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  • Getting-to-Heaven Spell July 2, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback

    Location: This spell is only attested in the Countryman, a British magazine in 1949, for Cornwall. Bit suspicious of its authenticity, but then desperate circumstances… (Anon 1950, 155)

    Aim: To assure that a sinner of his or her deathbed will get through the pearly gates.

    Ingredients: A black rooster, a death bed, a dying man or woman, a good strong grip.

    Method: (i) Get a black rooster: note it MUST be black.

    (ii) Go to the window of the room where your relative or friend or client is dying.

    (iii) wring the rooster’s neck at the window as the relative/friend/client is breathing their last.

    (iv) the dying individual will be accompanied to judgement by the spirit of the dead rooster and when St Peter sees the cock ‘it will remind him how he denied our Lord, and that will make him more merciful to let the sinner in [sic].’

    Dangers: Getting the right moment must be a problem: as anyone who has sat in on a death will know, people’s ends are rather unpredictable.

    Antiquity: Clearly the inspiration for this trick is Christian, but the insistence that the rooster must be black suggests that there are pagan antecedents or at least pagan inspiration. Black roosters seems to have been valued for sacrifices through much of Euro-Asia and Africa. Was there even a tradition, in apocrypha, that the cock that crowed at St Peter was black?