Tomorrow is the 1st Friday the 13th of the Year … Are You Superstitious? OR…

do you think superstitions are silly? Whatever you believe, there’s a good chance that you may actually “perform” some of them without realizing it ~ like have you ever knocked on wood? Of course you have LOL Here is a list of the most common superstitions that we often hear about and/or practice =)

Knock on Wood ~You have probably performed this ritual a thousand times to ward off something bad from happening. You just finished the sentence that you never get sick then you immediately search for something that’s made of wood so you can give it a few taps with your knuckles. There are several theories of where this originated, but most agree that this belief started with the Druids, those who believe nature and the trees were their gods. Knocking on wood was considered a form of physical contact with them, which brought good fortune.

Crossing Your Fingers  ~Ever wish or hope for something and then cross your fingers that it will come true? The reason for this was that it is believed that bad luck is trapped at the point where the two fingers meet so when we cross our fingers, we stop the bad luck from escaping so our wishes will come true. It’s not very likely, but this is another ne we’ve almost all practiced at sometime or another.

Walking Under A Ladder Brings Bad Luck ~First and foremost, it is dangerous to walk under a ladder in case it slips, but there’s more to the superstition than that. The ladder when leaning against a wall, forms a triangle with the ground and the wall, so the belief is that you’d better not step through it and break it, or evil may follow you. The triangle was a sacred symbol to the early Christians, representing the Blessed Trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Walking under a ladder was considered a serious sin because it weakened God’s power, and thus released evil demons into the world. Before the gallows were invented, murderers were hung from the top rungs of ladders. Many people believed that their ghosts had a habit of hanging around under those ladders where the bodies fell, so it behooved a wise person to not walk under a ladder.

Black Cats Are Bad Luck ~According to superstition, having a black cat cross your path may be lucky or unlucky, depending on where you live. Like in Egypt, all cats, no matter what their color, are lucky, they were considered so sacred that if one was accidentally killed, its killer was put to death. Cat cemeteries were common, and mummified cats were buried with their owners. Black cats enjoyed no such exalted status during the Middle Ages, when it was believed that a witch could take the form of a black cat. There’s a story about an English father and son meeting a black cat they suspected of being a witch. They stoned the cat and the next day encountered the witch in her human form. Her face was bandaged and she died shortly thereafter. This story seems to be the origin of bad luck coming your way if a black cat crosses your path. Of course, we know that black cats are just cats, and its coat color is simply genetics.

Beginner’s Luck ~Beginner’s luck is the idea that people new to a sport or game are likely to win when they try it out for the first time. But in reality, it’s more likely that beginners simply do better because they aren’t as stressed out about winning. Experts say that too much anxiety can hamper performance.

If You Spill Salt, Throw Some Over Your Left Shoulder ~It is believed that salt, most people’s favorite seasoning, is also a valued weapon in the battle against evil spirits, thanks to its purification and warding capabilities. Tossing it over your left shoulder with your right hand is supposed to create a magical barrier that will keep you safe from harm.

Bad Luck or Bad Things Come in 3s ~First, you find yourself in a car accident. Then you spill coffee on your computer and now you’re waiting for “the other shoe to drop” because we’ve all heard that “bad things/luck comes in 3s.” There are several theories behind this belief, one being the link to the holy trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the notion that 3 is the magic number and that important things (good and bad) come in 3s. Another is that #3 establishes a pattern, so something happening once could be random, twice could be simply chance, but three times means something significant.

Opening An Umbrella Indoors ~The umbrella myth comes from the early religions that worshiped the Sun god. People believed that opening it indoors and away from direct sunlight is an offense to him. The only danger from this practice, really, is poking someone who’s standing in close proximity to the pointy ends.

Itchy Palms ~There’s an old superstition that when your palms itch it means money coming in our out. An itching left palm means money to be paid out, while an itching right palm is money coming in. But is there any truth to this one? Some experts say yes because itching palms often signifies new internal energy moving through the hands. The left hand is the passive, or receptive, hand and the right is the active hand. To aid this superstition, another one comes along—touching or rubbing wood is a very old superstition for releasing unwanted energy buildup (thus “touch wood,” as in #6). Itchy palms could also simply mean dry skin.

Saying “God Bless You”  ~This one is almost instinctual now, when someone sneezes we immediately say either “Bless You” or “God Bless You.” Many many years ago, it was a tradition to congratulate people who sneezed because people believed that sneezing helped expel evil from their bodies. Then years later when a plague took over Europe, sneezing meant that the person was going to die from it so people blessed the person who sneezed because they thought they would die from the plague and needed the prayer.  Saying the German, gesundheit, is essentially the same thing; it translates literally to “good health.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s