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Romany Weather Lore

  • A mackerel sky predicts a fine day in the morrow, as long as the clouds are high and fine.
  • A greenish tinge in the sky mean’s rain is on the way.
  • Rain before seven, fine by eleven.
  • If the sun shines through the cloud’s and has a halo, then fine weather is expected, a halo around the moon means rain within three days.
  • If the crescent moon appears to have her horns facing upwards, she is holding her water, the weather will be fine.
  • A small high cold silver moon means frost.
  • Major changes in the weather normally occur at the moons quarter.
  • If stars are small and seem to blink, there will be wind the next day.
  • If stars are large and blink there will be wind and rain.
  • A thunderstorm at night, will freshen the air for twelve hours.
  • Lightening at night without thunder, the next day will be humid.
  • A low mist in the morning, ensures a fine day.
  • Mist high on the hills brings rain.
  • If the smoke from a fire draws high and straight into the sky fine weather it will be.
  • If smoke clings to the ground, rain is on the way.
  • When fire burns bright and steady in spring or autumn expect a frost.

 

Some Gypsy Superstitions

  • It is wise to pitch a tent near a holly tree because it will give you divine protection (holy tree).
  • To see a mule shaking itself, is a sign of good luck.
  • A moth hovering around a candle flame, means a letter in the morning.
  • To see a white horse in the morning, means good luck all day.
  • If a coal or wood fire makes any kind of noise, it means a quarrel in the offing.
  • To spit on ones hand after seeing a wagtail (a small bird with a long tail), means that money is on its way.
  • If the right hand itches…money will be paid out.
  • If the left hand itches….money will be received.
  • A tickling nose is a sign of getting drunk.
  • An itching of the right eye means sadness.
  • An itching of the left eye is a sign of happiness to come.
  • Frog’s spawn thrown over the left shoulder for good luck.
  • To see a shooting star is a sign of death
  • A baby keeps its luck in the grimy lines of its hands.
  • A baby born at full moon will be lucky.
  • A baby born at midnight before the Sabbath, it will be under a curse.
  • If one of the bearers at a funeral stumbles during the procession, there will be another death.
  • Newly sprouted grass or of lightening means there will be a funeral.
  • It is lucky to meet with a woman carrying a jug full of water, but unlucky if it be empty.
  • It is unlucky to wash anything on Saturday, or to spin on Thursday.
  • There is always a treasure to be found where the first swallow is seen.
  • On Wednesday and Friday no one should use needle or scissors, bake bread, or sow flax.
  • No bargain should ever be concluded on a Friday.

Source: Vermont Deadline

How to Find Love, Gypsy~ Style

“On Friday early as may be,
Take the fairest apple from a tree,
Then in thy blood on paper white
Thy own name and thy true love’s write,
That apple thou in two shalt cut,
And for its cure that paper put,
With two sharp pins of myrtle wood
Join the halves till it seem good,
In the oven let it dry,
And wrapped in leaves of myrtle lie,
Under the pillow of thy dear,
Yet let it be unknown to her
And if it a secret be
She soon will show her love for thee.”

Found at: Vermont Deadline

Gypsy Cures for Rheumatism

Anyeta claimed to cure many people of rheumatism. She always said that if celery was cooked in milk and eaten with the milk it would neutralize uric acid, lactic acid and other excess acids in the body. Cleansing muscular tissues and so curing rheumatism. She brought this cure with her when she came over to England from Romania.

Certainly celery is a soldier in the fight against rheumatism, it contains many nourishing salts and a great deal of organic sulfur. Sometimes people find they cannot take it, but these are few and far between. Stewed celery was a frequent dish on the Romany table, and the seeds have an even greater therapeutic action than the plant itself. Place a teaspoonful of the seeds in a cup of boiling water. Allow to infuse and drink a cupful of this two or three times a day- it can be sweetened with a little honey.

Horseradish is also good for rheumatism, whether taken internally or externally. For external use, grate a little on a plate, cover with boiling milk and apply to the affected part while still warm. You can also try an embrocation made of bladderwrack which you can obtain from a good herbalist.

One of the best gypsy remedies for rheumatism is made with dandelion root. You boil 1 oz of the root in one and a half pints of water for 20 minutes. Strain and take a wineglassful twice daily. Another simple remedy is to paint peppermint oil on the affected part.

Wayside Herbs

Much of the gypsy`s strength and health came from the abundance of wayside plants which they understood and knew how to use to keep them healthy. Many of these wayside herbs are recognized by herbalists and can be obtained from them in a dried form. Others are so readily available that they grow unasked in any garden and are angrily rooted up and thrown away even destroyed by weedkiller in ignorance of the goodness that is so carelessly discarded.

The children of the gypsies were often sent out to gather sack loads of herbs, particularly dandelions and stinging nettles. These were sent to chemists and herbalists to be made up into remedies. It makes you wonder if farmers as they plow through their fields realize how much value they are destroying as they plow in all the herbs and `weeds`. To cultivate and sell them for use in medicine might well pay more than selling cabbages!

Where there is much damp and water, there grows the willow, with its bark to cure aches and pains. The names of many herbs and roots point to the complaints they can cure- for instance, chestnut leaves for chest complaints, gravel root for stone and gravel in the kidneys, Liver Wort for the liver, Lung Wort for the lungs and Hearts Ease for weak hearts.

Where there is a nettle to sting you,always close at hand you will find a dock leaf to rub on the sting and reduce the pain. But besides this practical use of the leaf, the Romanies also know that the seeds of the dock form part of a charm against pain. They should be gathered when fully ripe, placed in a little muslin bag and tied round a patients left arm. This old gypsy charm will cure many pains and it is particularly useful to any woman or girl who suffers pain with her periods.

The gypsies often wore herbs- for instance, balm,which gives out a wonderful lemony scent when the leaf is picked and rubbed between the fingers. The Romanies believed that wearing the leaves and roots in a sachet next to the heart made one beautiful, healthy and happy. Bees love it and for this reason it is often called Bee Balm. If you grow it in your garden you will know how swiftly it spreads. The best time to harvest it is in July in the early morning.

Burdock grows wild on waste ground, in hedges and by the wayside. Its leaves are large and heart- shaped and its purple flowers bloom in July and August. It is said that wearing burdock seeds in a muslin bad, around your neck, keeps rheumatism at bay.

Gypsy Juice

Here is the secret of the most health- giving drink.

Mix a chopped carrot, celery and spinach in equal proportions and add a teaspoonful of chopped parsley. Put into the blender and mix to make a drink that is rich in potassium – in fact it contains practically the whole range of organic minerals and salts necessary for good health!

Sage Potatoes

Sage is a familiar herb that plays a great part in Romany cooking. It relieves flatulence. Its flavor is strong, so it should be used sparingly. Add just a pinch to soups, egg dishes and stews.

Here’s a recipe for Sage Potatoes:

Bake potatoes in their jackets, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the centers, leaving just enough flesh in so that the cases remain firm. Mash potato with a little margarine, 1 teaspoon fresh,or half teaspoon dried sage, seasoning, and a little bit of milk. Pack back into the potato cases and cover with grated cheese. Lay a thin piece of apple on top, return to oven and bake until the tops are crisp and golden.

Queen of Hungary’s Water

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Legend has it that the early Gypsies formulated Queen of Hungary’s Water, and claimed it to be a cure-all. It is an excellent astringent for the face and a great rinse for dark hair. It combines gentle, common herbs in a masterful way, it’s easy and inexpensive to make, and it’s very versatile. The Gypsies claimed it was good as a hair rinse, mouthwash, headache remedy, aftershave, foot bath, and who knows what else!

To make it, combine:

  • 6 parts lemon balm
  • 4 parts chamomile
  • 1 part rosemary
  • 3 parts calendula
  • 4 parts roses
  • 1 part lemon peel
  • 1 part sage
  • 3 parts comfrey leaf

Chop herbs finely. Fresh herbs work best but high-quality dried herbs are next best. Place them in a clean, dry jar. If using dried herbs, fill the jar only half way to allow for expansion.

Heat raw organic apple cider vinegar to a warm (not hot) temperature. Pour in enough to completely cover the herbs with a margin of 2 or 3 inches. Seal the lid. Leave the jar in a warm spot and let the herbs soak for 4 to 6 weeks – the longer, the better. Shake the bottle daily.

Strain the liquid through a stainless steel strainer lined with cheesecloth or muslin. Place in dark cobalt or amber glass bottles, label, and store away from heat and light.

After aging and straining, add 1/2 to 1 cup rose water or witch hazel to each cup of herbal vinegar. Store in dropper or spray bottles. This product does not need refrigeration and will stay fresh indefinitely.

Because it stains, this blend is not recommended for light or white hair.

Source: The Whole Dog Journal

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