The attribution of an effect in connection to an irrelevant cause is very ling of the timelessness of human nature and the desire to find meaning and reason behind everything. Because there are occurrences and results that do not always make sense in daily life, analytic minds naturally search for patterns in cause and effect, as a means to bringing order and explanation out of chaos and unexplainable occurrences. Therefore, if a favorable or unfavorable result follows a given course of action, it becomes easy for human mind to draw on what is known about cause and effect.
Superstitions are largely considered to be associated with the existence of retain mysterious forces, especially evil spirits that were supposed to bring bad luck to one unless certain actions were taken to prevent the bad effects. These actions could include modifying an individual’s behavior, avoiding certain action or wearing amulets or lucky charms. Superstitions can be personal or cultural. Personal superstitions are bred from experiences that an individual has during his life time. However, cultural superstitions are those that one is supposed to believe in, because they have been followed over generations of people.
II. Bad lucks and their explanations: 1. Walking under ladder: Receiving bad luck for walking under a ladder is a common superstition and modern man has found reasons to justify it. Some ladders are not particularly safe. If someone is on a shaky ladder, someone walking under it might endanger both persons. A ladder up to a roof might suggest people are working on a roof. To walk under the ladder might endanger the person on the ground if things fall off the roof. Even walking near a site where people are working above is somewhat fraught with danger.
People can and have been injured by things dropping from overhead. But this is a very old superstition, and has more justification than the obvious. Christians believe in the Trinity-?that God is made up of three parts, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit). This made the number three sacred, and the triangle was by association also sacred with its three sides. A ladder leaning up against a building was seen as a triangle (the ladder itself making one side, the building wall making up a second side, and the ground connecting the two making the third side. To walk through this triangle, by walking under the ladder, was seen as breaking the Trinity. The bible talks about the one unforgivable sin being blaspheming against the Holy Spirit, so someone who breaks the Trinity is seen to be in league with the Devil; being labeled such in the old days of Christianity was a quick way to invite the hangman and witch trials. Before the gallows were invented, murderers were hung from the top of a ladder, and when they died, it is said that their ghosts remained for a long time where they had fallen.
This made ladders very unpopular places. Another explanation also relates to the medieval gallows. A ladder was placed against the gallows so that after a public hanging, the body could be cut down. If you happened to walk under the ladder as this was happening, oh could be hit by the dead body. Yet another explanation comes from ancient Egypt. The Egyptians believed that a special power was held by the triangle, because it was the shape of the pyramid. If you walked under a ladder, you were breaking the power of the shape. . Breaking a mirror: Mirrors are thought to have two supernatural abilities: they bring bad luck and they can be used for telling the future. Before the invention of mirrors, man gazed at his reflection, his “other self,” in pools, ponds, and lakes. If the image became distorted in any way, it was a mark of impending disaster or a corruption of the soul. The Romans, along with the Greek, Chinese, African and Indian cultures, believed that a mirror had the power to confiscate part of the user’s soul.
If the user should break a mirror it would mean his or her soul would be trapped inside the world the mirror represented. Essentially, a broken mirror created a broken soul which in turn lead to the broken health of the unfortunate user. The origin of the ‘seven years of bad luck for breaking a mirror superstition can be traced back to the Romans, who Were the first to create glass mirrors. They believed that a person’s physical body renewed itself every seven years, which meant it would take seven years before the user’s soul would be fully restored.
Until the seven years passed, life for a mirror breaker would be one long string of unfortunate events, since he or she no longer had a healthy soul to ward off spiritual evil-doers. There are several different ways of warding off the ill luck caused by breaking a mirror: throw salt over your shoulder; directly after breaking the mirror, turn around three times counterclockwise; since the pieces can still reflect the corrupted soul, grind the shards into a fine powder; gather the broken mirror pieces and submerge them in the waters of a south-running treat.
This will wash away the bad luck after only seven hours rather than seven days; burn the mirror, or at least blacken its shards in the flames of a fire. Save the fragments for a year and then bury them, and the curse will be counteracted; on the first night after breaking the mirror, light seven white candles and blow them out at midnight in one breath; bury the pieces under a tree during a full moon; etc. Other Mirror Superstitions: Queen Elizabethan court magician and well-known alchemist, John Dee, used a mirror for crying.
He has been credited with prophesying the plot to kill King James in 1605. Because mirrors were thought to hold the key to the future, to break one was to shatter your own future. Although viewed with suspicion by some, it is generally said that having a large number of mirrors in the home is lucky. This is probably because of the mirror’s ability to deflect evil and attract good. The mirror is symbolic of, among other things, money. Hang one beside the table in the dining room or kitchen to attract wealth and food to the home.
Ideally, no mirror should be hung so low that it “cuts off” the tallest household member’s head (doing so may cause headaches). However, mirrors shouldn’t be hung too high either. If you feel sorrowful or troubled while home alone, with no one to talk to and no apparent way to control your blue mood, stand before a mirror and gaze into your eyes. Your anxiety should disappear. Any mirrors in a room where someone has recently died, must be covered so that the dead person’s soul does not get trapped behind the glass. Superstition has it that the Devil invented mirrors for this very purpose.
To see an image of her future husband, a woman is told to eat an apple while sitting in front of a mirror and then brush her hair. An image of the man will appear behind her shoulder. And still more: To see your reflection in a mirror is to see your own soul, which is why a vampire, who is without a soul, has no reflection. * If a couple first catch sight of each other in a mirror, they will have a happy marriage. * If a mirror falls and breaks by itself, someone in the house will soon die. * It is bad luck to see your face in a mirror when sitting by candlelight. Before mirrors, in ancient societies, if you caught sight of your reflection or dreamt of it, you would soon die. * Someone seeing their reflection in a room where someone has recently died, will soon die themselves. Actors believe that it is bad luck o see their reflection while looking over the shoulder of another person. * Babies should not look into a mirror for the first year of their lives. 4. Opening an umbrella indoor: 13. Friday the 13th: According to folklorists, there is no written evidence for a “Friday the 13th” superstition before the 1 9th century.
The earliest known documented reference in English occurs in Henry Sutherland Edwards’ 1 869 biography of Coaching Rossini. Consequently, several theories have been proposed about the origin of the Friday the 1 13th superstition. One theory states that it is a modern amalgamation of two older prepositions: thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day. In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve signs of the zodiac, twelve hours of the clock, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, twelve gods of Olympus, etc. Whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners. Friday has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century’s The Canterbury Tales, and many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects. Black Friday has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 18005.
It has also been suggested that Friday has been considered an unlucky day because, according to Christian scripture and tradition, Jesus was crucified on a Friday. A theory by author Charles Piñata, one of the leading authorities on the subject of “Origins” maintains that the us perception an be traced back to ancient myth. The actual origin of the superstition, though, appears also to be a tale in Norse mythology. Friday is named for Firing, the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility.
When Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Firing was banished in shame to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. It was believed that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil -? a gathering of thirteen -? and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week. For many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as ‘Witches’ Sabbath. ” As the story goes, the witches of the north used to observe their Sabbath by gathering in a cemetery in the dark of the moon.
On one such occasion the Friday goddess, Frey herself, came down from her sanctuary in the mountaintops and appeared before the group, who numbered only 12 at the time, and gave them one of her cats, after which the witches’ coven -? and, by “tradition,” every properly-formed coven since -? comprised exactly 13. Another theory about the origin of the superstition traces the event to the arrest of the legendary Knights Template. The Knights Template was a monastic military order founded n Jerusalem in 11 18 C. E.
Their original mission was to guide and protect Christian pilgrims along the path from Europe to Jerusalem during the Crusades. Through this mission, the Template developed a banking system to protect the finances of the traveling pilgrims, then expanded this system throughout their holdings in Europe. Over time, France’s King Philip IV amassed a debt to the Knights Template for years of service. He had nearly depleted his money due to his ongoing battles with England. King Phillip became envious of the Knights Template and their rise to power, so he set his sights on their famed fortunes.
Philip devised a plan to arrest all the Knights Template and charge them with crimes so devastating that no person or group would come to their defense. The charges against them were religious in nature and backed by the papacy of the Vatican and pope Clement V. His plan had to be swift and carefully put together so as to not alert the Template in advance. King Phillips orders were sent a month in advance to the King’s Men and other Bailiffs. They were not to be opened till dawn on Friday, October 13, 1307.
The charges against the Template were of the highest accusations of Reese: that the Knights Template asked members to spit on the cross and step on it, to deny Christ, to perform homosexual acts, and so on. The king’s orders where to engage and arrest every Template in France. All Template outposts, homes, wineries, mills, and castles were to be taken in the name of the King of France and Pope Clement V. This nationwide arrest was widely successful, and medieval torture tactics were used to obtain confessions from the Knights. This single act against the Template Order is now viewed as one of the most unlucky days in History – Friday the 13th.
King Phillip attempted to rather bury the Template in a public manner: a large event in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral would have Template Grand Master Jacques De Molly publicly admit guilt of heresy. Instead, the defeated grandmaster took to his forum and apologized to the people and Template Knights for his weakness and for signing forced confessions. He then rescinded his original confession and testified to the public that he, his men, and all Template Knights were innocent, despite their forced confessions. An embarrassed King Phillip was enraged by the old man’s actions and had him burned at the stake along with his second-in-command.
De Molly’s dying last words were to curse King Phillip and Pope Clement V, claiming that by the year’s end they both would meet their demise. To add to the superstition of the Friday the 13th and to the power of the Template both men did die that year. The connection between the Friday the 13th superstition and the Knights Template was popularized in the 2003 novel The Dad Vinci Code. However, some experts think that it is a relatively recent correlation and is a modern- day invention. For example, records of the superstition are rarely found before the 20th century, when it became extremely common.
One author, toting that references are all but nonexistent before 1907 but frequently seen thereafter, has argued that its popularity derives from the publication that year of Thomas W. Lagoon’s popular novel Friday, the Thirteenth, in which an unscrupulous broker takes advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 1 13th. In Spanish-speaking countries, instead of Friday, Tuesday the 13th is considered a day of bad luck, commonly referred to as ‘Martens y trace; (Literally translates to: Tuesday and thirteen).
The Fall of Constantinople, when the city fell to the Ottomans, marks the end of the Byzantine Empire. It happened on Tuesday, May 29, 1453. That is why the Greeks also consider Tuesday to be an unlucky day. Supposedly, Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on a Friday. Adam bit, as we all could learn in Sunday School, and they were both ejected from Paradise. Tradition also holds that the Great Flood (when began on a Friday; God tongue-tied the builders of the Tower of Babel on a Friday; the Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday; and, of courser Friday was the day of the week on which Christ was crucified.
It is therefore a day of penance for Christians. In pagan Rome, Friday was execution day (later Hangman’s Day in Britain), UT in other pre-Christian cultures it was the Sabbath, a day of worship, so those who indulged in secular or self-interested activities on that day could not expect to receive blessings from the gods -? which may explain the lingering taboo on embarking on journeys or starting important projects on Fridays. II. Good lucks and their explanations: 1.
Shooting stars: Shooting star symbolizes a brief fleeting moment in one’s life just like the brief wonder of seeing a shooting star race across the night sky. They can also be a symbol of reaching ones ultimate destiny. Shooting stars, asteroids, and the movement of the heavenly bodies in the eight sky have always fascinated to humans. Some cultures have always had strong beliefs and superstitions in the meaning of shooting stars. Traditionally shooting stars also meant a new birth and changes in one’s life and also a wish for a better life.
In old Greece falling stars were believed to be rising or falling human souls. Aristotelian spoke of “souls of poor people, drunkenly walking home after they had dinner at a rich star”. According to Jewish and Christian tradition fallen stars reflect fallen angels and demons. Nowadays, in certain parts of Asia people believe a falling star is a bad men: the “tears from the moon about the lost sunshine” would predict war, death or demise of a close person. According to more common belief though, it’s a good omen cause when one makes a wish when one sees a falling star, the wish will come true.
In Europe at the time when the Greek astronomer Ptolemy view of the cosmos as a universe of interlocking spheres became the orthodoxy, there was a widely accepted and very poetic explanation for ‘falling stars” which was entirely consistent with other deeply held beliefs Of the time. It was thought that the gods, overwhelmed with curiosity, would sometimes kook at the earth from between the spheres, and that in that instant a star or two might slip through the gap and become visible as a falling or shooting star.
Since the gods were clearly peering down at that very moment, it was considered an excellent opportunity to voice one’s wishes with the guarantee that the gods would hear them. This is probably where the idea of wishing on a falling or shooting star comes from. Similar superstitions are widespread even in cultures remote from Europe: in Chile, you must pick up a stone in the same moment and in the Philippines tie a knot in a handkerchief.