Mondays and Thursdays & A Cure for “the Sinking of the Heart”


sad girl sarah purser 1923
Sarah Purser, Sad Girl, 1923

Lady Wilde, 1890;

“A wise woman, learned in the mysteries, has been known to cure the depression of spirits, called in Irish “the sinking of the heart,” in the following manner. Holding a cup of meal close to the patient, the operator says in Irish : ” Base to the heart, ease to the heart,” at the same time repeating the words of an invocation known only to herself, and which has never been written down. This is done on Monday, Thursday, and the Monday following, each time the meal being cast into the fire after use.

Then a cake is made of the remainder, the patient sitting by till it is baked, taking care that neither cat, nor dog, nor any living thing passes between him and the fire till the cake is baked and the sign of the Cross made over it.

It is then eaten with nine sprigs of watercress, and if any is left, it must be thrown into the fire, so that no animal should touch it, the sign of the blessed Cross being stamped thereon.”

Ancient Cures Charms and Usages in Ireland