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Author Topic: Protective Properties of Iron  (Read 9083 times)

catja6

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2012, 04:24:49 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;72111
I've read varying definitions of "cold iron"

As far as I can tell, "cold iron" doesn't really have a specific definition: the majority of folklore scholarship I've read that discusses the issue seems to treat the phrase "cold iron" as a poetic one; in folk narrative, "cold iron" is usually just a gussied-up way of saying "iron"--the phrase IS older than Kipling's use of it, but he used it as a metaphor for warfare specifically.

As for what "fairies" it works on, it's important to remember that "fairies"/"fae" are catchall terms for a variety of beings/spirits, and what the term describes varies a LOT depending on the place and the time. In some parts of the world, in some periods, fairies are elided with the dead; in others they're definitely demoted deities; in others they're nature spirits; in still others they're wholly alien beings.  Iron is credited with having intense protective properties, based upon both its chemical composition (it's heavy, it's from the earth, it's in our blood) and upon its association with industry and warfare. So what it works on, and they way it works, varies a lot depending upon the particular web of significance surrounding iron in a given time and place, and the particular entities one is dealing with.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 04:26:33 pm by catja6 »

Maps

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2012, 01:59:35 am »
Quote from: Sharysa;72184
Iron is also protective against evil spirits, witches, the souls of the (unwanted) dead, and various malevolent supernatural creatures.

 
Not true!

Unless the operative words here are "malevolent", then I got nothin' because I don't know what the intention behind my recentish experiences was.

From all the comments posted so far, I can perhaps wager that natural iron (meteoric, in my case) has completely different properties than forged?

Asch

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #32 on: September 29, 2012, 02:18:57 am »
Quote from: Maps;75349
Not true!

Unless the operative words here are "malevolent", then I got nothin' because I don't know what the intention behind my recentish experiences was.

From all the comments posted so far, I can perhaps wager that natural iron (meteoric, in my case) has completely different properties than forged?

 
From what I understand 'cold iron' is literally cold, it's never been smelted or forged (I suspect this may be misused or used differently as iron is also usually cold / cool to the touch).

Sharysa

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Re: Protective Properties of Iron
« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2012, 06:11:59 pm »
Quote from: Maps;75349
Not true!

Unless the operative words here are "malevolent", then I got nothin' because I don't know what the intention behind my recentish experiences was.


Yeah, generally the implication is that iron can ward off malevolent spirits in general--a witch is cursing you? Put an iron horseshoe over your door to make the effects stop (which is an extension of the "horseshoe gives you good luck" superstition). I think there's also a folk spell where you either bury a nail on each corner of your property to ward off spirits, or you put the nails in bottles and THEN bury them at the corners.

But I'm not a magical person, so I'm probably mixing something up.

Quote
From all the comments posted so far, I can perhaps wager that natural iron (meteoric, in my case) has completely different properties than forged?


Meteoric iron is full of nickel; that makes it usable right away, more flexible, and extremely durable considering it survives going through the Earth's atmosphere. Compare that to normal iron that has to be purified before any work and can't be dirty or wet for too long, it's no wonder that ancient peoples ascribed magical properties to "cold" iron.
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