their head.
  • In India it is a tradition to cut one’s hair in a temple at least once in a lifetime, for this rite enables destroying one’s vanity.
  • In East Asia, long hair is a sign of youth and beauty.
  • The Chinese Lunar New Year is the time where you should not cut your hair. 
  • People in China believe that by cutting your hair you will also symbolically “cut” your chances for prosperity in the New Year.
  • It is also not good to wash hair in first days of the year as it is possible that you are going to wash away all of your good luck.

Superstitions

  • In Victorian Britain, people used to believe that long hair showed a woman’s fertility.
  • In Lancashire, people used to belive that you should put one’s hair in fire to find how long he or she is going to live. Bright fire meant the person is going to live long
  • In most parts of the United States people believe that if you pull out one white hair two will grow in its place.
  • There is also American belief that the colour of hair on woman’s neck shows the colour of hair on her future husband.
  • In England cutting hair in the time when the Moon is waxing will bring you good luck.
  • Do not comb or brush your hair by the window on a full moon - it is an invitation to evil spirits and you may become ill.
  • Cut your hair during a storm for good luck.
  • One should be careful where they dispose of their hair - if an evil person takes it, one could become a victim of hex.

Superstitions by hair colour and style:

  • A red-haired person is widely held to have an irascible temper. This is in reference to the red-haired Judas Iscariot or the Norse invaders of Britain. Though he or she may also be courageous and it is considered lucky to run your fingers through someone’s red hair.
  • Fair hair is a sign of weak nature.
  • Black hair suggests great strength and virility, and is also considered lucky.
  • Brown-haired people are said to make the best spouse.
  • Those who are curly-haired are good tempered.
  • People with naturally straight hair are said to be cunning.

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