One of the things I love about being a writer is learning through research. And then getting to share this new knowledge with others in the form of a story. Being instinctively interested in myth and cultural superstition, I'm going to go ahead and share some tidbits I recently learned about genies, and will actually use in my current project, which is Book 2 of the Zubis trilogy.
For instance, did you know that many people still believe if you throw the stone of a fruit in a particular way and with enough strength, it can kill a djinni? (I would imagine that hitting him right between the eyes would be helpful). This motion is called the Inwa.
Another superstition claims that you can drive a djinni from the body of a human (they sometimes have a habit of inhabiting people. Why? Just because they can.) with the help of a cat. The cat must be all black except for a white spot on the end of its tail. Gently remove seven hairs from the tail (the "gently" is my advice) and burn them in a closed room, where - BTW - you're locked in with the possessed person. The vapors must be inhaled by the unfortunate djinni victim and it will drive out the djinni.
Don't try this at home. Unless you encounter a nefarious djinni and happen to have an understanding cat.
I've found that the basis for many superstitions is a simple formula: Kids who are afraid of things that go bump in the night grow up and become adults who are afraid of things that go bump in the night. Systematic remedies, memorized pronouncements, or unusual talismans are just ways to cope with the unknown. Superstitions provide a certain comfort level for existence in an all-too-frequently chaotic world. "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy," as it were. [Shakespeare, BTW; to give credit where credit is due.]
I think we may find that superstitions are making a comeback. Good news, I guess, for Book 3 of the trilogy.
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