The Everyday Lore Project

20 February 2020 – Wishing

20 February 2020 – Wishing

Today I have been wishing. It’s said that in Irish folklore there’s an hour every day when all your wishes come true, but nobody knows which hour this is. So today I thought I would try and find out.

I started unexpectedly early by spending most of the night wishing to stay asleep. So I’m going to take a punt and say that 1am – 7am didn’t include today’s Wishing Hour.

Then when my alarm blared out at 7am, in a panic I wished for a happy and productive day. Which may sound like a pretty good thing to wish for, but in retrospect when I’d actually woken up, it felt kind of vague and difficult to measure success-wise. So from the next hour onwards, I determined to be more quantifiable with my wishes.

But making realistic wishes, I soon realised, is hard. Shakespeare reckoned in Measure for Measure. Newton’s third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. And Uncle Ben wanged on about great power coming with great responsibility. So I couldn’t just wish for things like pots of money, without taking into consideration how coming by such money might be detrimental to someone else. I can be such a killjoy.

So with all this in mind, up to 7pm this evening on the hour, or as close as I could manage it, I made a wish. I wished for the train to be on time (it wasn’t). I wished for the foul weather to clear up by the time I walked home (it did, with a beautiful sunset). I wished for Essay Hypothesis Inspiration to strike me tomorrow (I’ll let you know). But then some of my wishes I forgot to put a time limit on, so I’m not sure how I’m going to file these should any of them happen in the future. For a moment it all got a little complicated. And by mid-afternoon, I was quite wished out and started asking my colleagues if I could wish anything for them.

Part of the problem was that one of my wishes had already come true. It was my second awake wish of the day, quite farfetched and cast with no actual expectation, but nevertheless four hours later, it quite unexpectedly came true. So every wish wished after that seemed a little pointless, as the Wishing Hour already had come and gone. Except the me-being-able-to-walk-home-in-the-dry wish, but I’m putting that down to luck given the amount of time I spent with my fingers crossed today…

Renaissance Astrological Magic The Results: I did an online ESP test using Zener cards today to see if I’d managed to attract any more psychic ability from the Moon. Now, while my score did increase from 5 correct cards to 7 (in your face, Sarah!), I was still pronounced profoundly unpsychic by the computer programme. I’m blaming insufficient nutmeg.


Wilde, Lady (1991) Irish Cures, Mystic Charms & Superstitions, New York, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

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