Superstition Wednesday Witches Mark...
Since the beginning of time, witches have existed in the world. Though they have been called many things, which seems to be the one label that everyone understands. Throughout history, whiches have been accepted by communities, given great respect, power, allowed to openly practice, and asked by the people for healing, protection, and even a glance into the future.
Unfortunately, depending who heads the government, and their spiritual beliefs of whiches, determines if a which is good for the community, or the people will build a pire.
What do you think of when you hear the words witches mark, also known as a hexfoils? When I first heard the term witches mark, with no other context, I immediately thought it was some identifying mark on a body that made it easy for people to identify witches.
Hexfoils or whiches marks are carvings found in barns, churches, and other buildings. These marks were typically carved into the walls or wooden door frames to protect the building and people inside of it from evil spirits and bringing good fortune. For centuries these marks went unnoticed. The hexfoils becoming faint to the eye or mistaken for mason's marks.
In 1967 a Cambridge scholar named Violet Pritchard published a paper about the carvings she had found in local churches. These carvings, known as medieval graffiti, had an essential role in history. Like today's graffiti, ancient graffiti, when seen by specific individuals, has meaning and purpose. They told the stories of the parishes' hopes and fears.
The ancient graffiti also gives us a look into a time when magic and superstitions were part of Everyday life—a time when the line between folk beliefs and church doctrine often worked together. People in the area would carve specific symbols as detonation or evoke good spirits for a lucky year.
Some of the other symbols used were daisy wheels, pentangles, crosses, concentric circles, and the letters VV or AM, often intertwined to symbolize the Vergin Mary. The popular hexfoils is made from several lines that are used to confuse and entrap evil spirits.
There were many kinds of graffiti carving for different living ways, from sailing ships to ordinary shoes. From demons to windmills, there are so many symbols representing voices of the past. Graffiti depicting the hope of safe travels for sailors. To plentiful harvest, all the way to protection into the afterlife. You can find such carvings in chappals, cottages, caves, and farm buildings all over Europe.
While researching witches marks, I realized that some of these same carvings can be found in my home and family homes.