Friday, December 30, 2011

Pondering with a Purpose

Superstitions

I think it is human nature to be be superstitious, whether you admit it or not, or call it that or not. Everyone talks about "luck", or perhaps have items they consider "lucky". Athletes are known for the rituals they follow. Some athletes have articles of clothing they wear or won't wash if they are on a winning streak. Dale Earnhardt had a "lucky penny" glued to his dashboard when he had a particular important win. Tom Brady wouldn't cut his hair when the Patriots were on a winning streak a couple of years ago.
My Granny was a small but mighty woman, even imposing at a mere 4'8". Even she had superstitions. One passed down through her beliefs was that all Christmas decorations be taken down and put away before midnight New Year's eve. Before the new year arrive this must be done or someone in the house may die in the new year. I remember fearing this and that something may get overlooked...then what?! Well, I still observe this, but not as strictly, and being Catholic now, I like to leave the nativity out until epiphany. (Granny was strict Baptist, which is what I grew up as.) 
It was also not wise to put up a calendar for the new year until the 1st day of the new year. You did not want to bring the bad things from the old year into the new year. You want to start fresh.
Granny also delivered many babies in western Tennessee, in her day (early 1900's). She believed in the "veil" some infants are born with as being "lucky" for that child. The veil usually was over the infants face. Granny would take this and put it on a Bible for the mother, to preserve it for her and the child. To destroy it was considered very bad luck, as it was an omen of greatness for the child.
These were Granny's superstitions. Seven year bad luck for breaking a mirror, throwing salt over your left shoulder however, as were many others, considered "old wives tales", not to be taken seriously.
Superstitions often are traditions, I think, in families and in cultures.
 Martha Mary
"Granny"
           

2 comments:

  1. I have my own superstitions, not putting up a new calendar until the old year is done being one.

    I *always* knock on wood so as not to tempt the fates/gods, knock for good luck. I believe the origins date back to Pagan days when trees were believed to have wood sprites. Right up my alley, since I consider myself Pagan and definitely would have liked to have been a wood sprite in another life.

    And something that came out of my childhood is that unless I pay money for an animal companion (as opposed to finding a stray and taking it in), it will die before it reaches adulthood. Probably because that was the case for all the animals we had that were either given to us or that came to us. Not that there were many animals, but several, and all those not paid for really did die prematurely. So if I ever choose to have another four-legged companion, I'll be paying an adoption fee, thanks, as I've done with Chum and Annie and the boys. Of course, Chum and Annie didn't exactly live to a ripe old age anyway.

    But such are superstitions.

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  2. What a wonderful post and thank you once again for pondering!
    I've never heard of a lot of these superstitions....

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