Superstitions

Yesterday I dropped a mirror and it broke. It wasn’t a large mirror, just a handbag size one. As it dropped to the floor I held my breath, and hoped it hadn’t broken. I immediately thought of my friend, who when we were flat mates, almost became hysterical. She did not want 7 years of bad luck. She rushed around, covered the broken glass with newspaper and then cleared it away. So long as her reflection didn’t show in the mirror, she would be all right. I picked up the pieces being careful not to catch my own reflection. After all I didn’t want to chance my luck.

This got me to wondering if any of you do these little rituals in the hope of warding off anything bad. If I spill salt, I always throw some over my shoulder…just in case.

I used to have an aversion to seeing a lone magpie. It is the most common of the magpie superstitions, and throughout the British Isles it is believed that it is unlucky to look upon a lone magpie. There are some interesting regional beliefs about what you should do to ward off any bad luck. As I said I used to, because a group of magpies nest in the trees around our house. I see them everyday, and in the summer they even peck the window and wake us up!! I guess I’ve been desensitized to them.

Do any of you walk under a ladder? I know I don’t. If I see a black cat cross my path…Well, I really can’t remember if it’s lucky or unlucky. It’s one of those superstitions that can mean either. In Britain it is supposed to bring good luck, but in the US I believe it is the complete opposite. I’d love you to share your thoughts on this.

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10 responses to “Superstitions

  1. Well, I seem to knock on wood a lot. πŸ™‚ Is that a superstition? Beyond that, I’m not sure I actually DO things when something superstitious happens. But I do take notice. When a black cat crosses in front of my car, or a mirror breaks, I pause and hope it’s not an omen. πŸ™‚ I don’t open umbrellas in the house. But I’ve never heard the magpie superstition.

    What a fun post, Jan. I’ll be watching the comments for how others deal with superstitions and which ones.

  2. This is a fun post. My grandmother believed in superstition and ghosts and . . . but I don’t pay a lot of attention to them. Though not walking under a ladder seems more good sense then superstition.

    Oh, I do believe in one . . . things come in 3’s. This has proven true more times than not.

  3. Laurie ~ I do that knocking on wood…just in case πŸ˜‰ I forgot about opening umbrellas. My mother would never permit that, but since I married my husband, he’s pooh-poohed a lot of my beliefs. Probably a good job, too:-)

    Lavada ~ It is strange but events do seem to sometimes happen in 3’s, be they good or bad πŸ™‚

  4. i donΒ΄t belive in superstitions, it gives you bad luck… .

  5. Oh dear, I was trying to comment and got the “blue screen of death” and my computer shut down. Is that an omen? There was also a black cat in my office parking lot this morning. He didn’t cross my path, he skirted around me at a trot AND he had white socks on his back legs/feet and white paws on the front, so he’s part good, right? LOL! I open umbrellas inside all the time but I do knock on wood. I must be confused about the whole thing! LOL!

    I love the one magpie omen- never have heard of that one. I like to hear about other countries and their lore. Thanks for my new fact of the day. AND Lavada- yes, the coming in 3s is definitely true.

  6. Jillian, LOL, we do watch out for ‘signs’ all the time πŸ˜‰

    Strangely, I got locked in the bedroom today πŸ™‚ Not on purpose…The door handle broke. I couldn’t get out and my husband couldn’t get in, even after removing what was left of the handle. I immediately thought ~ is something trying to keep me away from answering this blog.

    In the end hubby shouldered the door with brute force…He is useful πŸ˜‰

  7. HEHEHE- yep, someone was trying to stop you. LOL! and hubby’s are sometimes useful, yeah?

  8. Interesting post, Jan. The one about magpies… I never paid any mind until a colleague said that if you see a lone magpie you have to salute it or it will bring bad luck. Now I salute… just in case.

    Tricia

  9. Hi Tricia

    That’s what I used to do.

    I found so many regional differences on this that there were too many to list!

    Suffice to say, pinching the person nearest, was a popular theme, or making the sign of the cross.

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