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Black cat superstitions

Black cat superstitions

Life in color. Black cat superstitions

Black cat superstitions. Why does the black cat is considered to be a messenger of misfortune? What are some other signs associated with this mysterious animal? Signs and superstitions associated with black cats exist in all corners of the globe. Black is associated with danger, hidden in the darkness. And not just a black cat became the victim of a primitive fear, passed on from generation to generation. Noble black color in many cultures is associated with mourning, evil spirits, the world beyond the grave, with the unknown that scares a lot stronger than the visible enemy: black widow, black hole, black magic, black chicken, black dog, a black stripe in life.

Black cat superstitions

Black cat superstitions

Black cat superstitions

Anthropologists believe that hostility to black was born at a time when prehistoric man realized: in the afternoon the danger is clearly visible, he has the opportunity to defend himself, and during the night the enemy is not seen, but in the darkness is better to wait in the shelter.

All cats are black at night

All cats are black at night

The most famous folk omens believe that if a black cat runs across your path, it’s a sign of trouble. It is considered especially bad omen, if the cat will run to you “bosom” – that is, toward the fasteners on your clothes. However, disaster can be avoided if to spit three times over your left shoulder, and then continue the journey. And the best thing is simply to wait until on the road will walk someone else.

Black Cat, Book by Edgar Allan Poe of 1981. Illustration by Byam Shaw, 1909

Black Cat, Book by Edgar Allan Poe of 1981. Illustration by Byam Shaw, 1909

The emergence of another black cat in the house – harbinger of trouble. In Russia believed that if a person in the night dream before Christmas sees a black cat, he will get sick this year. In France, Bulgaria and England believed that to receive a gift of a black cat – a sign of special respect.

Black Cat, 1981 movie poster

Black Cat, 1981 movie. Italy

A small provincial town in the suburbs of London is shocked by the mysterious murders. The detective from Scotland Yard – Corley leading crime investigation concluded that the culprit of the deaths could not be a man … All the murders are united by one thing – traces of cat paws and cuts from claws on the body! Nobody realizes that the cat belongs to the old professor, engaged in the study of the other world …

Black Cat, 1934 movie

Black Cat, 1934 movie

The connection of cats and witchcraft includes fortune-telling rituals; Divination by killing cats was used in Scotland. Both witches and cats were believed to have the power to control or predict the weather. When a cat washed its face, rain was supposed to follow; if it walked away from the fire, a storm was brewing. Caution and even discomfort was the typical reaction to cats, hence the common Irish greeting, “God bless all here except the cat.”

Black Cat, 1934 movie

Black Cat, 1934 movie

Several important mythological sites are named for cats, although there is little mythology left to explain the names. A cave in Ireland’s Co. Roscommon, believed to open into the Otherworld, is called Oweynagat, the Cave of the Cats. It is not known whether Oweynagat is the cave recorded as the site of a divination rite involving a spectral cat. In Scotland’s Black Wood of Chesthill in magical Glen Lyon, a tall megalith called Clach Taghairm nan Cat, “the stone of the devil cat,” was said to be where cats gathered to celebrate Halloween.

Black Cat, 1941 movie

Black Cat, 1941 movie

Cats are found in myth as well as folklore. Black cats, like Back dogs, were often found at
Otherworldly sites and events. Cats appear in a number of Celtic tales, usually in circumstances that suggest a connection to the Otherworld. In the Voyage of Maelduin, the hero came upon a magical island on which a majestic palace stood, all hung with gorgeous draperies. There a single cat lived in splendor. When one of the hero’s companions attempted to steal some of the island’s treasures, the cat shape-shifted into an arrow and brought the thief down.

Black cat superstitions

Black cat superstitions

Black cat superstitions

Black cat superstitions

Prowling the night with glowing eyes, showing extraordinary physical flexibility and agility, cats were believed to seek the companionship of old women who practiced magic as witches. On the Isle of Man, all cats were believed unlucky, while in Ireland only black ones were to be avoided—unless their blood was needed for healing rituals. In Scotland black cats were believed to be shape-shifting witches.

Black cat superstitions

Black cat superstitions

Black kitten in a hat

Black kitten in a hat

Sources:
The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore, 2004
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