"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Superstitious Wishes


I have saved many of our annual wishbones from Thanksgivings past.  Why?  I don't know.


Guess you could make a sculpture or art piece from them.


Or perhaps, display them in a pretty tableau - maybe even paint them with gold leafing, though I prefer the natural bone.


Well, I wondered how the wish part came about.  The wishbone is a furcula, or 'little fork' in Latin.  In the 1400's, it was used as a method of divination.  A goose's wishbone was dried overnight after a feast of some kind.  The elder studied it the next morning and would predict whether the winter would be severe or mild, dry or wet.  It was also an object of superstition used by warriors on whether or not to wage wars and carried as talismans.

All good, but I wanted to know where the wish came in.  As you know, the persons hold on to the furcula (I like wishbone better) and the one receiving the larger part makes the wish.  This practice developed in the 17th century and at the time was called a merrythought.  

I'd hate to pull apart an ostrich's furcula.  Ick.

Obviously, it is a rainy day here.  I guess I am pretty superstitious, the yin of wishes. The number thirteen - well I never schedule anything on that date.  I'm sure there are many more that give me pause, but I can't think of any right now.

Do you have any superstitions?  I'd like to know.

40 comments:

  1. I always throw a little salt over my shoulder if I happen to spill some and I always say 'abracadabra, fiddle-de-dee, gobbledegook if I forget to say 'white rabbits' on the first of the month.

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    1. Pat, I've only heard the salt one, but never know which shoulder to toss it over. You've given me some new ones to think about.

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  2. I have many fond memories of 'pulling the wishbone' after Christmas dinner at my grandmas house. I was an only child for many years, and so they always let me pull the bone, and usually make the wish :)
    As Weaver said, always throwing the salt over my shoulder, never putting a new pair of shoes on the table, always putting a shiny penny in a gifted wallet of 'purse', ooh I could go on :)
    Neat post Donna.
    Hugs,'
    ~Jo

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    1. A big hug back Jo. I've heard of giving a penny to people you have gifted a knife to so they don't get cut with it.

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    2. THe knife/penny one is reversed in our family, for Chris is quite the knife-gifter to ALL the guys and most of the girls. The tradition is that they give YOU a nickel or penny in trade. (That one is from my Cherokee Great Grandmother, and also from Chris way-back forebears, as well).

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    3. Found it, duh. I was looking for this at the bottom by your other comment. Sorry blogger. That is probably the right way; I guess I've never given anyone a knife before. Do you have any old Cherokee stuff? My daughter works for the Cherokee Nation and they are always looking for their tribal heritage.

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  3. My Mum always put a shiny penny in a wallet gift. I thought it was just something lovely she did. For good luck I thought.
    I don't have many or any superstitions I can think of.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I like that penny in a wallet. My husband handed out $2.00 bills for luck.

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  4. I too have many memories of the wishes with a wishbone♥
    I am not crazy either about the real word..it's almost like funicular..
    superstitions?
    Only that some repetive dreams do come true.
    I like the art aspect of placing them..
    also if you look under the chicken..there are 2 oval tiny delicious little pads..so tender:)

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    1. Isn't that funny Monique? We don't like that word;) We call those little pads oysters. They are on turkeys too. I knew someone once that ate the turkey tails. Awwwck. I made that one up.

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  5. May all your Thanksgiving wishes come true.

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    1. Looks like no one has gotten to make any wishes in a long time when I see how many there are.

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  6. I like superstitions, but don't seem to participate in any.

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    1. I don't think we'd make it very far if we did (don't step on a crack, or let a black cat cross your path or walk under a ladder). I loved that movie As Good As It Gets. So funny.

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  7. They are like the whalebone arches. Caligula meant 'little boots' I heard. I would like more superstitions than I have.

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    1. Oh, if I could find a whale bone or vertebra I would just die. Love old bones of which I have quite a few. I have a Screech Owl skull and the little ocular bones around the eyes turn in the sockets like a wheel. My husband's glasses hang on a cord I made with coral and turquoise and a Copperhead snake's vertebra. Wonder why you'd like more superstitions...

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  8. I throw salt over my shoulder if I spill some, though I have never been sure which shoulder it is supposed to be thrown over. I never put a hat on a bed, and if I see that my husband has, I take it off immediately, and actually feel a tiny flurry of worry. I don't know why I am so freaked out by that superstition, but I see how it probably came to be originally. Who wants someone to come along and sit on their hat.

    My sisters in law always broke the wishbone at Thanksgiving. I tend to save the wishbone for quite a while after I make a turkey. I don't know why. I end up throwing it away, unbroken, and wondering what I was saving that for. I wonder why the shape of the wishbone was something that fascinated humans so much in the first place. The fork shape is interesting, but I don't know that it is that interesting.

    A superstition (or maybe compulsion) that I have, that I suppose is just mine alone, is that when someone, friend, family member, acquaintance leaves my home, I always watch them as they leave until they are completely out of sight. Not until then do I turn around or close the door.

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    1. I love those and also hearing from you. It has been too long. I thought of another one I always do. Never wear pajamas wrong side out or you'll have nightmares. I have enough of those. Come to think of it, I don't wear pajamas so I must have always just done it for the kids.

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  9. Donna, back when I actually used to roast turkey around Thanksgiving or Christmas, I would always save the wishbone. I once had a little collection of them that I kept around for "emergency use" when I felt a wish was needed.

    All those wishbones have vanished, each to a good wishing cause. Maybe it's time for me to roast another turnkey! xo

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    1. Or a chicken. I found one in a rotisserie chicken the other day. Like it that you actually used them to wish upon.

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  10. When I see a lone magpie I look quickly around for another.
    'One for sorrow, two for joy'.
    And I do the pinch of salt thing if I spill it too.

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    1. I like that Child. Which shoulder?

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    2. Using my right hand, I toss the salt over my left (or sinister) side.

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    1. I found them on google. Don't know why, but I seem to be a magpie too, gathering bits and bobs all the time.

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  12. I don't have any superstitions however my Mom and Grandmother sure did.They wouldn't let a black cat walk in front of them, if their palms itched meant money was coming to them.I forgot what the salt over the shoulder was.
    They always saved the turkey wish bone and my brother and I would break it like a tug of war and who ever got the larger piece,well there wish would come true (never worked ) haha

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    1. But it was fun, wasn't it? I know I've wished on the first star I see at night.

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  13. Fascinating history Donna - and I love the tableaux of your saved wish bones!

    I think of things that people are superstitious of as having neutral power — I had surgery once on the 13th of the month (it may actually have been Friday the 13th) and it turned out well.

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    1. You are a brave woman Amanda. I became wary of the number 13 after watching the movie Apollo 13. Everything was 13, like the mission number, time of lift off and many other thirteens for that mission. I hope the 'neutral power' is right. Don't need to worry about more things. ;)

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  14. nope, not superstitious. though i also have a collection of wishbones. I usually save it whenever we have roast chicken. They are in a little container on a shelf there for anyone who needs a wish. though the way we did it was each person made a wish and then snapped the bone. the person with the larger half would get their wish.

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    1. Well, Ellen I don't believe in a lot of things so I guess I shouldn't be superstitious. Do all the UFO sightings in Texas over the years count?

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  15. We've always looked on 11:11 p.m. as the strongest wishing moment---a four-of-a-kind, sorta, and though we don't just set a vigil to wait for the clock to pop the number, we will wait a minute if it happens to catch someone's eye at the time.

    We link pinkies and though we used to do the old "do you know where your children are?" thing and be thankful they were all in their homes and beds, now we just say a little quiet prayer that all is well and they're safe and happy.

    r

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    1. Rachel, I replied to you and saw another post on the dashboard, but it's not here. I can't figure it out, just superstitious that blogger is going to jinx me again;(

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  16. Donna, Those wishbones would look clever arranged in design inside a shadowbox.We always make a wish with the turkey bone, but I'm not at all superstitious, just do it out of tradition. I think it's more fun to defy superstitions by walking UNDER a ladder, and daring black cats to cross one's path.

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    1. I like that approach Jeri. I've been oppositional since I was little and still swim upstream as an adult.

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  17. I used to not walk under ladders, but have since given up the habit of going around them.

    I like how the wishbone looks like a wee diving rod.

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    1. Bea, I think the only thing that stuck with me is the thirteen thing.

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