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The Evil Eye

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Author Topic: The Evil Eye  (Read 1924 times)
The Creeper
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Posts: 3204

« Reply #90 on: May 01, 2009, 12:58:42 am »

too, believe that he of the buried shadow will die within the year; it is therefore common to cry out to persons passing a newly begun building: "Beware lest they take thy shadow!" Not long since all this was thought necessary for securing stability to the walls, and there were actually people whose trade it was to supply architects with shadows.

Our own very commonly uttered sentiment, "May your shadow never grow less!" is at least a coincidence.

From the shadow the step is but very short to the reflection, consequently we find many savage people who regard their likeness in a mirror as their soul. The Andaman and Fiji Islanders, with others, hold this belief, and of course its corollary, that injury to the reflection is equivalent to injury to the shadow, and so to the person reflected.

Far away from these islanders, it was believed that the reflection may be stabbed as much as the shadow. One method among the Aztecs of keeping away sorcerers was to leave a bowl of water with a knife in it behind the door. A sorcerer entering would be so alarmed at seeing his likeness transfixed by a knife, that he would instantly turn and flee.

Surely here we have in this very ancient and widespread belief, the basis of that very common one amongst our own enlightened selves, of the terrible calamity which awaits the person who destroys his own image by breaking a looking-glass. Some hold that "he will shortly lose his best friend," which may of course mean that he will die himself, others that it portends speedy mortality in the family, usually the master. 127

p. 84

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