Let’s Talk Witch – Household Omens and Portents
Let your furniture predict your future? The idea may sound strange, but for centuries-from Babylonian times and even earlier-household objects and occurrences have been prized for glimpses of future events.
Many of these ancient ideas are odd, alien or amusing, but they do reflect the sacredness of all existence in early times. You could trudge over to the seer or stand in line to visit the Oracle at Delphi-or you could watch your furniture. niture.
For instance, if you are rocking in your rocking chair and it starts to move along the floor, company will show on your porch before nighttime. A chair that rocks by itself signifies the imminent arrival of bad news.
If you knock your chair over when rising from the table, it is a sign that you lied while seated there. Turning a chair on one leg so that it pivots usually presages a household hold fight.
Any large piece of wooden furniture-such as a wardrobe, robe, table or chest-that starts to dry out and crack is signaling a change in the weather.
If you are dreaming away one night and suddenly feel like the world’s falling, perhaps one of the slats of your bed has fallen out. If so, don’t worry; this is a sign that riches will soon be coming your way. Also concerning beds, climbing out of bed over the footboard when first rising in the morning ing portends a fortunate day.
The kitchen has its share of portents, too. If apples burst while baking in the oven, good news is on the way for the cook. Eggs that crack while boiling are a sign that visitors are expected.
Many people around the world abhor Americans’ bland, precooked rice. Real rice sticks to itself; it has a different ferent texture. When this type of rice forms a ring around the edge of the pot while cooking, the cook will become rich.
Knocking over the sugar bowl is another sign of money, probably harkening back to the days when sugar was prohibitively expensive. Spilling pepper signifies a coming fight, while upsetting the salt shaker is a wellknown known signal of trouble. Throw a pinch of pepper or salt over the left shoulder to avoid the hex.
Accidentally mixing up salt and sugar in a recipe is a sweet sign, regardless of the taste of the finished dish. It presages good news. Forgetting to add spices while cooking ing not only decreases the flavor of your food, it also signifies trouble ahead. Remedy this by adding the spices as soon as possible.
Bubbles in your morning coffee presage money. If they are near the side of the cup you drink from, the money will come soon; if on the far side, it will come more slowly.
If you drink tea, look into your cup. Floating tea leaves signify money coming your way. The tea leaves themselves, selves, of course, can be read to foretell the future. Get a good book on the subject or simply look at the patterns the leaves make and let your psychic powers flow.
There are some kitchen portents of approaching rain. If you must add a lot of water to boiling food, showers will descend. If the coffeepot boils over more often than usual, this is also a sign of impending precipitation.
Many omens emerge at the dining table. Crossing knives while setting the table foretells long journeys, while a piece of bread falling from someone’s hand means a beggar will soon be knocking at the door. (This doesn’t necessarily mean a ramshackle, bearded bum, though; it could be a friend who’s low on cash.)
Spilling water on the tablecloth, by right of sympathetic pathetic magic, indicates that rain is on the way. If you drop a glass and it doesn’t break, this is proof that you have friends who would go through fire for you. Silverware dropped at the table indicates the impending ing arrival of a visitor-a fork represents a man, a spoon a woman. Dropping a knife also means a visitor-if the blade sticks into the floor.
Animals are frequently watched to predict the future. A bird flying into a house for no apparent reason is a sign of good luck and fortune for the owner (but perhaps not for the bird). It may also portend news from a distance.
Swallows settling in at your home mean that it will never want for luck. The same is true of martins. If you hear a mockingbird while falling asleep, good luck will be yours.
Snakes were once kept as household guardians, and a snake in the home is still considered lucky. If a snake crawls up your doorsteps, it may mean that someone from another country will enter your house. A snake in the garden also brings good fortune.
Wild animal tracks in the snow, completely encircling the house, are another sign of good luck.
Seeing a spider in the house in the morning, or anytime, time, is good luck; killing one brings bad luck. A spider or bee entering your home through an open window indicates cates news on the way.
Doors opening by themselves signal the impending arrival of company. Cracks in the ceiling and soot dropping from the chimney indicate bad weather ahead. A falling picture presages a journey for someone in the family.
If a broom drops across a doorway, you will soon go on a journey. (Make sure to pick it up quickly; don’t step over it.) When your cupboard doors are left open, people will gossip about you.
If your garden gate bangs open and shut at night, you will have many visitors the next day. And finally, if the doorbell bell rings and you don’t answer it, you will lose a friend. (This was probably invented by traveling salesmen and bill collectors.)
The Magical Household: Spells & Rituals for the Home
Scott Cunningham; David Harrington