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Of Omens, Signs and Superstitions

Today as I was coming home after dropping my children at school, a black cat crossed the road in front of my car. Some people consider that to be a bad omen. Luckily for me, I am not superstitious and don’t believe in such things.

In fact, I remember a quote by Groucho Marx who said, “If a black cat crosses your path, it signifies that the animal is going somewhere.”

In many countries and cultures, many animals and incidents are taken as good or bad signs. There are superstition associated with sighting of owls, spilling of milk, salt, walking under ladders, lunar eclipses, certain days, number 13 etc.

Some people do not do business on certain days and close shop after meeting a crippled person. I don’t believe in unlucky charms or things but there are many who become paralyzed with fear if something like this happens.

Some seek help from astrologers or shamans for lucky days or stones or advice regarding even the smallest things in life. I think that if a person lets superstition rule over him, this world becomes a hard place for him and he is constantly afraid.

There are three old wives tales that are widely believed in our culture. I don’t know how they came into existence but they are quite funny and entertaining..

One, if you drop a morsel from your mouth while eating or if a crow sits on the boundary wall of your house and caws loudly, guests will come to your house.

If you have an itching in the right palm of your hand, money will come to you from an unexpected source.

If milk boils over, there will be loss or damage to something in your house. It’s associated with loss of blessings or sustenance in our culture.

Have you ever heard of these superstitions or old wives tales or are there any that are prevalent in your culture?  Do you believe in signs, omens and superstitions?

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Written by Dawnwriter

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  1. I live in a very superstitious country, but luckily no one ever believes the black cat omen anymore. I feel so bad for black cats who are the receiving end of such a ridiculous superstition. Remember during the Dark Ages and the 1700’s black cats are killed because they were believed to be witches’ apprentices and/or objects made by the devil. 🙁

  2. Many superstitions are based on ancient religious beliefs, even if the person doesn’t subscribe to the belief and doesn’t know the origin. For instance, it is common in the US for a person to say something like, “I’m having a great day, knock on wood.” They may actually knock on wood when they say it. In England, the same phrase, same meaning, is “touch wood”. That superstition comes from the (probably) Druid belief that spirits inhabited trees and bushes. The spirits supposedly are normally asleep and knocking on wood is to wake the spirits up, to gain their favor. It is safe to say that most people who now say knock on wood or who actually do it don’t believe that spirits inhabit trees and bushes, and most probably don’t know where the superstition came from, but the origin is in a religious belief.

  3. I am reading Bruce M Hood’s book “Superstition”. He believes that the supersense that makes possible our acceptance of the supernatural is innate. He further suggests that we are such desperate pattern seekers that when something confirms what we already believe, we accept the new data without discernment or testing.

    • This is his theory and he is entitled to his opinion. I can respect that without actually agreeing to it. I cannot believe that a number, animal, a particular date or some stone can affect my day or destiny.

  4. people have various thing to do for success or get something but thing they really have to do not doing and superstatitions is biggest problem here. you can read my post that people try to make gold from leaf..

  5. I believe that God has more power than silly superstitions. I do not live my life by what people make up and say. I do not believe them. I am far too practical to believe in stuff like that. God can make things happen. I fully believe in him.

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