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Once in a while, a baby is born with a caul, or veil on its head or encased in it. This is a natural membrane, but has folklore and beliefs attached to the occurrence. My own great uncle was born with a caul and spent his nearly ninety years telling of this feeling or that and usually right.

Many believe that the child in the caul will have unusually strong powers of psychic abilit and be naturally empathic by nature. The caul, or veil, is supposed to keep contained, the energy and memories of previous existence and ability. Most babies born without the caul are said to have lost those memories and abilities during the birth process and regain them sometimes, in their lives.

During the centuries of the middle ages, a caul bearer was seen as a very good sign of luck. Villages felt blessed to have a bearer among them and often looked for indications from the bearer about crops, and markets, etc.

A caul was gathered with clean unbleached cotton cloth, dried in the sun and wrapped up for the mother to keep. Many mothers sold their baby’s caul to sailors as it was considered a charm to ward off drowning.

In the Victorian era, a small bit was tucked into a hair locket or petite pointe embroidery and carried as a momentum, especially if the child succumbed in child birth at a time when the infant mortality rate was so high.

© 2013 Janet Thompson

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