Mythology Encyclopedia 87

Fisherman: Fishermen spit on their hansel for luck in fishing.
Fishermen everywhere avoid mentioning at sea the name of a pig, hare, salmon, trout,
or dog, but go out of their way to find some other word when it is needful to indicate
either of these. (ELWORTHY, E.E., P. 313. BASSETT, P. 279). (For further superstitions,
see BASSETT, Legends and Superstitions of the Sea and Sailors, Lond., 1885).
Fish, Great: The larger portion of the treasure of the North American Indians; the smaller
portion being called Little Fish. (RIDER HAGGARD, Montezuma s Daughter).
Fits: To cure fits, go into a church at midnight, and walk three times round the communion
table. (LEAN, VOI. II., p. 996).
Five: In Japan new clothes or sandals should not be put on after 5 p.m. (GRIFFIS,
M.E., P. 472).
Flatfoot: It is a sign of low descent. Vide Instep.
Flea: A flea-bite on the hand is a precursor of good news (Silesia, Hesse, Saxony.-WUTTKE,
P. 34), or it foretells that you will be kissed. (Germany, Austria).
Fleas will never come in a bed if the beds be aired on the Thursday before Easter.
(STRACKERJAN, Vol. II, P. 111).
Fleas and bugs never infest a dying person. (LEAN, Vol. II, P. 579).
Flesh and Blood: Flesh and blood of the sacrificed were eaten and drunk by the
Aztecs, because they thought that this would make them strong and powerful (WUTTKE,
Geschichte des Heidentums, Vol. I, P. 268, etc.); or produce inspiration. (FRAZER,
G.B., vol. I, P. 133).
Flint: Ghosts cannot bear the sight of sparks from a flint. (Mark.–WUTTKE, P. 224).
Flood: St. Christopher protects from floods. Vide Frost.
Flora: The goddess of flowers and gardens, the beloved of Zephyr, and mother of
Florian: Vide Fire.
Florimel s Girdle: It would loosen itself or tear asunder if any woman unfaithful or
unchaste attempted to put it on. cf. Bahman s Knife, Canace s Mirror, Sophia s Picture,
Mantle, Grotto of Ephesus, Water of Jealousy.
Flounder: According to a Sutherland tradition, the wry mouth of a flounder arose from
making faces at the rock-cod. (CAMPBELL, Sup. Scot. High., p. 223; cf. BASSETT P.

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Mythology Encyclopedia 86

In Japan the following things foretell a fire: a cock crowing loudly in the evening, a dog
climbing on the roof of a house or building, a weasel crying out once, and pulling up a
peculiar kind of grass, called the hinode (sunrise), which grows on many houses.
(GRIFFIS, M.E., P. 471).
St. Christopher saves from fire, St. Agatha protects from it, but St. Florian should be
invoked if a fire has already broken out.
If the fire burns brightly on Christmas morning, it betokens prosperity during the year; if
it smoulders, adversity. (RAGNER).
Making a cross with the bars of the grate and the poker drives the devil out of the
chimney, and so enables the fire to burn. (Gt. Britain.-ELWORTHY, E. E., P. 430).
In Ireland a fire is believed to be a great protection against fairies and witches. (ib. P.
436. cf. Ethnologie du Bengale, pp. 82, 92, 133; KUHN UND SCHWARTZ,
Norddeutsche Sagen, P. 92; WOLF, Beitage, Vol. II, P. 303: PLOSS, Das Weib, Vol. I,
pp. 615 seq.; WUTTKE, P. 195; LADY WILDE, P. 118; TYLOR, Primitive Culture, Vol. II,
p. 178; HYLTON-CAVALLIUS, Warend och Wirdarne, Vol. I, p. 191; ATKINSON,
Glossary of Cleveland Dialect, P. 597; HUBERT ET MAUSS, Essai sur le Sacrifice,
Annee Sociol., Vol. II (1897-1898), P. 57, n. 7). Vide Beehive, Agatha St., Gipsy, Nail.
Fire-Fly: Night blindness is cured by eating a fire-fly. (Bengal).
Fireplace: If the fire in the fireplace bursts with an explosive sound, it is a sign of a
quarrel. (Silesia, Hesse, Mark, Swabia), but if you spit on it., you will not be the sufferer.
(Mark. WUTTKE, P. 37).
First: The first of April, August and December are unlucky days. (WUTTKE, P. 22;
First-born Children: They are believed to have the power of stopping rain; according to
the Muslims, they can do so by stripping naked and standing on their heads. In
Calcutta, they need only make a candle of cloth and burn it (Dic. Rel. Eth. Vol. VIII, P.
It is believed in India that a first-born son leaning against anything will attract a thunderbolt
to it. (Dic. Rel. Eth. Vol. VIII, P. 290; N.I.N.Q., I. (1891) 378).
First-buried: The spirit of the first-buried in a churchyard can never have rest, but must
wander about eternally. ,Hessen, Westphalia–WUTTKE, P. 215). cf. Last Buried.
Fish: If you count the number of fish you have caught, you will catch more that day.
(Gt. Britain).
If you meet a priest while on your way to fishing, you will have a good haul that day.
(Gt. Britain; Japan–GRIFFIS, M.E., P. 470).
Fish are sometimes transformed into birds (MAYER, Chin. Read. Man., P. 301).
It is unlucky to dream of a single fish, but lucky to dream of a shoal.
Spirits and other malevolent demons are very fond of fish, especially fried (cf.
Ethnologie du Bengale, P. 115; SKEAT, Malay Magic, P. 326). Vide Net, Woman.

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Mythology Encyclopedia 85

Field: If a man dreams of green fields, he will marry a discreet, chaste and beautiful
woman; if a woman dreams the same, she will marry a loving and prudent husband, by
whom she will have prudent and beautiful children.
Field-mouse: In parts of England it is believed that a fieldmouse creeping over the back
of a sheep gives it paralysis, and that this can be cured by shutting up a mouse in the
hollow of a trunk of the witch-hazel or witch-elm tree, and leaving it to die of starvation.
(BRAND, Observations, P. 739 ; cf. FRAZER, Magic Art, vol. i, p. 83).
Fiend: An infernal being, generally mixed up with the Devil.
Fiery Apparitions: Apparitions in the form of fiery dogs and other animals are usually
the spirits of those who have committed some heinous crime in their lifetime. (ALPENBURG,
P. 210, etc.).
Filth: Many spirits, generally of a malevolent nature, take up their abode in filth.
Finger: If the finger joints crack when pulled, it is a sign that someone loves you.
(STRACKERJAN, Vol. 1. 91).
Manx fishermen do not point at anything with a finger (RHYS, P. 396). Vide Hare.
Finn MacCoul: Gaelic Legend. Leader of the Fenians.
Finola: Irish Myth. The eldest of the four children of Ler, who were changed into swans
by their jealous stepmother and doomed to retain this form, though without loss of
human speech, for nine hundred years.
Fir (Tree): If a fir tree be touched, withered or burned with lightning, it is a warning to
the house that the master or mistress thereof will shortly die. (BRAND, Observations,
Vol. III. P. 233).
Firbolg: Irish Legend. One of the tribes which settled in Ireland at a very early date, and
who were nearly destroyed by the Tuatha De Danann. They were identified with the
dark population of short stature, believed to be of Iberian affinities.
Fir Darrig: Irish lore. A little merry red man, not unlike in his disposition and movements
to Puck.
Fire: If the fire springs out of the hearth, you will receive a visit (Dutch–THORPE, VOI.
III, P. 328).
The noise occasioned when the enclosed gas in a piece of burning coal catches fire is
a sure indication of a quarrel between the inmates of the house (Gt. Britain).
If children play with fire at night, they are sure to wet the bed in their sleep. (STRACKERJAN,
Vol. 1., 45).

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Mythology Encyclopedia 84

Feng-hwang: Chin. Myth. A pheasant-like bird of rich plumage and graceful form and
movement, fabled to appear in the land on the accession of a sage to the throne, or
when right principles are about to prevail. (MAYER, Chin. Read. Man., P. 43). cf.
Feng-shui: A system of spirit influence for good and evil, believed by the Chinese to
attend the natural features of landscape.
Fenian: In Gaelic legend a band of heroes, forming a kind of free soldiery and chivalric
order. Their leader was Finn.
Fenodyres: The Manx name for a brownie.
Fenrir: Norse Myth. A wolf, spawn of Loki, who fights with Tyr, and is afterwards cast
into Niflheim by the Aesir. He killed Odin in a fight.
Fergus: Gaelic Legend. Son of Finn. He was a bard and an important member of the
Feronia: An ancient Italian Goddess, a protectress of freedmen and markets.
Fetch: A double (q.v.). In Ireland, a fetch is the supernatural facsimile of some individual,
which comes to ensure to its original a happy longevity, or immediate dissolution; if
seen in the morning, the one event is predicted; if in the evening, the other. –J. BANIM:
Tales of O Haya Family, The Fetch. (1825).
The Earl of Cromwell met the fetch of his friend William Rufus. –TYLOR: Primitive
Fetish: A material object supposed by the savage tribes to possess magical powers,
capable of bringing to issue the designs of the owner, or to preserve him from injury.
Originally this name was applied to the rude wooden idols of the West Africans. but is
now applied to similar objects all the world over. (cf. R. MARAN, Batouala, Lond., 1922,
P 79).
Feu Follet: The French name for a Jack-o -Lantern.
Fever: To cure fever, spill a can of water suddenly on the patient (SCHIFFER, Urquell,
V. 223), or let him eat something he does not like. (Jew. Enc., Vol. V., P. 223).
In Burma fever is caused by a demon seizing people trespassing in his domain. He
shakes them with ague till he is exorcised. Apoplectic fits are similarly caused by other
demons. (TYLOR, P.C. VOI. 11, P. 124). Vide Epilepsy, Bacon, Cockchafer, Spider,
Nail, Willow, Eshshata, Agate, Magpie.
Fianna Eirinn: Irish for Fenian.

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Mythology Encyclopedia 83

Hesse.-WUTTKE, P. 39). Famine: When crows, robins or rooks forsake a wood in a flock, it forebodes a famine. Fangen: Forest spirits of German mythology. Fantine: Swiss Folk-lore. A class of well-disposed fairies.
On y voit encore la grotte ou vivaient les fantines ou masques, tout occupees a procurer
le bien-etre des habitants du vallon. Elles faisaient prosperer l agriculture, procurant
des saisons favorables. Dans leur retraite, elles fabriquaient des clochettes pour
que le betail ne s egarat pas dans les bois, alors plus touffus qu aujourd hui. –Prof.
JEAN JALLA: Leg. Vaud. P. 20.
Farce: If you dream you see a farce, you will have good success in business.
Fascination: Human saliva is a charm against fascination.
Fate: Class. Myth. The goddess, or one of the goddesses of fate and destiny. In Greek
mythology they were three in number: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. cf. Norn, Parca,
Bidatapurusha, Hathor, Sudicky.
Father-in-law: It is an evil omen to dream of your father-in-law.
Faun: Rom. Myth. An Italian deity of fields and woods, represented as having human
form with pointed ears, small horns and sometimes a goat s tail, or as half goat and
half man.
Faunus: Rom. Relig. A rural deity, god of animal life and fruitfulness, patron of husbandry,
hunting and herding and guardian of the secret lore of nature.
Faust: Faust was a young German student who, after studying magic, sold himself to
the Devil. The legend has been immortalized by Goethe.
Faust: O Faustus,
Now thou hast but one bare hour to live,
And then you must be damn d perpetually.
–MARLOW: Dr. Faustus (1589?)
Fay: Vide Fairy, Elf.
Feast: To dream that you are feasting without enjoying it is a forewarning of a great disappointment.
Feather: The presence of game feathers in a feather bed will prolong the agonies of
death; it is impossible to die on a pillow stuffed with feathers of doves or pigeons.
(HAZLITT, P. 232).

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Mythology Encyclopedia 82

Eye: If the right eye itches, you will be pleased; if the left, you will have sorrow. (Gt.
Britain, India.)
If the eye of a corpse remains open, or if he smiles, it is a sign that someone else from
the same house will die soon. (STRACKERJAN, VOI. I. P. 30).
St. Claire and St. Ottilie cure bad eyes.
It is a very bad omen to dream of losing an eye; your friends and relations will die, and
you may even lose your liberty.
Blue-eye beauty, do your mammy s duty,
Black-eye, pick a pie,
Run round and tell a lie;
Grey-eye, greedy-gut
Eat all the world up.
–U.S.A. (BERGEN, C.S. P. 33).
Vide Smile, Evil Eye, Soreness, Gutta Percha, Kite, Rubbing.
Eye of Balor: Vide Balor.
Eyebrows: People with meeting eyebrows are superstitiously believed to be either vampires
or werewolves. (O DONNELL, Werewolves; BARLNG GOULD, Book of Were
Wolves; RANFT, Tractat von dem Kauen und Schmatzen der Todten in Grabern.)
Eyelid: For a man, the twitching of the right upper lid is considered lucky, and of the left
unlucky; for a woman, vice versa. (Gt. Britain, India, SCHIFFER, Urquell, ii, 80-82,
ABBOTT, P. 112).
Fafnir: In the Volsunga Saga, a giant who, in the form of a venom-breathing dragon,
possesses and guards a great treasure. He was slain by Sigurd.
Fair: To dream that you are going to a fair denotes that your pockets will be picked.
Fairy: One of a class of supernatural beings of diminutive size, in popular belief they
are said to possess magical powers and to have great influence for good or evil over
the affairs of men.
Heavens defend me from that Welsh fairy, lest he
Transform me into a piece of cheese!
–SHAKESPEARE: Merry Wives of Windsor, v., 5.
Faithfulness: If your beloved is untrue to you, light three candles by the wrong ends
and say the Paternoster three times; then he is sure to come back to you. (Bohemia).
False Report: If a man is falsely reported dead, he will live ten years longer. (Silesia,

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Mythology Encyclopedia 81

Euterpe : Gr. Myth. The muse of lyric poetry; she is represented with a flute. Even: Vide Odds and Evens. Evil Eye: A supposed power of bewitching by spiteful looks, attributed to certain persons
as a natural endowment. The belief is widespread both among savage and civilized
people. (LEHMANN, Aberglaube und Zauberei, P. 32; BUDGE, Egyptian Magic, P.
97, etc.; LANE, Customs and Usages of the Egyptians of To-day; ELWORTHY, The Evil
Eye; KOHUT, Judische Angelologie u.s.w., P. 58; DALYELL, Dark. Sup., P. 3 et seq;
HAZLITT, P. 216, 379; ABBOTT, P. 139; Ethnologie du Bengale, pp. 81, 84, 85, 131,
A woman who believes herself to be overlooked is to take the shift off over her head,
turn it three times withershins (=against the course of the sun), then hold it open, and
drop a burning coal through it three times; then put it on again (ELWORTHY, E.E. P.
The evil eye, or in fact any evil, can be averted by the mother kissing the child thrice,
and spitting after each kiss. (Jew. Enc., Vol. IX. P, 598). Vide Bread, Tulsi, Horseshoe,
Palm, Ribbon, Thread, Stag, Horn.
Evil One: An epithet of the Devil.
Excalibur: King Arthur s brand, which, when flung back into the lake, was caught by an
arm clothed in white samite. cf. Balmung, Tizona.
Excrement, Human: This substance, thinned with water and given to animals, cures
inflammations. (STRACKERJAN, Vol. 1, p. 84). Inflammations of human beings can
also be cured by external use of the same. (ib.)
The Bhuts of India feed on human excretion.
Execution: The bones and the blood (STRACK, P. 20) of the executed are a powerful
talisman for procuring wealth. (Silesia–WUTTKE, P. 177. cf. DAVIS, Chronicles of
Uncanny things go on at midnight in places where executions usually take place; therefore,
it is not safe for people to go there at this time.
To dream.of an execution, or places of execution, denotes that you will suddenly be
sought after for relief. Vide Hand.
Exeter: Derives its name, according to a belief, from the Romans exclaiming in delight:
Ecce terra! when they came in sight of where this ancient city now stands.
Exit: A mara or another evil spirit can make her exit only the way she made her
Exorcism: The act of driving an evil spirit from the body of one possessed by adjuration,
especially by the use of a holy name or by magic rites. Vide Beans, Peachwood.

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Mythology Encyclopedia 80

Ethelbert, St.: Leads to the recovery of lost goods.
Ethra: Class. Myth. Mother of Theseus.
Etzel: In the Nibelungenlied, the second husband of Kriemhild, king of the Huns. Vide
Gunther, Siegfried, Hagen, Kriemhild.
Eucharis: A nymph belonging to the goddess Calypso heroine of an episode of
Eumeus: Gr. Myth. A faithful servant and guardian of the troops belonging to Ulysses.
Euminides Gr. Myth. A name by which the Erinyes or the Furies are often designated.
Eumolpus: Gr. Myth. A son of Neptune and founder of the famous Eleusian mysteries.
Euphrosyne: Gr. Myth. One of the three Graces.
Euronomus: A grizzly Greek demon who ate the flesh of corpses. He was blue-black in
colour, like a carrion fly, his teeth were bared, and he is represented as sitting on the
skin of a vulture. (Painted by Polygnotus).
Europa: Gr. Myth. A daughter of Agenor, king of Phoenicia, She was carried away to
Crete by Zeus disguised as a bull and became the mother of Minos.
European: The finger-nails of Europeans are in popular belief a deadly poison. (India-CROOKE,
P.R.I., Vol. 1, P. 279).
Eurus: Gr. Myth. God of the east wind.
Euryale: Gr. Myth. One of the Gorgons.
Euryclea: Gr. Myth. The old nurse of Odysseus, who, on his return in disguise, recognized
him by his scar.
Eurydice: Gr. Myth. A nymph beloved of Orpheus. After her death by snake-bite,
Orpheus descended to the nether regions, obtained Pluto s permission to bring herback to earth, but on his way back he turned round, which he was forbidden to do, andshe had to return to Hades. Eurynome: Gr. Myth. A sea-goddess, daughter of Oceanus.
Eurystheus Gr. Mvth. A Mycenaean king to whose service Hercules was bound.

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Mythology Encyclopedia 79

Erato: Gr. Myth. One of the Muses; she presides over elegiac poetry and is represented
with a lyre.
Erebus: Class. Myth. Father of Charon.
Erinys: Gr. Relig. (pl. Erinyes). One of the avenging spirits who bring retribution upon
those who have violated the laws of natural piety, hospitality, etc. Originally, they were
the revengeful ghosts of the slain; later, they were conceived as snaky-haired women
pursuing the offender, and inflicting madness. They were three in number: Alecto,
Megaera and Tisiphone.
Eriphyle: Gr. Myth. Wife of Amphiraus, who foretold to her husband the disastrous end
of the expedition against Thebes. She was slain by her son Alcmaeon.
Erl King: In Teutonic and Scandinavian folk-lore, a personification of a spirit or natural
power, supposed to work mischief, especially to children.
Dem Vater grauset s, er reitet geschwind,
Er h lt in den Armen das chzende Kind,
Erreicht den Hof mit M h und Not;
In seinen Armen das Kind war tot.
–GOETHE: Erlk nig.
Eros: Gr. Myth. The god of love, corresponding to Cupid of the Romans.
Erymanthean: Gr. Myth. A devastating boar which wandered about in Arcadia. Its capture
was one of the labours imposed upon Hercules.
Erysipelas: The tongue of a fox, worn near the heart, is a preventive against this disease.
(STRACKERJAN, Vol. 1, 85).
Vide Anthony, St.
Eshshata: Jewish Folk-lore. The name of a spirit of fever. (Jew. Enc., Vol. IV. p. 517).
Esprit Follet: The French equivalent of a Puck, Poltergeist, etc.
Eteocles: Gr. Myth. A king of Thebes, son of OEdipus and Jocasta. His refusal to give
up his throne to Polynices led to the expedition of the Seven against Thebes, in which
the brothers killed each other.
Eternal Jew: In popular superstition it is the Jew who hurried on Jesus Christ, when He
was led to crucifixion. As a punishment, he is compelled to wander about the world,
homeless and restless, till the Day of Judgment. (S. BARING GOULD, Myths of the
Middle Ages; EUGENE SUE, Le Juif errant, HAZLITT, p. 618). Also known as the
Wandering Jew.

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En-zu: Babyl. Myth. The moon-god Sin is ordinarily designated ideographically En-zuwhich describes him as a lord of wisdom. Eolus: Class. Myth. Son of Zeus and the nymph Menalippa, a god of the winds; it washe who let loose the winds. Eos: Gr. Myth. The goddess of dawn corresponding to the Roman Aurora. Ephesus: In Arabia a talisman consisting of a piece of paper containing the names ofthe Seven Sleepers of Ephesus is still used to ward off ghosts and demons.
Vide Grotto of Ephesus, Seven Sleepers of Ephesus. Ephialtes: In Greece the name given by the ignorant to account for the nightmarewhich results from indigestion. Epiales: In Greece it is a cold shivering fit which precedes an attack of fever. Epidemic: During epidemics open the door only when the person outside has knockedthree times. (Jews of Galicia SCHIFFER, Urquell, ii. 202; Jew. Enc., Vol. XI. p. 600).
Vide Plague. Epigones: Gr. Myth. One of the sons of the seven heroes who were beaten beforeThebes. Epilepsy: Three drops of a sow s milk cure epilepsy (Irish). The skull of a dead personused to make broth in, cures of epilepsy (LEAN, Vol. II., P. 493).
Epilepsy can be cured by wearing a heavy silver ring (East Friesland, WUTTKE, P.
163); or by drinking the blood of a she-ass (STRACKERJAN, Vol. 1, p. 84), or of theexecuted (STRACKERJAN, Vol. 1, P. 83), or the hot blood of a weasel (Tyrol, ALPENBURG,
Mythen, P. 390); or let the patient carry a golden peacock s feather under hisshirt (SCHIFFER, Urquell, v. 290); or let him drink the blood of a black cat; or let hisshirt be buried at the junction of two roads, after it has been pulled over his head andcarried out through the chimney. (Minsk.–Jew. Enc., Vol. V, P. 426).
If all the above remedies fail, the patient will have nothing left but to invoke either St.
Cornelius or St. Valentine. Vide Ben nefilim, Eggshell, Ass, Crucifix. Epimethus: Gr. Myth. Brother of Prometheus. In spite of his brother s advice not toreceive any present from Zeus, he accepted Pandora as his wife, and thus brought sorrow
to the human race. Epitaph: If you would preserve your memory, be warned against reading epitaphs. (US.A.) Erasmus, St.: Cures colic and gripes.

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