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Sisyphus: Gr. Myth. Son of Eolus, king of Corynthia. He is famous for his brigandages
and his cruelties. After his death he was condemned to roll a huge stone up a mountain
in Hell. No sooner is this stone taken up to the summit, than it rolls down again.
Sita: Hind. Myth. Wife of Rama whom she accompanied on his exile. She was stolen
by the giant-king, Ravana, and, after a bloody war, was rescued by Rama. Vide Rama,
Ravana.
Siva: Hind. Myth. One of the gods of the Supreme Triad. He represents the reproductive
and restoring power. He is a god of arts, especially dancing. He had a variety of
names which, according to some authors, numbered more than one thousand.
Si Wang Mu: Chin. Myth. A fabulous being of the female sex dwelling upon Mt. Kwenlun
at the head of the troops of the genii, and holding from time to time intercourse with
favoured imperial votaries. (MAYERS, Chin. Read. Man., p. 191.)
Skadi, Skathi: Norse Myth. A goddess of Finnish origin, wife of Njorth. Vide Loki.
Skogsfruar: "Wood-nymphs"; forest-spirits of Swedish folklore.
Skrimsl: "Monster"; a water-spirit in Iceland.
Skrzatek: Polish Folklore. A winged creature which supplies corn, and flying about in
the vicinity of houses, steals children.
Skuld: "Shall-be." One of the three Norns of Scandinavian mythology. She is the same
as the Greek Atropos. According to the Edda, she was a water-nymph. (THORPE,
N.M., Vol. II, p. 13.)
Skull: A skull which is said to give forth piercing screams on being removed from its
usual resting place, is believed to be preserved in a farm-house in Cornwall. (F. MARION
CRAWFORD, Uncanny Tales; Cf. P. SEBILLOT, Contes et legendes du Pays du
Gouarec in Revue de Bretagne, de Vend e et d’Anjou, XVIII, p. 60 sq.; LE BRAZ, Vol.
I, p. 332.) There is such a skull at Chilton Cantelo in Somerset. (Somerset Year Book,
1925.)
The Jivaros and Tibolo Indians of Equador pound up and eat the skull and brains of
human beings "so that the knowledge of the dead person may be added to their own."
(MITCHELL-HEDGES, in Cassell’s Magazine, No. 168, March, 1926, p. 34.)
Sky: The Muhammedans believe that the sky receives its blue tint from the reflection of
the stone Sakhrat (q.v.).
Slamming: The German peasantry consider it a wrong thing to slam a door, because of
the possibility of "pinching" a soul in it. (WUTTKE.) Vide Door.

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Mythology Encyclopedia 204

Sight: Good eyesight may be obtained by eating the flesh of a kite. Sigurd: The hero of the Volsunga Saga. He is reared by Regin, slays Fafnir, is engagedto be married to Brynhild, but after drinking of a magic potion, marries Gudrun. He wastreacherously slain by Gunnar’s brother. cf. Siegfried. Silene: A Phrygian deity. According to Greek mythology, he was a jester in Olympia. Hewas foster-father of Bacchus. Silk: To dream of being dressed in silk denotes honour; to dream you are trading in silkis an indication of profit and joy. Vide Lumbago, Nose, Ribbon. Silver: A Welsh witch shifts her form frequently into that of a hare, and while in this formno shot, except a silver coin can penetrate her body. (RHYS, C.F., p. 294.) Silver Fish: A kind of insect or book-worm. In China it is believed that if this insect getsinside a Taoist Classic and eats certain characters, its silvery body will become fivecoloured. If this five-coloured insect be subsequently caught and eaten, the one whoeats it will overcome death and develop into a spiritual being. (Enc. Rel. Eth., Vol. VIII,p. 261.)
Silver Fox: Chin. Folklore. These animals have the power of influencing human beings.
They are yellow, red or white in colour; some species of them can even learn to speakthe human language in course of time, and are known as "Speaking Foxes." (Chin,
Volhsm rchen, p. 181.) Sin: Babyl. Myth. A moon-god. The meaning and etymology of the word Sin is not quiteclear. Siren: Class. Myth. One of a group of sea-nymphs, generally represented as partwoman, part bird. They were three in number, and were supposed to frequent an islandnear the coast of Italy. They lured mariners to destruction by their enchanting singing.
Theodore de Gaza saw several sirens on board ship in the Peloponnesian Sea, whichwere put back in the water. (LANDRIN, Les Monstres Marins, p. 265 et seq., quoted byBASSETr, p. 169.)
cf. Parthenope, Lorelei, Nixie, Bugarik, Airinach, Jal Pan, Apsaras, Hounis. Sisa: "Ghost". The kia of the Gold Coast negroes of West Africa becomes a sisa afterdeath, and can remain in the same house with the corpse, but is only visible to the spirit-
doctor. (TYLOR, P.C., Vol. 1, p. 402, quoting STEINHAUSER.) Sister: If two sisters are married within one year (Altenburg), or on the same day(Silesia), both, or at least one of them will be unhappy in her married life. (WUTTKE, p.
206.)

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Mythology Encyclopedia 203

Shuck: A Norfolk ghost; one of a numerous family of animal spirits (See Word-Lore,
Vol. I, p. 167). Shudder: If you shudder without any apparent cause, someone is walking over yourgrave. (Great Britain, India.) Sickle: In Bulgaria, when a child is born, the witch brings a reaping-hook into the roomand then proceeds to rub the infant all over with salt, and to fumigate the room in orderto drive away evil spirits from mother and child. (ST. CLAIR AND BROPHY, p. 69.) Sickness: In the Slave Coast of Africa the mother of a sick child believes that an evil
spirit has taken possession of the child’s body, and in order to drive him out, she makes small cuts in the body of thesufferer and inserts green pepper in the wounds. The poor child screams with pain, butthe mother thinks that the demon is suffering. (ELLIS. Yoru ba-speaking Peoples, p.
113 sq. ; cf. Ethnologie du Bengale, p. 130; FEAZER, Taboo, pp. 45 sqq.; id., SCAPEGOAT,
p. 139; TYLOR, P.C., ii, 115, 134; DOOLITTLE, The Chinese, ii, 265; Howitt,
Native Tribes, pp. 356, 358; SKEAT, p. ii; MARSDEN, Hist. of Sumatra, p. 157; ROTH,
in North Queensland Ethnog. Bull. No. 5, 116; TAPLIN, The Narrinyeri, 62 sq.; ST.
JOHN, i, 217.) Siddhas: Hind. Myth. A class of semi-divine beings of great purity and holiness, whodwell in the regions of the sky between the earth and the sun. They are said to be88,000 in number. (DowsoN, H.C.D., p. 292.) Siegfried: The hero of the Nibelungenlied. He was brought up in the forest by thedemoniac smith Mimir. In his youth he accomplished wonderful deeds, winning thehoards of the Nibelungs, the sword Balmung, Tarnkappe, and slaying the dragon, inwhose blood he bathed himself to make himself invulnerable. The only part of his bodywhich was vulnerable was a spot between his shoulders where a leaf fell, and thus prevented
from coming in contact with the dragon’s blood. He aids Gunther to winBrunhilde, and weds Kriemhild. Later, he is treacherously slain by the fierce Hagen,
who gets the hoard of the Nibelungs and buries it in the Rhine. The widowed Kriemhildmarries Etzel, a king of the Huns, and takes her revenge for the foul murder ofSiegfried by slaying Gunther, Hagen and all their comrades. (KARL SIMROCK, DasNibelungenlied.) Vide Mimir, Nibelungs, Balmung, Tarnkappe, Gunther, Brunhilde,
Kriemhild, Hagen, Etzel. Sien: Chin. Myth. Eight divine beings, living in Heaven and said to he immortal. Theywere: Jung Li K n, Jang Go, Lu G n (or Lu Dung Bin), Tsau Guo Gin, Lan Tsai Ho,
Li Tia Guai, Han Siang Dsi and Ho Sian Gu. Vide Immortal. Sieve : If children look at a sieve, they will suffer from a skin disease. (FRAZER, G.B2.,
Vol. 1, p. 44.) Vide Salt.

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Mythology Encyclopedia 202

Shoe: The Romans thought it a bad omen, to put a shoe on the wrong foot. (HAZLITT,
p. 543.)
It is unlucky for lovers to give each other a present of shoes. (Berlin.)
Never walk in one shoe, or one slipper, lest your parents, or one of them, die. (Jews of
Minsk.-Jew. Enc., Vol. XI, p. 601 ; India.)
Old shoes are tied on to the bridal carriage for luck (Great Britain), or in Transylvania,
to enhance the fertility of the union. (HARTLAND, Legend of Perseus, Vol. I, p. 171.)
If you leave shoes lying on their "uppers," you are sure to have a quarrel with someone
during the course of the day. (Bengal.)
In Hessen, a woman in order to make her beloved love her, steals a pair of his shoes,
wears them herself for eight days, and then returns them to him. (PLOSS, Das Weib,
Vol. I, p. 443.)
In Poona, India, if a man feels that he has been struck by an incantation, he at once
takes hold of an upturned shoe. (N.I.N.Q., 1, 86.)
If new shoes creak, it is a sign that you have not paid for them yet. (Great Britain,
India.) cf. Scissors, Knife, Slippers, Needle, Rice, Sandals, Footwear, Sleeplessness.
Shoelace: If a shoelace comes undone, it denotes that someone is thinking of you.
(Great Britain.)
If the shoelace comes unlaced
"’Tis a sure sign and true,
At that very moment
Your true love thinks of you."
–New York (BERGEN, C.S., p. 63.)
cf. Hairpin.
Shony: A spectral dog of Cornwall. It is said to predict a storm when appearing on the
beach. (HUNT; BASSETT, p. 279.)
Shooting: If you wish to have a successful day in shooting, allow a virgin to jump
across your gun, before you set out. (STRACKERJAN, Vol. I, p. 98.)
Shooting Pains: All sudden pains are warnings of evil at hand.
Shot, First: If a hunter misses the first shot, it presages a very bad day. (STRACKERJAN,
Vol. I, p. 35.)
Shroud: If you are making a shroud, avoid knots. (WUTTKE, p. 210; Jew. Enc., Vol. XI,
p. 601.)
Shu: Egypt. Myth. A solar deity typifying the sunlight. In some myths, Shu and his consort
Tefnut are created by Turn, and became the parents of Seb (the earth), and Nut
(the sky), whom Shu is represented as separating.

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Shibta: Jewish Folklore. A spirit who clings to the finger tips, and afflicts people who eatwith unwashed hands. Shid: Babyl. Myth. An ancient goddess who belongs to the pantheon of Erech. Shin: The Arabic letter Shin, representing sharr, "evil," is considered unlucky by theMuhammedans. (MEAKIN, The Moors, p. 356.) cf. Kha. Shinatsu-Hiko: Shinto Religion. He was produced from Izanagi’s breath when he puffedaway the mists which surrounded the newly-formed country of Japan. (ASTON, Shinto,
pp. 154, 155.) He is a symbol of spiritual mind on the higher mental plane of the soul.
(GASKELL, D.S.L.S.M., p. 686.) Shinbone: Vide Sheep. Shingles: Can be cured by laying the skin of a black cat on the part affected. (NewYork, Massachusetts.–KNORTZ, p. 128.) Ship, Spectral: The appearance of a spectral ship foretells either a shipwreck (Brittany.
P. SEBILLOT in Revue des Traditions Populaires, XII, p. 395; Scotland.-GREGOR, ibid,
XI, p. 330; Cornwall.-BOTTRELL, Traditions and Hearthside Stories, p. 141; M. A.
COURTNEY in Folklore Journal, V p. 189), or a death (Hebrides.-GOODRICH-FREER,
in Folklore, XIII, p. 52.)
The spectral ship is doomed to sail about for eternity, because the captain swore he
would double the Cape, whether God willed it or not. (BASSETT, p. 363.) cf. Flying
Dutchman.
Shipwreck: Rats forsake a ship before a wreck. (STRACKERJAN, Vol. I, p. 24.)
If the sound of a worm boring the planks of a ship be audible, it forebodes some catastrophe,
probably shipwreck. (Great Britain.)
Children born with a caul will never be drowned in a shipwreck.
It is an evil omen to dream of a shipwreck. Vide Cat.
Shiqq: A demon of Arabic superstition, having the form of half a human being. (LANE,
A.S.M.A., p. 45.)
Shirt: If a shirt be spun, woven, and sewed by a pure, chaste maiden on Christmas
day, it will be proof against lead or steel. (RAGNER.)
Shishchikul: In Vancouver Island, it is a large animal-like monster who lives inside a
mountain, and whose red hair is a powerful amulet for success in war.
Shiver: If you suddenly shiver, it is a sign that someone is walking over your grave.
(THORPE, N.M., Vol. III, p. 331.)

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away winter storms, as also demons and spirits that cause disease, and brightens theearth with verdure. He is a god of righteousness and order, and symbolizes the sun ingeneral. Shamrock: A four-leaved shamrock brings luck to the owner, especially if the owner beIrish. Vide Lucky Finds. Shark: Sharks can tell a few days beforehand, if anyone on board a vessel is going todie (BASSETT, p. 240); they therefore follow a ship for days. Sharpening: If you eat while someone is sharpening a knife, your throat will be cut thatsame evening or next morning at latest. (FRAZER, G.B2., Vol. I, p. 44.) Shaving: One reason for the widespread custom of shaving on death of a near relative,
is to change the appearance of the mourner, so that the pursuing ghost of thedeceased person may be unable to recognize and to follow. (FRAZER; cf. Ethnologiedu Bengale, p. 73.) Shedim: "Demons." The Turkish Jews do not mention the Shedim by name. (GARNETT,,
Turkish Life, p. 283; Jew. Enc., Vol. IX, p. 599.) (cf. Good-folk of the Scotch for"fairies.")
In Chaldean mythology this was the name of the stormdemons of an ox-like form, asalso the protective genii of royal palaces and the like. (DELITZSCH, AssyrischesHandworterbuch, pp. 60, 253, 261, 646; JENSEN, Assyr. Babyl. Mythen und Epen(1900), p. 453.) cf. Qor’an, God. Shedu: In Babylonian folklore they were strong and powerful demons. cf. Utukku. Sheep: It is lucky to meet a drove of sheep on going out. (WUTTKE, p. 32.)
The shin-bone of a sheep placed above the door, keeps out robbers, or acts as acharm (The Kirghiz of Turkestan. SCHUYLER, Vol. II, p. 31), or the knuckle bone is apreventive against cramp. (ELWORTHY, E.E., p. 437.)
"To have a black sheep was considered an omen of good luck to the flock where it wasborn, but if more than one sheep was the result of the lambing season, then it was thereverse of lucky." (HILLS in Word-Lore, Vol. 1, p. 47.) (Other superstitions connectedwith the sheep are given in SCHUYLER, Turkestan, Vol. II, pp. 31, etc.) Shellfish: The Muhammedans abstain from shellfish, except shrimps. (LEAN, Vol. II, p.
208.) Sheol: The Sheol of the ancient Hebrews corresponded to the Greek Hades, and wasan under-world of awful depth. Shibbeta: Jewish Folklore. A female demon who brings cramp to persons, especiallychildren, who leave their hands unwashed in the morning. (Jew. Enc., Vol. IV, p. 516.)

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436-7.)
Children should be introduced into their future profession before they are seven years
old; they will have luck in their professions. (Hesse, Westhalia.-WUTTKE, p. 202;
WOLF, Beitrage, Vol. I, p. 206.)
The ages of seven and all multiples of seven are critical years for children. (Great
Britain.) cf. Thirteen, Three.
Seven Sleepers of Ephesus: An early Christian legend in which seven noble youths of
Ephesus fly to a cavern, are pursued by their enemies, and are walled in. They fail
asleep and wake up after a lapse of two centuries. (cf. the Legend of Rip van Winkle;
see ELWORTHY, The Evil Eye, p. 407.) Vide Al Raqim.
Sexton: A sexton mowing the churchyard will bring about a rainfall. (STRACKERJAN,
Vol. I, p. 35.)
Shabriri: Jewish Folklore. The demon of blindness. He rests on uncovered water at
night, and inflicts blindness on those who drink it. (Jew. Enc., Vol. IV., p. 517.)
Shadow: A shadow is a kind of a personal spirit, and is able under certain circumstances,
to live apart from the owner. (cf. CHAMISSO, Peter Schienjihi.)
The Basutos say, if a man walks on the river bank, a crocodile may seize his shadow
on the water and drag him in after it. (SIR J. LUBBOCK, Origin of Civilization, 1882, p.
219; cf. TYLOR, P.C., i, 43; FRAZER, Taboo, p. 77; SPENCER, i. 180.)
The Jews believe that if the shadow of one’s head be invisible against the wall in a
house where a light is burning, on Hosha’na Rabbah Eve, it is an omen that the person
is destined to die within a year. (Jew. Enc., Vol. IV, p. 486.)
The Hindus say that the shadow is a ghost, and would not look at it after dark, for fear
that they may be seized by it. (cf. H. SPENCER, Principles of Sociology, Lond., 1906, i,
116.)
He who does not throw a shadow on Christmas Eve, will surely die in the next year.
(STRACKERJAN, Vol. 1, p. 32), or is a ghost. (India.-CROOKE, Vol. I, p. 237; JACKSON,
F.L.N., Vol. I, p. 106.)
In modern Greece, a builder who cannot get a human victim, entices a man on to the
site, secretly measures his body or his shadow and buries the measure under the foundation
stone. It is believed that the man whose shadow is thus buried will die within the
year. (SCHMIDT, Das Volksleben der Neugriechen, p. 196 et seq.; FRAZER, G.B2.,
Vol. I, p. 145; ELWORTHY, E.E., p. 82.) The Roumanians have a similar belief.
(ELWORTHY, p. 82.)
Shaitan: Muham. Folklore. ("The devil"). This word is commonly used to signify a jinn.
(LANE, A.S.M.A., p. 27.)
Shaman: In its vulgar usage, it means a "medicine-man."
Shamash: Assyro-Babyl. Myth. The chief sun-god, a beneficent power, who drives

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Second sight: The power of predicting or prophesying a future event. People having
this power are said to foresee things.
Children born on a Sunday (q.v.) are gifted with the power of second sight.
Seewiesken: In some parts of Germany the water-nixies are called by this name.
(STRACKERJAN, Vol. I, p. 419.)
Sef: Egypt. Myth. The lion-god (q.v.) on the right.
Sekhet: Egypt. Myth. The feminine counterpart of Ptah (q.v.).
Sekhet Hetep: Egypt. Myth. A field of peace.
Selene: Name of an idol or deity, whom the Saracens are represented in mediaeval
romances as worshipping.
Semele: Gr. Myth. An earth goddess, daughter of Cadmus, mother of Dionysus. Zeus
promised to grant any boon she asked for; she begged to be allowed to see him in all
his splendour, and was destroyed by his lightnings. Hence she was called "Keraunia""
thunder-bitten."
Semiramis: A legendary queen of Assyria, to whom is ascribed the building of the
famous hanging gardens.
Semnae: Rom. Myth. One of the Erinyes.
Sennar: Name of a city. According to an Arab legend, it derived its name from a beautiful
woman with teeth glittering like fire, who was found sitting on a river bank by the
founders of the city. (SINNAR-tooth of fire.)
Serp: The Wend name for a Polednicek (q.v.).
Serpent: To dream of a serpent denotes danger, and perhaps prison.
Serpents’ heads give strength to a man, and fidelity to a woman. (HAZLITT, p. 539.)
In Macedonia, it is a bad omen to meet a serpent on going out (ABBOTT, p. 106); in
Lesbos, good. (G. GEORGEAKIS ET LEON PINEAU, Le Folklore de Lesbos, p. 339.)
See Snake.
Set: Egypt. Myth. An evil destiny, brother and slayer of Osiris. He is represented with
the head of a beast with high square ears and a pointed snout. His consort was Ta-urt.
Seven: The number seven is considered unlucky by the Moors. (MEAKIN, The Moors,
p. 354.)
The seventh child of a woman becomes a mara (q.v.). (KUHN UND.SCHWARZ, p. 420;
WOLF, Beitrage, Vol. II, p. 264; MULLENHOF, p. 242; cf. THIERS, Trait des Sup., I,

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If you accidentally drop a pair of scissors and it fixes itself on the floor with the handle
pointing towards you, you will receive a gift.
A pair of opened-out scissors keeps witches and other evil spirits at bay. (India.) cf.
Iron.
Scorpion: Scorpions sometimes sting themselves to death. Scorpions have an oil which
is a remedy for their stings. (HAZLITT, p. 536.)
Scrat: Slovenian Folklore. A demon which dwells in woods and mountains. This fact
indicates that this demon was originally a forest-spirit.
Sea: There is a legend as to how the sea became salty. A seacaptain had robbed a
young man of a magic mill which ground out anything that was asked for. After he had
learnt the secret of setting the mill going from the owner, the wicked sailor pushed the
young man overboard, but forgot to learn how to stop the mill. He wished for some salt,
and the mill ground out salt in such quantity, that the ship sank in mid-ocean. The mill
still grinds out salt from the bottom of the sea. (Deutsche M rchen seit Gritnm, p. 266;
cf. BASSETT, p. 21.)
The roaring of the sea predicts a storm. (BRAND, Observations, Vol. II, p. 240.)
A Berber superstition says that God made gnats to swallow the water of the rebellious
ocean which was not salty then; then when it promised obedience, caused them to
vomit it up, but since then the sea is salty. (HAY in M lusine, March, 1885.)
Scyros: Gr. Myth. An island in the AEgean Sea.
Sea-gull: It is unlucky to kill a sea-gull.
If you do not wish a sea-gull to fly away, put some salt on its tail.
Sea-Serpent: A great mythical sea-monster of serpentine form and enormous length; it
is frequently reported to have been seen at sea. It is fabled to appear to announce
some great calamity, such as the death of a king. (BASSETT, p. 221. See LEHMANN,
Aberglaube und Zauberei.)
Seal: According to the Greenlanders, seals and wildfowls are scared by spectres
"which no human eye but the sorcerer’s can behold." (TYLOR, P.C., Vol. II, p. xi;
CRANZ, Gr nland, p. 267.)
The Esquimaux believe that seals will be frightened away, if the heads of those taken
are thrown into the water; so they burn them or pile them up on the shore. (BASSETT,
p. 246, quoting FARRER, Primitive Customs, p. 28.)
Seb: Egypt. Myth. The earth deified. The consort of Seb was Nut, the sky; their childreninclude Osiris, Isis, Nepthys and Set. Vide Shu. Sebastian, St.: St. Sebastian cures diseases because he was martyred with arrows.

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Sarugami: The monkey-god possession of Shikoku, Japan.
Satan: Theology. The chief of the demons. His name is mentioned several times in the
New Testament, and especially in the Apocalypse.
Sati: The burning of widows in India on the funeral pyre of their deceased husbands,
had probably its origin in the idea that dutiful wives should accompany the spirits of
their dead husbands, and administer to their wants in the spirit world (cf. Ethnologie du
Bengale, pp. 67 sq.) cf. Horse, Camel, Dog.
Saturday: In India this day is particularly unlucky, because it is dedicated to Sani, the
god of misfortune.
Saturday derives its name from Saturn to whom it is dedicated. Vide Wednesday,
Sunday, Friday, Thursday.
Saturn: Rom. Myth. The ancient god of the seed-sowing, whose temple in Rome was
built in 497 B.C. In 217 B.C. the worship of Saturn was conformed to that of the Greek
Cronus.
Satyr: Class. Myth. A sylvan deity or demi-god, represented as part human and part
horse or goat, given to riotous merriment and lasciviousness. They were companions of
Bacchus. cf. Pan.
Satyavana: Hind. Myth. Husband of Savitri (q.v.).
Savitri: Hind. Myth. Wife of Satyavana, who, after the death of her husband, compelled
Yama, the god of death, by her devotedness, to restore her husband to life again. The
story has been related by various authors. Savitri is considered by the Hindus to be a
model of wifely devotion.
Sbires: Muham. Myth. The assistants of Malik, the demon of the underworld. They are
eighteen in number.
Scabs: St. Rooke cures scabs.
Schachtmandl: German Folklore. The guardian-spirit of the mines.
Scinus: A legendary robber of Attica, who was thrown into the sea by Theseus. The
sea, however, refused to take such a scoundrel, neither would the earth, after being rid
of him once, take him back, so that he stuck fast in the air. (cf. HAWTHORNE, T.T., p.
181.)
Scissors: If while using scissors they break in half, it is a sign of a great disappointment.

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