8 July 2020 – St Wihtburh’s Day

Yes I did have some of that chocolate cake for breakfast. And yes, it’s even better after a night in the fridge.

According to the Dictionary of Faiths & Folklore, Beliefs, Superstitions and Popular Customs, it’s a perillous daye (sic) today. This perillous daye is not to be confused with other perilous days that also pop up monthly. This perillous daye is to do with the full moon, and is therefore unfixed. The other perilous days this month are 13 and 15, when you should stay away from leeches as bleeding is a no no unless absolutely necessary, and the Dog Days which may or may not have started and may or may not go on until August, or September, depending on which source you’re looking at, and the Egyptian Days of 13 and 20 which also come with handy maximum disaster hours of 12 and 11 respectively. 

Anyhow, back to this perillous daye which has come about as it’s three days after the full moon (the next is 13 days after, so therefore the 18th). The Dictionary quotes The Book of Knowledge* as saying that if you start something on a perillous daye ‘it shall come to no good end’ (p487). So given my folklore timetable had me down as doing astral projection today, I felt it wise to abandon that plan, just in case. After all, there’s no need to get astrally stranded if you can avoid it. And seeing as it’s dodgy to begin anything today, I thought I would heed the warning and just skip the folklore until tomorrow.  

Although I might still read up on St Wihtburh, whose feast day it is today. Her bones were involved in a heist, and she had four sisters called Æthelthryth, Æthelburh of Faremoutiers, Sæthryth, and Seaxburh of Ely. Now there’s a sitcom just waiting to be written.

Oh and mangelwurzels

And Barometer Watch – Green water – up, with condensation. Balloon Jar – level. Weather – grey, a bit windy and cool. 

* After a lot of flicking through some very old and cursive text, I managed to find the original quote. Although the shorthand title is The Book of Knowledge, the book the Dictionary actually quoted from is The Knowledge of Things Unknown: Shewing the Effects of the PLANETS and other Astronomical Constellations. With the Strange Events that befal Men, Women and Children born under them, with a secondary title of The Husbandman’s Practice. And the frontispiece is either a man with a telescope held up to his eye, or he’s in the act of being smote through the head with a sword. The information can be found on p.18, if you’re interested. 


Resources

Godfridus (1711) The Knowledge of Things Unknown: Shewing the Effects of the PLANETS and other Astronomical Constellations. With the Strange Events that befal Men, Women and Children that fall under them, London, H. Rhodes, in Fleet-street

Hazlitt, W.C. (1995) The Dictionary of Faiths & Folklore, Beliefs, Superstitions and Popular Customs, London, Bracken Books

Skemer, D.C. (2010) ‘“Armis Gunfe”: Remembering Egyptian Days’ in Traditio, Vol. 65 (2010), pp. 75-106

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wihtburh

Subscribe to The Everyday Lore Project

Pop in your email address and you'll get fresh new folklore posts straight to your inbox. How cool is that?

Tags

Archives

How many days left on The Everyday Lore Project?

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.