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Inside the Legend: Wishful Thinking

I WISH

A wish is a hope or desire for something to come true. In folklore, the concepts behind wish making are common themes typically in the form of a morality tale telling it's reader to be careful what they wish for. In most fiction a wish is a supernatural demand placed on the recipients request to a wish providing spirit, such as a genie, or an inanimate object such as a monkey's paw.

Wish providing spirits are typically bound to an object, such as a magic lamp, or a container closed with Solomon's seal. The act of releasing the entity from the object results in attaining the ability to make wishes most often restricted to only three.

In all of these stories it is extremely important how the user phrases his wish. In the Monkey's Paw, for example, wishing for wealth brings about the death of a loved one and their inheritance money. Sometimes the user's accidental use of the word wish when not wishing can lead to unexpected consequences.

Many cultures have wishing customs such as blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, seeing a shooting star, tossing a coin into a wishing well, or breaking the wishbone of a cold turkey.

THE BABYLONIAN COIN OF TIAMAT

The serpent on the Babylonian Coin that Sam and I found was Tiamat, the Babylonian primordial god of chaos. There were some priests back in the day who created the coin through some serious black magic bestowing the seeds of chaos. Whoever tosses this coin into a wishing well, makes a wish, the coin turns on the well and the wishes become very real and very twisted. This coin has been responsible for wiping several towns off the map.

WISHING WELL

Wishing Well is a term coined from European folklore describing wells or fountains where it was believed that any spoken wish would be granted.

It was believed that these wells and fountains housed water deities or were placed as gifts from God, since water was a source of life and often a scarce commodity. Germanic and Celtic peoples considered springs and wells sacred places and often marked them with wooden statues of Gods associated with the water. Germanic people were also known for throwing their armor and weapons of defeated enemies into bogs and other pools of waters as offerings to their gods.

It was believed that the deities taking residence in the wishing wells would grant wishes upon a price. This price was most often paid through the contribution of coins and the way it landed would decide everything.

After saying the wish, one would drop their coins into the well. If the coin lands 'heads-up,' the wish would be granted. If the coin landed 'heads-down,' the wish would not be granted.

In "Fountain Money Mountain" November 2006, it was reported that tourists throw just under 3 million pounds per year into wishing wells.

LUCK OF THE PENNY

Money has always been seen as a symbol for power and those who had it were considered to be lucky. This is especially the case when it comes to pennies. As an old rhyme goes, "See a penny, pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck, give it to a faithful friend, then your luck will never end!"

If a penny is found lying face up with the date marked on it corresponding to the year you were born you're in for a great year. If it's found lying face down, it shouldn't be picked up in fear of bad luck.

Another superstition states that if you spit on the first penny of change you receive each day, then turn it over three times in the palm of your hand and keep it safe, you'll have good luck for the rest of the day.

Also if one puts a few shiny pennies in the palm of a newborn baby, it's believed that luck and prosperity will follow the child.

WISH BONES

Many cultures have their own beliefs concerning wishbones. But, in all the customs it's considered a taboo to put your finger on the head of a bone to give yourself a better grip because this unfair leverage invaliadates the wish and it can automatically transfer to the other person.

Two people grasp one end of a chicken or turkey wishbone, each pulls on the wishbone while making a wish. The outcome from that point on typically varies. In all customs those that get the larger piece of the bone, the one with the head on it, will get their wish; however one may need to quickly say "lucky break" then make a silent wish. Those with the smaller part may be the first to marry, they may have to say what their wish was and it won't get granted.

If one keeps a wishbone dried in the sun and for a long time, they can touch it any time they want to make a wish.

Inside the Legend by Dean5339

 

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