Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Defy Superstition Day, September 13th

What a great idea! Many of us have a long list of superstitions, and this day offers us an opportunity to break those superstitious beliefs that we have been living with most of our lives. And while many people will insist that they aren't superstitious, omens and superstitions actually play a part in all our lives. For some of us, superstition is something that has been passed down from our parents. For others, it provides a sense of control over uncontrollable things in life. When one feels they are helpless against circumstances, the feeling or belief that one can have some control by avoiding or doing certain things and actions can be comforting. And some of our superstitions have been passed down through the ages....

...For example, thousands of years ago the ancient Greeks were dropping special gifts into sacred pools in the hopes that their gods would help them. And, the idea that it is unlucky to pass someone on the staircase stems from an age before the invention of the banister, when passing could result in one person falling from the unguarded side. The fear of walking under a ladder stems from the early Christian belief that a leaning ladder formed a triangle with the wall and the ground, and one must never violate the Holy Trinity by walking through a triangle...lest you be considered in league with the devil. Speaking of the devil, did you know that the reason we are encouraged to place our hand over our mouth when we yawn was to keep the devil from entering through our mouth?

How may of you believe, or have ever believed, that breaking a mirror gives 7 years bad luck?   The origin of this comes from ancient Rome where people believed that reflections were actually glimpses of their soul.  Hence, many people had gazing pools in their gardens in which they could look at themselves. Any disruption of this reflection, such as a stone tossed into the pool or a rippling from the wind,  affected their soul and brought about bad luck.  Although we don't have gazing pools anymore, but the mirror breaking superstition continues to  lives on.  

The following are some rather unusual superstions:

If you accidentally bite your tongue, this means someone is talking badly about you, so bite your sleeve to make them stop.

Did you know it is unlucky to leave an oven completely empty when not in use.

Don't put new shoes on the table.  It will bring you bad luck.

To make a wish come true, make a wish at one end of a bridge, close your eyes and walk to the other end of the bridge while also holding your breath.  If you manage to do this successfully, your wish will come true.  

Lighting a candle from a fire prevents you from ever getting rich. 

We used to say the third on the match will get pregnant.  No one ever considered that it might be a male.

It is bad luck to light three cigarettes with the same match.

If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.

Another famous superstition revolves around the #13. Hotels do not have a 13th floor or a room #13. Hotels usually do not have any room that ends in the #13. It's all because people are superstitious about this number. There are many different stories that have evolved to give this date its notoriety, among them:

A Norse myth tells of 12 gods dining at Valhallah, their heaven. A 13th uninvited guest, Loki, arrived, persuading the god of darkness to slay the god of happiness.

The biblical reference to the Last Supper, with Judas betraying Jesus. He was the 13th guest at the table. Jesus was reportedly crucified on Friday.

Did you note that Defy Superstition Day is celebrated on the 13th? I wonder why.


  1. I love superstitions! They are the everyday remnants of magick and magickal thought.

  2. A great list of superstitions. One that I always do: when walking with someone and you both split up going around a pole or a stop sign or other obstacle, is to say "Bread and Butter". Now that is an odd one, no idea where that came from.

  3. Good morning Mary......thanks for all the info on superstitions today. A few of them I knew about....but most of them...I didn't.

    Have a wonderful day,


  4. It's great knowing the sources where most of our superstitions come from. Thanks for sharing! By the way...I still throw salt over my left shoulder whenever I spill some. :)
    Blissful tidings! xo

  5. I grew up with superstitions or old wives tales as my mother calls them.. I really do try to not let them bother me now. love to you dear Mary xo

  6. Every time I hear the word superstitious, Michael Scott's voice from The Office pops into my head where he says "I'm not superstitious, I'm a little stitious."

    tee hee hee