Friday, October 13, 2006
31 Days of Halloween - Day 13
This being Friday the 13th, I thought it appropriate to post about the symbol of Halloween most associated with bad luck -- the black cat.
Cats have always been believed to possess magical powers. Most cultures have cats associated with magic and the supernatural in some form. The Druids feared cats believing them to be humans transformed by supernatural forces. They were considered evil spirits and were sacrificed on fires during Samhain to ward off bad luck in the coming year.
In Europe it was believed that witches had familiars which took the form of small animals such as toads, hares, bats, and cats. These familiars would assist the witch in practicing her magic. There's nothing that says that a witch's cat has to be black. There are several documented incidents of alleged witches with cats of other colors, but black has always been associated with evil things.
It's arched back, yellow eyes, hair standing on end, and often screeching face, the black cat is one of the primary symbols of Halloween.
Here are some superstitions associated with cats...
Cats suck out the breath of babies.
To become invisible, make a charm of dried cat bones.
If a cat rubs against you, you can expect good luck.
A ship with a cat on board will never be wrecked.
Never let a cat into a room with a corpse. It may be a demon and turn the dead soul into a vampire.
Fear of cats is called ailurophobia
Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween (fear of festival of the dead)
Phasmophobia - fear of ghosts
Hematophobia - fear of blood
Sciophobia - fear of shadows
Paphophobia - fear of graves
Necrophobia - fear of the dead
Nyktosophobia - fear of the night
Triskaidekaphobia - fear of the number 13
Paraskevidekatriaphobia - fear of Friday the 13th
Some other Halloween superstitions...
Wearing a blindfold, pick a cabbage from the cabbage patch. If it's frostbitten, then watch for bad luck. A clean, healthy cabbage indicates good luck.
Put corn meal by the side of your bed and the ghosts will write your future in it.
Walk into room backwards at midnight on Halloween while looking over your left shoulder, and you will see your future mate.
On Halloween, run around the town square with your mouth full of pins and needles. Come home, look in the mirror, and if you are to be married, you will see your future husband.
Wear a mask on Halloween and you will have good luck all year.