Menu

Cocks

Symbols of light and goodness, cocks have been
favored birds of sacrifice to the gods. The cock is sacred
and is associated with sun deities; it has the power to
banish evil. The cock is a bird of omen, both of luck (in
Wales) and death and evil (in Hungary). It is also a symbol
of fertility and has been used in divination for centuries
around the world.
The cock is an embodiment of the corn-spirit, who
guards the corn crop until it can be harvested. The last
sheaf of corn is variously called the cock-sheaf, cock, harvest-cock,
autumn-hen and harvest-hen. Traditionally, a
cock is sacrificially killed at the end of harvest, in order to
ensure a bountiful crop the following season. According
to some customs, the cock is bound up in the cock-sheaf
and then run through with a spit. Sometimes it is buried
in the fields up to its neck and then beheaded. Or, it is
whipped, beaten or stoned to death. It is either cooked, or
the flesh is thrown out and the skin and feathers saved to
be sprinkled on the new fields in the spring.
During the witch hunts, witches were said to sacrifice
cocks as an offense to God. The cock represented God,
light and goodness, the very things that the Devil’s legions
hated. Accused Irish witch Dame Alice Kyteler
in the 14th century supposedly sacrificed cocks to her
familiar at a crossroads. Witches also were said to sacrifice
cocks over their cauldrons as part of their spells to
raise rain and storms (see storm raising).
The witches’ sabbats allegedly went on all night until
cock-crow, at which point the revelers scattered. Montague
Summers observed in The History of Witchcraft and
Demonology (1926):
That the crowing of a cock dissolves enchantments is a
tradition of extremest antiquity. The Jews believed that
the clapping of a cock’s wing will make the power of
demons ineffectual and break magic spells. . . . The rites
of Satan ceased [at dawn] because the Holy Office of
the Church began. In the time of S. Benedict Matins
and Lauds were recited at dawn and were actually often
known as Gallicinium, Cock-crow.
Nicholas Rémy, 16th-century French demonologist
and witch prosecutor, said that a witch confessed to him
that cocks were hated by all witches and sorcerers. The
cock heralds the dawn, which brings light to the sins of
the night and rouses men to the worship of God.
Cocks were said to crow at the birth of Christ and
at his death. During the Middle Ages, the cock became
an important Christian symbol of vigilance and resurrection,
and earned a place at the top of church steeples,
domes and buildings.

[ebayfeedsforwordpress feed=”http://rest.ebay.com/epn/v1/find/item.rss?keyword=magick+animals&sortOrder=BestMatch&programid=1&campaignid=5337904979&toolid=10039&listingType1=All&feedType=rss&lgeo=1″ items=”200″]

Categories:   Paganism and Witchcraft

Comments

Sorry, comments are closed for this item.