Monday, October 25, 2010

Cate Masters and Instruments of Magic

Cate Masters is a multi-published author of Historical, Fantasy and Contemporary Romances. Let's give her a warm welcome.

Ordinary item – or instrument of magic?

By Cate Masters

As Halloween approaches, even common household items become magical. Brooms, for instance, have long been associated with witches. But according to lore of old, brooms have special magic of their own. Did you know, for instance, you should never place a broom against your bed? The broom’s evil spirit will cast a spell on you. (Frankly, any instrument of cleaning is evil, in my book!) If you ever wish to be married, never let a broom sweep over your feet. If you step on the handle of a broom lying on the floor, it could bring death. Dropping a broom means company will arrive. If you sweep your floor and send debris out the back door, you’ll summon a stranger to visit. If you have a house guest you prefer didn’t return, don’t sweep out the room where the guest stayed. When you move, leave your old broom behind, or bad luck will follow you. If you’re like me, you’ll play it safe and don’t even keep a broom in your house.

Mirrors are another common item that, in knowing hands, become instruments of magic. If you want to place someone under your spell, use a mirror reflect moonlight off that person’s face while s/he sleeps. Looking at your mirror image by candlelight brings bad luck. In olden times, people believed breaking a mirror would take away their souls for seven years.

Careful how you handle that salt, too. According to an old saying, “To pass salt is to pass sorrow,” so never hand it directly to another. If we spill salt, friendly spirits are warning us that evil approaches, so toss a pinch of salt over your left shoulder to stave off danger. Sprinkling salt on your doorstep will keep away evil spirits too. If you suspect someone has cast a spell over you, you might be able to break it by taking a salt bath. Just use plenty of moisturizer afterward. :)

One of the most intriguing aspect of All Hallows’ Eve is the notion that, for that night, the veil between the worlds thins, allowing souls to travel between. My novella, One Soul for Sale, incorporates that notion into the modern tale of a woman who lists her soul online, with surprising results. I hope you’ll check out this fun story: Reviews have described it as “outstanding,” a “riveting read… I couldn’t stop until I hit the last page.” You can view the trailer at

Do you have any Halloween superstitions?

Cate Masters writes fantasy/paranormal, historical, contemporary and speculative fiction, described by reviewers as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” “such romantic tales that really touch your soul,” “filled with action scenes which made it a riveting story,” and “the author weaves a great tale with a creative way of using words that makes the story refreshing to read.” The proud mom of three adult children, she currently lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband, Lily the dog, their dictator-like cat, Chairman Maiow, and dozens of characters inhabiting her imagination.

Visit Cate online at, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter. Cate loves to hear from readers. Email her at: cate.masters[AT]


Cate Masters said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks so much for having me today Karen!

P.L. Parker said... Best Blogger Tips

Good Morning Karen and Cate - I love reading about superstitions! I threw my broom out into the garage after reading this. I have a tendency to "knock on wood." Even saying it if the situation warrants. I did watch the trailer and this is one I'll have to add to my must read list.

Cate Masters said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Patsy! Who knew brooms could be so hazardous? I wonder what happens if you spill salt and sweep it up with a broom? What a conundrum, lol.

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


I'm thrilled to have you here. Thanks for sharing the superstitions with us. I hate to sweep. I knew the household item had to be evil. lol

Me,too. I "knock on wood" when the situation warrants.

Lorrie said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Cate,

Yes, brooms are hazardous to your health. Especially when you trip over one on the porch. Ouch.
Now, tell me what happens if I beat my husband over the head with one--for leaving it on the porch.

lol, a fun post for Halloween.

Cate Masters said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks so much Karen!
I think we should lobby to get all cleaning implements labeled hazardous, lol. I'm willing to leave it to the professionals!

Cate Masters said... Best Blogger Tips

Ouch is right, Lorrie! Although I'm guilty of leaving our broom on the deck. We've had so many leaves drift down, but I don't mind sweeping them because the colors are so gorgeous this year.

Debra St. John said... Best Blogger Tips

HI Cate,

Great trivia/background on those ordinary things that turn mystical this time of year. Thanks for sharing. Fun post.

Fiona said... Best Blogger Tips

And why do you throw salt over your left shoulder? Because the devil hides there, and you will get it in his eye, so he can't see you to steal your soul! That's why when you see cartoons with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, the devil is always on the left side. Just another example of bias against lefties!

Cate Masters said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, Debra!
Oh, interesting Fiona! Thanks for adding that.

Margaret Tanner said... Best Blogger Tips

Terrific blog Cate,
I knew there had to be a reason why I didn't like brooms.



Chris J. said... Best Blogger Tips

Goodmorning Karen and Cate,
I really enjoyed the blog and only knew of a few of these. I knock on wood alot, lol, don't walk under ladders and make a cross if a black cat crosses my path.
I have a question though, what if it's a romantic evening candles lit and you can see yourselves in the mirror is that bad luck too? :)
I will be adding your book to my wish list and Best Wishes!

Cate Masters said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks Margaret! I wonder if the Swiffer dusters have the same hazard, by extension? lol

Cate Masters said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks so much Chris! Mirrors are a whole other realm of magic, with so many superstitions they need a separate post! Wish I knew the answer to your question - hopefully it's not bad luck!