Superstitions Connected with the Heart

As the traditional seat of the soul, the heart has particular significance in the superstitions and traditions of witchcraft. In former times, if a farmer suspected one of his animals had died as the result of being bewitched, the solution was to cut out the creature's heart and pierce it with pins or thorns; the witch or sorcerer responsible would be afflicted by terrible pain or would otherwise be obliged to make his or her identity known. The lovesick are advised that removing the heart of a live pigeon and sticking it with pins will oblige a reluctant lover to fall passionately in love. If the lover still proves unwilling, sticking a hare's heart with pins and burying it near a newly dug grave will cause the unconsenting party to experience a sudden decline in health, culminating in death.

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