Folk Magic – Family Tradition

Today I’m going to post on a lighter note! Basically, let’s change gears and I’ll write about something a little bit more fun and friendly. Or at least, somewhat friendly…so far as it goes. Because the root inspirations is about cursing people–but that’s interesting and worth some research.

I know that most families have traditions they pass down. Like, special birthday celebrations, even old family legends or stories, or weird family reunion traditions…other things like that. And even those superstitions that your family believes. Those are also a tradition at their core, if you really think about it for a moment. Like my family: huge on knocking on wood to ward off bad luck. I remember learning that one when I was tiny. I can’t even remember how I first learned about that one from my family, but there it is. And different cultures bring different traditions, superstitions…everything.

Something amusing I never realized was an old magic/witchcraft tradition that I picked up from family though just popped into my head. It’s just been something I heard a few times before; all without really grasping what it was. I realized it had to somehow stem from old-world superstition when I was reading The Bathhouse at Midnight by W.F. Ryan, though.

One of the types of magic he mentions as coming from Russia is magic or witchcraft sent on the wind. It was traditionally baneful intent that sent this magic out. So…you could curse someone on the wind, if you went about it “right”.

Which reminded me of something one of my grandmas used to say.

You can speak your thoughts into the wind to send bad luck to someone.

Which isn’t all that unusual in and of itself. But when I realized that it’s only one part of my family who thought that kind of thing, well it kind of stuck with me. I never thought much of it when I was younger and heard it. But…looking back it reminds me of just how family traditions can come down through the generations.

There’s not much more I remember of strange superstitions from her–at least not anything that wasn’t common across my family. But this one, it just kind of sticks. Partially because it is different than the others. I mean–my whole family does the “knock on wood” thing; all of the older ones would talk about how they used to avoid walking under ladders, and broken mirrors bring bad luck. That’s all common. Wind-cursing is a bit unusual, really.

It’s a fun interest o see just how families pass down these stories though. I’m probably the only one in the family who remembers hearing grandma say that–but that’s just me.

And considering my interest in these types of things. It’s a kind of superstition & practice that I’m going to keep in mind. Who knows when this kind of magic might not come in handy for me? And I highly doubt it’s a super common belief (especially not among people I deal with–so who would think of it?), at least not around here. So it’s an interesting idea to consider working with in the future.

Basically – check out those old family superstitions. They might be a kind of treasure trove for magic and spells that could be done.*


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I'm a bibliophile who loves collecting books. Definite cat person. Amateur historian and major geek, who loves all things Tolkien and Star Trek. I'm also fluent in German.

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