and The 3 Bears
History, Meanings, Predicted Outcomes or ?
Object or Activity
What it means or what will happen to you?
|There are a few suspected origins
to this tradition.
The Romans had "Lupercalia" in the spring in which they had a custom of switching young girls in belief that it would give them longer life and fertility. The ancient Germans were a bit more intense by whipping women/young girls for the same reasons as the Romans. And, the Druids also did the same thing for the same reason. As a result, in *some* homes today, on a person's birthday they gently get a spanking on their rear for each year they were born (so far) + one to grow on, one to be good on, one to live long on, one to have a good marriage on...etc. PS: For the record I always hated this as a child and I really don't promote this, even if in fun.
|For centuries many felt
bees came from heaven. So because bees make wax and we make candles from
their wax, this is why candles are considered heavenly -- esp. in
|Ancient conjurers and
sorcerers felt candles were a protection against spells. They also
felt that if you watched how they burn you could tell about your future
love life. A good example that lives today is to blow them all out
(on your birthday cake) and that means you get your wish.
|This has to do with
blowing on items for luck. An example is a gambler who blows or
spits on the dice before rolling. Why? In the old days men spit on
their axes or shovels (for a better grip) in belief that the gods will
make their work easier.
|The ancients gave cakes
away on days of new beginnings and celebrations, believing they had some
magical way to guarantee fertility, good luck, riches and drive away
|Often mark occasions of
joy, even today. But our ancestors lighted candles believing they
would ward off evil spirits and light their way to long , happy life
with their God. (Note: Candles were the only form of
lighting so of course they suddenly removed darkness back then.)
|How many of us have
walked down a sidewalk and said "Crack, Crack don't step on your
mother's back" when playing hop-scotch? The fear of stepping
on a crack goes back to the old fear of letting the soul out of the
square with the four corners symbolic of balance and
|White doves have
represented peace and friendship way back into ancient times. This
is why we see them released during the Olympics. Doves are
believed to be the form taken by holy spirits.
|Going along with the
beliefs mentioned above about doves, well, it was felt to be good luck
to the person on whom they fell. Oh ICK!!! ;)
|Many people believe that
the restlessness of domestic animals can tell when an earthquake is
about to happen. This is especially true of cattle.
Scientists now check the Lost & Found in newspapers to scan the
activity of cats and dogs to help determine if this can be a
prediction. Other's, termed "Sensitives" have been known
to have special perception that allows them to foretell coming events,
|All fishermen must wear
good-luck charms and never allow a woman to step over their rods.
Why? This will insure good luck while fishing. More superstitions
are to throw the first fish back in the water; keep spitting on
your bait; always bait your hook with your right hand and never never
used an upturned bucket as your seat. This will make the water spirits
very happy. :)
|Gambling is full of
superstitions: (1) Never gamble with your legs crossed. (2) Never accept
a $2 bill. (3) In dice throwing "Snake Eyes" (two ones) is
called a deuce and is said to represent the devil. (4) No dogs are never
allowed at the gambling table. (Note: Get the pun of that image of dogs
playing poker now?) (5) Always stack your chips in neat piles. (6)
Always blow on your cards or dice (don't ask me how you do this when
playing on a computer?). (7) If you carry a toenail from a horned toad,
Lady Luck will be with you.
|The horseshoe is
considered a super witch repellent because of it's shape being crescent
and resembling the new moon. This crescent shape is feared also by
"little people" aka goblins. All horseshoes should be
hung above a doorway with the ends facing up so that good luck can not
|Walking under a ladder
has been considered bad luck for hundreds of years. Logically, we
all know how wobbly they are. But that's not the reason. Ladders
have been considered the spiritual ascent to heaven. So the rule
was "Do Not Disturb the spirits who were using them!" If
a ladder is leaning up against a wall that forms a triangle. And
in the old days a triangle symbolized "Life."
So... if you walked under a ladder leaning against a wall you were
breaking the symbol of life. When tested recently in
Britain, it was discovered that 70% of people still today refuse to walk
under a ladder if there's another option. But, if you really must
walk under a ladder then here are the rules: Cross your fingers;
Spit over your left shoulder (never the right) or...keep silent until
you see your first 4-legged animal. This offsets any evil or
|We all have heard that
break a mirror and you get 7 years of bad luck, right? The
ancients believed that any image of a person contained a portion of that
person's essence. So if you broke a mirror you injured or
destroyed the person looking into it. This grew into just "Don't
break the mirror period." The 7 Years relates to the Romans
numerology of Shadows ...(see further down the page on that.)
|Salt is not only
essential to all humans biologically, but it was believed to be a
powerful magical substance. So any spilling of salt was considered
a dangerous omen. Salt's ability to preserve foods
(especially meats) from decaying is the reason it's a symbol of eternity and immutability. It often is a symbol used in pledge-making rituals where taking salt together binds two into eternal friendship.
Salt also was believed to be powerful enough to keep witches and devils away. So carrying some with you like a talisman or good luck charm would keep you from any danger.
If you are unlucky enough to spill some salt, well never scrap it up! Instead, throw some over your shoulder and hit the "evil eye" to counteract the omen of bad luck.
|If you step on a shadow,
it is believed that you bring suffering to the souls of it's
owners. So going back to the mirror superstition, it was believed
that the reflection of a person in the mirror contains part of his soul.
|Shoes and boots have
often been considered good luck items in magic. This is why some
farmers hand a shoe on their fence post. This is suppose to entice
the spirits of good crops and to help them out. Some also believe
that a scarecrow does this since he hangs on a cross. The custom
of throwing an old shoe at the bride and groom goes back to the belief
that it will ward off jealousy and evil. Thus tying shoes on the
back of the newlywed's car is to ensure a good venture and a happy
"God Bless You!"
The custom goes back to an old belief that a person's soul could leave the body via through the mouth and so a sneeze makes the soul vulnerable to evil spirits by ejecting it. The blessing remarks is suppose to counteract that.
|Stars have always been
considered to be Gods. So the phrase, "Wish I may, wish I might on
the first star I see tonight" is considered the most powerful
because it was the first and so the odds of having your desires come
true are greater.
|The bigger the better is
the belief. Why? They are used to hold down the deceased
corpse. And in some cases the type of stone used for them was
either better or worse for holding good or bad spirits.
|How many times have you
been told not to open an umbrella inside the house? It's not
because they are big and could hit a lamp and knock it over. The reason
goes back to the ancient beliefs regarding sun worship. Since
umbrella's shade us from the sun they were given magical powers.
Thus opening an umbrella inside out of the sun's rays is considered
offensive to the sun god.
before our satellite imagery today has been very
(1) Dogs eating grass, Cats sneezing or licking their fur backwards; pigs straightening their curly tails all means it's going to rain.
(2) On February 2 Ground Hog's Day if the ground hog sees his shadow when coming out of the hole he returns to sleep for 6 more weeks because it's going to be cold weather for that much longer. If he doesn't see his shadow (i.e. it's a cloudy day) that means good weather is ahead. The only person this makes sense to is Mr. Ground Hog. ;)
|Breaking the turkey
wishbone is an old custom. Whoever gets the biggest piece will get
good luck. Some say that it goes way back to the old belief of the
magical power of the horned moon and the horned god of the Stone Age
|Whistling in the dark
(or anytime) is considered a an ancient way to summon the spirits to
help you in time of need. (Today it gets you a taxi!) Sailors
whistle to create a wind for sailing. But if a sailor whistles too
loud, it will stir up a gale. And, another belief is that if a
sailor wears a gold earring, it will prevent drowning. Is
this why we see a lot of pirates with them?
|Knock on wood is often
done for luck. The reason this is done is to avoid fate or
preventing the spirits from puncturing your pride or deprive you of good
fortune. This ritual goes back to primitive times when Druid oak
was considered sacred and holy wood. Christians believed it was
the holy wood of the cross.
Superstitions of the Rich & Famous
Lena Horne, world famous singer believed that peanut shells in her dressing room brought bad luck.
Love and Marriage Superstitions
A woman should steal a man's hatband and wear it as a garter. This will ensure her his love.
Carry the beard of a wild turkey and you will attract love.
When walking with your lover, let nothing (like posts, fire hydrant) come between you and you will keep the love or friendship strong.
Rice thrown at newly weds to transfer the power of earth's fertility to them.
Wedding cake used to be thrown at the couple for the same reasons. Today we eat it.
A wedding in the month of May is considered bad luck because Romans honored the dead in that month. June is more popular because it is connected with mating.
Wedding garters (for the bride) must be blue to follow ancient customs of representing spirtuality & constancy.
When a bride throws here wedding bouquet to the single girls, it is based on an ancient custom that whoever catches it will marry that year.
Wedding rings go back to Egyptian times and their vows. Never take off your wedding ring unless you are using it to fight a witch!
bride over the threshold goes back to when men got their women by
Bridesmaids and Bestman are believed to represent the two contending families fighting it out while the man captured his bride?
Groom is used because it was believed the man was the servant to wait on the bride.
Honeymoon comes an old tradition that only the bride, groom & family were to drink mead liquor (made from honey) for a solid month or one full moon. Some think it was to relax the couple (esp. in arranged marriages).
Having a Baby?
For a girl?
More boy ideas:
In the Ozarks, it is believed that the father-to-be sit on the roof near the chimney for 7 hrs.
I mean, as if men need heating up?
If a wife is having a problem getting pregnant, then she is to go naked in her garden on Midsummer's Eve (June 23) and pick a flower called St. John's wort.
Midi Title: "Psycho" - Theme from the Alfred Hitchcock Movie
"Holiday Folklore, Phobias and Fun"
By Donald E. Dossey, Ph.D.
Outcome Unlimited Books © 1992
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