Excluding The Spirits of The Dead
This was part of a broader fear of spirits that might flit into dwellings. Witch bottles were common throughout Europe – bottles or glass spheres containing a mass of threads, often with charms entangled in them. Its purpose was to draw in and trap evil and negative energy directed at its owner. Folk magic contends that the witch bottle protects against evil spirits and magical attack, and counteracts spells cast by witches, also forestalling the passage into habitations of witches flying about at night. A Witchball was much the same; however, a more light-hearted belief was that the witch saw her distorted face in the curved glass and was frightened away. The term witch ball is probably a corruption of watch ball because it was used as a guard of evil spirits.
If straight lines did not hinder the passage of spirits, then convoluted or tangled "lines" could ensnare them and ancient stone and turf labyrinths, found in many parts of Europe and Scandinavia, could serve the purpose of capturing evil spirits.
Read more about this topic: Corpse Road
Famous quotes containing the words excluding the, excluding, spirits and/or dead:
“Scepticism is true; for after all, men before Jesus Christ did not know where they were, nor whether they were great or small. And those who have said the one or the other, knew nothing about it, and guessed without reason and by chance. They also erred always in excluding the one or the other.”
—Blaise Pascal (16231662)
“The time is coming when all men will see that the gift of God to the soul is not a vaunting, overpowering, excluding sanctity, but a sweet, natural goodness, a goodness like thine and mine, and that so invites thine and mine to be and to grow.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“The snake that cannot shed its skin perishes. Likewise those spirits who are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be spirits.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)
“Rosencrantz. What have you done, my lord, with the dead body?
Hamlet. Compounded it with dust, whereto tis kin.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)