By Rosie Moore

My grandmother would never own a black cat, or, even pet one, I’m sure. She wouldn’t go outside the front door on a Friday with the date 13, and, never would she walk under a ladder. Superstitions date back to early man’s attempt to explain Nature and his own existence. There was a deep belief that animals, nature and objects held a connection to spirits and the spirit world. They live on because they have been passed on from generation to generation. When our brains can’t explain something, we make stuff up.

Here are some food superstitions: Garlic wards off vampires and spilling salt brings terrible luck. If you break open eggs with two yolks, someone you know is getting married or having twins. When cracking the egg make sure to crush the eggs afterward, otherwise, as legend has it, a witch will gather up the pieces, set sail, and cause terrible storms at sea. If you cut open a loaf of bread and see a hole (a.k.a as  a large air bubble) that means someone will die soon. The hole in the bread represents a coffin (spooky!)

Common, but silly, superstitions: Why do people think a rabbit’s foot brings good luck? One reason, apparently, is that rabbits  are well-known for their reproductive fruitfulness. Consequently, as feet are considered to be phallic symbols, the rabbit’s foot may have been a fertility symbol.

A black cat might be a witch who transformed into  witch, of course.

A common superstition  is the belief that opening an umbrella inside a house causes bad luck. The origin of this is that the umbrella acts as a shield against the sun or rain outdoors. To open it indoors offends the spirit of the umbrella, who will cause bad luck to occur as a result

Don’t walk under that ladder! This superstition is pretty practical. Who wants to be responsible for stumbling and and knocking a carpenter off his perch? But one  theory holds that this superstition arises from a Christian belief of the Holy Trinity. Since a ladder leaning against a wall forms a triangle, “breaking” that triangle would be blasphemous.

And then there’s the lucky seven. The number seven has been, and still is, universal. For example, seven wonders of the world, seven seas, seven continents, seven hills of Rome, seven notes in a musical scale, seven colors in a rainbow, seven spots on a lady bug (always a good luck symbol), seven days of the week, the seven-year itch, and Snow-White’s seven dwarfs. Also, the seventh child of a seventh child will be psychically gifted.

I am not normally superstitious. However the accident I had last year was on the twelfth day of the twelfth month in the year 2012. My granddaughter asked me, is twelve your unlucky number?  I don’t want to think so, but, who knows???

Thought for the day: A  day without laughter is a day wasted.     Charlie Chaplin

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