- * A single magpie is especially associated with bad luck. Only one bird croaking persistently around a house sounds the death knell of the occupant while two magpies foretell good fortune.
* All hail garlic! During WWII, British doctors used garlic as a remedy for gangrene and mixed the herb’s juice with peat moss to bandage wounds. Funny that when Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited Rome a few years ago, the chefs were told to leave the menu garlic free!
* The black cat may be the best known Halloween feline, but orange-black-and-white calico cats have long enjoyed a connection with ill omens and the weird, too. That’s because this cat’s crazily mixed colors seem to mirror a chaotic inner personality.
* Dubbed by Eric Clapton “the most important blues musician that ever lived,” bluesman Robert Johnson is said to have sold his soul to the devil. The story has it that at a crossroads outside Robinsonville, Mississippi, Johnson met a large black man who took Johnson’s guitar and tuned it for him in exchange for his soul. Now there’s a case of sold-soul music!
* The ash tree is well named, since it is one of the few trees that will burn easily and steadily when still green. Encased in winged pods that resemble the keys that were used in medieval locks, this tree’s seeds are known as ash keys. In Northern Europe, the ash tree is thought to connect the underworld, earth, and heaven.
The Witches’ Almanac contains herbal secrets, advice about animals, mystical incantations, sacred rituals and many a curious tale of good and evil — just what every adept, occultist, witch and mortal alike should turn to every day for tips and tricks and thrills!