Omejv (Lat.), a sign believed to be an intimation from a superior power prognosticating a future event. Suetonius mentions that Csesar, on landing at Hadrumetum in Africa, fell on his face, which would have been an unlucky omen had he not transformed it into a symbolical act by exclaiming as he touched the earth: Teneo te, Africa (I take possession of thee, O Africa). Valerius Maximus relates that Pompey, on arriving at Paphos after the battle of Pharsalia, lost all hope when he learned the name of the palace concerning which he inquired (, evil palace). It is related by Winsheim that Melanchthon went from the assembly at Torgau in anxious doubt concerning the future of the reformation, but found in the antechamber three women, one of whom was holding a new-born child, another supporting and instructing a boy, and the third giving food to a full-grown man; and that he immediately returned into the hall, and so encouraged the assembly by reporting the favorable symbolical omen, that bolder and more decisive resolutions were at once carried. Sneezing was deemed ominous in the time of Homer, and Eustathius says it is lucky or unlucky according as it is directed to the right or the left.
Among the ancient Persians sneezing was esteemed fortunate, a sign of contest between the fiery soul and the earthly body, and of the victory of the former. In parts of Scotland and in some other localities, it betokens good fortune during the month to see the new moon for the first time on the right hand or directly in front; to turn the head back to see it, especially over the left shoulder, foreshadows the worst fortune. It is also held unlucky to look at the new moon for the first time through a window. Dr. Nathaniel Home, in his " Dae monologie," mentions the falling of salt toward persons at table and the spilling of wine on their clothes as evil omens. Putting the shoes on awry or on the wrong feet has often been thought the forerunner of some unlucky accident. Breaking a looking glass betokens the death of the best friend of the person to whom it belonged. Sir Thomas Browne discusses the proverb that our cheeks burn or ears tingle when others are talking of us; the left cheek or ear indicating that they are talking ill, the right good of us.
Grose affirms that a drop of blood from the nose foretells death or a severe fit of sickness; and Burton in his " Anatomy of Melancholy " says that " to bleed three drops at the nose is an ill omen." The screeching of the owl and the croaking of the raven have both in ancient and modern times been regarded as omens of calamity. Pennant states that many of the great families of Scotland received monitions of future events, especially of death, by spectres, wraiths, and shrieks. Among sailors, to throw a cat overboard, or lose a bucket, is believed to be unlucky. To stumble on going out, says Bishop Hall, is mischievous; to stumble up stairs, says Grose, is lucky.