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Saturday, June 30, 2012
Appalachian Omens, Charms & Spells
Appalachian Omens, Charms & Spells
So many of these seem to be universal in many beliefs....
Protection from the Dead and Prevention of Hauntings:
Dried basil hung over doorways, windows and fireplaces will keep ghosts from entering.
Rue or Purslane planted near the house discourages ghostly visitors
Wild horseradish or mustard placed under a pillow will prevent nightmares induced by ghosts.
Spinning clockwise 3 times before entering your dwelling reportedly confuses spirits so that they cannot enter
Rapping 3 times on your door before entering deters ghosts
Rapping 3 times on your bed post also deters ghosts from inducing nightmares
Bells, chimes, and door harps are ancient methods of deterring ghosts stemming from China and Scandinavia
Serve a plate of potatoes to a ghost just after sundown is another ghost banishing method. When leaving the plate announce that it is for the spirit. Just before dawn, bury the potatoes and the spirit should go with them.
If you know the identity of the spirit, and have access to their belongings there is a North Carolina Blue Ridge potato banishing that might be useful. Take an unwashed, unpeeled potato and cut it in half. Then hollow out a small section, leaving fairly thick walls. Place a small, non-valued item belonging to the deceased inside the hollowed out space. Then use two long nails or pins to reseal the potato. Take it to the cemetery where they are buried and leave it, the ghost should be bound to the cemetery until its ready to move on.
If you feel you are being followed by an evil spirit, cross over running water. It is said that spirits cannot cross over running water.
To turn away negative forces from a human, spectral or of an animal nature, toss nine broom straws, one at a time into a hearths fire at sunset
Squeaky doors should be fixed because they are invitations to ghosts and troublesome spirits
Windows can be protected with springs of fresh rosemary, basil, and woodruff
To prevent a curse, tie up a lock of your hair, a stick from your yard, and a clipped nail with red string and carry it in your pocket. Curses cannot affect you as long as you carry the charm. If you loose it, it can be used against you by competent enemies
The broken mirror curse (7 yrs. bad luck) can be undone by taking the largest shard to the cemetery and touching it to the oldest headstone at midnight.
Placing a fern r ivy on the porch will protect against curses. If its eaten by an animal, then a curse has already been placed. Planting dill with it protects against animals
Yarrow or Pixie Lichen Moss hung on a crib will drive away curses and negativity. This can also be achieved by driving a nail into the crib post
Milk containing chamomile fed to a child each night was said to protect it from evil and preserve its life ‘til dawn
Geranium petals will protect you from lightning strikes and snake bites
Carrying a branch from a tree that has been struck by lightening is said to protect the carrier
If outdoors, tapping a black stone against a white stone until you are indoors is said to create a magickal current that lightening cannot penetrate
Burning a candle during a lightening storm will protect the home from lightening
Burying a flint at the four directions around your house (must be done in a clockwise motion) will protect against lightening
A small bag containing chips from a lightning struck tree hanging above the door or buried at the four direction will protect the home.
Lightening will not strike a home or barn inhabited by swallows
Mistletoe offers a variety of protection against lightening. Preferably growing naturally on your property. It can be carried in the pockets for personal protection. Can be tied to a doorway for protection of the house or barn. It can be hung on farm animals for their protection
To protect against tornadoes, take a sharp knife and place it in the ground blade upwards in the southwest corner of your property or in a southwest window. Folklore states that the knife will magickally cut the tornado as it approaches so that it misses the house/property.
A large cauldron or barrel in the southwest corner is said to "confuse" a tornado and cause it to catch its tail inside which will dissipate it before it reaches your property
Geraniums on the southwest edge of your land can also provide protection against storms
Acorns thrown on the roof before it rains prevents hail damage
Oak logs burned in the hearth helps strengthen the home against natural disasters
Pine and Cedar logs burned in the hearth brings prosperity
Birch logs burned in the hearth brings happiness
Elm protects against curses and evil
Basil and Rosemary tossed into a fire protects and brings happiness
Tossing myrtle into a fire is said to cause the face of your future mate to appear
To prevent a miscarriage, carry a piece of mottled jasper/bloodstone in your left pocket
Blue glass (such as a bottle) placed in windows repels negativity
Iron above doors and fireplaces repels unwanted faery folk
A saucer placed above a door with turn away thieves
Appalachians 'smudged' their homes with a 'purging' incense, a combination of dried valerian root, dried basil, and rue. It was tradition to have the eldest member of the house carry the incense while the youngest carried a lit candle and walked behind them
Dried leather beans strung together and hung over the door brings good luck and protection
Some of these methods include harming or killing animals and are being added only for historical information.
Mountain Folk (including the Irish) believe that a raven that nests on the roof is an omen that a death will occur within a fortnight. To undo this omen you must scare away the ravens before they leave of their own accord. This must be accomplished without the use of human gestures or voices. To do so means that the death will occur in half the original amount of time. Gunshots, rocks and or other animals have been traditionally used.
Black birds that come to rest on a windowsill is a bad omen. If it takes something and for caws, while it is there the omen means a death in the family. There are two ways to undo the omens. If it only takes something, you must retrieve the stolen item. If it caws, you must kill the bird and then burn it in a cemetery. Please note that there is a difference between blackbirds and crows. Crows indicate a blight on your land or a famine.