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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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FRECKLES ARE ANGEL KISSES.

Submitter comment: TOLD TO SOMEONE FEELING BAD BECAUSE FRECKLES ARE THOUGHT
TO BE BLEMISHES: INSTEAD THEY BECOME TINY BLESSINGS.
OBTAINED FROM A SCHOOL MATE OF SHEILA'S, SHEILA O'CONNER.

Where learned: NEW HAMPSHIRE ; MANCHESTER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Angel
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Specific distinguishing characteristic Dimple, wart, mole, scar, freckle, birthmark, strawberry mark, bruise, spot (on any part of body)
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 10-00-1985

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THEY LOOK WITH THEIR HANDS IN BACUP.

Submitter comment: THIS EXPRESSION IS USED TO MOCK SOMEONE WHO IS EITHER POINTING OR
GESTURING WHILE LOOKING FOR A LOST POSSESSION. BACUP IS A SMALL
MINING TOWN IN THE NORTH OF ENGLAND THAT IS INFAMOUS FOR INBREEDING,
AND IT IS THOUGHT THAT SOME OF THE RESIDENTS HAVE EYES IN THE PALMS
OF THEIR HANDS. COMPARING SOMEONE TO A BACUPIAN IS A MILD INSULT,
USUALLY USED AS A JOKE.

Where learned: NORTH OF ENGLAND ; MANCHESTER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
SPEECH -- Formula
SPEECH -- Gesture
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 00-00-1985 ; 00-00-1986

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Jehovah is feminine

The following was told to me by Carol, who has been a practicing
witch. She was a member of a coven based in Michigan.

Witches find it interesting that the name Jehovah is formed by the
four Hebrew letters Yod-He-Vau-He. The first, Yod, means "I", the
next three, He-Vau-He, mean both "life" and "woman." The Latin
version of these three letters is E-V-E. In other words, the name of
Jehovah is feminine and it means "I am woman; I am life." Today a
popular chant among witches is based on these ancient letters:
"Io!Evohe!"

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MANCHESTER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Gods
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 01-00-1992

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Meanings of the Pentacle

The following again was told to me by Carol, who has been a
practicing witch. She was a member of a coven based in Michigan.

The pentacle has a rich history in the magical and spiritual customs
of many cultures. In Greece it was the symbol of Demeter's daughter
Kore, the goddess of vegetation and the fruits of the field, because
the apple contains a star composed of five seeds in its core.
Pythagorean mystics honored the pentacle, which they called
"Pentalpha", because it consisted of five interwoven alphas: the Greek
letter "A", which stood for birth and beginnings. In Egypt a
five-pointed star represented the great underground womb of Mother
Earth. The Celtic tribes also saw it as a sign of the Goddess of the
Underworld, Morgan. In Babylon the pentacle was an amulet of
protection and healing. In Judeo-Christian traditions the pentacle
was the first of the Seven Seals, which represented the secret name of
God; and King Solomon wore a pentacle on his ring as a sign of his
power to work magic. Among the old European tribespeople the pentacle
represented the Horned God, a shapeshifter who had five
manifestations: a human, a bull, a ram, a goat, and a stag.

The star is always drawn with one continuous stroke, with one point
upright.

James Callow comment: Puckett, Ohio, no. 25634: "Five fingers or anything to do with
five will protect you from the evil eye (Moslem)."

Puckett, Ohio, no. 26650: "Find the sign of the Pantagram on your
hand, you will be a victim of the werewolf."

Hand, North Carolina, no. 6027: "The claim for five (as "nearly
always" a lucky number) is not borne out in the literature, except,
perhaps for certain North American Indian tribes."

Cannon, Utah: "Five and multiples of five are lucky" (no. 11557);
"The five fingers of the hand, or any design or phrase associated with
the number five will protect against bad

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MANCHESTER

James Callow Keyword(s): Five as apotropaic number.

Subject headings: 686 Fifths
686 Seven / Sevenths / Several

Date learned: 01-00-1992

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Origins of Halloween

Samhain, October 31, is the Celtic feast of the dead, honoring the
Aryan Lord of Death, Samana (the Irish call it the Vigil of Saman).
Witches still leave offerings of "soul cakes" for the deceased
ancestors, a custom that has been transformed into the giving of
treats to the travelers who wander about on that night (i.e., "trick
or treat").

In ancient times it was believed that if the right offerings and
sacrifices were not made, the spirits of the dead would take advantage
of the opening in the seam between the worlds to come and do harm and
mischief to the living.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MANCHESTER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 01-00-1992

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