Weird Tales/Volume 36/Issue 1/Superstitions and Taboos

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Superstitions and Taboos by Weill
A witch crouching in a circle of objects (bones, twigs, bottles, a moneky etc).  A black cat with its back arched standing on her back.

As the traditional companion of witches, the black cat has become an omen that misfortune and ill luck will quickly follow in its wake… In early times superstitious people believed that witches and evil spirits could assume the forms of black animals, particularly black cats—and during the middle ages the brain of a black cat was considered an important ingredient in witchcraft recipes and prescriptions! The old notion concerning the nine lives of a cat goes back to the Ancient Egyptians whose cat-headed goddess, Pasht, was believed to have nine lives… They regarded black cats with the utmost reverence and mummified remains of them are frequently found in the same tombs as their worshippers!

A four-leafed clover
A four-leafed clover
A four-leafed clover

The origin of the very old superstition that a four-leafed clover' portends fortune and happiness is lost in antiquity… One old legend is that Eve, upon being ejected from the Paradise, took a four-leafed clover with her.

Because the clover was a bit of green from the Garden of Paradise, its presence in one's own garden came to be looked upon as an omen of good luck… At one time there was a custom of strewing four-leafed clovers as good luck omens before a bride to insure her happiness.

A four-leafed clover

In Monte Carlo and other gambling places there is a belief that after a suicide of an unlucky player, all those playing against the bank will win! When the news of a suicide becomes known, therefore, the card rooms at one fill with eager players!

A roulette wheel and chips, with a skull and a smoking pistol.

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