Happy New Year! I got this in the mail a while ago from a wonderful friend who knows what I like.
Tell the Bees…Belief, Knowledge, & Hypersymbolic Cognition is a wonderful little pamphlet that examines “Vulgar Remedies”, which you might be more familiar with as folk remedies, one of the more useful branches of vernacular knowledge or folklore. After a brief general discussion of traditional remedies, we are treated to an index of various folk beliefs and recommendations. A child weaned during bird migrations will be restless their whole life. A difficult childbirth can be eased by “hanging on the sufferer’s bed the clothing of a man whose wife is reputed to have been unfaithful to him”. If you hear the hooting of a churchyard owl one night, it means an unmarried girl nearby has surrendered her chastity. Want to cure a fever? Properly communicate with your resident hive of bees? Control bed-wetting or general incontinence? This pamphlet can help.
And have you recently given birth? Just so you know, “A woman after childbirth is the most dangerous thing on earth.” Be warned.