I consider myselk a Skeptic in general, although anyone that thinks we have the Universe all figured out is about as wrong as wrong can be. So while I takeTales of Ghosts and Goblins with a healthy grain of salt... I still RUN up by basement stairs every time I turn off the light at the bottom.
Grown Ass Man. Running from whatever MIGHT be in the basement. Do YOU have any Superstitions you tip-the-hat too? How about any of these?
1. Friday the 13th: Bad Luck
Many of us can’t help feeling a bit of trepidation when we realize another Friday the 13th is coming up.A fear of the number 13 is one of the most common superstitions around; it’s so widespread that many tall apartment buildings and hotels simply omit labeling their 13th floor. And have you noticed that some airlines don’t have a 13th row?One version of the origin of this superstition is that Judas Iscariot was the 13th guest at the Last Supper and Jesus was crucified on a Friday.Put that together and you have one unlucky day of the year.
2. Itchy Palm: Good Luck
There are many variations on this superstition. But the idea of having an itchy palm generally refers to someone who is greedy or has an insatiable desire for money.In Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” Brutus says, “Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself are much condemned to have an itching palm.”Some believe that if the right palm itches you will meet someone new, while an itchy left palm means that money is coming.Others say that an itchy right palm means money coming in and a left-handed itch foretells money going out.The superstition warns you not to scratch your palm unless you want to counteract the effect. The only way to scratch it without stopping the effect is to use lucky wood or brass.
3. Walking Under a Ladder: Bad Luck
It’s common sense to avoid walking under an open ladder for fear of something falling on you, but there are superstitious reasons for avoiding ladders too.The shape of an open ladder is a triangle, which signifies life in some mythologies.When you walk through the triangle, it’s thought that you tempt the Fates. You also run the risk of awakening spirits that live within the triangle, including evil spirits who may not be happy with the disturbance.If you do accidentally walk under a ladder, you can counteract the bad luck by placing your thumb between your index and middle fingers and holding it for at least 5 seconds, orcross the fingers of both hands while calling upon the sign of the cross to protect you from evil.
4. Breaking a Mirror: Bad Luck
Many superstitious people say breaking a mirror sets you up for 7 years of bad luck. That may be because 7 years is the time it takes to replace all the cells in your physical body.In a more superstitious time, mirrors were thought to be reflections of the soul. So breaking a mirror was believed to be harmful to the soul.To end the chain of bad luck, take the broken mirror outside and bury it in the moonlight.5. Finding a Horseshoe: Good Luck
In many cultures, a horseshoe is the luckiest of all symbols, especially if you find one with the open end pointing toward you.
5. 4 Leaf Clovers. Good Luck
If you find one of these good-luck charms, pick it up with your right hand, spit on one end, make a wish and toss it over your left shoulder. Then leave it where it lands.Or place a horseshoe over the entrance to your home with the open ends up. This allows the horseshoe to fill with good luck for everyone living there.One superstitious belief says the number of nails left on an abandoned horseshoe reveal how many years of good luck are coming your way.6. Opening an Umbrella Inside: Bad Luck
It seems like a no-brainer that opening an umbrella inside brings bad luck, since it presents a risk of breaking valuable items and poking someone in the eye.
7.Opening Umbrellas Inside: Brings Bad Luck.
But one common superstition holds that because umbrellas shade us from the sun they’re somehow magical.When the umbrella is opened inside – out of the way of sun’s rays – it offends the sun god.It may even signify impending death or ill fortune for both the person who opened it and the people who live within the home.7. Knock Twice on Wood: Reverse Bad Luck
The origin of this well-known superstition dates back to a time when some cultures believed that gods lived in trees.To ask the gods for a favor, people would lightly tap the bark of the tree.Then, to say thank you when the favor was granted, a person would knock lightly again on the same tree.
8. Tossing Salt:Wards off Bad Luck
This custom may have also originated with Christians offering thanks for good fortune with this gesture to Jesus Christ, who died on a cross made from wood.8. Tossing Spilled Salt Over Your Shoulder: Good Luck
For most of human history, salt has been very valuable; in some places and times, it was worth its weight in gold. One common superstition held that it could purify the soul and ward off evil spirits.So when you spill any amount of salt, you ought to take a pinch and toss it over your left shoulder.By doing this, the superstition says, you drive away any evil spirits attracted to the spill who may want to cause misfortune for the unlucky spiller.
9. Black Cats: Bad Luck
This superstition is a tough one for cat lovers to swallow, but in the Middle Ages it was thought that witches kept black cats as companions.Some people even believed that these kitties could turn into witches or demons after 7 years.Powerful men like Hitler and Napoleon Bonaparte may have been prepared to conquer nations, but both were terrified of a black cat.10. Saying “God Bless You”: Good Luck
For some, it’s good manners, pure and simple; but blessing someone after he or she sneezes is actually a common superstition.In 6th century Europe, people congratulated anyone who sneezed; they believed the person was expelling evil spirits.
Early Romans believed that a strong sneeze could release your soul into the world and a “bless you” would keep it safely at home.When the Black Plague hit Europe in 1665, the pope required everyone to be blessed when they sneezed. He believed that a sneeze was a sign the person would likely die soon.The blessing was usually followed up by making the sign of the cross, for good measure.Common superstitions still have a place today. After all, you never know when a simple action to counteract bad luck will make you and those around you a little bit luckier.