when people say Homestuck is boring it roughly translates to ‘fuck reading that much’
Ummm, no. That is kind of a dumb argument. I have read War & Peace… And uh, y’know, that’s pretty long….. I just think Homestuck is crap. No offence meant to those who I like it. I just. Don’t. That’s my opinion.
When belief in fairies was common, few people liked talking about their experiences, for fairies were thought to be fierce guardians of their privacy. People who spied on fairies were supposed to be blinded, and just talking about fairies was unlucky.
In the scattered parts of Britain where belief survives, it is still considered that fairies dislike being called by that name. Cautious believers prefer instead to use names such as ‘The Good People’, ‘The Little People’ or ‘The Hidden People’.
Swan: Richard the Lionheart is said to have brought the first swans back to Britain from Cyprus after the Third Crusade, and for centuries swans have been royal property. A person’s ‘swan song’ - his final work - is derived from the belief that swans sing only once - just before they die.
Magpie: These are among the most ominous of British birds, and most people will know a version of the rhyme which begins:
One for sorrow, two for mirth
Three for a wedding, four for a birth
There were traditional methods of protection against the sorrow that a single magpie might bring. In England, people used to cross themselves, raise their hats to the bird, or spit three times over the right shoulder and once towards the bird, saying: ‘Devil, Devil, I defy thee.’ In Somerset, the customary safeguard was to carry an onion with you wherever you went. In Scotland it was considered such an evil bird that it was said to carry a drop of the Devil’s blood hidden underneath its tongue.
Owl: For centuries, the cry of an owl has been taken as an omen of disaster. It warns of death or bad luck, especially if it is heard near a house, and it promises a cruelly unfortunate life to any child born within the sound of it.
On the credit side, the skin of an owl nailed to a barn door was believed to protect the building from evil. Owl eggs would also reportedly restore drunks to their senses, prevent epilepsy and improve bad sight. Owl broth (yum…) was used to treat whooping cough and an ointment made of pulverised owl mixed with boar’s grease was said to ease the pains of gout.
It is said that somewhere in the 15ft thick walls of the castle- the birthplace of Princess Margaret and the ancestral home of the Earls of Strathmore- there may be a bricked-up secret chamber that hides the earthly remains of a hideous monster. According to legend, a monstrous child was born into the family around 200 years ago and was secretly incarcerated within the castle walls. It was said that as each heir to the earldom reached the age of 21, he was told the awful secret and shown the rigtful earl - an immensely strong and long-lived beast. It was said to have no neck, tiny arms and legs, and a hairy barrel-like body. It was believed to have lived until as late as the 1920’s.
Apart from the monster, Glamis Castle is believed to have at least nine ghosts. One is said to be Macbeth, endlessly atoning for the murder of King Duncan, another is Earl Beardie, who plays dice with the Devil in punishment for the sin of gambling on a Sunday. An unidentified Grey Lady haunts the chapel and a tongueless woman races across the grounds tearing frantically at her mouth. On wild, winter nights a ghostly madman has reportedly been seen walking on the roof, along ‘The Mad Earl’s Walk.’
BEANS: Yes… Beans… The souls of the dead were believed to dwell in bean-fields, and beans were associated with ghosts and death, as were many other plants with sweet-smelling flowers. In Leicestershire, anyone sleeping in a bean field overnight was believed to be risking insanity. When walking in witch areas, a bean was kept in the mouth, to be spat at the first witch met.
Clover: The obvious lucky plant. The triple leaf of the clover has been associated with the Holy Trinity since St. Patrick used it to illustrate the doctrine of the Three in One - although some argue that he used a sprig of wood sorrel instead. Aside from bringing good fortune, a four-leaf clover was believed to give second sight and the power to detect witches and see fairies.
Nightshade: One of the most poisonous of European wild plants plants, nightshade, or belladonna as it is also known, was used mainly as a hallucinatory drug. It was also taken by clairvoyants to induce second sight. Nightshade was thought to be a principle ingredient in the ointment witches rubbed on their bodies when they wished to fly.
Violet: Violets worn around the neck were said to prevent drunkenness. In some areas however, they were believed to bring fleas into the house. Violets that bloomed in autumn were supposed to warn of a death or an epidemic.
Foxglove: The name of this flower derives from ‘folk’s-glove’, because foxgloves were believed to have been worn by fairies.
In the past, wells were often thought to have a guardian. This could be a serpent, a nymph, a toad or even something as small as a fly. Snakes in particular, were closely linked with European water cults, as well as ones in Britain. In fact, an old Christian warning against greed and material wealth is told about a man who had a dream on three successive nights that if he put his hand under a stone which hung over the spring of a nearby well, he would discover a gold necklace. Eventually, he gave in to his curiosity, walked to the spring and felt under the stone as he had in the dream. He was promptly bitten by a viper, the guardian of the well, and died.
It was also common to keep trout in a well considered to be sacred. These were fed by the surrounding community and nobody dared to harm or disturb them and they were believed to live for many years. This tradition is thought to have roots in the pagan belief that divine trout lived in sacred pools and fed on the nuts that fell from the branches of overhanging sacred hazel trees. This diet was thought to give the fish supernatural wisdom.