New PDF release: The Tradition of Household Spirits: Ancestral Lore and

By Claude Lecouteux

Examines how the traditional customs of creating and retaining a home shaped a sacred bond among houses and their population

• stocks many stories of apartment spirits, from cajoling the neighborhood land spirit into changing into one’s condominium spirit to the great and undesirable success bestowed via mischievous residence elves

• Explains the that means in the back of door and window placement, apartment orientation, horsehead gables, the hearth or fire, and the edge

• finds the charms, chants, prayers, and development practices utilized by our ancestors to bestow happiness and prosperity upon their houses and their occupants

Why will we hold horseshoes for solid good fortune or position wreaths on our doorways? Why does the groom hold his new bride over the brink? those customs symbolize the final vestiges from an extended, wealthy heritage of honoring the spirits of our houses. They exhibit home is greater than a construction: it's a residing being with a physique and soul.

Examining the huge traditions surrounding homes from medieval instances to the current, Claude Lecouteux finds that, prior to we entered the present period of widespread strikes and modular housing, relocating mostly from the nation-state into towns, humanity had a very sacred dating with their houses and all of the spirits who lived there along them--from the spirit of the home itself to the mischievous elves, fairies, and imps who visited, invited or now not. He indicates how each point of making and conserving a home concerned rites, rite, customs, and taboos to soothe the spirits, together with the alternative of a development lot and the very fabrics with which it used to be outfitted. Uncovering the misplaced that means in the back of door and window placement, the fireside, and the edge, Lecouteux stocks many stories of residence spirits, from the choices used to persuade the neighborhood land spirit into changing into the family condominium spirit to the great and undesirable good fortune bestowed upon those that search the aid of the “Little cash Man.” He attracts on reports and vintage literature from previous Europe--from Celtic lands and Scandinavia to France and Germany to the a ways japanese borders of Europe and into Russia--to clarify the pagan roots in the back of lots of those traditions.

Revealing our ancestors’ charms, prayers, and practices to bestow happiness and prosperity upon their houses, Lecouteux indicates that we will be able to invite the spirits again into our homes, outdated or new, and fix the sacred bond among domestic and inhabitant.

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Extra info for The Tradition of Household Spirits: Ancestral Lore and Practices

Example text

Just as the folk there lost another one, an extremely tiny woman appeared who told them: “You should know that you cannot raise calves here because my bed is located just beneath the cowshed. ” The folk moved the stable and their misfortune came to an end. 21 The Sacrifice for the Building As the sacrifice for a building has already been extensively studied by various scholars, I will not dwell on it and simply noting certain aspects will suffice here. Depending on the time and the place, it could appear in a wide variety of forms: actual sacrifice of a human being or an animal, or a simulation of such a sacrifice.

Indd 41 6/6/13 8:53 AM 42╇ ❖╇ The House and Its Grounds The spirits here are obviously domestic deities and not malevolent powers. 33 The roof is made up of beams and rafters, which are the object of revealing beliefs. 34 Jacob Grimm speaks of those who, in Germany, on “Saint John’s Night, place as many mugwort plants inside a beam as there are inhabitants of the house, naming the plants with their names,” to ascertain the order in which they shall die. 35 In France, to countermand a curse, the procedure below is followed.

Humans clearly occupy the center of this mythical geography. This mental attitude is particularly obvious in how the Russian peasant views his izba. As I mentioned earlier, the icon corner represents the dawn and the ceiling the celestial vault. The large central beam of the ceiling stands for the Milky Way. Thus, the dwelling is also a microcosm. Concerning the rite described above, Francis Conte rightly notes: “We see that the animals were placed in the izba in a specific order, which did not correspond to their size but to their proximity to human being.

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