Animals too have their own large fund of lore.
Cats and Dogs. If a black cat should cross your path it
brings good luck. If the cat stops to look at you the
luck will be greater, but if the cat spits at you it brings
bad luck. A dog howling for no apparent reason brings
news of death.
Foxes. If a fox crosses your path, an opportunity will
be given to you. If the fox stops to look at you, your
most ambitious plans will come to frustration, but if
the fox just glances disdainfully and walks away with
his back to you, your plans will come to nothing.
Horses. A white horse was once the symbol of the Celtic
goddess Epona, and thus should be greeted with respect
or you may draw down misfortune upon yourself, but you
can tell the horse your hopes and wishes to make them
Stoats and Weasels. Stoats and weasels are looked upon
as bad luck by some Gypsy families, who should be horrified
if one crossed their path. However, to others, including
my own family, they are good luck. To see these delightful
creatures playing means happiness in family matters, but
if they should be squabbling family disputes will arise.
Hares. Hares are dedicated to the earth goddess. It is
said that Boadicea carried a hare beneath her cloak to
her first engagement with the Roman army. When she released
the hare, it ran straight toward the Roman lines, leading
the Celts to a great victory. To see a hare is a lucky
thing. If you see one when you are on the way to a meeting
or interview of any kind, a successful outcome is guaranteed.
Fish. The fish is a lucky symbol in most cultures. In
myth and folklore, fish are often guardians of secrets
and wisdom. To see a fish jump unexpectedly brings luck,
if something is worrying you at the time, your worries
are unfounded, and anything you are hoping for will be
The insect world has its own signs and portents.
Spiders. Spiders have long held a fascination for man,
and one should never kill a spider. If a spider should
attach a filament of web to you, the faes are about to
make a change in your life, or, as my dad would say, 'You've
stood still too long!' A money spider should be allowed
to have a good crawl all over you, before being gently
and safely removed, to ensure that the luck 'sticks.'
Crane Flies. A crane fly or daddy-long-legs brings luck
with it when it flies indoors, and should never be killed.
Ladybirds and Other Beetles. The ladybird is one of the
most familiar and most loved insects: a seven-spotted
ladybird brings luck when it lands on you. A beetle trundling
across your path means a lucky day. The bigger the beetle,
the greeter the luck, so don't squash it.
Butterflies. A butterfly settling upon a young woman foretells
a pregnancy; on an older woman it signifies a new baby
in the family. On anyone else the butterfly foretells
a time of celebration and frivolity
The Moon. To see the new moon outdoors is very lucky.
You should bow to her three times, then turn your money
over three times; it will increase ninefold by the next
new moon. Make a wish on the full moon, and of course
you should always wish on a shooting star- but never tell
your wish to another, or it loses its power and won't
Oak Trees and Brambles. The oak is lucky for money and
health. Try to catch a falling oak leave in autumn, before
it touches the ground. Keep the leaf safely in your purse
or wallet to ensure it will never be empty. If an oak
leaf accidentally catches you on your person, this is
very lucky and you should keep it safe. Likewise, if a
bramble catches on your clothes it is considered lucky.
Bean Plants. To find a lone bean plant growing in the
wild is lucky, but never sleep or even stay too long near
a bean patch in flower- the perfume can cause depression.
Flowers. Don't walk over a flower or a spray of leaves
lost in the street. Rescue them, and put them in water
for luck. To be given a bunch of flowers is to be given
Itching. If your left hand itches, money is coming. If
the right hand is itching, it is going. The right foot
itching foretells a journey to a familiar place, while
the left foot itching means the journey will be on strange
ground. If your nose itches, expect a quarrel. If the
left ear itches or burns, someone is speaking well of
you. The right ear means spiteful gossip.
Journeys. If you put your shoe on the wrong foot, or if
a shoe strap breaks, forget any journey or enterprise
planned for that day. Likewise, if Romany meets a funeral
at the beginning of a journey, they will turn back, for
nothing good will come of it. If, however, you accidentally
take the wrong turn on a journey, continue that way if
possible, as you may be avoiding trouble or meeting luck.
Clothing. It is lucky sign if you accidentally put on
a garment inside out. You should leave it that way until
you legitimate reason to change it or you will reverse
the luck. But if you should become elf- amazed in other
words, confused or lost, or lose something you have just
put down- turn a garment inside out in order to break
Fire. Sitting around the fire as Romanies do, they see
many things in the flames. If the flame burns green, there
will be news of birth. If the flames are blue, an old
person may be dying and wish to say goodbye. If the fire
burns bright and clear in the evening, a lucky day will
follow. If the wood sparks and crackles loudly, the fire
should be given a good kick to ward off the dispute it
is warning you about.
Horseshoes. The horseshoe has long been a symbol of good
fortune, so of course it is lucky to find one, but any
piece of old iron found on a road or field can bring luck.
Hold it in your right while you make a wish, then spit
on it and throw it over your left shoulder. Walk on without
looking where it has landed, though it is a good idea
to make sure no one is standing behind you throw it!
Of course, the fate of nations, or even their own ultimate
destiny, is not always the thing uppermost in the mind
of people. It is quite luckily to be something more mundane,
like the weather. Weathermen will tell you that meteorology
is a science nowadays, but it is sometimes a remarkably