Do Superstitions Control Your Life?

I was in an elevator recently, and the person beside me pushed the button for floor 13. No hesitation.

I’m not a very superstitious person myself. Floor numbers don’t bother me. In fact, I get miffed when a tall building just skips #13. I remember my grandmother, all too often, throwing salt over her shoulder. When I was out walking with my mother, if I walked around a pole or tree with Mom on the other side, I’d have to say ‘bread and butter.’ No doubt where she picked up that one!

I was curious about other superstitions. Maybe I was at a risk I didn’t even know about. Here are a few that caught my eye.

In Wales, a disembodied spirit was thought to be sitting on every stile on All Hallow’s Eve. (Stiles are small structures that allow humans, but not animals, to pass over fences.)

I’m OK. I don’t remember the last time I used a stile.

Another medieval myth told that Satan turned himself into a cat when socializing with witches. But nowadays, black cats aren’t synonymous with bad luck and mischief everywhere. In Ireland, Scotland and England, it’s considered good luck for a black cat to cross your path.

I was just ahead of my time on that one.

Another Celtic myth was that dressing up as a ghoul would fool the evil spirits into thinking that you were one of them so that they would not try to take your soul. In North America, trick-or-treating became a customary Halloween tradition around the late 1950s, after Irish immigrants brought it over in the early 1900s.

Thank you to everyone with Irish roots.

For more of a custom than superstition, what about the Halloween colours of orange and black?

The traditional Halloween colours of orange and black actually stem from the pagan celebration of autumn and the harvest, with orange symbolizing the colours of the crops and turning leaves, while black marks the “death” of summer and the changing season.

Please give this a bit of a think. What is one behaviour you have related to superstitions? Have you avoided having a black cat? When you saw a murder of crows, did you believe that it was a bad omen? Can you think of superstitions that were helpful to you?

What about a custom that is prominent within your family? On the surface, it seems to have no value to others, but the family would be the poorer without it.

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please leave your comment.

Photo by Taylor Foss on Unsplash

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6 thoughts on “Do Superstitions Control Your Life?

  1. Marilyn says:

    You got me to thinking and I researched why it is bad luck to walk under a ladder and to open an umbrella in the house. Interesting. Thank you.

  2. Marilyn says:

    As reliable as Google is…
    Not walking under a ladder goes back to Ancient Egypt. In Ancient Egypt, pyramids were considered sacred and very powerful. And a ladder leaning up against a wall – or a free-standing one – created a triangle/pyramid-like shape. Walking under the ladder broke the power produced by the sacred pyramid, creating lousy luck.
    Not opening an umbrella in the house had a couple of explanations for the origin. One was that it angered the Sun God (again Ancient Egypt) and more recently, that a ‘big’ open umbrella in the house caused accidents and were therefore bad luck. (-:

  3. Patti+Dolman says:

    The words “kneine a’horah” are often heard in Jewish circles upon hearing good things. Last week I asked my friend how many grandchildren she had now. She replied “ Eleven, kneine horah.” These words have long been used to fend off the “evil eye” otherwise known as jealousy.

    • glenn says:

      מעניין. תודה

      Thanks to a ‘Translate” app for changing “Interesting. Thanks.” I hope it says what I wanted to say!!

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