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Gordy22 | 12:27 Mon 24th Sep 2001 | History
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Why are magpies bad luck?

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One superstition is that a magpie is a form taken by Satan when he wishes to create mischief on earth. If you see a magpie, you should salute, and say "Good morning" or what ever the appropriate greeting is for the time of day. Knowing he is recognised, Satan's power is destroyed, and he can do you no harm, on that occasion anyway.
Loads of possible answers. One is that the magpie was the only bird to refuse to enter the Ark and instead chose to travel on the roof. There are many many superstitions for example if one perches on your roof it means the house will never fall down but if one flies around the house croaking it means a death in the family.
Most carrion eating birds are seen as being either sinister or prophetic. Magpies can be a symbol of good luck (two for joy) or any number of other things, a form of divination dating back to the Roman augurs. In celtic mythology all corvidae (crow family) are associated with the morrigan/Cailleach, a sinister deity of the battlefield, and treated with fear and respect to avoid her wrath.

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