Birthmarks once were, and in some cases, continue to be a source of mythology, mystery, and superstitious belief.
During the Salem Witch Trials, moles were considered a sign of guilt and were called marks of Satan by witch hunters (hell yeah! I have like a million of them).
The Journal of the Society for Psychical Research has dedicated hours of research into finding out whether or not birthmarks are proof of reincarnation, providing clues to how you died in a previous life.
Some believe that if your mother ignores a craving during pregnancy, you'll be born with a birthmark in the shape of the food she craved.
Whether or not you put any kind of stock into superstitions like these, it's always entertaining to exploit these stories for fun or to draw inspiration from them as a conversation starter. I mean what could be a better way to start flirting with someone than to start telling them little myths about themselves?
Here are some of the myths or beliefs around what your birthmark could mean.
One myth is that the placement of a birthmark could indicate where one was fatally wounded in a past life.
A knife, dagger, or sword-shaped mark could indicate a stabbing that ended your life.
If your mark is in the shape of a flame, it's a sign of death by fire. Others believe that if a pregnant mother stares directly into flames for long enough, it can burn the baby, resulting in a birthmark like this one:
A circular birthmark was recently supposedly proven to be the sign of death by bullet-hole in a previous lifetime.
The same birthmark that someone interprets as a sign of a past-life death could also be interpreted as a past-life occupation.
For instance, a sword or dagger birthmark could also be identified as the mark of a warrior or soldier in a past life. It's been speculated that this could also be the sign of someone who lived with great bravery, or someone who fought their own demons with courage.
A birthmark could also indicate your gender from a previous life; I'll leave it to the reader to imagine what the shape of those birthmarks might be, or their placement.
Birthmarks shaped like a specific object, like a typewriter, a spotlight, or farm animal could be a clue as to what your trade might have been.
Speaking of farm animals, a birthmark in the shape of one member of the animal kingdom could be interpreted as a sign that you have a special connection with that animal, one on a spiritual level.
This might seem like a reach, but if you're an airline pilot with the mark of an eagle on your underside of your bicep? At the very least, it's a cool coincidence.
What if you're a boxer with a dog paw print on your hand? C'mon, that's a cool myth to talk about at parties.
Birthmarks shaped like a rabbit's foot or a four-leaf clover are believed by some to be signs of a life favored by luck.
In Turkey, a baby was recently born with a heart-shaped birthmark on his forehead, and the doctors and nurses called him "the love baby."
Other signs of a lucky birthmark include a horseshoe or angel's wings. These are signs that you have a built-in protective shield from potentially harming influences overtaking your life.
Pretenders to the Russian throne in the 17th through 19th centuries used birth marks as proof of their "royal blood."
While these are all just stories, they're fun to hear about and fun to pass along to others. After all, storytelling and mythology have long been a part of our civilization. It started around a fire, and now it's on the internet.