The Victorian era is renowned for its fascination with the superstitious and the spiritual; the theatrics of the magician, the fortune-teller and the seance astounded nineteenth-century audiences. This illustrated book, first published in 1900, offers a layman’s guide to "matters magical and mysterious", including how to interpret dreams, omens of good and evil, palm-reading, using ouija boards and identifying witches.
• It is a sign of "bad luck" to meet a white horse, unless the person spits at it; which action averts the ill consequences.
• To have a hare cross the road in front of any one who is going on an errand is not lucky. Under such a circumstance it is wisest to turn back and not pursue one's business till the next meal has been eaten, for beyond that the evil influence does not extend.
• Bees must be told of a Death in the Family. When there is a death in the family where bees are kept, the bees should be informed of the event, otherwise they will leave their hives and never return.
• Black eyes are usually a sign of good powers of physical endurance; but they are choleric, and may be, though they are not always, treacherous.
• Grey eyes indicate a quick temper, coolness in the presence of danger, and a love of novelty.
• Those with grey eyes are generally keen, energetic, and at first cold; but you may rely upon their sympathy with real sorrow.
• Hazel eyes are found with shrewd people, and such as take pleasure in intercourse with friends.
• A calm blue eye well enclosed by the eyebrows shows a good judge of character.
• Clear blue eyes are associated with love of change and progress.
Excerpted from Consult the Oracle by Gabriel Nostradamus. Copyright © 2014 by Gabriel Nostradamus. Excerpted by permission of Old House, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.