Have you knocked on wood? Have you crossed your fingers? Have you avoided walking under an open ladder? Also, do you carry a lucky charm? Therefore, it is likely you are superstitious. Although you may not depend on your superstitions to make decisions, you may be surprised as to the population who does. Superstition may occur in your life year-round but Halloween is a time of celebration of these quirky fixations.

What is superstition? According to Wikipedia, superstition is a belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any physical process linking the two events. Performing a specific ritual prior to your action may not just be routine. You may be superstitious. Think of your favorite professional athlete. Many athletes prior to game time may perform a certain function. Their minds tend to believe they may perform better while in action. They also believe if the action is not executed they may fail. Hall of Fame third basemen Wade Boggs had some peculiar rituals prior to taking the field. Prior to every game Boggs ate chicken, took exactly 150 ground balls, and wrote the word “Chai” (meaning life) in the dirt before each at-bat. The 12-time All-Star won the Silver Slugger Award 8 times and the Golden Glove Award twice. Was it his superstitions that led him to success? In Boggs mind, he attributes his success to his rituals.

Do you have superstitions? Do you tend to believe and or live by your superstitions? Have you ever asked yourself why you adopted such a thought? Ponder the following superstitions that are most common.

It is said to be the most common superstition, the number 13. The fear is so widespread that many apartments buildings and hotels omit the 13th floor. If a black cat crosses your path it is considered bad luck. In Egypt all cats are considered lucky. Think you may have bad luck if you break a mirror. Many cultures have been led to believe the mirror had the power to confiscate the user’s soul. Walking under an open ladder is not necessarily safe. The shape of the triangle, also considered a life symbol, if walked under was also testing your fate. Throwing a pinch of salt over your left shoulder may rid you of bad luck. This origination to the legend is that the devil is always standing behind you, so throwing salt in his eye will distract him from causing trouble. Opening an umbrella indoors is said to “rain” bad luck on you. The Chinese culture believes carrying a rabbit’s foot is a sign of prosperity. While other cultures believe it promotes reproduction. You might want to knock on wood because the ancient belief is that good spirits lived in trees. Therefore by knocking on something wooden, a person is calling on spirits for protection. Let us not forget crossing our fingers, the horseshoe, four-leaf clover or if a bird drops on your head.

While you may not believe in superstitions, six of twelve people in the United States believe or act upon certain rituals to ward off bad luck or help create something good. Keep in mind the superstitions listed above are merely that… superstitions created and or developed over hundreds of years. Take it all in stride and do what works for you.

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