5 Superstitions And Why They Exist

I was at work a few years ago when a coworker walking by my desk let out a terrified squeal. “Your purse is on the floor! Don’t you know that’s bad luck?” Apparently, she was referring to a superstition which holds that to place your purse or wallet on the floor is to invite money troubles. I had never heard of this old wives’ tale and didn’t lend it much credibility, but on my way home, I did notice my lifelong habit of avoiding sidewalk cracks, surely a leftover from a youthful urge to protect my mother’s spinal health.

Superstitions ascribe supernatural origins to things that humans don’t understand, and they occur across the world. Early humans had a lot that they didn’t understand, but modern people are much more enlightened. Superstitions about bad luck feel like the kind of things we tell gullible children, so why do I still see people knocking on wood, throwing salt over their shoulders, and refusing to walk under ladders? Exactly where do these strange superstitions come from, and do any have even the tiniest basis in reality?

Don’t Spill the Salt!

I always do this, but not in fear of the devil but to ward off bad luck.

Salt is one of our most ancient and versatile foodstuffs, used for preserving food as well as flavoring it. For most of history, it was incredibly valuable, too, sometimes even used as currency. Spilling such a precious commodity was akin to dumping the thirty-year-old Scotch down the drain. For anyone who was careless enough to waste salt, throwing a pinch over the left shoulder was said to keep the devil away, since he was sure to be following you after such a grievous offence

Walking Under Ladders Brings Bad Luck.

I never had this superstition.

This superstition has its roots in religion. Some Christians believe that any object with three points—like a ladder leaning against a house—represents the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Early Christians believed that to destroy or subvert a three-pointed object (like by walking through it) one was expressing disbelief in the Trinity, and would therefore probably go to Hell. As religious conviction softened, the promise of eternal damnation was relaxed to merely the threat of bad luck. I admit to following the rule against walking under ladders, but for a more practical purpose—I

don’t care for things dropping on my head, as is wont to happen when people are working above.

Un-Lucky Number Thirteen.

I don’t fear 13, I think it is a lucky #, like 13 moons in a year..

Plenty of otherwise rational ..people are loath to schedule important events on the thirteenth of the month, and many buildings and towns don’t even include a thirteenth floor or thirteenth street, because so many people believe the number to be cursed. The origins of this superstition are factually tenuous, and there are many theories about how it came about. Christian theology teaches that Judas was the thirteenth guest at the Last Supper, making him unlucky. Norse mythology states that the god Loki, who was the thirteenth guest at a banquet, killed the hero, Balder. Not to mention the fact that several serial killers have thirteen letters in their name, like Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer. Fear of the number thirteen even has its own name, triskaidekaphobia, and many sufferers refuse to be the thirteenth guest at a party, or to sit in row thirteen on an airplane for fear that some terrible fate will befall them. In reality, there’s no credible evidence to suggest anything sinister about any particular number, and in some cultures, the number thirteen is actually considered quite lucky.

Shakespeare’s “Scottish Play”

Many actors refuse to say the name Macbeth, especially when they’re inside a theater. The play is said to be cursed, and is usually referred to as simply, “The Scottish Play.” Some accounts say that productions of Macbeth have been plagued by an unusually high number of accidents, injuries, and deaths on- and offstage, perhaps because the play itself is unusually ripe with fights, weapons, battles, and opportunities for things to go wrong. Since the play features three witches, some origin stories for the superstition say that the lines uttered by the witches are real curses, that real witches were offended by the play and cursed it, or that Shakespeare’s original prop master stole items from a real witches’ coven. The most likely explanation is that Macbeth, being one of the English language’s most enduring pieces of drama, is often put on by theaters trying to stave off bankruptcy, and the play eventually got a reputation as foreshadowing a theater’s demise.

Sacred Sneezes

All cultures offer some sort of blessing after a person sneezes. While the origins of the benedictions are muddled, it seems certain that primitive people thought that a person’s soul could leave the body through the nose, and asking for God’s protection was a way to prevent its escape. Romans, however, believed that sneezing expelled demons, and witnesses to a sneeze offered congratulations and support. During the sixth century, there was a plague raging, and the populace thought that sneezing was a symptom of impending death. Pope Gregory pronounced that the official response to a sneeze would be “God bless you,” which was thought to invoke divine protection for both the sneezer and the sneezed-upon.

Even though we know that minor actions like opening an umbrella in the house have no bearing on our personal wellbeing, it’s hard to stop minding these deeply ingrained superstitions. For better or worse, they’ve become a part of our culture, even though nobody ever talks about the many serial killers without thirteen letters in their name, or the many people who walked under a latter and didn’t die. Even I lived for a year on the thirteenth floor of an apartment building and lived to tell the tale. So go ahead—put your hat on the bed, pick up a penny when it’s tails-up, or break a mirror. And if you’re ever in a production of Macbeth, break a leg.

For our Non-Practitioners: A guide just for you.

We all have friends or family that have their own paths. Do you need a guide to help your muggle friends and family to understand our basics? Try out our little guide.

Please wait while flipbook is loading. For more related info, FAQs and issues please refer to DearFlip WordPress Flipbook Plugin Help documentation.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Autumnal Equinox -Mabon Date: ​Annually on September 21/ 22

The days and nights are of equal length, as the light continues its descent. The Sun King is interred. The Goddess laments the loss of her Consort and descends to the Underworld in search of him. There she encounters the Dark God and submits to his will. The two are united, representing the union of Thanatos and Eros. However, the Dark God is sterile, so no child can be born from their union. The Goddess assumes the aspect of the Dark Queen.

Light:Light near death
God and Goddess: The God, in his aspect as Forest King, reaches his final days. The Goddess mourns him and prepares for sleep.
Gods of Light and Darkness:​ The God of Darkness reaches maturity and defeats his alter-ego, the God of Light. The Goddess and the God of Darkness conceive the Dark Child that will be born at Litha.

MABON’S MESSAGE

As the pagan Thanksgiving, Mabon reminds us to look back on everything we have achieved and be grateful for what we have. However, since we are focusing on balance during this celebration, it’s also a great time to look at what is not working in our lives and put an end to or shift the energy around anything that’s not working for us. The best way to celebrate Mabon? Gather your friends around for a great meal, have a few drinks, and talk about what you’re grateful for. The warmth of love and friendship will get you through the cold winter that is to come.

Meanings
Second harvest, equality, balance, thankfulness, transition.
Symbols
Wine, gourds, pine cones, corn, apples, acorns, vines.
Foods
Loaves of bread, nuts, apples, potatoes, carrots, and onions.
Color
Red, orange, maroon, brown, and gold.
Crystals
Lapis lazuli, yellow agates, amber, citrine, tiger’s eye.
Herbs
Rosemary, sage, chamomile, rose hips, walnut leaves, saffron, dried apple.

Lughnasadh

Lughnasadh, also known as Lammas, is Gaelic for “commemoration of Lugh” and is the first harvest of the year. It is often celebrated by the calendar date August 1st or by the moon cycle which will be on August 3rd (Which is a full moon this year). As it was in Celtic tradition, our celebrations involve making loaves in honor of the god Lugh, the Irish solar god of craft and skill, by thanking our sun for the gift of light through the seasons beforehand. We also celebrate mother earth, our own skill, and the fruits of our hard works. Lughnasadh reminds us that we are in partnership with our divine, without that partnership our harvest will not rise.

Lughnasadh is a time of honoring the harvest in both a literal sense and a more internal sense. In the times of our ancestors, a farmers knowledge and skills could very well be the pivoting point between whether a nation thrived or perished. However, in today’s society many of us can no longer relate to that life, and so we turn inward to reflect on what Lughnasadh means to us. We think about our accomplishments in the past year. Some of us have started new careers, started school, have a new home, a new car, or finally went on that dream vacation. Some of us have let go of old relationships and made new ones, or have worked to better their health. Some of us are still working on manifesting our goals. This is a time to look back on our vision boards and ask ourselves, “What have I accomplished? What do I still need to work on? What did I think I needed but really don’t?” or the hardest question sometimes “What next?” It’s up to you.

Something to think about while preparing for your Lughnasadh ritual is prosperity and generosity. While tools and visuals are great, don’t forget that your intentions must be true.

Lughnasadh correspondence includes:

Colors: Orange, yellow, brown, and green

Tools: Sacred loaf of bread, harvested herbs, bonfires, Harvest offerings

Gods: Lugh, Gran, the Green Man, John Barleycorn

Imbolc

I could write you a ritual, a house blessing, or a simple spell for Imbolc, but that would be too simple. Instead, I’ll give you more- I’ll give you my piece of Imbolc.

Imbolc has always been about welcoming the spring and seeing the winter slip away. We welcome and see the goddess return to her maiden form. Brigit brings the fire to light, guide, and guard our homes & hearths. We gather a little longer to see out winter with the last jars of the harvest, the last bread of the season, & continue to feed the fire in our hearth.

Imbolc is a time of reflection. A time of solitude and reflection of the season we are leaving. We have seen & felt the wrath of winter. Now we must think and plan for the spring to come. We seek abundance & good health for the new year. Planning is critical in order to see the future as we wish to see it be. 

Any improvement rather to ourselves or our homes, reflection is key. It is the key to see where & how we can improve. What we can do to help our neighbors, friends, strangers, & our own family. Everyone Hopes for a better future- but hope starts with us.

Be The Hope

Be The Key

Be The Change You Seek

-Mother Teresa- 
“I alone can’t change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

 

FORGET JANUARYS NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS

LET GO OF 2019 AND LET BE 

 

 

Let Go & Let Be

                                                    
       January is known for its beginnings of new projects (New Year Resolutions), new chances BUT for me, it’s time to just let go & let be. Some people want to lose weight, others better habits but the one thing most everyone has in common is the something new.        While January starts the year, it’s also the time to set time to review the year, review yourself, & lastly to rejuvenate our body, soul, and mind. Self-Reflection is a promise of knowledge, wisdom, and growth.

      We have come so far in 2019 but some of us not as far as we wished.
December, we pushed to make last notes, last big changes, and adjustments but what about ourselves? What did we do for ourselves?

 

Read More…. From The Next Witch Sanctuary Here

 

A Personal Aspect On Voodoo- Guest Article

Guest Article: Dr. Durand (Alex)

Voodoo – The Underestimated Healing Religion

  It’s a dark night in the even blacker night of the bayou; even the moon at full light cannot penetrate the secretive space of intertwined trees and blanketed Spanish moss.  At full dark, a shriveled woman casts dark curses upon unfortunate souls, cackles while she slips pins into poppets, all the while sacrificing a chicken on a profane altar.  Unfortunately, it is an image like this that so often springs to mind when “Voodoo” is spoken.  Television, movies, religious practitioners of many varieties have all vilified the religion and often sought to marginalize it.  Oddly enough, even within the pagan community, I’ve often been met with hushed tones or speculative, skeptical gazes when I mention that it is part of the path that I follow.  There is an inner part of me that takes brief amusement from this, but there is a deeper concern that the many gifts that voodoo offers the world are marginalized.  Of these, I have a particular topic that is very often overlooked because of the supposed deeply dark side of the tradition – that topic is healing.

            The work of healing is so often done is small ways that do not call attention to either themselves of the practitioners.  Indeed, as witches have known from time immemorial, those who practice the healing arts are often the first to be demonized, and ultimately even dispatched in all manner of creative ways.  The voodoo practitioner of the colonial and slave times was almost always an elderly woman or man.  She was almost always a slave, although sometimes, she might have been a freedwoman.  Other slaves, whether they be those in the midst of pregnancy and childbirth or those whose bodies were bending and breaking under the work they were forced to do, would find in her a comfort.  Often, that comfort came in the form merely of words of wisdom.  Just as often, it came in a poultice that healed physical brokenness.  Or a broth of herbs that fought off the fevers and diseases of the tropical and subtropical climes where enslavement dominated.  It was in the ritual of touch and magic, and in the rituals of mourning when the pregnancy came to stillbirth or in which both mother and child perished. 

            As slavery gave way to share-cropping (better only in name, in all practicality), and then to Jim Crow oppressions, the healing practices came out of the darkness of night.  But, perhaps the greatest gift of the voodoo practitioner was not the healing of body or even the comforting when the body simply could do nothing but succumb to the indignities of life.  Perhaps the greatest gift was hope; not milquetoast hope of pie in the sky or the sweet by and by, but fierce, rebellious, determined hope.  The hope that Ogoun, loa of iron, fierce protector and warrior, but also loa of healers embodies.  To ask Ogoun to help, to protect, to guard is to invoke a power that is forged in the fiery heat of the blacksmith’s shop.  To light the candle and reach out to protect another is to feel the power of Ogoun arc out and surround them with fearsome protection.  But, even more than that, it is a radical statement of personhood and independence and freedom that fires the blood and feeds the spirit and encourages the soul, even in the midst of the most demeaning sorts of humiliation and denigration.  Voodoo is that tradition that says people are full human beings, even if other human powers strive to oppress them.  That defiant spirit is the motive engine of healing – it is the raging against the dying of the night, it is the warrior empowering the spirit.  Simply put, voodoo seeks to heal body, mind, and spirit in a world that so often wants to cripple, infirm, and crush.  Voodoo says no.

            The spirit of voodoo (voudun, vodu, vodun) is not a spirit of darkness or black magic – it is a spirit of healing, long before it is anything else, and it is a spirit of defiance in the face of fear, hatred, marginalization and disease.