Superstitions- are you a believer?

Are you a superstitious person or not? Even if you’re not, do you feel compelled to carry charms with you or search high and low for a clover leaf to chase off your unlucky days? Well we will start by understanding what superstitions are and a good reason not to believe in them.

What is a superstition? For example: If you break a mirror, your friend will predict that you will have 7 years of bad luck. That is a superstition. It is based on a belief that if this is the cause, the effect will follow soon after. However it cannot be proven because it is not based on facts or events. Definition: It is a belief or practice which cannot be proven because it is not based on facts or events. When and how did they begin? There is no particular time period, but centuries ago our ancestors tried to explain inexplicable events. A fine example is the belief that your reflection or shadow is in fact part of your soul. If you break a mirror your soul will be impaired, thus considered to be unlucky. People still grip these old beliefs even though there is a rational explanation for any situation that is encountered. Why do people believe in superstition? When something occurs and there is no reasonable explanation for the situation. Our mind naturally crosses over to the principle that something superstitious has taken place. Imagine if you won a lottery wearing a new pair of shoes, you will naturally regard it as your ‘lucky shoes’. So you are under the impression that you will have good luck as long as you are wearing your new shoes. If you are brought up in a family believing in superstition, you will also be led to believe in them. My mother believes that keeping an owl, whether it’s a real one, or an ornament etc in your house is unlucky. When I ask her why, she doesn’t know the reason. She says “it’s like that”. Of course I don’t believe it in. This compelled me to do some research on superstition and find out the correct reasons.

Here are some common superstitions that you might have heard, and I have also included a collection of superstitions under various categories. Common superstitions: The number 13 is "unlucky" and the numbers 7 and 9 are "lucky." It will bring you bad luck if you step on cracks in a sidewalk. Walking under a ladder is considered to be bad luck. Breaking a mirror is fateful. It is ill fortune to open an umbrella in the house as it protects your head.

ANIMAL SUPERSTITIONS: Adder – To see one is bad luck. Bird – Flying into the house is a death omen. Cat- A black cat crossing your path is bad luck. Cricket- A cricket in the house brings good luck. Ladybird – Bad luck to kill a ladybird. But good luck if a ladybird lands on you. Rat – If a rat leaves a ship, the ship will sink. Sheep – Meeting 3 sheep is considered good luck. TEA SUPERSTITIONS: Brewing tea in any other teapot brings bad luck.

Accidentally making tea too strong means you will soon make a friend. Accidentally making tea too weak means you will soon lose a friend. Always stir your tea in a clockwise direction to prevent bad luck. Others:

BIRTHDAY CAKE- If you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake with the first puff you will get your wish. MIRROR- It is unlucky to see your face in a mirror by candlelight, If a mirror in the house falls and breaks by itself, someone in the house will die soon. MOTH – A white moth inside the house or trying to enter the house means death. NOSE – If you nose itches, someone is coming to see you. If it’s the right nostril, the visitor will be a female. If it’s the left nostril, the visitor will be a male. OWL – it is bad luck to see an owl in the sunlight PEPPER – If you spill pepper you will have a serious argument with your best friend. RED – A red ribbon should be placed on a child who has been sick to keep the illness from returning. SCISSORS – If you drop scissors, it means your lover is being unfaithful to you. THIRTEEN – If 13 people sit down at a table to eat, one of them will die before the year is over. VEIL – A bride’s veil protects her from evil spirits who are jealous of happy people.

YAWN- A yawn is a sign that danger is near. Cover your mouth when you yawn, or your soul can go ou of your body along with the yawn

Imagine humankind without superstitious belief. What would it be like? We wouldn’t think twice of stepping on cracks on the sidewalk, seeing a robin in the house and fainting in horror. Superstition adds some color to our ever busy and dull lives we lead. It adds an essence of suspense and mystery that we are forced to investigate. Our grandmothers may have told us not to do this as this will happen. There is no reason for it, but it must be obeyed is frustrating. Without drowning in meaningless beliefs we prefer to find out the reasons and what happens if it is not obeyed. Of course seeing a moth in your house doesn’t mean that someone will die, it’s a simple belief that our ancestors have created, because they couldn’t explain particular events or to teach children and young people how to behave. Some people wouldn’t dare to walk under ladders or step on cracks on the side walk because they are paranoid bad luck will follow after them. Keeping good luck charms or horseshoes hung their houses seem a little too extreme. Everything should be kept a limit, and in these cases prayers and courage is more significant. We believe in bad luck and good luck because of superstitions. We know that these things could happen not based on beliefs, but on how we lead our lives and the road we take. Friday the 13th is another very remarkable belief. Why is that? There are many reasons. The leading reason is in the Last Supper, the numbers of guests were 13. The 13th guest was the conspirator Judas. Therefore number 13 is considered to be an unlucky number. Hotels, restaurants, airports etc never have a 13 th section. Other reasons include : A witches coven consists of 13 members. (from source) Tarot Card number 13 is the Death Card, depicting the Grim Reaper 13 knots in a hangman's noose. Since the Medieval Times Friday is an inauspicious day. It is not recommended to marry, go on a journey, work on successful projects on that day. It’s best to avoid doing anything on that day. In some countries people don’t go to work, drive their cars and do little as possible at home. In one scientific study, there had been an extraordinary number of accidents on Friday the 13th, compared to all the others days in the year. This is because of the exaggeration surrounding Friday etching paranoia in their minds disabling them to think clearly what they are doing. This is only one study, but shows how it can influence or affect the mind. So issues should not be taken so seriously is the motto here. Continuing the rest of this collection…..

BLACK CAT SUPERSTITIONS:

In ancient Egypt cats were loved and respected. They were worshipped and taken care of like their own family member. When a family’s cat died, it was mummified and kept with tender love and care. However in the 17 th century, all this changed when it was thought cats were associated with witchcraft. In some countries like Japan it is good luck when a cat crosses your path. And in other countries it is bad luck. This is only a belief and don’t be afraid if one crosses your path. Don’t let this thought get to you, just pray if you are afraid and go your way. Good luck associated with black cats include (according to country) : Possessing a black cat. Having a black cat greet you at a door. Having a black cat enter your home. Meeting three black cats in succession. Touching a black cat. Bad luck associated with black cats include: Meeting a black cat early in the morning. Having a black cat turn its back on you. Scaring or driving away a black cat from your property. Walking under a ladder after a black cat has walked underneath it. Here are a few cat superstitions from various countries: A strange black cat on your porch brings prosperity. - Scottish superstition A cat sneezing is a good omen for everyone who hears it. - Italian superstition It is bad luck to see a white cat at night. - American superstition Dreaming of white cat means good luck. - American superstition In the Netherlands, cats were not allowed in rooms where private family discussions were going on. The Dutch believed that cats would definitely spread gossips around the town. In Egypt, it was once believed that the life-giving rays of the sun were kept in cat’s eyes at night for for safekeeping. To kill a cat brings seventeen years of bad luck -Irish superstition

2012 superstition It has been assumed that the world may end in 2012. But this has been predicted so many times and yet life still goes on.

Are you worried or concerned that whatever you do may have an effect? Then to console you, here are some lucky charms that will counter or protect from bad luck. LUCKY CHARMS: Four leaf clover considered to be very lucky as they are very rare to find. Touching wood can reverse the bad luck. A horseshoe hung in your house with the right way up is said to bring good luck. Not the other way as your good luck may be drained out. Seeing a shooting star is lucky. Carrying an acorn in your pocket is lucky.

My conclusion is that superstitions are passed from generation to generation, and when we don’t know the truth we turn to the belief of cause and effect. We experience good luck and bad luck on some days of our life, and even if you break a mirror it doesn’t mean that bad things will happen. It cannot be proved. You might have a bad day or two, but you will not suffer tragically for 7 years. Sure I have a broken a mirror but nothing bad happened. Well only if you are very superstitious I suppose keeping a few good luck charms would be all right. But it would be awful to remember that every time you walk on the pavement to avoid the cracks, or to open the umbrella inside not outside etc. So do you believe in superstition or not? Sources: http://www.crystalmoonlight.bravehost.com/super.htm http://www.csicop.org/superstition/library/black_cats/