Lucky Hand

or St John's Hand, so called because it had to be prepared on St John's Eve. It is made from the roots of MALE FERN, to protect a house from fire. When it was dug up, all but five of the unrolled fronds were cut away, so that what remained looked like a gnarled hand with hooked fingers. It was then smoked and hardened in one of the Midsummer bonfires, and then hidden away in some corner of the house. As long as it stayed there, the house would be safe from fire and a good many other perils (Hole. 1977). The young fronds, too, were reckoned to be a protection against sorcery (Gordon. 1985).

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