Monday 22 February 2021

Crafting, Folklore & Magic: Lockdown and Sockdown

All of these amazing socks where knitted by my fellow blogger Jane Mortimer. She wrote: "My sister put a spell on me and now I can't stop knitting socks! So Lockdown has become Sockdown, with 13 pairs completed to date and another two on the way. Some are knitted using printed wool that comes out with instant stripes and patterns, and some are scrappy socks knitted from all the odd bits and bobs in my stash. Some of it's so old, it's still in ounce balls!"

Crafting is a wonderful way of being creative and taking one's mind off one's worries. I also understand the fascination with knitting socks. Last year I got rather obsessed with knitting miniature socks that I eventually turned into an advent calendar. But there's more than just Yuletide traditions when it comes to the folklore and superstition associated with socks. 

When I was little, my grandma told me that holes in socks should always be darned, otherwise your money would trickle away. I don't think she meant you should keep all your money in your footwear, although one superstition says putting a coin into a sock and wearing it all day should attract wealth. I wouldn't want to walk far like that though!

According to Sockgaim, wearing a new pair of white socks will help you break a run of bad luck. However, the Dartmoor Folklore Archive records an almost opposite superstition among modern-day US military personnel. Marines serving in Afghanistan believed that wearing white socks increased your chance of being blown up. In terms of colour magic, white can symbolise innocence, so perhaps that relates to fears that lack of experience would mean you stepped in the wrong space.

You could use colour symbolism to work magic through your choice of socks. I've blogged in the past about colours in planetary magic, but here's a brief list of correspondences you could use to pick your foot attire for the day:

  • Blue: Women’s mysteries, illusion, glamour, sleep, peace, beauty, prophecy, dreams, emotions, travel, fertility, women’s health, insight, wisdom
  • Red: Battles, courage, victory, success, strength, conviction, rebellion, defence, wards, protection, anything military
  • Orange: Communication, the arts, writing, transport, change, luck, gambling, fortune, chance, creativity, making deals, trickery, crimes (solving them), work issues needing discussion
  • Purple: Abundance, protection, prosperity, strength, health, wealth, management roles
  • Green: Love, birth, fertility, romance, gentleness, pregnancy, friendship, passion, happiness
  • Black: Banishing, protection, wisdom, spirituality, cleansing, astral magic, weeding the garden, honouring or remembering the dead
  • Yellow: Success, fame, wealth, health, prosperity, promotion, getting a new job

You'll find slight differences to that list in various traditions, so feel free to use your own charts or your intuition if you prefer. Some people prefer pink for love magic and green for wealth spells, for example.

Striped socks, like those in Jane's pictures, could combine a number of different colour correspondences. Or, of course, you can wear them just because they are fun and make you feel more cheerful. 

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