It’s not hard to believe that some of the superstitions that have persisted throughout the centuries are still present in modern society. From avoiding black cats to not walking under ladders, these old wives’ tales have been passed down through the generations. Today, we’ll look at some of the most popular superstitions and see if there’s any truth to them.
Giving the Evil Eye
The evil eye is a curse that is said to be caused by envy or jealousy and originates from ancient Greek culture. It is said to cause misfortune or harm to the person it is cast upon. In some cultures, the evil eye is believed to be so powerful that it can cause death. The superstition of the evil eye is still prevalent in many cultures today. In fact, you may have seen someone wearing a blue eye bead or charm as a form of protection against the curse.
Knocking on Wood
While the exact origins of knocking on wood are unknown, many historians believe that it originated from the folklore of ancient Indo-Europeans. People would knock on wood or trees to summon good spirits from within the wood that would offer protection and blessings. Today, knocking on wood is done to ward off bad luck or misfortune. It is also done to thank someone for good luck that has already been bestowed upon you.
A Black Cat Crossing Your Path
The black cat superstition is probably one of the most well-known superstitions out there. If a black cat crosses your path, it is believed to be an omen of bad luck. Ancient Egyptian and Greek mythology referred to cats as divine beings. In addition to this, written records link black cats to the occult as far back as the 13th century, when Pope Gregory IX declared that black cats were “an incarnation of Satan.” Which in turn marked the turn of black cats from symbols of the divine to symbols of witchcraft and the occult.
Opening an Umbrella Indoors
The opening of an umbrella indoors superstition dates back to ancient Egypt when Egyptians worshipped the sun god, Ra. It is believed that the opening of an umbrella indoors will bring bad luck because it offends the sun. This superstition became popular in 18th-century Britain when umbrellas were seen as a symbol of death, as they were often used to shield mourners from the rain during funerals. Now in the 21st century, there is a National Open an Umbrella in Doors Day, which was created to challenge the age-old superstition.
Walking Under a Ladder
The superstition of walking under a ladder dates back to the Middle Ages when it was believed that witches and demons used ladders to enter and exit homes. Walking under a ladder was an invitation for them to enter your home and bring you bad luck. It was also believed that if you walked under a ladder, you were destined for the gallows, as they resembled the structure of the gallows in medieval times. This superstition is still prevalent in many cultures today and is often seen as a sign of bad luck.
Breaking a Mirror
The superstition of breaking a mirror dates back to ancient Rome. It is believed that when a mirror breaks, it signifies seven years of bad luck. This is because mirrors were seen as a reflection of the soul, and it was thought that breaking a mirror would cause the soul to be fragmented. Ancient Romans also believed that the gods observed their souls through mirrors, so breaking one was disrespectful to them and thus deserving of bad luck.
Superstitions are a part of many cultures and have been around for centuries. Some superstitions are based on ancient mythology, while others are more modern. But regardless of their origins, superstitions are still a part of many people’s lives today. What are some of the superstitions that you have heard of? Do you believe in any of them?