About a life devoted to the love for Folklore, Mythology, Legends and.....Art

Monday, October 5, 2009

Folk Magic

Having made so many drawings for the tell me a story project, I thought it was time for something else. Not that the project is boring me, infact, quite the opposite, I am pleasantly surprised by all those wonderful submissions, but I do miss it sometimes to pick a subject myself. One of those subjects which are close to my heart is folk magic. Being it an old way of fortelling the future or invoking a catholic saint to find something back which is lost, I love it all just as much.

(click picture for bigger view)

Divination with lead

The drawing shown above depicts a scene in which two girls are trying to predict their future. They do this by pouring hot, liquid lead into a bucket filled with cold water. The shapes thus formed are "read", all of them having their own meaning. Lead in the shape of a star meant luck, crosses meant suffering, man or sack like figures meant wealth, an aureole meant marriage but the shape of an animal meant death. This method of divination was known throughout all of Europe and was often used on New Years eve to see what the next year would bring. This ceremony was practiced even in recent days. Of course young girls used it for a much less complicated goal, they told each other that the letters which appeared in the water would predict the name of their future husband.
Now this all seems to be not much more then a game for the youngsters, but in fact this divination method is of ancient origin. The Latins instead of lead used wax, once the wax was coagulated they took these small pieces to bed and the dream they would dream that night would tell them their fortune.

There are so many more divination methods closely related to the former, but it would take an entire book to describe them all. However if you are just as much interested in these rituals as I am you can always drop a line. I'm always in for hearing new stories and I love to share all I learned about these matters :)

(click picture for bigger view)

"Love Potion"

The second drawing depicts a scene in which a mother makes her daughter a "love potion". It was believed that to obtain ones love you should boil his or her socks in water and then drink the extract. This was believed, like it was believed with all "love potions" containing human fluids of some kind, to be most effective. For people who are wondering why it is that this was believed to be so effective it might be interesting to learn a bit more about sympathetic magic. You can find more information about it here

I am intending to make more drawings featuring folk magic, so if this is what you are interested in ,keep an eye on my blog as more will follow soon.
(the information given above has been partly adopted from; 'Lexikon des Aberglaubens', written by Helmut Hiller)

PS; for those who are interested, prints accompanied with story are now available at my Etsy shop!

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