PDA

View Full Version : Superstition



t0neg0d
08-05-2008, 11:21 PM
Starting this thread to help with a project I am working on (character specific). There is no Agnostic forum, so I am picking the place that has the most varied views to ask.

I am looking for examples of how superstition plays into your life, from the most insignificant way to the most extreme beliefs/examples. Any one willing to share this and what makes you believe your superstitions are founded?

Thanks in advance!

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-05-2008, 11:27 PM
Pennies on the ground - if they're 'heads up', I pick them up for good luck and give them to the next person I see. Heads down, I leave 'em alone.

Black cats - they're good luck as far as I'm concerned. :)

Spilled salt - I throw a pinch over my left shoulder. I don't even know why.

When I got married, and when we renewed our vows, I stuck to the 'something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue' advice. Again... I don't know why.

Even though I'm Pagan/Wiccan, I believe angels get their wings when a bell rings.

Here's a comprehensive list of superstitions (http://www.oldsuperstitions.com/) I didn't even know were superstitions! :)

DeleyanLee
08-05-2008, 11:45 PM
Pennies on the ground - if they're 'heads up', I pick them up for good luck and give them to the next person I see. Heads down, I leave 'em alone.

Whereas when I find heads-up pennies, I stick them in my left shoe (opposite of my dominate hand) overnight to change the luck. Tails-up pennies brings a wish.

If you want an explanation for this--heads up means the spirit granting the wish will know who you are and might jinx up your wish.


Spilled salt - I throw a pinch over my left shoulder. I don't even know why.

Salt is a cleanser and a preserver and, while a necessity of life, was often quite expensive. If you spill salt, it's bad fortune. Thus, you throw a pinch of it over your shoulder and into the eye of whatever bad influence is lurking there.

And I do this too, without thinking about it.


When I got married, and when we renewed our vows, I stuck to the 'something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue' advice. Again... I don't know why.

Something old signifies the couple's honoring of traditions and family values.
Something new signifies the couple's new life together.
Something borrowed signifies the community's part and commitment in the couple's life together.
Something blue signifies good fortune since blue was an expensive dye in days gone by.

Then there's also knocking on wood when you're saying something positive or negative about self or future or plans. (Again, that's to deafen the wood spirits from jinxing good fortune or playing into doubts.)

Disa
08-06-2008, 03:37 AM
I dunno. I tend to walk under ladders, open umbrellas inside, own black cats, have great expectations on Friday the 13th. Superstitions don't really get to me much.

I do seem to knock on wood whenever speaking about someting that hasn't happened that I'd rather not have happen.

eveningstar
08-06-2008, 03:51 AM
I'm not superstitious in general, though back when I did a lot of theatre I did find there was quite a bit of truth to the curse of the Scottish play. I've seen first hand things go horribly wrong when someone decides it's all a big joke. Could everything have been coincidental? Sure, but I still have trouble saying the title out loud, actually.

Friday the 13ths, black cats, umbrellas = these are a few of my favorite things.

plaidearthworm
08-06-2008, 10:26 AM
If I turned around whenever I saw a black cat, I'd never get out of the yard. One superstition that I picked up, and somehow passed to some of my family and friends, is to always put the right shoe on first. Always. I read it in a calendar full of regional superstitions when I was a kid, and it stuck. Left shoe goes on first, bad luck.

Disa
08-06-2008, 02:51 PM
So that's my problem, eh? I always put my left shoe on first :)

regdog
08-06-2008, 06:34 PM
My only real superstition is knocking on wood

qwerty
08-06-2008, 07:35 PM
Pulling the wishbone of a cooked chicken with someone and making a wish.

Saying. "Break a leg" to actors before a first night performance.

Ruv Draba
08-08-2008, 12:30 AM
The only superstitions I'm aware of are that I don't anticipate the outcomes of things important to me, and I don't celebrate my successes.

I know other people who'd describe these 'tempting fate' etc..., but I consider it more to be a form of mental hygeine. I seem to work better when my mind is clear.

Unique
08-08-2008, 02:18 AM
Pennies on the ground - if they're 'heads up', I pick them up for good luck and give them to the next person I see. Heads down, I leave 'em alone.

I flip them over and then pick them up myself. :D

Black cats - they're good luck as far as I'm concerned. :)

Yeah. Me, too. Wonder why? >''<

Spilled salt - I throw a pinch over my left shoulder. I don't even know why.

I used to do that. Now I lick my finger and put some in my mouth. Don't know why - I'm just not the same person I was and that makes more sense for me now.Salt is vital to life. That might be part of it.

:)


Pulling the wishbone of a cooked chicken with someone and making a wish.

I did that when I was a kid. After I was grown, a friend gave me onea wishbone one time with a bow attached to hang in my kitchen. She told me it was good luck or something. Now I just save them in kind of a chain (still in kitchen) ... but I'm a weird sort that will bring home a jawbone of a .... whatever that I found out on a walk. Just cuz. Cuz I think it's cool. <shrug>
Saying. "Break a leg" to actors before a first night performance.

I might not tell them 'break a leg' but I sure won't tell them 'good luck'. That gives them bad luck. A friend of mine was an old vaudeville performer told me that so I took her word for it.

She also told me not to put my shoes on if my foot was above waist level - and I still don't like to keep my shoes stored above that level (?) I really don't know why. It just seemed to make an odd kind of sense somehow.

One thing I won't do - I never say, "I'm b*red. Why? Because it seems like whenever I've said that in the last 10 years or so, quite soon after that, the Universe made sure I wasn't b*red anymore. So I make it a point NOT to say that out loud. I try not to even *think* it. <shudders> Cuz it's almost always not in a good way if you know what I mean.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-08-2008, 02:37 AM
I never say, "What ELSE could go wrong?"

There are demons, sprites, ghoulies, long-leggedy beasties, and things that go 'bump' in the night just waiting for some fool to say "What ELSE could go wrong?" so they can show 'em.

StephanieFox
08-12-2008, 03:12 AM
How's business (or anything else), you never say, "It's GREAT!" You say, "I'm comfortable." This is more a a Jewish thing, but you never want to tempt luck and good fortune to leave by bragging.

Of course, since I do this, this is real – not superstition. Superstition is silly. What I do is perfectly justified.

I'm wondering why you first thought of agnostics when you went looking for superstition. That seems a little odd. Just wonderin'.

wyntermoon
08-12-2008, 03:19 AM
LOL, I knock wood all the time and don't even realize I'm doing it half the time.

Here's a weird Stacey-specific superstition. On Sept 11, 2001, it was a gorgeous fall day, really breathtaking. I walked outside, told my husband, "We'll never see a prettier day." An hour later a plane crashed into the Pentagon where my neighbors worked (they were unhurt). I haven't said that phrase again. Baaaaaad mojo.

bluehawk
08-12-2008, 03:24 AM
Well, if you must know -- I'm superstitious about being superstitious. . . .

Shweta
08-12-2008, 03:35 AM
I'm affected by superstitions I don't have.

Like. My mother will not take anything sharp from someone else. You have to lay it on a table or something, and then she'll pick it up. The superstition being, if you take something sharp from someone, you'll fight with them.

I do not believe this. I remember when it entered our household. But. It makes me deeply uncomfortable to give or take sharp objects.

Similarly (this is more a religious prohibition) I'm not supposed to let my feet or shoes touch paper. It's disrespect to the goddess of learning. So anytime they do, I get extremely uncomfortable.

Ditto with stepping over people older than you. It's associated with their death. So I don't do it, and if someone is about to step over (mostly) my stretched-out legs, I will pull them back pretty quickly. Even though I don't actually believe that. :rolleyes:

In all these cases, it's association. These things make me uncomfortable, even though I believe the reason is social and not magical. But discomfort is discomfort, so I avoid 'em.

Unique
08-13-2008, 12:53 PM
You reminded me of something, Shweta. In my world a woman doesn't give a man a gift of a knife unless they marry. It means something. (yeah - like I'm gonna give you something you can kill me with - not.)

You also don't pass between a person and a campfire. You go behind them.

What was the other one I read about yesterday? Shoot. I forgot. :(

Shweta
08-13-2008, 01:41 PM
You reminded me of something, Shweta. In my world a woman doesn't give a man a gift of a knife unless they marry. It means something. (yeah - like I'm gonna give you something you can kill me with - not.)
Huh, that's really interesting.


You also don't pass between a person and a campfire. You go behind them.
Might that have anything to do with not being a target?

qwerty
08-13-2008, 02:13 PM
Never borrow salt from a neighbour else you'll end up bad friends.

How wierd is that?

bluehawk
08-13-2008, 02:23 PM
Never borrow salt from a neighbour else you'll end up bad friends.

How wierd is that?

That IS weird, but what is the definition of a "bad friend." Seems kind of oxymoronic. . . .

qwerty
08-13-2008, 02:43 PM
You're right, that is an oxymoron! (Not to mention I'm a moron cos I misspelled weird. But then, I can't do diesel without checking)

Should have said you'll fall out with your neighbour - no, don't ask.

bluehawk
08-13-2008, 03:08 PM
You're right, that is an oxymoron! (Not to mention I'm a moron cos I misspelled weird. But then, I can't do diesel without checking)

Should have said you'll fall out with your neighbour - no, don't ask.
No big deal. I do it all the time myself.

Forums should be less formal anyway; be more like holding conversations instead of turning in college term papers. :)

Shweta
08-13-2008, 11:47 PM
It's only oxymoronic if you think about "bad" as an absolute, or buy into the silliness that is truth-based semantics.

"Bad" functions to modify a value along a scale. A bad friend is someone who does not succeed along the axes of friendship. Similarly a "bad apple" is one that's failing by human standards. Language isn't about absolute truth, it's about communicating human-relevant meaning.

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled programming.

Mr Flibble
08-14-2008, 12:12 AM
Never light three ciggies off one match ( yes I know it's from the First World War and because of snipers. Still won't do it though - who knows when there'll be a sniper about? :))

Shweta
08-14-2008, 12:21 AM
Never light three ciggies off one match ( yes I know it's from the First World War and because of snipers. Still won't do it though - who knows when there'll be a sniper about? :))
Is it that the match is then lit for too long and they get time to aim?

Mr Flibble
08-14-2008, 12:30 AM
When you lit the match, the enemy sharp shooter would see it. When the second guy used it, he would aim. By the time the third guy used it, the sharpshooter was ready to fire.

Seems a pretty valid superstition during a war :) Gods know why I still do it though ( actually tell a lie - it's because some of the old boys from the world wars used to really have a go at people who did it, and no wonder really)

Dawno
08-14-2008, 02:11 AM
You reminded me of something, Shweta. In my world a woman doesn't give a man a gift of a knife unless they marry. It means something. (yeah - like I'm gonna give you something you can kill me with - not.)

You also don't pass between a person and a campfire. You go behind them.

What was the other one I read about yesterday? Shoot. I forgot. :(

I don't have any personal superstitions but Unique's post reminded me of one my wedding gifts - I got a set of steak knives from someone and they'd taped a penny over each knife blade which I then was to give back to the one who gave me the knives, making it a 'purchase' and undoing the bad luck. I had never heard of that before then. This link (http://www.wednet.com/articles/KnivesAsGifts.aspx) has a whole bunch of knife related folklore at the end.

qwerty
08-14-2008, 10:16 AM
post deleted

Unique
08-14-2008, 12:39 PM
Huh, that's really interesting.
Might that have anything to do with not being a target?
*talking about campfires*

I think it's more of a 'respect' thing. (Ask an American Indian to know for sure - it's theirs, not mine.)

Me, I'll do it to respect them but left to my own devices, and not "knowing", I'd do it anyway so I don't get my *** burned by being too close.

And Coolio, Dawno. Glad to see I'm not all alone out here in the world.

And oddly - when my ex packed up and blew Dodge - he didn't take any of the knives I'd bought him. How cool is that? :D
{And I know he didn't do it on purpose - he's too greedy to leave something valuable behind}
Thankx, Universe!

BenPanced
08-15-2008, 11:58 PM
If you drop silverware, that means company's coming for a visit. Or you'll get four holes in your foot. I can never remember which one.

A personal writing superstition I have is I never let anybody read a WIP until I've finished the first draft, at least. I've found that if I let somebody read, say, the first three chapters of something that I haven't completed, I never complete it.

Unique
08-16-2008, 01:32 PM
oh, now you tell me.... :rant:thankx a lot, ben, for keeping that gem to yourself all this time. pbbbtttt.....:tongue

Carole
08-19-2008, 03:07 PM
I'm obsessive/compulsive - I make up my own superstitions as I go along! :D One day I might not be able to scratch one side of my head without scratching the other (and the same number of scratches for each side!) and the next I might have to fold all my bath towels exactly the same way and stack them color-coordinated. I think this fits because there is a definite feeling of doom or dread if I don't "go with my gut".