• Brynn Paulin

Daily Joe: Superstitions

Updated: Oct 26


Happy FriYAY! Today on Brynn's Daily Joe, I'm talking about Superstitions. I figured it's late October so I'd pull in some things that fall toward the creepier side of things. Only...well, as it turns out, my superstition list ended up being things that are part of everyday life that I don't even think about as superstitions. They are, but they're so ingrained...


Without further preamble:


Superstitions


I'm only going to address three superstitions. I was going to do more, but as I was writing the first three, the blog was getting lengthy, LOL. This is supposed to be quick, fun (knock on wood) reading. Today, you might even learn something you didn't know.


I'll start out with one of the most common: Knock on Wood.


How often have you said that or heard that said? You're very confident about something you're saying and knock on wood. I mean, I don't remember what I said yesterday, but it was a knock on wood moment. I remember that part.


Also it can almost be like...I don't know...wish or dream fulfillment.


"This book is going to sell a million copies--knock on wood!"


I bet you can't guess where this one originated.


There are 2 origins.

  1. in some cultures it was believed that gods lived in trees. To ask a god for a favor, one would knock on the tree.

  2. it's also thought to be an ancient Christian thing where one would knock on wood to give thanks for good fortune. The gesture was a connection between Christ and the wooden cross.

Thirteen Is Bad Luck


I have it on good authority that thirteen is just a number.


But people believe Friday the 13th is bad luck. There are buildings, such as apartments and hotels, with no 13th floor for the same reason. I've seen rosters that have no 13. Some airliners don't have a 13th row.


Strangely, some say this belief stems from Judas Iscariot being the 13th guest at the last supper and he was the one who led to the crucifixion. Some say that 13 is an imperfect number that falls after a perfect number.


Now, shift your view to the eastern world. Hindus, Greeks and Thais considered 13 to be a luck number. In Greece, Zeus and 13 are synonymous. During the time, Zeus was most powerful so therefore, 13 became the number of power and the divine. It's the number of totality and completion.


In Thailand the new year begins on April 13th. Bad is washed away by splashing water on people.


For every month in the Hindu calendar the 13th is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The belief is if you pray to Shiva you will be blessed with wealth, prosperity and happiness.


Personally, I can get on board with 13 being lucky. Hey! No one is complaining about a baker's dozen!


Black Cats


Every year, I see posts about keeping your black cat inside on Halloween night. Frankly, I say keep all your animals in on Halloween night, but that's me.


People think that black cats are BAD LUCK. Have you ever heard "don't let a black cat cross your path"? And to think, people who live with black cats have their paths cross ALL. THE. TIME. And yet they live. Historically, black dogs and cats are the least adopted pets. This floors me. Three of the four dogs I've owned are or were black. It's my preference.


Side note: to counter this cross your path, the superstitious believe if a black cat crosses your path, you can reverse your luck by having a white cat then cross in front of you.


In the middle ages, it was believed that witches kept black cats and therefore people were suspicious of the felines. They thought these animals turned into witches or demons. From the 13th to the 17th century, through Europe all the way to the Salem Witch Trials, black cats were killed because they were "evil" and associated with witchcraft.


Further superstition on this, in 16th century Italy, it was believed that death was on it's way if a black cat lay on someone's bed when they were sick.


In modern day, some even think if you see a black cat during a funeral procession another family member is soon to die.


Just a little trivia: Hitler and Napoleon were both terrified of black cats.


Conversely, in some places black cats are GOOD LUCK.


In Asia you will have luck for life if you own a black cat. I hear this might be true for the UK too. Someone who reads me there should confirm or deny for me.


In Europe, sailors used to bring black cats on their ships for luck.


In Japan you will find love if you see a black cat and in England a bride will be lucky if she gets a black cat as a gift (this could be dicey if lots of well-wishers decided to gift her that way, don't you think?)


In some places, it's even good luck to see a black cat in your dreams.


Today, October 22

It's more work on Soldier! Josef is HOT. Just sayin'.


I'm also finishing up my freelance edit and humming Christmas carols. Hey! It's a Christmas book. What can I say?


This weekend, I'll be celebrating my youngest's 25th birthday. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??? But I'll be back on Monday with the 13 Best Halloween Movies -- Brynn Edition.


Happy weekend!!

~~Brynn


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