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Animal Superstitions
by Pat Blackett
Many of our superstitions come from a belief in the sacred nature of the world around us. Walking under ladders is taboo because a triangle is a symbol of life. This sacred symbol happens to be formed by a leaning ladder, and it is considered unlucky to trespass upon it.

In the past, people observed nature and came up with ‘lores’ to govern their relationship with it. Ancient conceptions of the natural world live on in countless superstitions about animals. Here are a few to consider the next time you have a walkabout.

Ants
Ants are believed to be the final earthly incarnation of fairies or the souls of children who have died unbaptized. Others believe these insects to be the transmuted souls of the Druids who refused to accept Christianity.

Bees
These creatures have often been regarded as wise and even holy insects, having knowledge of many secret matters. A bee landing on someone`s hand is believed to foretell money to come, while if the bee settles on someone`s head it means that person will rise to greatness. There is believed to be a very strong link between bees and their keepers; bees cannot prosper in an atmosphere of anger or hatred, and will either pine away and die, or fly away. There is still a common belief that bees should be told about deaths that occur in the beekeeper`s family.

Butterfly
If the first butterfly you see this year is white, you will have good luck all year.

Cat
A three colored cat will keep the house safe from fire. Dream of a black and white cat and you`ll have luck with children. Dream of a tabby and you will have luck with your home. Dream of a tortoise shell cat and you will be lucky in love. Dream of a ginger cat and you will be lucky in money and business.  A kitten born in May is considered to be a witches cat. Cats bought with money will never be good mousers.

Dogs
To meet a spotted or black and white dog on your way to a business appointment is lucky. Three white dogs seen together are considered lucky in some areas. A greyhound with a white spot on its forehead signals good fortune.

Horses
Spotted horses are considered magical. Grey horses and horses with four white socks are unlucky but ones with a single white stocking are lucky.

Ladybird
The ladybird is a luck-bringer, probably because it is traditionally associated by its color with fire. It is a sign of good fortune if one lands on a person`s hand or dress. It must, however, be allowed to fly away of its own accord, and must not be brushed off. The deeper the ladybird`s color and the more spots the better the luck.

Snails
A charm to know the identity of a future wife or husband is to catch a snail on Halloween and shut it up on a flat dish at night. Next morning the initials of the future lover will be seen, traced in slime, on the surface of the dish.

Spiders
It has been unlucky to kill a spider since one is said to have spun a web over baby Jesus to hide him from Herod. Seeing a spider run down a web in the afternoon means you`ll take a trip. You`ll meet a new friend if you run into a web.





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