Tuesday, February 21, 2012


     What would you do if a black cat crossed your path?  Would you, like millions of other people, turn around and go the other way, maybe cross yourself in the process to ward off bad luck?  Why do we do this?  It's just a cat, a creature of nature.  Maybe it's because we have been led to believe that if we don't turn around and throw a ward up, like a cross, something terrible will befall us.  Every day there is some instance where we, rational humans all of us, fall prey to the superstitions that have been around for centuries.
     Take the black cat, for instance, since I brought it up.  In ancient Egypt cats were esteemed by the pharoahs and queens dating back to 3000 B.C.  Then, in the middle ages, they became associated with witches,as it seems lonely old ladies started taking in cats as companions, and the locals who thought the old ladies were practicing black magic naturally assumed the cats were pawns of Satan.  This was the 1500's after all.  There's logic there somewhere.  Then came Halloween, and the poor beasts lost all credibility.  Heck, even the pirates in the 19th century gave black cats a wide berth.
     How about the superstition of throwing salt over your leftshoulder when you spill it?  Why would you waste such a wonderfully, tasty mineral?  It is said that the Devil sits behind our left shoulder and the Angels on the right.  Throwing salt over your left shoulder supposedly blinded the Devil, thereby distracting him.  Also, back in the day, salt was expensive, so sometimes people would change it up and throw it over their right shoulder as an offering to the Angels for good luck.  Makes perfect sense to me.
     Walking under a ladder has even more religious significance.  It was considered breaking the Holy Trinity to walk under a ladder in biblical times. A ladder leaning against a wall would form a triangle, with the ladder and wall forming two sides and the ground beneath forming the third, so naturally Christians believed that the three sides became the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and that to wald under it was sacrilege.  I just think it's smart to not walk under it because you might have something fall on your head.  But believe whaat you will.
      My favorite superstition is the fear of Friday the 13th.  Friggatriskadekaphobia.  Say that ten times fast.  Frigga was a Norse goddess after whom Friday is named after. Triskadekaphobia is the fear of the number 13.  Put them both together and you have a heck of a long word.  But to be afraid of a day, to me, seems awfully strange.  What did it ever do to you?  Sure, history says Jesus was crucified on a Friday, and there were thirteen people at The Last Supper, and doesn't it seem odd that religion keeps popping up in these superstitions?  Seems that Christians are a paranoid bunch.
     Anyway, I want to close this with an observation.  Don't break mirrors.  That's just common sense, as you might cut yourself on the glass.  There is the superstition that you will have seven years bad luck if you do break a mirror, trapping your soul in the shattered pieces, but then again, probably not.
     Thanks for reading everyone.  Have a better one.  (Knock on wood).

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