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Though they are commonly found in Western tables today, forks were once used solely for noneating purposes such as spearing fish, working with hay, and digging. The first fork was probably a forked stick. Until late in the seventeenth century, most Western peoples ate with their fingers. Though the fork was introduced into Europe in the eleventh century, it took five hundred years for it to gain widespread use.
The fork is ruled by Mars and the element of fire. As a tool for eating, it has been regarded as sacred, and bent forks played a role in European protective rituals. They were buried in gardens or placed inside walls to ward off negativity.