The Witch’s Egg
Illustration by Urusula Arndt, included in Edna Barth’s children’s book classic, ‘Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of Halloween Symbols (1972).
This was one of my absolute favorite books as a child. In the third and fourth grades at private Catholic school, just around the same time that I had first discovered Points of Light, the neighborhood witch supply store. I had checked this book out over and over again from the school library, and used the lore contained therein to construct my newly discovered magickal universe at the time. This was a prelude of many things to come. I remember playing by myself at Stearn’s park, as I would occasionally sneak over to Points of Light and talk to the African-American witch that owned the shop. I would become lost in the wondrous library and wander throughout the candles, herbs, oils, and dusty incense holders. I had unlocked a door and walked directly into a mysterious parallel universe. Little did I know however, that I would never return back to the other side which I had come from.
From Answers.com article on eggshell:
In his Vulgar Errors (1686), Sir Thomas Browne noted:
to break an egg after ye meate is out we are taught in our childhood… and the intent thereof was to prevent witchcraft; lest witches should draw or prick their names therein and veneficiously mischiefe ye persons, they broke ye shell… This custome of breaking the bottom of the egg is yet commonly used in the countrey. Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica (1686), V. xxii, para.4)
Others, including Reginald Scot in 1584, had heard say that witches sailed in eggshells; thus by driving the spoon through the shells one was ‘sinking the witch boats’ and preventing shipwrecks. Children were still being taught this in the 1930s; a poem written in 1934 runs:
Oh, never leave your eggshells unbroken in the cup, Think of us poor sailor-men and always smash them up, For witches come and find them and sail away to sea, And make a lot of misery for mariners like me. (Gill, 1993: 97) Newall, 1971: 80-7; Opie and Tatem, 1989: 136-6.
“Maion (107) refers more precisely to the aeon of the Daughter (the Koph) and the oval- or egg- may imply the capsule in which the daughter-star makes its safe passage from one star system to another through the tunnels outside the circles of Time (Kali, Nuit, Nu-Isis etc.)” -Kenneth Grant, Outside the Circles of Time (1980)