With all the excitement about the upcoming release of my latest YA novel, Reaping Me Softly, Ollie and I completely forgot to post yesterday's Superstition Game. Our apologies!
Our superstitions today come from a suggestion made by Alyssa Susanna. She suggested cheese. I couldn't find any superstitions about cheese, but it did get me thinking. Cheese is a dairy product and where does it usually come from? Milk. So, I decided on superstitions about milk.
Stay tuned because at the end of the post are links to giveaways you can join this Halloween. *smiles*
Now, here's what you need to know about milk:
Perhaps the most familiar European tradition concerning milk is that spilling it will bring seven days of ill fortune. The reasoning behind this is that the fairies and other mischievous sprites will be attracted to any household where they can find milk on the floor. An elaboration of this superstition, dating from the days when milk was boiled over open fires, advise that it is most unlucky for milk to boil over so that some of it falls on to the coals. The cow that gave the milk will consequently produce a much smaller yield and may even sicken and die unless some salt is immediately scattered over the flames. Similar results will ensue if anyone inadvertently puts their foot in a bucket of milk.
Milk should never be given away or sold on Mayday, but a little of it may be poured over the doorstep to preserve the luck of the house. When a cow gives milk for the first time a little of it may be kept aside in a bronze basin to ensure the animal’s continued productiveness; three drops from each udder may be passed through a ring when a cow is milked for the first time after calving in order to ward off infection and to cleanse the milk itself. If the cow should later be sold, a few hairs may be taken from its tail in the belief that this will guarantee it proves a good milker under its new owner. Indian superstition, meanwhile, claims that it is lucky to see some milk immediately on waking.
The dangers posed by witches, who may try to gain power over a cow by casting spells over its milk, may be averted by adding a small amount of salt to any milk sold, while rubbing a cow’s udders with ‘passion grass’ will prevent the animal being milked by any witch disguised as a snake or other creature. More difficult to guard against is the witch’s trick of placing a pail in the fireplace and ‘milking’ the pot hook, thus magically stealing a neighbor’s milk.
To cure whopping cough, the sufferer should drink milk from a dish from which a fox has lapped, or else be offered some mare’s milk to drink. Other minor medical ailments may prove susceptible to applications of milk from human mothers, as this is also said to have special healing powers.
Did you know that about milk? I sure didn't until I started putting this post together.
Here are the links to the giveaways. Winning is only a click away:
And as an added bonus, you can now Pre-order your copy of Reaping Me Softly here: