Saturday, 24 November 2012

13 Magpies


  1. This is lovely and twisty, W. Do you European types have an issue with magpies?

    1. Hi Lynn, I too was curious and found this on Wikipedia:

      In Britain and Ireland, there are a number of superstitions regarding magpies.

      A single magpie is associated with bad luck.

      One should make sure to greet magpies when they are encountered in order to either allay bad luck or encourage good luck, as related to the number of birds and therefore their place in the Magpie poem. Common greetings include "Hello Mr Magpie" "How is your wife/where is your wife?", "Good Morning/Evening Sir" and other marks of respect.

      Upon seeing a lone magpie one should repeat the words "I defy thee" seven times.

      On seeing a lone magpie one should pinch the person they are walking with, if they are alone they are to pinch themselves. The custom in Devon is to spit three times to avert ill luck.

      If a lone magpie is seen, one should salute it as a form of respect. This formality can be forgone if the Magpie looks directly in your eyes, which would indicate respect on its own accord.

      Fascinating stuff.

  2. I guess you knew better than to have a lone magpie in your collage! 13, however, seems to portend something ominous!

  3. I'm always happier to see two or more magpies when out for a walk or in the garden I must admit. I did some paintings of magpies back in the 80's when I had a bit of a thing about them.