Superstitions And Old Wives Tales

1. It's bad luck to walk under a ladder: A leaning ladder
forms a triangle with the wall and ground. Triangles
represent the Holy Trinity, and violating the Trinity
by breaking it (walking through it) would put you in
league with the devil himself. Considering what
Christians did to those who were considered to be in
league with the devil, it's hardly surprising that leaning
ladders were avoided at all cost.


2. Friday the Thirteenth:
The idea that this day would
bring bad luck has its roots in both Norse and Christian
beliefs. The Scandinavian's believed that the number
13 was unlucky due to the mythological 12 demigods
being joined by a 13th, an evil one, who brought misfortune upon
humans. Christ was said to have been crucified
on Friday and the number of guests at the party of the Last
Supper was 13, with the 13th guest being Judas, the traitor.


3. God Bless You:
The blessing of those who sneeze started when the great
plague took hold of Europe. Sufferers began sneezing
violently, and as such, were bound to die. The Pope
therefore passed a law requiring people to bless
the sneezer. At the same time, it was expected that
anybody sneezing would cover their mouth
with a cloth or their hand. This was obviously to
stop the spreading of the disease, but many believed that it
was to keep the soul intact. Sneezing 'into the air'
would allow the soul to escape and death would
be imminent. Up until this time, the opposite was true.
Those who sneezed were congratulated as it was believed
that a violent sneeze would expel evil from their bodies.


4. Black Cats:
In ancient Egypt, the Goddess Bast was a black, female cat. Christians, wanting to rid society of all traces of other religions, convinced the ignorant that black cats were demons in disguise and should thus be destroyed. In the process, they also destroyed the kindly ladies who cared for the cats, believing them to be witches. Being demons, a black cat crossing your path would create a barrier of evil, cutting you off from God and blocking the entrance to heaven.

5. Spilling Salt:
Salt was, during the middle ages, a very expensive commodity
used mainly for medicinal purposes. For this reason,
spillage was to be avoided at all costs. The idea
that it is unlucky to do so probably stems from the
belief that Judas spilt salt during the last supper. Throwing spilt
salt over the left shoulder is linked to its medicinal use.
If it could not be administered, the next best thing
was to throw it into the eye of the evil spirits that brought
sickness upon us. These spirits were thought to lurk
behind your shoulder, waiting for an opportunity to strike.


6. Fingers Crossed:
This is probably the superstition that is most widely used
today. By making the sign of the Christian faith
with our fingers, evil spirits would be prevented from
destroying our chances of good fortune.


7. Knock on Wood:
This goes back to the days before Christianity made
it's entrance. It was believed that good spirits lived in trees,
and that by knocking on anything made from wood, we could call
upon these spirits for protection against misfortune



Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home. It is bad luck
to kill a ladybug because it represents the Virgin Mary.


Pie In The Sky.

Of course, this means to search for the impossible dream
but it originated in the early 1900's. A famous labour
organizer named Joe Hill was extremely critical of the clergy's
treatment of slaves. He wrote a tune called 'The Preacher and
the Slave" accusing the clergy of making false promises of
a better life in heaven while people starved on earth. The
song goes: 'Work and pray, live on hay. You'll
get pie in the sky when you die. That's a lie!'


Skin Of Your Teeth.

This saying means to barely escape from a harrowing situation.,
It comes from Job 19:20, where God inflicts all sorts of terrible
things on one of those who love him. Poor Job had all his
animals stolen, his children die, his house collapse and his body
covered with sores. Job has this to say; "My bone cleaveth to my skin and
to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth."


Fleshpot. -
Today 'fleshpot' describes decadence. In the time of Moses,
it was a large pot in which to boil meat. Somehow,
preachers managed to change the meaning to
scare their flock about 'sins of the flesh'.


To make a scapegoat. -

The poor scapegoat gets the punishment for everyone
else's mistakes. God condoned this cruelty to animals
in Leviticus 16:7-10 "And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two
goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other for the scapegoat."
The scapegoat got to escape, and carry the tribe's sins
into the wilderness, to be eaten by some animal
instead of being offered alive as a sacrifice for the Lord.


Christmas and the Star of Bethlehem.

- There is no historical evidence that Christ was born
on December 25th. December 25th was officially adopted by Bishop
Liberius of Rome in 354. December 25th occurs during the rainy
season in the Holy Land, so it is highly unlikely that shepherds would
be outside in their pastures. The Hayden Planetarium in New
York recreated the heavens as they were in the time that Christ
was allegedly born. Although nothing spectacular happened in
the skies on the date of Christ's birth, the Planetarium went
back to the year 6 B.C. On that date, there were three stars in close
proximity which created a spectacularly bright beacon, which may
account for the stories of the Star of Bethlehem. The most plausible
reason that December 25 was chosen as a day to celebrate Christ's
birth was that the Christian fathers were trying to compete with another
growing religion, Mithraism - the worship of a sun god -
whose holy day was also December 25.


Easter -

The name "Easter' derives from Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon
dawn goddess. She was traditionally honored at the
beginning of spring. Easter wasn't celebrated in North America
until after the Civil War when religious leaders decided
that the country needed a holiday which stressed rebirth.




ACORN -
Carrying an acorn on your person will ensure good luck & longevity!


APPLE -
You have to eat at least 1 apple every day to guard
against ill-health, an apple a day, keeps the doctor away! "


BED -
You must never put a hat on a bed. Also you must get
out of bed the same side you got in otherwise you bring bad luck upon yourself!


BEE -

If a bee flies into your home then you will get a visitor,
but if you kill the bee then the visitor will turn nasty!


BIRD -

If a bird flies into your home then it is an omen of death!


BRIDGE -
If you want to see a friend again, then don't
ever say goodbye to them on a bridge!


BROOM -
Never take a broom with you when moving house - buy a new one!


CAT -

If a black cat walks towards you then it brings very good luck to you -
but if it walks away from you, then it takes it's good luck with it!


CHEEKS -

If all of a sudden your cheeks feel as if they're
burning, then someone, somewhere is flattering you!


CHIMNEY SWEEP -

These are regarded as very lucky - so if you see one then
shake his hand so that some of his good luck rubs off onto you!


CLOVER -

To find a four leaf clover means immense good luck,
so keep it safe, if you lose it then you also lose the luck!


CROWS -

To see a single crow is very unlucky! But 2 mean good
luck! 3 mean health, 4 means wealth, 5 is sickness & 6 mean death!


DOG -

If a dog suddenly barks for no apparent reason in a house
that has a sick person then it means that death is coming.


EARS -

If your ear is burning, then someone is talking about you!
To determine whether what they are saying is good or bad,
remember this rhyme, - " Left for love, Right for spite! "


EASTER -
You must wear new clothes at Easter or you will have bad luck.


FINGER NAILS -
Never cut your finger-nails on a Friday or a Sunday as this is unlucky.


HAND -

If the palm of your right hand is itchy, then it foretells that
money is coming to you, but DON'T scratch it as that stops
the money from coming! If its your left palm that is itchy,
then scratch away, as that means that you'll soon be paying out money for something!


HORSE-SHOE -

A horse-shoe must be hung above a doorway turned
upwards otherwise the luck will run out!


KNIFE -

There will be an argument if knifes are crossed at a table.
Also, if a lover gives you a knife as a present you will soon split up!


MAGPIES -

If you see these birds, remember this rhyme - " One
for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for a girl, Four for a boy,
Five for silver, Six for gold, Seven for a secret, Never to be told. "


MIRROR -

Breaking a mirror means 7 years of bad luck, unless
you take the pieces outside & bury them in moonlight. Also,
an undisturbed mirror in a house suddenly fall &
smashes then it means that there will soon be a death!


NEW YEAR -

How you start the year is how you will end it, so you must
ensure that you are wearing new clothes & looking
your best, have paid off all your debts & are with your
partner ( to ensure that you are still with them at the next New year!).
Also you must open a window to let the old year out & the new one in.


OPAL -

Unless you were born in October, the wearing of an Opal will be ill-fated!


PEPPER -

If pepper is spilt, then you will have a serious argument with a friend.


SALT -

If you sprinkle some salt on the doorway to a NEW house
then no evil can enter it! Also, if you spill some
salt then you must take a pinch of the spilt salt & throw it
over your left shoulder as the devil waits there & by
throwing the salt you are driving him away!


SCISSORS -

Dropping a pair of scissors is said to warn that a lover is unfaithful.


SHOES -

Never place shoes on a table as it means bad
luck for the remainder of the day.


SPARROW'S -

These little birds are said to carry the souls of the deceased
to the after-life. To kill one means that you will be cursed.


SWAN -

A bride must sew a swans feather into her husbands pillow to ensure fidelity!

UMBRELLA -

It is extremely unlucky to open an umbrella inside a house.


WEDDING -

If a groom drops the ring during the ceremony
then the marriage is doomed to failure.


"If our Lord falls in Our Ladys lap

England will meet with a great mishap"?

Lady Day is the name commonly given to the
Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady.
which is celebrated on 25 March. If either Good Friday
or Easter Sunday fall on this day some national
misfortune will follow in the next 12 months.

Good Friday happened to fall on 25 March 2005.
Sadly this "superstition" held true. For on 7 July of
that year the terrorist bombing happened in the London subway.

Thankyou Aunt Neena for the above superstion.