How in the world is her mind so freaking brilliant? I demand an answer This is definitely my absolute favorite short story collection I've read so far. I was head over heels for 19 of the stories and only didn't enjoy 3 of them. I can still say with certainty that they were all strong, stunning, and breathtaking yes, even the unfortunate 3. Just because I didn't like them as much didn't mean they weren't amazing in their own way. The stories are extremely accessible and each pack such a punch for its short nature. Every one of them addresses an element of modern society that really makes you pause and think.
It was ridiculously difficult to pick a few favorites among the 19 but here are a few: "The Ones Who Stay and Fight" - A brilliant opener of a utopia set in a parallel universe that watches and learns from our own flawed world. An absolute delight to venture back into the world of the Broken Earth trilogy and see the seeds of how the series developed. According to other reviewers, this acts as the seeds of the Dreamblood Duology which I am more than excited to tackle soon.
The three I didn't like as much were: "The Effluent Engine" - While I loved the idea of a lesbian Haitian spy seeking enhanced technology to maintain the freedom of their country post-Revolution, her bold romantic advances just didn't seem very necessary to the plot. Maybe if this was a full-fledged novel where the romance was built over a period of time, I would've cheered along. While there wasn't anything particularly wrong, it was just a little dull. Aug 31, Jen rated it it was ok Shelves: short-freebie. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Review makes no sense because GoodReads took reviews of short stories from this anthology that were posted separately and smushed them together under the anthology, without being nice enough to at least put each review under the title of the short story to which it was referring. Nice that GoodReads just does what it wants without telling you what they did and why. Would be nice to be told so things can be amended before the change occurred. Probably in the fine print. I bet they can take your k Review makes no sense because GoodReads took reviews of short stories from this anthology that were posted separately and smushed them together under the anthology, without being nice enough to at least put each review under the title of the short story to which it was referring.
I bet they can take your kidneys or first borne or soul via fine print too. Long rant slightly shortened. At least to find out what below this refers to which story.
Boo GoodReads!! Second edit: and if she was the only human on the planet and she was there for three years, unless she got jiggy immediately with the alien, HOW did the other humans not immediately ask HOW she got preggers and died in childbirth to begin with?!?
No other humans!!! So wouldn't that make the baby suspect in and of itself?? Unless she was preggers when she got to the planet, but if you are sending people to meet with alien races, I would assume that they get a complete physical before they do. And WHY didn't they send another team to the planet after the ship exploded? This short story BUGS me. Too many plot holes that make no sense! Edit: also, WTF, only Americans are Christians that talk about their religion and try to "convert the natives"??
AND other religions like to share their beliefs with others! So would only atheists or those who are willing to NOT talk about their religious beliefs be allowed to meet the aliens? Makes no sense. Had they been compromised already? If so, it was not made clear at all. Had a decent idea, but needed more to flesh it out.
Merged review: That was messed. Grief and no company of the opposite sex and religious fanaticism can drive one to become desperate and crazy. The young boys all seemed to be idiots except for the one who got sick and died. You would think the mil who lost her son to a water-based parasite wouldn't want to become impregnated by one, but that's where the crazy comes in a suppose.
Great short read, but one that will stay with you long after you finish it. Jan 20, Rose rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy , sci-fi. Having spent the last three weeks traipsing across Europe, having a book of short stories by such a fantastic author made the long train and bus journeys bearable. Some stories were a bit of a miss for me, but the overwhelming majority were fantastic and engaging.
My favourites were certainly the ones that had magic and mystique woven in to the world - The City Born Great, Red Dirt Witch, L'Alchimista, and Cuisine des Memoires all stood out beautifully amongst a sea of truly incredible stories. T Having spent the last three weeks traipsing across Europe, having a book of short stories by such a fantastic author made the long train and bus journeys bearable. There are so many tales here that I would love to read fully fledged novels about.
Jan 10, Dawn C rated it really liked it Shelves: media-kindle , media-audible. She really has a concise way with words that suits this shorter writing exercise so well. Jan 15, The Captain rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy , sci-fi. Ahoy there me mateys! So when I saw she was publishing this short story collection I got excited. And after listening to the audiobook, I can say that I adored it. This collection has 22 varied tales. But I actually thought all of the tales were great. Seriously, this never happens.
Side Note: In looking at Ms. I will use those well-written descriptions in quotes and italics here where applicable. The words outside of the quotes will still be me own thoughts. It showcases parallel worlds where one seems to be ours and the other is a utopia. I have been told it might be related to an Ursula K. The author lists Le Guin as an influence on Goodreads. I loved the concepts but it felt like the speaker was given the reader a lecture. This might have been the point.
It did take me several minutes to get into the flow of it but then I was mesmerized. I thought the imagery was vivid and stark. Yet poetic and beautiful. The chasing cops are intense. New York feels alive. Two women, one white and one black, struggle for control. The white woman has the upper hand due to racial prejudices and white dominance. But Emmaline is determined to save her family despite the imbalance of power. There is sadness and hope in this story.
The layering of concepts was awesome. Is Franca chef enough to cook them? You better believe she is. I loved the mystery of the ingredients.
I loved the playful yet serious feeling around the cooking. And the ending of this story rocked. Hooray for cooking magic! It dealt with dirigibles, spies, science and two kick-ass women. I would totally want these women on me crew. It is a love story. It is a tragedy. It was quirky and cool. Avatars and dreaming and code. I also read this story in addition to listening to it. It is me silly noggin missing something.
It happens. Humankind, an endangered species, eats its own. I kinda loved it. I did love it. It was just so weird! Is a mysterious pool of alien water a blessing from God, or a deadly curse? I think. Further study is warranted. The ramifications of this one are fun. I did love the protagonist in this one and how she fights back. It was not an easy choice and I had such admiration for making it. Is she dancing for him? I really liked the concept of his one even if I was left with unanswered questions in the end.
The layers of this story were delightful. The mystery of the chef led to unexpected places. I thought this story had a perfect ending. And yet I wanted the hunter to get her prey and survive. I was rooting for her. This story features Death. It is a dystopian. It is super fun. The ramifications of the ending are rather astounding. Cet, a priest of the Dream-Goddess, must overcome both the narcomancer and his own temptations to survive.
So many complications and strong characters. Fun plot. Great ending. Excellent magic. But really was kidnapping a better choice? It might have been. I loved it. Trains that never were. If one of them stops for you, will you get on? I just loved the voice of this one. I want to know where she ends up. And all the information about the subway system made me hanker for the days of living in NYC. Not that I loved the subway then. But living in a place without public transportation now makes me nostalgic. This was clever and awesome.
Just another day in the big city. I liked hearing about all the zany happenings in NYC. It made me smile. This was another story where I wondered what happened next. That said, this story just felt so real. Even with the lizards! Jemisin fan, this should tickle yer fancy. Some of the stories are also available on her website for free if ye want to check out her writing style. I love her. Plus I highly recommend listening to this one if ye can. Feb 27, lady victoriana rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in There are many things I admire about N.
Jemisin as a writer, and all of those things come through in this collection of short stories. I want to highlight two of those things: 1. Her innovation and creativity. Put simply, Jemisin just has really cool ideas. Even if she's utilizing a common trope or concept, she still manages to execute it in an original way. I may not always love the direction she takes stories in, but I have to admire just how creative she is, and how her mind works outside of There are many things I admire about N.
I may not always love the direction she takes stories in, but I have to admire just how creative she is, and how her mind works outside of the box, always. Her commentary on power and injustice. Nearly every story in this collection comments on power structures, either metaphorically or straightforwardly. She weaves social commentary into her stories masterfully, never in a heavy-handed way, and it's just so clever and satisfying. I certainly did not love every story in this collection, but I could still admire the skill it took to craft them, even if they weren't for me.
This is probably more of a 3. The Ones Who Stay and Fight 2 stars : This was a weird one, and it was more about the message than the plot, which I think is why I didn't enjoy it as much. The City Born Great 3 stars : This is the third time I've read this short story and I think I'm finally beginning to understand what it's about cities with a consciousness that have humans as avatars - I think. If I'm understanding this right, it's a fabulous idea. I just felt like the story had no point other than to introduce this concept. Red Dirt Witch 3. Athletes famously engage in superstitious rituals—basketball legend Michael Jordan reportedly wore the same pair of shorts under his NBA uniform for every game, and tennis star Serena Williams ties her shoelaces the same way before every match and always bounces the tennis ball five times before her first serve.
Good luck superstitions, ranging from small gestures to elaborate observance, exist in cultures all over the world. Here are 14 of them. Some Danish and also German children opt to leave a pile of broken dishes on the doorsteps of their friends and neighbors, in a less aggressive manner of wishing prosperity. In China, it's believed that good fortune enters your life through your front door.
14 Good Luck Superstitions from Around the World
Just before the New Year, Chinese people follow a tradition of thoroughly cleaning their homes to bid farewell to the previous year, but to avoid sweeping all that good luck out, the home is swept inward and collected in a pile to be carried out the back door, never through the front. In fact, no cleaning is performed at all during the first two days of the New Year so that no good luck can be swept away. When midnight strikes to usher in a New Year, Spaniards eat 12 green grapes for 12 months of good luck.
They eat one grape at each bell toll, chewing and swallowing quickly , and they wear red underwear while doing so. Rather than view a bird defecating on them as a disgusting surprise, Russians welcome it as a sign of good luck and fortune. In Latin coun- tries one can see men go about with long hairs growing out of moles on their faces. They are careful never to shave them. When a child loses a tooth it will hasten the growth of the new tooth, if the old is thrown into the fire.
When a tooth is pulled it should be thrown in- to the fire. In Switzerland it is carefully wrapped in paper with a pinch of salt and burned. To cure a, toothache, the name of St. ApoUonia is invoked in Latin countries. She suffered mar- tyrdom by having her teeth pulled out, and has since been the patron saint of those who suffer from similar pangs.
To dream of losing a tooth, foretells the death of a friend. If a baby's tooth first appars in the upper jaw, it is a sign that the child wiU die in infancy. If there is a gap between the two uiq er middle teeth large enough to pass a coin through, it foretells wealth. The Greeks believed that it was unlucky to count one's warts as they would increase in number. To charm away a wart, buy it from the pos- sessor for a pin, and it will disappear within a week. Another way to charm away a wart is to rub it with half an apple. Tie the two halves to- gether with a thread, and bury it at the foot of a tree.
Spots in the nails foretell riches. If many, the person showing them will gain a fortune. White specks often foretell happenings without wealth. On the thumb-nail, they indicate honors. To neglect this brings misfortune. When a Moslem yawns he puts the back of his left hand to his mouth and says, "I seek refuge with Allah from Satan. Even the old Roman historian, Pliny, says : "It is an opinion generally received that when our ears do glow and tingle, there be some that in our absence do talk of us. If continued for any length of time, a fortune will come to him.
The itching of the thumb or nose denotes a visitor, sometimes an unwelcome intruder. One of the witches in "Macbeth" says: "By the jiricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes. When Caesar landed at Adrumetum in Africa, it is related that he tripped and fell upon his face. This was considered as an ill omen by his sol- diers, but with great presence of mind he ex- claimed: "Thus do I take possession of thee, O Africa.
It is related that a well-known English arch- bishop on entering his study one day, found his portrait lying on the floor, the cord that held it on the hook, having snapped. The sight so un- nerved the prelate that he became ill, ' and died shortly after. The Duke of Buckingham had a similar mis- adventure. On entering the cotmcil chamber, he found his portrait lying at full length on the floor. He died soon after.
A fall from a horse, besides being very incon- venient and often painful, is supposed to bring evil consequences. If two persons part on horseback, and one of them falls off his mount, the two will never meet again. A horse stumbling on the highway brings bad luck to his owner. Shakespeare says: "How oft to-night "Have my old feet stumbled at graves! So also has the cutting of hair. Sailors believe that to" cut the nails or hair during a calm will provoke contrary winds.
They, therefore, only cut them in a storm. The ancients declared that nails and hair should not be pared or cut when in the presence of the gods, but in the secrecy of one's home. Among the Arabians it is considered lucky to cut the nails and hair on Friday. In some countries it is considered unlucky to cut a child's nails till it is a year old. In Scotland it is believed that if a child's nails are cut before it is a year old, it will grow up to be a thief. In other lands, it is thought the child will stammer.
The Jews bum their nail parings with a piece of wood, as a species of offering to insure good luck. She will be happy whether she marries or not. Augustus Caesar put on his left sandal awry and nearly lost his life in a mutiny. A well-known writer says: "Augustus by an oversight Put on his left shoe before his right; Had like to have been slain that day By soldiers mutin ang for pay.
If left on all day, beware of accidents. To button your vest so that the buttons and holes come out uneven is a good sign. It is well to put on the stocking of your right foot first and the shoe of your left foot. To tear off a button while dressing is a bad sign. It should be remedied at once before going out of the house. To rip a garment the first time you put it on, is a bad sign. To rend one's garments was in former days considered a s rmbol of mourning. If you meet a person wearing new clothes, pinch him for good luck. A proverbial saying when itieeting a person with new clothes, is, "May you have health to wear it, strength to tear it, and money to buy another.
To put on a suit for the first time on Monday signifies that it will soon tear. You will have bad luck in wearing it. Tuesday — Beware lest the suit catch fire. Keep out of speculation. Your speculations will succeed. You will make a good impression and get what you are after. Friday — Not a good day to put on new attire. Saturday — Beware of catching cold. There is an element of bad ludc in a new stiit on this day. Sunday — Happiness and good luck will follow him who puts on a new suit on the Sabbath. To stumble on getting up, is bjid.
It is considered unlucky to sing before break- fast. You may cry before supper. It is unlucky to relate a bad dream before break- fast. It may come true. It is well to go back a block or two and start over. To walk with a cross-eyed person is sure to bring bad luck. To touch a hunchback's hump brings good luck.
Gamblers, especially, often resort to this method to change their luck from bad to good. To have a hunchback about the premises brings good f orttme. In former years kings used to have a court fool who was usually a hunchback, not only to make merriment for them, but to insure good forttme. To shake hands with a left-handed person is often regarded as unlucky. To touch a blind man's garment or brush past him is a sign of ill fortune.
To help a blind man on his way, is an omen of good luck. To be baptized by a left-handed priest is con- sidered unlucky. To meet a priest the first thing in the morn- ing is a bad omen. This may be averted by throwing a pin at him. To meet a beggar as you leave your house in the morning, is a bad sign, and you should at once return and start over. To give a coin to a cripple insures good luck. This idea is often re- sorted to where it is advisable to delay the last breadth till some absent friend arrives.
At the moment of death the doors and windows are often opened to allow the spirit free egress. Looking-glasses and pictures are covered as long as the corpse is in the house, to prevent the spirit from seeing its reflection. In Scotland a piece of iron is thrust into all eatables right after a death, to prevent the attrac- tion of other spirits. A plate of salt is put upon the breast of a new corpse in Wales to purge out all the sins of the defunct.
Candles are lit at the head of the corpse, to ward off evil spirits. Tolling of the bell is usual in most countries. After some minutes of tolling there is a pause, and three times three tolls for a male and twice three for a female, is the rule. Where bees are kept it is customary to tell the bees that their owner is dead and that they must remain and work for the new owner. In Ireland a wake is the rule. Friends of the departed meet and discuss the good points and foibles of the dead.
Refreshnients are served. Many charms and amu- lets have and are still being worn to counteract any bad effects. A cross of jet is frequently used as an amulet against the evil eye. It is believed that it will split if looked upon by a person having evil intentions. The following are a few of the many substances used for averting the evil from this source. Sweeping a child's face with the bough of a pine tree, is considered a very successful preventive; so is hanging up the key of the house over a child's cradle.
Other means of preventing the blasting effects of the evil eye are: Laying turf, dug from a grave, upon the cradle of a child; laying crumbs on tht cradle; giving the child a piece of coral that was dipped in the font in which the child was bap- tized. Hindoos jdecorate their children with a profu- sion of jewels to antagonize the evil eye. Mo- hammedans suspend articles from the ceiling over the cradle for the same purpose. In Roumania a child or groVn person decorated with red ribbons is supposed to be impervious to this terrible influence, and hence most people wear something scarlet about their bodies, and even the oxen in the field have something red tied about their horns.
A hot cinder jumping out of the grate signifies the coming of good fortune. The first cake taken out of an oven should be broken, not cut; otherwise all the rest of the cakes baked that day will be soggy. Do not sweep the dust out of the front door. It indicates that your good luck will be swept out with it. If a leaf of soot hangs in the grate, it announces the coming of a guest. If a rooster stands upon the threshold of your house and crows, a stranger may be expected.
If you neglect to close down the lid of your teapot, a guest will come and have tea with you. If your tea-kettle sings, it is a sign of content- ment in the home. If you wash yotir hands and face in a bowl of water that has been used by some one else, it fore- tells a quarrel with that other person. Trousers made on Friday are unlucky and will soon tear. To break up your bread into crumbs at the table is an omen of coming poverty. To drop a coarse comb foretells a visit by a man, — 2l fine-tooth-comb means a visit from a woman.
To throw away a piece of bread is an indication of carelessness and brings bad luck. It is wonderful, indeed, that by nature's law of reflection, one can see the image of that which is outside of the glass, and it has been considered unlucky to destroy in any way that power to reflect. If the looking-glass is willfully broken and thrown away, it has no effect upon one's fortune.
In the days of ancient Greece, divination was performed by means of water and a looking-glass. This was called catoptromancy. The mirror was dipped into the water and a sick person was asked to look into the glass. If his image appeared dis- torted, he was likely to die; if clear, he would live.
Looking-glasses are often used by fortune tel- lers in a way similar to crystal globes. They can tell from the nature of the images they perceive what will be the future of the inquirer. To break the glass over a friend's portrait 13 a bad sign. It often betokens the death of the person who is the original of the picture. It is considered ill luck to see your face in a mirror by candlelight. Greeks and Romans mixed it with their cakes that were offered up on the altars of their deities.
It was a necessary part of the sacrifice. Among pagans salt was regarded as having re- demptive power and was used when doing any important business as a preventive of ill luck. It was thrown on the ground with an invocation that was supposed to ward off unfriendly spirits. Among the Jews, it is still a mark of hospital- ity to break bread with a stranger, and the bread is first dipped into salt.
Salt has been regarded as the symbol of friend- ship, therefore the overturning of a salt-cellar is looked upon as the breaking of friaidship. To spill salt at table is considered unlucky. To change the spell, however, it is only necessary to take a pinch of the salt and throw it over the left shoulder.
In some Eastern countries, the spilling of flour is viewed with the same feeling of awe as in the case of salt. To put too much salt into the food when cook- ing, is supposed to be proof that the cook is in love. You therefore buy the knife and avert the "cutting of friendship.
To drop a knife on the floor, means the com- ing of a visitor. Knife and fork should never be crossed at the table, as this would presage bad luck. They should be laid side by side. The origin of this belief probably lay in the disinclination to make the sign of the cross sacreligiously. To drop a knife accidentally so that the point penetrates into the ground and it stands upright is a sign of coming success.
To place an open knife near a sleeping child is considered a good omen. Many queer superstitions attach to them. In Catholic countries it is customary to bring candles to church in honor of one's favorite saint or of the Madonna. The size of the candle and its decoration gave evidence of the donor's religious enthusiasm.
This will ensure another year of happiness. A spark in the wick is called a "letter" and foretells flie arrival of good news. A knot in the wick, burning with a red gloWi indicates the visit of a stranger. A wick charred but remaining over the flame is a sign of good luck.
To kill a moth hovering about a candle is a harbinger of good luck. To pass under a ladder that is hung horizon- tally does not influence your luck for good or evil. To climb a ladder with an odd number of rungs is a good sign and leads to success. To be on a ladder with a pretty girl is a good sign and foretells matrimony. Any clairvoyant to whom you may go to have fortime will ask you on what day of the month your fortune told will ask you on what day of the month you were bom and in what year.
From this she will tell you whether to expect good or evil fortune in the coming year. The basis for these calculations has been handed down from very ancient times. According to astrologers, every letter in one's name corresponds to a number, so that if you understand how to calculate the numerical value of your name you can foretell your future.
In horse racing, the names of the horses, taken according to their numerical value, often predict the result of the race. The Greeks believed in the sacredness of the num- ber nine. They had nine muses, nine principal deities, nine oracles, etc. The Romans believed in the mystic three, the Egyptians in twelve, etc. The Jews revered the number seven, and its re- currence throughout the Bible is remarkable : Seyen days of creation, seven lean years, seven fat years, seven stars, seven times bathing in the Jordan, seven years followed by a year of jubilee, etc.
This number, according to Kabala was obtained by adding the letters of Man and God together. Thirteen, as we know, has been regarded by Christians as a very unlucky number on account of the events following the Last Supper. Divination by numbers is a favorite pastime and leads to some remarkable results. Many historical events have been prophesied by this method. Add to and you have , which foretold the end of the empire about that time.
The French Revolution occurred in ; add this date to the simi of its numbers and you have , which foretells the end of Napoleon's reign. The dates of other personalities can be worked out the same way and the result is often remark- ably correct. Kabala, or the occult science of the Jews of the Middle Ages, depended almost entirely upon the mystic powers of numbers.
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Many problems in modem mathematics depend on the mystic number nine and both nine arid seven are used by forttme tellers in divining the future. In the South the fever raged particu- larly strong, and the Louisiana Lottery and the Dismal Swamp Lottery counted their victims by the million. Both lottery and policy were similar in that a certain price was paid for a ticket or a paper with numbers. On stated occasions num- bers were drawn out of a wheel and these were announced.
The holder of the lucky number won an amount that differed according to the occasion. A man's age, or that of his wife or children, was frequently taken as the number. Some men added the figures in the date, month, etc. Dreams are considered particularly efficacious in playing policy. Most dream books give policy numbers coinciding with every possible dream, and these when played are supposed to make a win- ning. Among the numbers often taken are the date of the year, or the date of an important event. The numbers on a freight car have been known to bring fortunate results.
In the case of a murder committed in a com- munity, certain numbers are supposed to have a peculiar significance and bring luck. In the South many negroes make a comfortable living by interpreting dreams, signs and omens and telling the proper numbers they signify for the playing of policy. An interval shpuld separate them. Odd ntunbers are more apt to bring prizes than even numbers. Numbers ending in three, nine, twelve or seven are the most likely to strike luck. A number given you by a cripple is sure to be successful, but that given by a cross-eyed man or :ivoman is bound to lose.
Wlien you throw a lump of sugar into your cof- fee or tea, the number of bubbles that arise arc an indication of your future wealth. Many moles over your body indicate that you will be wealthy. To be born with a caul indicates that you will have luck and amass wealth. A birthmark in the middle of the back indi- cates a wealthy marriage. It is attributed to Sere- nus, a celebrated physician of the second coitury.
It is often written so that reading from the apex like an inverted pyramid up to the right side, the same word will be spelled as at the top. In the Middle Ages the word, Anamazaptas, if whispered into a man's ear, was supposed to cure epilepsy. It comes from an Arab word which means "he has walked well.
Pythagoras considered the letter Y a symbol of life, and used it in his divinations. Anagrams are often used to tell fortunes and to decide the career of a person. Thus Eleanor Davies, a well-known English woman and the wife of a poet, became a prophetess because she found that the letters of her name could be trans- posed to read, "Reveal O Daniel. At the present time Ae Bible is the book usually employed for that purpose. If in distress, open the Bible and put your index finger on the page at random. The text will tell you what to do. If the words have no apparent bearing onr tlie question, you should consider it an unfavorable reply.
To decide Yes or No in any doubtful matter, open the Bible and note the first word on the left- hand page. If it has an even number of letters, the answer is No; if an odd number of letters, the answer is Yes. A singular mode of divination for girls who desire to know their fate is described in an old book, as follows: "When you go to bed place under your pillow a prayer book opened at the part of the matri- monial service which begins, With this ring I thee wed,' etc.
The last chapter of the Book of Proverbs con- tains thirty-one verses, each of which is suiq osed to have reference to one day of a month. By con- sulting these for the day of the month on which you were bom, you will have an indication as to which kind of occupation you will be most suc- cessful in.
The proper stone is chosen accordmg to the month of one's birth, each mondi being governed by a different gem. One's birthstone in a charm or locket, worn about the neck, will bring luck in business or spec- ulation. People are supposed not only to have a fortunate number but a lucky hue as well. Modem scientific research has proved the im- portance of color in a curative sense. No matter whether your native color is red or blue, it is a fact that the color of your wall paper may have a beneficial or harmful eflfect on you if you are ill.
Infusoria and the lower forms of life develop faster under one kind of color than under another, red and yellow being most favorable. Flies, ants and other insects die imder the effect of blue or violet light. Why then should color not also have its influence on man? Insane people have been cured by placing them in a room that was flooded with light of a certain color that corresponded with their aura. Blue light was thought particularly efficacious for melan- choly people.
The following beliefs are current in regard to colors : Red governs love, affection or lust. Scarlet rules emotion and anger. Crimson is the color of animal passion. Bright red gives courage and confidence. Orange is the color of simplicity or ignorance. Brown is the hue of worldly wisdom. Yellow, of jealousy and silliness. Yellow and gold, according to some philosophers, correspond to the intellectual, red to the sensual, and blue to the spiritual, moral and religious na- ture of man.
White is the coIot of innocence, hence brides dress in white. Purple was considered the color of royalty in ancient days, probably on accotmt of its former scarcity and expensiveness. It is also used for second mourning, as being a compromise between black and gay colors. There is a belief that every jealous person had green eyes. This idea no doubt was formed by the fact that some people's eyes become phosphorescent under great emotion.
If mandrake is turned up in one's garden it should be burnt at once. Many strange beliefs centre about this root. Some believe it will cause blindness if looked at too long. To pick flowers before they are full blown, is said to cause a stye. March marigolds will cause drinking habits if looked at too long. If poppies are held to the eyes, it is believed they will blind one.
Their hoarse and repellent voice is a bad omen and means coming disaster. Before tHe death of the Roman emperor, Anto- ninus, an owl was observed to sit over his chamber door. In the Middle Ages the screeching of owls was supposed to foretell plague or other calamities. Ravens were considered equally unlucky. To have a raven fly into one's bedroom foretold dis- aster. The farmers believe that they will avert poor crops. The cuckoo has long been considered as a bird of bad omen, if it enters one's home; but to hear a cuckoo cry in the woods is a good sign.
Boys take their money out of their pockets and spit on it for luck when they hear a cuckoo cry. It is a bad sign not to have any money in your, pocket when you hear the cuckoo's first cry in spring. A white bird or a crow flying against a win- dow by night, foretells a death in the house with- in a year. A robin is a bringer of good luck if it flies into the house. Magpies have different meanings according to the number that fly about.
It is unlucky to look into an owl's nest. It is a bad omen to kill a swallow or a wren or take their eggs. Martins and swallows are God's teachers and scholars and must not be annoyed. If you wish to thrive, let the spider stay alive. A spider's web, encountered on the road should not be disturbed. A little red ant, if it crawls into the pocket, brings money. Crickets are considered harbingers of luck; but in some countries the contrary holds good. To kill a red ant, brings rain. Bees swarming on a house means that some one will die there. If you see a black snail, throw it over your head for luck.
To kill a toad will make the bees swarm. BEES When putting bees into a new hive, one must knock three times on top of the old hive and tell them; otherwise they will sting you. In some country hives are turned around when a member of the family dies, otherwise the bees will also die. Bees are supposed to have a religious nature and to be subject to the emotions of their owners. In Yorkshire there is a custom of watching the hives on Christmas Eve. The people profess to be able to tell by the htmiming noise the bees make whether the holiday is to be a joyful one or not.
If a hive of bees dies out, it is a sign of a com- ing bad harvest and the farmer looks for another place to ply his profession. To be stimg by a bee, if not followed by a swelling, is a sign of coming fortune. It is unlucky to keep a kitten bom in May. It should be drowned, as a May cat is supposed to suck a child's breath. Goslings hatched in May bring no luck to the owner. It is unlucky to bid a price for an animal that IS not for sale. The animal is apt to die within a month.
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To covet another's beast will bring you bad luck. If a pig is killed while the moon is waning, it will be unprofitable and the bacon will shrink in the pot. A gray horse brings good luck. Spit on the little finger and rub it on the horse, and money will come to you. If you see a young spring lamb with the head towards you, it means good fortune. It is unlucky to kill a cricket.
These insects were esteemed by the ancients as a S3mibol of hos- pitality. Their singing was often used to fore- tell good or bad events. A hare crossing the path of a traveller is a sign of bad fortune. A white hare, however, is regarded as a good sign. A pig appearing to a traveller is a good sign. If a sow be accompanied by a litter of pigs, it denotes a successful trip. The tail-jof a lizard is considered a lucky mas- cot in France, just as is the hind leg of a rabbit in this country. To meet a white horse indicates that you will soon see a red-haired girl.
Rooks are believed to foretell death by leaving the house near which they have built their nests. Killing a spider is considered unlucky. Small spiders, called "money-spinners," indicate good luck, and their webs are not to be destroyed. If black ants appear in a house it is a sign of good luck, but red ants bring misfortune. Dogs are sup- posed to have a peculiar sense of coming trouble.
In case of sickness, a dog is supposed to foretell the outcome. An old writer says: "As odd and unaccount- able as it may seem, dogs scent death even before it seizes a person. In the "Odyssey," the dogs of Eumaeus are de- scribed as terrified at the sight of Minerva though she was invisible to human eyes.
The howling of dogs is believed to presage death, especially in houses where some one is lying ill. When dogs tremble and wallow upon the earth it is a sign of wind and storm. Horses and cattle are often supposed to have this trait in common with dogs. Their keen sense of smell, or perhaps some sense which mortals do not possess, enables them to discover illness and danger. Some consider them a sure sign of good luck, others regard them with dread and awe.
A black cat without a single white hair is lucky, particularly if it comes to you unsoKcited. If you start out to undertake any new work or to hunt and a black cat crosses your path, you will be very lucky in your undertaking. Among Egyptians, cats were regarded with re- ligious awe. They were mummified and buried in the graves with human beings. Witches had a fondness for black cats, and used them in their divinations. In soothsaying, cats have always played an important role. The brain of a black cat was considered an important ingredient in the recipes and prescrip- tions of the witches in the Middle Ages.
The meowing of a black cat at midnight is a bad omen, and foretells a death. To be out in a sunshower is good luck, and whatever you venture in that hour will be success- ful. Thunder and lightning are both lucky and un- lucky according to the direction from which they come. An even number of thunder reports in quick succession have no effect, but an uneven number will bring luck. The ancients considered thunder as an indica- tion that Jove was angry. Thunder from a cloudless sky, is considered an indication of luck.
To see a new moon for the first time after a change on the right-hand side or directly in front of you betokens good luck, but to see it behind you on your left, is a bad omen. To see the new moon through a window for the first time, indicates bad luck. The new moon seen over the right shoulder brings good fortune, over the left shoulder means failure, and straight ahead of you denotes good luck till the end of the season.
The Friday on which the new moon first appears is a bad day and Sunday is equally unfavorable for a full moon. Red ants swarming through the earth, indicate coming of rain. If it rains on St. Swithin's Day, it will rain for forty days more. Long streaky clouds, indicate iair weather. Thick bands of clouds across the west, indicate stormy weather.
Streaks of light radiating out of clouds bdiind the sun foretell rain. The sun is said to be suck- ing up moisture. The bigger the wheel, the nearer the moisture.
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If the evening star is in front of the moon, look out fpr rain. When a guinea fowl or peacock calls, prepare for rain. The call of the green woodpecker is a sign of rain. Rooks gathering in large numbers and flying in a circle, foretell rain.
Related With This Ring (The Superstitions Short Story Collection Book 2)
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