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Birthmarks – Spiritual Meanings & Superstitions

Birthmarks - Spiritual Meanings & Superstitions

Hated, despised, and even feared in the dark times of the Middle Ages, birthmarks have been the source of many superstitions and fabulous myths.

Old sayings say they speak of the mother’s unfulfilled desires, but also about the child’s future.

Spaniards and Arabs believed birthmarks are lucky, and if you touch them, they will fulfill your desires. On the other hand, in medieval France, people believed they were the signs of the devil, and the child touched by demons had to be exorcised.

The Arabs linked the baby’s birthmark to the moon phases or eclipses. If the pregnant woman had touched a certain part of her body while she was looking at the eclipse, her child would have been marked for life.

From one culture to the other, strange signs appearing on the body of children, often ugly and fearful, have gained various and difficult to explain meanings.

Past Life Memories

birthmark
Image credit – https://www.flickr.com/photos/nickipicki/8877057955

In the Orient and in India, where belief in the soul’s journey from one life to another is a true religion, birthmarks have been linked to experiences from past lives.

Shapeless spots that are strongly colored were associated with past sins, which the soul must expiate in this life. Superstitions say the marks may be scars of the body from the previous life, but also the signs of great spiritual suffering.

Instead, beautiful moles, that give a special charm to facial features, are signs of long life, prosperity, and happy marriage. In Indian culture, women adorn their forehead with fake moles of golden or henna dust.

Tips For Future Motherspregnant

Superstitions related to birthmarks have been preserved for centuries, and have even been enriched in modern times with new symbols.

In Bulgaria, the warning was explicit: no stealing or touching the face, otherwise, the child will wear the mark of the stolen item on the face. Also, the pregnant woman must look away if hump-backed or deformed people cross her path.

If the mother looks at that person’s physical flaw for too long, the baby will get an ugly mark on the body. Also, it wasn’t recommended to take a bite from someone’s apple either since it may cause a birthmark in the shape of a bite on the child’s face.

In the West, it is believed that babies get café au lait spots on their face because their mothers consumed too much coffee or chocolate during pregnancy.

café au lait spots
Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cafe_au_lait_fleck.jpg

In German folklore, there is a belief that all pregnant women should take into account: no matter how much they crave for fruit or something sweet, they mustn’t steal it, otherwise, their children will be wrongly “marked.”

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Good and Bad Predictions

The East is the source of “new” superstitions that have spread in other parts of the world. They are related to the hidden messages carried by birthmarks.

It is said that the spots on the left side of the body speak of a changing destiny, with many chances and material gains, but also with soul loss.

birthmark
Image credit – https://www.flickr.com/photos/jennycu/20101947783

In contrast, the marks on the right side of the body speak of a quiet and lucky life, with great achievements later in life.

Regardless of the birthmarks’ significance described in the folklore, specialists claim that birthmarks are linked neither to the destiny of the child nor the mother’s desires.

In very rare cases, they may be the sign of a tumor, but most often they are just intensely pigmented areas or clustered blood vessels that have not developed normally.

Types of Birthmarks

Birthmarks are harmless and can rarely signal danger to the child’s health.

They occur frequently, over 80% of babies being born with particular marks on the body, but most disappear in the first year of life.

Each mark has a unique shape, and the color can vary from pink to crimson and brown.

The “stork bite” appears on the neck and has pink or purple hues. Usually, this type of mark stays for life.

“Angel kiss” is a purple or red spot on the baby’s face, commonly found on the cheeks, forehead or eyelids. They disappear until the child reaches age 3.

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Café au lait spots can appear anywhere on the body but they fade with age.

Port-wine stains often appear on the head and upper body, on the arms or on the back. These types of birthmarks rarely disappear over time; most of them become bigger and their color intensifies with age.

Hemangiomas are vascularized excrescences, which increase in the first years of life but withdraw in most cases. Rarely, surgery is required for their removal.

Hemangiomas
Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Capillary_haemangioma.jpg

Animal Shapes

Animal-shaped birthmarks may indicate a special connection with the animal kingdom.

The most common marks resemble cats, rabbits, birds, snakes, or fish.

Other birthmarks may resemble an animal’s paw, a feather or even wings. Each of these indicates a certain connection with the spirituality of that animal.

Other Meanings Of Birthmarks Depending On Their Location:

Toes 

passion for travel (men), determination (women)

Legs

birthmark (
Image credit – https://www.flickr.com/photos/jennycu/20782470621

fear of making decisions (both sexes)

In the middle of the forehead

attractive and courteous

The left side of the forehead

wasteful

The right side of the forehead

extremely intelligent

Note – the holder of a birthmark on the forehead can become a great statesman, a wise politician, reformer, and diplomat. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev had such a birthmark and his actions speak for themselves and have made him famous worldwide.

Hips

great health and happiness (both sexes)

Shoulders

left – financial crises; right – good fate (both sexes)

Near the lips

prosperity and happiness

On the back

honesty (both sexes)

Left cheek

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financial losses and difficulties 

Right cheek

happy marriage

Fingers

fear of being under control (both sexes)

Chin

professionally successful

Arms

birthmark on hand
Image credit – https://www.flickr.com/photos/flemnos/5258291038

independence (women); family (men)

In the middle of the chest

poverty and misfortune

Under the left breast

successes in everything you do, a great sense of humor (both sexes)

Under the right breast

good fate (both sexes)

The jawline

erratic lifestyle, health problems (both sexes)

Nose

creative thinking, unpredictable characteristics (both sexes)

Abdomen

greed and selfishness (both sexes)

References

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/birthmarks/
https://www.aad.org/public/kids/skin/birthmarks/different-kinds-of-birthmarks

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