Today’s Daily Post is about superstition, one of those topics that has always held my interest. Overall, I don’t think I’m very superstitious anymore, although I can recall freaking out one Friday the 13th when a black cat ran across my path as I drove to work. I figured I was either in for a double-whammy of bad luck, or else they’d cancel each other out. Thinking back, it must have been the latter, because I don’t have any recollection of that day being any worse than other days.
I went on a bit of a superstition scavenger hunt just to get some ideas of what to post, and I found some interesting superstitions that I’d never heard before. Just for fun, I’ll post my favorite ten superstitions.
- Ivy. Ivy growing on a house is said to protect the house from witchcraft and evil. I’ve always thought that ivy covering a house was a sign of neglect, and something a homeowner didn’t want to allow to happen. In light of this superstition, it makes sense why some folks let the ivy take over. This is also quite a good plot bunny.
- Birth beliefs. There is a little poem that talks about a child’s lot in life if they are born on certain days of the week. I’ve heard the poem, but I never thought of it as more than a cute children’s ditty. I do know that I was born on a Thursday, and it does seem sometimes that no matter what I do, I’ve still got far to go. Monday’s child is fair of face;
Tuesday’s child is full of grace;
Wednesday’s child is full of woe;
Thursday’s child has far to go;
Friday’s child is loving and giving;
Saturday’s child works hard for a living.
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
is fair and wise, good and gay.
- Onions. An onion cut in half and placed beneath a sick person’s bed will draw out the sickness. I actually did know this one, but I still find it fascinating, especially since I’m growing more and more interested in natural healing. I’ve read a lot about why this supposedly works or does not work, and honestly, I have yet to try it. I have also heard of using onion poultices for respiratory infections. This is something else I have tucked away to use in a story.
- Pencil. If you use the same pencil for a test that you used to study with, the pencil will remember the answers. Yeah, wish I’d had that one for higher math.
- Raven. To kill a raven is to harm the spirit of King Arthur, whose spirit visits in the form of a raven. Okay, I am a huge fan of Arthurian literature, and I have NEVER heard this one. You can bet that one will be tucked away for later!
- Sneezes. I’ve actually heard the second part of this poem, but I never knew what it referred to. I came across it when I read Seven For a Secret by Victoria Holt. If you sneeze on a Monday, you sneeze for danger;
Sneeze on a Tuesday, kiss a stranger;
Sneeze on a Wednesday, sneeze for a letter;
Sneeze on a Thursday, something better;
Sneeze on a Friday, sneeze for sorrow;
Sneeze on a Saturday, see your sweetheart tomorrow.
Sneeze on a Sunday, and the devil will have domination over you all week. One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a letter
Four for a boy.
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret, never to be told.
- Spiders. A spider is a repellent against plague when worn around the neck in a walnut shell. Again, an interesting little tidbit to tuck away for a story.
- Windows. All windows in a home should be opened at the moment of death so the person’s soul can leave. I wonder if ghosts haunt some places because they didn’t open the windows when someone died? Yet again, I can see this in a story, with a conversation taking place between two old women. One says to open the windows to let the dead person’s soul out, while the other argues that she’ll let the cold in and someone else will catch their death, probably her.
- Bed/Sleep. I actually found a contradiction here. One said if you place your bed aligning north and south, you will have bad luck. The other said it is best to sleep with your head to the north and your feet to the south. Sounds like damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Guess it’s good that I don’t sleep much.
- Rosemary planted by the door will keep witches away. I know a few folks who consider themselves witches, and at least a few of them plant rosemary close to their doors so it’s within easy reach.