Black Cats and Evil Eyes: A book of old-fashioned by Chloe Roads

By Chloe Roads

This assortment investigates the origins of our so much interesting out of date superstitions, a lot of which we nonetheless locate ourselves abiding via at the present time. enormous quantities of the ideals handed down in the course of the generations have their foundations in our ancestors' efforts to chase away evil, which they blamed for complication, ailment and injustice in instances while existence was once, as frequently as now not, 'nasty, brutish and short'. Black Cats and Evil Eyes units those superstitions of their historic and social context, explaining how worry of the satan, demons, evil spirits and witchcraft drove humans to arm themselves with rituals and talismans to repel darkish forces and make allowance them to dwell lengthy and fit lives. In studying a lot of our universal superstitions, this e-book illuminates the customs, ideals and practices that hyperlink us to an historic, and infrequently darker, human previous.

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Sample text

In the days before neuroscience had shed light on the intricate workings of the brain, people suffering from brain disorders such as epilepsy were thought to be afflicted by a madness brought on by the waxing and waning of the moon. This belief gave rise to strong superstitions surrounding the power of the moon: to sleep in moonlight was thought to cause insanity or ‘moon-blindness’ and special care was taken to draw the curtains against a full moon. It was also considered dangerous to look at the moon in a mirror, or to stare at it for too long when it was full.

In the mid-nineteenth century the living world was seen as much more closely linked to the spirit world than it is today. Despite the emergence of atheism in the previous century, most people still believed in the afterlife and in the ability of spirits who hadn’t found rest to appear to the living. Accounts of hauntings from this era often describe ghostly figures on staircases: spectral women in white descending the stairs or the ghosts of dead children sitting on the steps. There may also have been practical reasons for the superstition that stemmed from the narrowness of early staircases.

These days, such preventive measures are usually judged to be effective, though in past times the prevalence of diseases causing dehydration in young children meant that many deaths were put down to the influence of the evil eye. MOONLIGHT As the closest and brightest aspect of the night sky, the moon has held humankind in its thrall since the earliest civilizations. Although the ancients had no notion of the gravitational influences the moon exerted on our planet, they did believe that the moon controlled all the water on the earth, and that not only the oceans but also the fluids within their bodies were acted on by the moon.

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