Sign (from "note", where the root "meth" means "a note made in memory of something") - events or phenomena that are considered harbingers of something.
Since ancient times, people have been looking closely at the surrounding nature, trying to find a connection between the behavior of animals, insects and plants, as well as a change in the appearance of some environmental objects (for example, clouds in the sky) and subsequent natural events (changes in temperature, wind speed, precipitation of various kinds, cataclysms (tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions), etc. Somewhat later, everyday signs appeared, reflecting the observation of people over the relationship of events in their daily life.
Often, signs are associated with superstitions - ideas about the interaction of phenomena and objects, the presence of an objective connection between which is not traced (for example, the connection between the number 13 and certain, often unpleasant, events in a person's life). Most often, superstitions are echoes of a pagan worldview and religious beliefs that allow us to perceive the world as an integral system, all parts of which are in inextricable causal relationships.
It was with the aim of maximizing the harmonization of the relationship between man and the world that signs were created that helped people neutralize the consequences of wrong actions, comfort in a difficult situation, suggest the correct behavior in certain circumstances, etc.
If a black cat crosses the road - expect trouble. This sign arose because many peoples ranked a black cat (dog, crow, jackdaw) as creatures that are the embodiment of evil forces (dark spirits, as well as sorcerers and witches who want to harm people). Moreover, the breed of the cat was not taken into account - only its color was important. This superstition sometimes led to the fact that in some periods of the history of human society (for example, in the Middle Ages) in many European countries, the mass extermination of black cats and cats began (one white hair found in their fur could save the animal from death). Unfortunately, such actions did not help to reduce the number of troubles and misfortunes in people's lives. A sharp decline in the number of cats led to an increase in the population of rats and other rodents, the harm from which was much greater (after all, rats and mice not only spoil food, but also carry various infectious diseases, in particular, bubonic plague).
However, it should be noted that in some countries the attitude towards the black cat is exactly the opposite. For example, in Ancient Egypt, Bast (depicted as a cat or a woman with a cat's head) is the goddess of fertility, joy, beauty, femininity and home. The veneration of this goddess was by no means limited to the worship of her statue in the temple and the erection of the whole city of Bubastis in her honor. Any domestic cat was deified, and after death they were mummified (moreover, according to Herodotus, the entire family of the owners of the deceased cat was in mourning, as a sign of which they shaved off their eyebrows). A man, under the wheels of a cart which a cat accidentally fell into, the crowd could stone to death on the spot.
Representatives of the cat breed were respected in some European countries. For example, the inhabitants of Great Britain believed that a black cat was a symbol of good luck, and in Scotland a black cat who accidentally entered the house promised prosperity, wealth and prosperity to the owners, and the happy owner of an animal of the indicated suit - invariable good luck in love affairs. Sailors from many countries consider black ship cats to be an excellent lucky charm. The wives of fishermen and seafarers, in order to protect their husbands from all sorts of troubles going to sea, also sometimes give birth to cats of black color.
A black cat protects the house from thieves. The ancient Slavs believed that the black cat benefits only its owners, while the rest brings misfortunes and troubles. Therefore, it was believed that a thief who climbed into the courtyard may well abandon his criminal intentions if a black cat crosses his way.
A cat on the road hurts horses. Indeed, horses react negatively to the close presence of a cat - they become restless and fearful, which can subsequently negatively affect their well-being. The reason is that they smell a representative of the feline breed (predators, from time immemorial, enemies of herbivores) - this is the reason for the anxiety of horses.
If any animal crosses the road, this does not bode well for the traveler. Our ancestors believed that any living creature (cat, squirrel, fox, etc.) that crossed the road violates the mystical integrity of the path, thereby dooming the traveler to failure. However, there were exceptions to this rule. For example, a wolf crossing the road promised happiness.
The rabbit brings misfortune to the fishermen. This omen, common on the coasts of Scotland and England, is most likely due to the fact that in ancient times, in many religions, rabbits and hares were messengers or personifications of the Moon, which influences the ebb and flow and, as a result, is very significant in the life of fishermen. Therefore, they try to avoid even mentioning a rabbit before going to sea. However, in some parts of Britain, on the new moon, they "call a rabbit" by pronouncing the name of the said animal three times - it is believed that in this case, luck will not leave you within a month.
If the eggshell is left in the yard, a person can get a fever. From the eggshell thrown into the water, mermaids make boats for themselves, which does not bode well for the mortal. The aforementioned signs are based on purely practical considerations: eggshells left in the yard can be pecked by chickens, and ducks thrown into the water can. Addicted to this delicacy, poultry subsequently begin to peck whole eggs, which leads to considerable losses on the farm.
It is a sin to eat calf meat. The limitation, reflected in the omen, most likely appeared in the countryside. The fact is that cows are milked better when calves are next to them. Therefore, if the owners want to receive more milk, they must take care of the calves.
If the mistress of the cow goes out to the pasture to her pet, the milk yield will be higher. Indeed, the appearance of a loving housewife on the pasture has a positive effect on the physical condition of the animal, as a result of which the amount of milk can increase.
A bird knocking on the window is either good news or unfortunately. In ancient times, people believed that the souls of the dead entered into birds (except for crows and jackdaws), and if they fought through the window (in some cases, positioned as a kind of communication channel between the world of the living and the world of the dead; through the window, babies who died were taken out into the street unbaptized, etc.) - it was believed that the deceased wanted to notify living relatives of something. Most often, good news was expected, while a bird that flew into the house warned of misfortune.
To kill a swallow - to failure in economic affairs. People have long noticed that swallows live only in a healthy, dry place. Therefore, the zealous owners, seeing the nest of this bird, were glad that the swallow had settled under the roof of their house, thereby confirming its integrity and purity. If the bird for any reason left the nest, this meant that something was wrong with the house. We can say that the swallow served as a kind of indicator of the state of the dwelling, because its murder and destruction of the nest was considered a sin, and promised the owner a lot of trouble.
The stork has left the nest on the roof, mice (cockroaches) run away from the house - to an imminent fire. Birds, animals (especially mice) and insects have a fairly strong intuition, they are able to anticipate the trouble that threatens the house, and leave a dangerous place in advance.
Ants bring goodness to the house. This sign was formed under the influence of many factors: the number of ants was associated with the amount of good they had to bring into the house; The positive qualities that these insects possessed (hard work, cohesion, mutual respect and mutual assistance), according to our ancestors, were transmitted to the people in whose house these insects settled. From an everyday point of view, this sign is simply explained: firstly, ants were a reflection of the well-being of the house (where there are few products, these insects are unlikely to appear), and secondly, they helped to restore order by picking up crumbs that fell on the floor.
The horse stumbles - to failure. Firstly, the horse, which our ancestors considered a sacred protective animal, reflected in its condition the level of well-being of the owner and his affairs (both at the mystical and at a purely everyday level). It was believed that this sensitive and careful animal is quite capable of anticipating troubles and failures that threaten its owner, and reflect them in its behavior. Secondly, most often weakened or sick horses stumble, which, most likely, are not able to fully perform their functions, thereby causing considerable losses in the peasant economy.
Whom the mouse bites - that troubles and misfortunes cannot be avoided. It is no secret that rodents (in particular mice and rats) are carriers of many serious infectious diseases (for example, plague), therefore the consequences of their bite can have a very negative effect on human health and the well-being of the whole family if it is necessary to treat the bitten one.
There is a fly in the soup - for a gift. To eat up what the mouse gnawed is to have strong teeth. Both signs have one explanation at the everyday level: our thrifty ancestors could not afford to just throw away foods slightly damaged by rodents or pour out the soup because a fly got into it. That is why reassuring explanations-promises were created that allow people to defeat disgust for the sake of a gift promised by a sign or strengthening their teeth.
To bury a fly - there are no flies in the house. Our ancestors believed that it was impossible to kill flies until the beginning of Indian summer (late August - early September), since this action would only lead to an increase in the number of these insects. But during the off-season, it was customary to conduct a symbolic burial ceremony for flies, after which they were to be raised. In fact, it is during this period that flies fall asleep for the winter, because their numbers are gradually decreasing and disappearing. The ceremony does not affect this process in any way.
To kill a ladybug is a misfortune. According to the researchers, the origin of this superstition is quite simple to explain: the aforementioned insect brings considerable benefits in the economy, since it destroys aphids (which at all times was a real disaster for the peasants).
To kill a butterfly that has flown into the house is unfortunately. Our ancestors believed that the souls of dead people invade butterflies, therefore, these insects should be treated with respect, in no case should they be killed (so as not to doom them again to suffer), but carefully caught and released.
If you touch a frog, you will be covered with warts. Research has shown that the skin of some frogs defending against enemies does release substances that cause warts. Therefore, it is really better to refrain from close contact with frogs.
To avoid any trouble from boasting, you need to knock on wood. This omen appeared during pagan times, when people believed that deities lived in tree trunks (for example, the oak was revered as the abode of Perun the Thunderer), and in order to enlist their help and support, our ancestors repented of their sins and then touched the tree trunk. Later, when the meaning of the ceremony was partially lost, tapping on a tree simply drowned out the voice of a person who boasted or praised someone.
It should be noted that this method of getting rid of the evil eye is not so easy to use in some countries. For example, in England, knocking on wood covered with varnish or paint is considered useless. And not any tree is suitable for this purpose - for example, you should not turn to aspen (since ancient times was considered a tree of destruction) for help.
With the advent of Christianity, this sign was not only not abolished, but also received a new explanation - the beneficial effect of the tree was associated with the miraculous power of the Life-giving Cross. The dislike of aspen, which took place in the beliefs of the pagans, also remained, which now received a different explanation - it was on this tree that Judas hanged himself.
Chopping a rowan tree near your house - to the illness or death of one of the household. Firstly, this sign, like the previous one, is an echo of pagan beliefs that spirits live in trees, which, if a person destroys their dwelling (chops down a tree), may well become angry and bring many troubles on him and his family. Secondly, it should be noted that rowan berries were used in folk medicine as a diaphoretic, diuretic, hemostatic, astringent, and were also used to treat gastritis, anemia, hypertension, scurvy, vitamin deficiency, stomach atony, etc. Therefore, having cut down a mountain ash, a person actually deprived himself of a multifunctional natural medicine, which could well have a detrimental effect on the health of the person who cut down the tree and any of his relatives.
It is a sin to eat apples before the Apple Savior. At first, this prohibition applied only to those people whose children died - it was believed that the fruits preserved on the tree until a certain time become food for the inhabitants of the underworld. Only a little later, the mentioned sign began to apply to everyone without exception. There is also an everyday explanation for such restrictions - before the Apple Savior (i.e. until August 19), most apples simply do not have time to reach the desired degree of maturity, and, therefore, a person (especially a child) who has eaten unripe fruits at this time runs the risk of experiencing a serious stomach upset.
If a woman eats berries before Ivanov's day, her children will die. Until Midsummer (June 23) there are not so many ripe berries, and in order to maintain health, it is better to refrain from eating them.
It is dangerous to sleep near a henbane - you can not wake up. Purely practical advice. After all, both the use of henbane and prolonged inhalation of its smell can lead to mental disorders, hallucinations, and even death.
He who loves almonds also loves his wife. To love cannabis for a man is to be childless. Both of these signs are based on the experience of many years of observation of how various foods affect the male body. Modern research confirms that eating almonds (like other nuts) can actually increase potency, and an addiction to cannabis (which also has a narcotic effect on the human body) can lead to partial or complete loss of male strength.
So that the snake does not bite, going into the forest, you need to put a Veronica flower in your shoes. The smell of veronica (snake grass) can really scare away snakes.
The found lilac flower with 5 petals must be eaten - then happiness and good luck will accompany.In folk medicine, lilac is used quite widely - with the help of decoctions from flowers and leaves of this plant, purulent wounds, bruises, rheumatism, gout, malaria, fever, inflammatory kidney diseases, etc. Therefore, eating lilac flowers in small doses (after all, flowers with 5 petals are not so common) is very good for health.