In different cultures superstitions and beliefs associated with bad luck have been prevalent since ancient times. While we may want to believe superstition is less prevalent in this modern age, you will be surprised superstition and belief in regard with bad luck is yet rampant as it used to be in the past. While people may deny they are superstitious, majority of people from around the globe associate luck with attributes that revolve around their life.
The Roots of Superstition
While there is no conclusive evidence about when superstition came into being, the roots of superstition emerge in ancient times when manassociated disease and natural calamities that occurred as a sign of wrath of Gods and deities. Furthermore, stories that have been passed on since ancient times have become firm beliefs among certain sections in society. While ancient beliefs and rituals in regard with superstition were considered sacred in ancient times, the modern age looks at scientific understanding, scientific reason and cultural belief before associating superstition with culture and religion.
Belief and Superstition associated with Bad Luck
While interpretations of superstition vary in accordance with cultural beliefs, in general superstition is considered an irrational belief that may stem from a conflux of events that take place in a person’s life. Superstition is often associated with dark forces or mysterious forces that result outcome. Belief associated with evil spirits bringing bad luck varies in different cultures. The theories about the unlucky numbers are numerous; however, the fact is beliefs stem differently in accordance with individual perspective. Individuals may start believing in ‘bad luck’ after a series events that occur in their lives. When individuals are faced with situations that impact negatively the mind manifests itself or is streamlined to believe in non-existent matter taking control of occurrence in life.
Good Omen and Bad Omen
The type of superstition in different cultures may be considered a good omen or bad omen. Mind manifestation plays an important role in belief and superstition. It’s when the mind manifests to some form of irrational belief that grows stronger…the seeds of superstation are planted. The degree of superstition varies in accordance with each individual’s perspective or culture in regard with a collective series of events that trigger change.
Mentioned below is a list of superstitions and beliefs associated with bad luck
1. Black Cat Crossing One’s Path
The black cat has always been in the news for wrong reasons. Since ancient times black cats have been viewed upon as evil omens. There is a lot of folklore surrounding black cats. Majority of ancient beliefs are associated with black cats being evil. Has a black cat crossed your path?
2. Numbers associated with bad luck
The world of numbers may be confusing for many students. However, some numbers are considered unlucky. The number 13 has a plethora of theories that paint a pretty picture of the number being unlucky. ‘Friday the 13th’ theories are numerous and garner a lot of debates. In some East Asian Nations, there is a lot of superstition associated with the number 4. In Italy the number 17 is rooted in diverse beliefs associated with ill-fate and bad luck. Certain numbers are associated with good luck and bad luck in different cultures.
3. Spilling Salt
Salt, which is an important ingredient in cooking has various theories angled in superstition when spilled or thrown. One among the many theories about evil befalling if salt is spilt comes forth from beliefs of Judas Iscariot accidently spilling salt at the Last Supper. While the school of thought on the ‘Judas’ aspect differs, superstition associated with spilt salt peaked. Also, salt was an expensive ingredient back in ancient times and was used to in treatment and cures. Hence, it is considered taboo to spill salt which was a precious ingredient in ancient culture. When salt is spilt it has become a ritual to throw a pinch of salt over the left shoulder. By doing so it is believed the devil is blinded and stop evil spirits from following you.
4. Placing Shoes on the Table
There are different beliefs about bad luck when shoes are placed on the table. One theory stems from the fact that criminals used to be hanged with their footwear. The footwear of hanged individuals used to be removed by the hangman and placed on the table. A belief common in New England stems from the death of a miner in thecoal industry. To show respect the miner’s shoes were placed on a table. However, in the course of time this was seen as an attempt at tempting fate and a sign of bad luck.
5. The Doppelganger Saga
In folklore and fictional accounts a ‘double-goer’ is considered as an evil person or a harbinger of ill-fate and bad luck. The word doppelganger is used in generic situations to describe a person that resembles another and brings bad luck.
6. Breaking a Mirror
There are different theories about superstitions associated with breaking a mirror. In Ancient Roman culture, reflection represented the soul, and hence breaking a mirror translated to the soul being shattered and tormented. Breaking of a mirror was associated and is still considered in some cultures a symbol of bad luck.
7. Walking under a Ladder
It is believed bad luck will befall those who walk under ladders. In ancient Christian beliefs a ladder forming a triangle when leant against a wall was symbolic of the Holy Trinity, and walking through under the ladder is considered desecration of the trinity thereby bringing ill-fate and band luck.
8. Three On A Match
This is a purported superstition associated with soldiers lighting a cigarette with the same match. The belief is never light three cigarettes with the same match… the reason being a sniper bullet could find any one of the three lighting a cigarette with the same match. It is believed it’s the third person lighting the same match that gets hit by the sniper bullet. Lighting three cigarettes with the same match is believed to bring bad luck.
9. Opening an Umbrellas Indoors
Opening an umbrella indoors is considered bad luck. In Ancient Egypt, Umbrellas made of peacock feathers and papyrus was used to protect Egyptian nobility from the harsh sun. It is believed opening an umbrella is a mark of disrespect towards the sun gods and bad luck will plague the person in the form of tears and sorrow representing wrath of rain gods.
10. Keeping your hat or cap on the bed
In ancient Rome and ancient Greece it was believed that keeping your headgear on the bed would bring bad luck and invoke spirits to haunt and torment the individual sleeping on the bed. This belief stemmed from the fact that people believed demons and evil spirits dwelled in a person’s head. Taking off your headgear and placing it on the bed was associated with mind torment and haunting.
11. Gifting Knives
In various ancient cultures it is believed a knife given as a gift severs friendship between the person receiving and giving. Legend has it... gifting a knife or set of knives to a bride and groom can ruin you friendship with them and bring bad luck in the bargain.
12. Sweeping dust out of your front with a broom after dark
When folklore about witches flying around in night skies on a household broom became rampant, the belief about sweeping dust out of the front door reached manic heights. It is believed sweeping dust out of the front door after dark will bring bad luck in the form of a stranger that visits your home.
13. A Hanging Picture Falling off the wall repeatedly
While there are findings why some pictures that are hung on the wall fall often…the superstition associated is rather grim. It is believe death will occur and the surviving member/s or loved ones of the person that passes away will be left with nothing but bad luck. Ancient belief associates falling of hanging pictures and glass objects with death by hanging.