Monthly Archives: August 2019

32 Superstitions About Cats

  • When you see a one-eyed cat, spit on your thumb, stamp it in the palm of your hand, and make a wish. The wish will come true.
  • A kitten born in May is a witches cat.
  • A black cat seen from behind – a bad omen
  • A black cat crossing your path – good luck.
  • A black cat crossing one’s path by moonlight means death in an epidemic. (Irish superstition)
  • A strange black cat on your porch brings prosperity. (Scottish superstition)
  • English schoolchildren believe seeing a white cat on the way to school is sure to bring trouble. To avert bad luck, they must either spit, or turn around completely and make the sign of the cross.
  • In the USA, Spain and Belgium a white cat crossing your path was considered to be good luck.
  • To see a white cat on the road is lucky.
  • It is bad luck to see a white cat at night.
  • Dreaming of white cat means good luck.
  • Stray tortoise shell cat – bad omen
  • In Normandy, seeing a tortoiseshell foretells death by accident.
  • Cats bought with money will never be good mousers
  • It is bad luck to cross a stream carrying a cat. (French superstition)
  • Cat sneezing once means rain
  • Cat sneezing three times – the family will catch a cold
  • A cat sneezing is a good omen for everyone who hears it. (Italian superstition)
  • In the early 16th century, a visitor to an English home would always kiss the family cat.
  • A cat washing on the doorstep means the clergy will visit
  • If a cat washes behind its ears, it will rain. (English superstition).
  • When the pupil of a cat’s eye broadens, there will be rain. (Welsh superstition)
  • A cat sleeping with all four paws tucked under means cold weather ahead. (English superstition)
  • In the Netherlands, cats were not allowed in rooms where private family discussions were going on. The Dutch believed that cats would definitely spread gossips around the town.
  • If cats desert a house, illness will always reign there. (English superstition)
  • In 16th century Italy, it was believed that if a black cat lay on the bed of a sick man, he would die. But there’s also a belief that a cat will not remain in the house where someone is about to die. Therefore, if the family cat refuses to stay indoors, it was an omen of death in the family.
  • When moving to a new home, always put the cat through the window instead of the door, so that it will not leave.
  • A cat on top of a tombstone meant certainly that the soul of the departed buried was possessed by the devil.
  • Two cats seen fighting near a dying person, or on the grave shortly after a funeral, are really the Devil and an Angel fighting for possession of that person’s soul.
  • If you kick a cat you will get Rheumatism.
  • To kill a cat brings seventeen years of bad luck. (Irish superstition)
  • Killing a cat is an absolute guarantee that you have sacrificed your soul to the Devil.

Collected from various sources

Navajo Superstitions About Animals

Only a few wild animals or birds are considered friendly to the Navajos. Owls, crows, mice, and coyotes are considered helpers of the witches and evil spirits. When the monsters were seeking the infant Hero Twins, the owls, crow, mice, and coyotes spied for them. Cottontail rabbits are also associated with witches.

Antlers from elk and deer are not used. Mountain sheep horn, buffalo parts, and antelope horn are used in rituals and ceremonies. Navajos can use mountain lion skin and a few feathers. The eagle’s feather is the most important feather that is used by the Navajos. Most feathers from other birds are prohibited. All water animals can be found in Navajo taboos. Snakes are associated with lightning and rain.

  • Do not kill frogs, lizards, salamanders, and toads because it will rain and keep on raining, result in a flood, ruin your crops, you will jump around, you will become crippled, it will effect you unborn child, or it will cause paralysis and other diseases.
  • Do not kill horned toads because they are grandfathers or guardians of arrowheads. If you kill one you will get a stomachache, or swell up, or have a heart attack.
  • Do not watch a frog eat or you will have throat problems later and trouble swallowing.
  • Do not kill a spider unless you draw a circle around it and say, ” you have no relatives.” Or “a Zuni did it.” If you don’t its relatives will come and bite you. If you blame the Zunis, the angry spiders will go and bite them instead of coming after you.
  • Do not urinate on an anthill because you will have trouble going to the bathroom.
  • Do not burn ants because red spots will cover your body or you will get a rash.
  • Do not burn bees because you will have a rash.
  • Do not throw stinkbugs in the fire or you will get a rash or sores.
  • Do not kill grasshoppers because it will give you a nosebleed.
  • Do not bother baby hawks or eagles because you will get a rash or sores on your body.
  • Do not kill moths or you will jump in a fire.
  • Do not count the number of legs on a centipede or the number you count will be the number of years that you have left to live.
  • Do not kill a bald headed insect and spider or you will go bald.
  • Never carry or handle feathers from ravens, crows, owls, buzzards, or most any bird because you will get boils. (Since it is difficult to know the source of many feathers it is best to leave all alone!)
  • Do not kill porcupines or you will get nosebleeds.
  • Do not spit on a spider rock or you will not be able to breathe right.
  • Do not put food in a bird’s mouth or you will get a sore throat.
  • Do not kill a lizard or you will get skinny.
  • Do not burn any animal skin or you will get a rash.
  • Do not urinate on a deerskin or you will clog up.

While bear claws are commonly warned for their talisman’s power by almost all Native Americans, Navajos avoid any parts of the bear. Some of the taboos associated with bears are probably due to their rather human appearance when they are standing straight up. Bears are also the main figure in an important Navajo ceremony, the Mountain Way. The bear taboos have a common theme. If a human being mimics a wild animal, he will become like that animal. In the case of bears, the taboo is more powerful because of the human-like resemblance of the bears. Also, because bears are one of the were animals associated with witchcraft.

  • Do not step on a bear’s waste because it will bother you or act like a bear.
  • Do not make fun of a bear or it will make you sick.
  • Do not step on rocks turned over by a bear or bears will chase you.
  • Do not walk over a bear track because you will get hairy, you can not get off the track, or you will act crazy.
  • Do not walk on a bear track or you will turn into a skinwalker.
  • Do not say “Shush” (bear) in the mountains because bears will come after you.
  • Do not laugh at bears or they will come after you.

Since their introduction, cattle sheep, and horses have always been important to the economy and lifestyle of the Navajo. Large herds of mustangs roam the Navajo reservation and eat the grass that could have been used for sheep and cattle.. However, the Navajos do not consider these animals worthless and they will not consider the disposal of some of these animals. Navajo take good care of their livestock. There was a time in the history of the Navajo that a man’s wealth was measured by how many horses he owned. The Navajos were well known across the Southwest due to their excellent horsemanship skills.

  • Do not say bad things about your livestock or something bad will happen to them.
  • Do not kill a sheep or goat that is unusual, or has three horns, or is of both sexes. They are good luck and you will lose your flock if one of these animals were killed.
  • Do not count your sheep to much or you flock will get smaller.
  • Do not clap at sheep because things will happen to them and you will have a small herd.
  • Never put a sheep’s head on the ground upright or it will go away and you will lose your herd.
  • Do not play with a ball when you are herding sheep or your lambs will be born deformed.
  • Do not throw things at the sheep or they will disappear.
  • Do not ride on a sheep’s back or as punishment you will be hurt.
  • Do not waste any part of the animal after butchering or your flock will be less.
  • Do not burn livestock manure because you are burning the animals too.
  • Do not kill to many sheep at the same time because the herd will not like it. They will disappear and run away.
  • Do not burn wool because your sheep will be poor and something will happen to them.
  • Do not play with the horns of a goat because one will bother you and it is bad luck for the herd.
  • Do not twist goats’ tails because they might come off. You will have bad luck.
  • Do not go to sleep while you are herding sheep because a crow might take your eyes out.
  • Do not say, “I wish I had some meat” when you have the hiccups or your livestock won’t grow.
  • Do not cut the tips off of a horses ears off or earmark the ears because he will become stupid and hard to manage.
  • Do not burn horsehair because you will lose your horses.
  • Do not ride a pregnant animal or make it work hard because it will lose the baby and never give birth again.
  • Do not watch a horse or other animals give birth or you will go blind.
  • Do not cut a horse’s tail because it will fall of a cliff.
  • Do not leave deer blood where sheep can walk on it or all the wool will fall out.
  • Do not let your sheep or yourself walk on a deerskin or they will go crazy and run away.
  • Do not spit on anyone because you will owe him a white stallion.
  • Do not eat livestock killed by coyotes or other will animals because you will go crazy and act wild.
  • Do not put a rug over the head of a horse because he will go blind.
  • Do not buy a dog or cat for a pet or you will get poor.
  • Do not open the eyes of newborn kittens or puppies because you will go blind.
  • Do not kill dogs because they belong to the spirits and you will become paralyzed.
  • Do not brand a dog as a joke or you will lose your livestock.
  • Do not choke a kitten or you will have throat trouble.
  • Do not watch a dog mate or you will go blind.
  • Do not watch a dog go to the bathroom or you will go crazy.
  • Do not give food from a ceremony to the dogs because it will spoil the ceremony.
  • Do not let a dog bite the Medicine man because the sing will not work.
  • Do not talk to dogs or other animals because they might talk back and you will die.
  • Do not let a dog eat in front of you when you butcher or you will lose the meat.

SourceNavajo Central

Navajo Snake Superstitions

Poisonous snakes on Navajo land were a real threat to the Navajo and their livestock. The snake is also a symbol of the lightning people and brings rain to the dry land. While the only significant venomous snakes present are the rattlesnakes, all snakes are avoided. Snakes are seen in Navajo sand paintings and other artworks.

  • Do not cross a snake’s path unless you slide or shuffle your feet because you will have leg aches, other diseases, or bad luck.
  • Do not eat in front of a snake because when you get older your throat will close.
  • Do not watch a snake swallow its food or your neck will swell up.
  • Do not open your mouth when you see a snake or he will jump in.
  • Do not kill snakes or lizards because it will make your heart swell, it will dry up, or you will get crooked teeth.
  • Do not burn a snake because you will get sores or a rash.
  • Do not kill a snake when it is raining or lightning will strike your house.
  • Do not put a snake in the open when it is dead because lightning will bring it back to life.
  • Do not put a dead snake on a rock or you will cause a thunderstorm and it will come back to life.
  • Snakes are an earthly manifestation of the Lightning People and related to the Thunders.
  • They are in communication with the supernatural world. If dead snakes are exposed to the sky, it will draw the attention of the Serpent Spirits.
  • Killing snakes for the no reason will drive away the life giving rains and cause a drought.
  • Do not kill a snake with your hand or your hand will swell up.
  • Do not pick up things between two fingers because only snakes do that.
  • Do not step on a snake because your legs will swell up or get crooked.
  • Do not watch snakes mating or you will go blind.
  • Do not draw in the sand with your fingers or snakes will come to it.
  • Do not talk about snakes or they will come around.
  • Do not laugh at a snake or it will bite you.
  • Do not make faces at a snake or it will bite you some day.
  • Do not spit at a snake or it will come after you.
  • Do not watch a snake crawl out of its skin because you will get sick or jump out of your skin.
  • Do not shoot an arrow at a snake. It will shoot crooked and hit something else.
  • Do not run over s snake in your car or you will have a bad life.
  • Do not snake eggs or the snakes will get you.
  • Do not wear anything made out of snakeskin, especially boots or shoes or you will get crippled.
  • Do not touch a snake because it has nothing and you will have nothing.
  • Do not call a person a snake or one will be bite you.

Source: Navajo Central

Navajo Superstitions and Taboos

Here is a nice little collection of Navajo beliefs, superstitions, and taboos regarding the natural world and the weather.

  • Do not look at clouds moving in the sky. If you do, you will be a slow runner.
  • Do not eat when there is an eclipse, or you will have a swollen stomach or stomach problems.
  • Do not sleep during an eclipse because your eyes won’t open again.
  • Do not look at an eclipse, or you will go blind. This taboo is a fact. People can go blind by looking too long at an eclipse.
  • Do not start a fire with a magnifying glass, or you will have a burning in your stomach.
  • It is taboo to stand on high rocks. If traditional Navajos do, they say that the rocks will grow into the sky with them.
  • Do not roll a rock from a mountain. The holy people put them there and it will be bad luck.
  • The monsters that throw people off cliffs, are said to inhabit high places so they are best avoided!
  • Do not use partly burned wood because it might be from a lightning struck tree. If you do it will cause illness or bad luck.
  • Do not stand up when there is lightning. If you sit down it will go away.
  • Do not yell when it is raining or you will be struck by lightning.
  • Do not have a dog or cat in the hogan during a storm because it will draw lightning.
  • Do not look lightning in the mirror because it will strike your hogan.
  • Do not kill a nighthawk or you will be struck by lightning.
  • Do not use aspen wood for a fire because it causes thunder and lightning.
  • Do not stand by the loom when it is raining because the lightning will strike you.
  • Do not weave when it is storming or it will cause lightning. This depends on the pattern being designed on the loom.
  • Do not climb a tree when it is raining because lighting might strike the tree.
  • Do not lean against a wall during a storm or the lightning will strike you.
  • Do not ride a horse during a storm or you will be struck by lightning.
  • Do not touch metal objects when it is raining because you will be struck by lightning.
  • Do not wash your hair when it is raining because you will be struck by lightning.
  • Do not eat an animal killed by lightning because you will be struck by lightning or get sick.
  • Do not play around a lightning struck tree because you will get sick.
  • Do not call the thunder’s name or the lightning will get you.
  • Do not do a rain dance during a rainstorm because you will be struck by lightning.
  • Do not lay facing the sky in a storm or the lightning will strike you.
  • Do not eat corn when it is raining because lightning will strike you.
  • Do not stare at the moon, or it will follow you.
  • Don’t point at a rainbow with your finger. The rainbow will cut it off or break it.
  • Do not watch a river flowing swiftly, or you will get dizzy and fall in.
  • Don’t catch snow when its is falling, or it will keep falling and turn into deep snow.
  • Do not hold out their hands when it is snowing because where your hand is will be how deep the snow will be.
  • If you eat the first snow, you will become sick.
  • Do not shake a flour sack in the winter, or the snow will get big and cause blizzards.
  • Do not look at a shooting star unless you blow at it, or you will have trouble and bad luck.
  • If you look at a falling star, there will be bad luck.
  • Blindness is the punishment of looking to long at the sun. This punishment is a fact on life for all people.
  • Don’t whistle too loud, or whistle for four days in a row. If you do, they say you will be calling up the wind
  • Don’t throw rocks at a whirlwind. It will throw them back and chase you.
  • Don’t call whirlwinds a name. Evil Spirits will get you.
  • Don’t go into a whirlwind. It will effect your heart and carry you off.
  • Dust devils are an evil wind that blows no one any good. They are animated by evil spirits.
  • Don’t whistle or you will call up the wind!

SourceNavajo Central

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