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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ordinary item – or instrument of magic?

As Halloween approaches, even common household items become magical. Brooms, for instance, have long been associated with witches. But according to lore of old, brooms have special magic of their own. Did you know, for instance, you should never place a broom against your bed? The broom’s evil spirit will cast a spell on you. (Frankly, any instrument of cleaning is evil, in my book!) If you ever wish to be married, never let a broom sweep over your feet. If you step on the handle of a broom lying on the floor, it could bring death. Dropping a broom means company will arrive. If you sweep your floor and send debris out the back door, you’ll summon a stranger to visit. If you have a houseguest you prefer didn’t return, don’t sweep out the room where the guest stayed. When you move, leave your old broom behind, or bad luck will follow you. If you’re like me, you’ll play it safe and don’t even keep a broom in your house.

Mirrors are another common item that, in knowing hands, become instruments of magic. If you want to place someone under your spell, use a mirror reflect moonlight off that person’s face while s/he sleeps. Looking at your mirror image by candlelight brings bad luck. In olden times, people believed breaking a mirror would take away their souls for seven years. I went a step further in my Halloween tale, Reflections, about a cursed mirror that unleashes… well, you’ll have to read it to find out. :)

Careful how you handle that salt, too. According to an old saying, “To pass salt is to pass sorrow,” so never hand it directly to another. If we spill salt, friendly spirits are warning us that evil approaches, so toss a pinch of salt over your left shoulder to stave off danger. Sprinkling salt on your doorstep will keep away evil spirits too. If you suspect someone has cast a spell over you, you might be able to break it by taking a salt bath. Just use plenty of moisturizer afterward. :)

One of the most intriguing aspect of All Hallows’ Eve is the notion that, for that night, the veil between the worlds thins, allowing souls to travel between. My paranormal novella, Soul for Sale, incorporates that notion into the modern tale of a woman who lists her soul online, with surprising results. I hope you’ll check out this fun story, which was a 2011 EPIC finalist, now re-released on Amazon Kindle and SmashwordsReviews  have described it as “outstanding,” a “riveting read… I couldn’t stop until I hit the last page.” 

What about you - do you have any Halloween superstitions?

Multipublished, award-winning author Cate Masters loves stories with a dash of magic, mayhem and romance! Reviewers have described her stories as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” and “such romantic tales that really touch your soul.”
When not spending time with her family, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at, and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.
Cate loves to hear from readers. Email her at: cate.masters[AT]


Jean P said...

That was fascinating about the brooms, most I had never heard of.
Even though I like cats, I don't like a black cat to cross my path.

skpetal AT hotmail DOT com

Maria Zannini said...

I didn't know a lot of the superstitions about brooms. I'm going to have to remember the one about unwanted guests. LOL.

Na said...

I didn't know the lore with brooms was so complex. Good thing they are never near my bed but it's good to know. Perhaps we should also warm Cinderella ;)

Cate Masters said...

I try to avoid brooms altogether, Jean. And any cleaning utensils, lol

Sometimes these things come in handy, Maria! :)

It makes you wonder, Na. My theory is that housewives of old made up these tales to avoid using brooms, lol