Knock Wood

Edith here. Happy Sunday!
Astrologers_retroMary Jo’s last blog on the Mercury in Retrograde situation gave me much to think on.

I’m not sure about Astrology, and I took a course in it too. I don’t believe in much that isn’t factual.

But see, the thing is, I don’t exactly disbelieve, either.

Now I know why I haven’t been able to get a good start on my new book this week, as I’d planned. A book I was excited about too. I couldn’t get two good coherent words strung together. Turns out Mercury in retrograde was to blame, and I’m a Gemini, after all. It’s my ruling planet.

What a relief to find that out. Now, that’s something I can believe in. It is, after all, an ancient science.

I also believe in ghosts, because I’ve encountered them. And I believe in wishes coming true, because I’ve had it happen.

I’m not superstituous, though.

Still, why take chances? I have these little rituals to ward off bad stuff, things my Mother taught me.

Like tugging on my left earlobe when a funeral procession goes by…

Knocking on wood, of course, when something good is mentioned…

Making a wish on the first star…

Looking at the full moon over your left shoulder and making a wish…

Wishing on the first bite of a fresh fruit when it comes into season…

Kissing bread before you throw it away…

(Wishing and eating, and wishing you were eating, was obviously very important to my ancestors.)

Stevie_wonderI mean, what harm does it do? (Unless you become obsessive, like the TV character Monk.) What is a superstition anyway, but something that hasn’t yet been scientifically proven?

So. Do you have any interesting superstitions?

I could always use a few more, because, after all, who knows?

Couldn’t hurt.

21 thoughts on “Knock Wood”

  1. Edith, what an intriguing post! I, too, lean toward the facts, ma’am–and yet there’s an astrological streak in my thinking. As to superstitions– I’ve got an unpronounceable Albanian one, but I know a lot of cultures have the same one in various languages and forms: If something really great happens or you say something admiring to somebody–like, What a beautiful baby!–immediately afterward, you must do or say something to ward off Bad Luck/the Evil Eye.

    Reply
  2. Edith, what an intriguing post! I, too, lean toward the facts, ma’am–and yet there’s an astrological streak in my thinking. As to superstitions– I’ve got an unpronounceable Albanian one, but I know a lot of cultures have the same one in various languages and forms: If something really great happens or you say something admiring to somebody–like, What a beautiful baby!–immediately afterward, you must do or say something to ward off Bad Luck/the Evil Eye.

    Reply
  3. Edith, what an intriguing post! I, too, lean toward the facts, ma’am–and yet there’s an astrological streak in my thinking. As to superstitions– I’ve got an unpronounceable Albanian one, but I know a lot of cultures have the same one in various languages and forms: If something really great happens or you say something admiring to somebody–like, What a beautiful baby!–immediately afterward, you must do or say something to ward off Bad Luck/the Evil Eye.

    Reply
  4. I tend to be pragmatic but must admit being somewhat superstitious.
    I’ve definitely experienced inexplicable phenomena–of the ghostly variety and otherwise.
    I knock on wood. Avoid walking under ladders. Wish on stars and wishbones. Am a bit unnerved by black cats. Dare not mention “the Scottish play” by name backstage.
    You know, the basics.
    But some superstions I only follow in the place where they’re part of the local custom.
    For instance, when spending time on the Isle of Man, I found out that white stones are/were considered terribly unlucky. This was bad news, because I always collect stones and pebbles and rocks when I travel (great souvenirs). I’ve got so many pretty white ones…all from places other than the IOM. There, I just couldn’t risk it!
    And where I grew up, it was considered very back luck to leave Christmas decorations up after New Year’s Eve. But because I don’t live there any longer, sometimes I do leave it up if we’re expecting guests for New Year’s Day. (Although I’ve never actually admitted to my mother that I don’t follow the old rule!)
    All the general and specific astrological profiles I read about myself seem spot-on (Pisces), as well as my chart. But I never read daily horoscopes, only monthly ones.
    In my writing life, I keep trying to defy the Mercury retrograde thing instead of giving into it. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes not!

    Reply
  5. I tend to be pragmatic but must admit being somewhat superstitious.
    I’ve definitely experienced inexplicable phenomena–of the ghostly variety and otherwise.
    I knock on wood. Avoid walking under ladders. Wish on stars and wishbones. Am a bit unnerved by black cats. Dare not mention “the Scottish play” by name backstage.
    You know, the basics.
    But some superstions I only follow in the place where they’re part of the local custom.
    For instance, when spending time on the Isle of Man, I found out that white stones are/were considered terribly unlucky. This was bad news, because I always collect stones and pebbles and rocks when I travel (great souvenirs). I’ve got so many pretty white ones…all from places other than the IOM. There, I just couldn’t risk it!
    And where I grew up, it was considered very back luck to leave Christmas decorations up after New Year’s Eve. But because I don’t live there any longer, sometimes I do leave it up if we’re expecting guests for New Year’s Day. (Although I’ve never actually admitted to my mother that I don’t follow the old rule!)
    All the general and specific astrological profiles I read about myself seem spot-on (Pisces), as well as my chart. But I never read daily horoscopes, only monthly ones.
    In my writing life, I keep trying to defy the Mercury retrograde thing instead of giving into it. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes not!

    Reply
  6. I tend to be pragmatic but must admit being somewhat superstitious.
    I’ve definitely experienced inexplicable phenomena–of the ghostly variety and otherwise.
    I knock on wood. Avoid walking under ladders. Wish on stars and wishbones. Am a bit unnerved by black cats. Dare not mention “the Scottish play” by name backstage.
    You know, the basics.
    But some superstions I only follow in the place where they’re part of the local custom.
    For instance, when spending time on the Isle of Man, I found out that white stones are/were considered terribly unlucky. This was bad news, because I always collect stones and pebbles and rocks when I travel (great souvenirs). I’ve got so many pretty white ones…all from places other than the IOM. There, I just couldn’t risk it!
    And where I grew up, it was considered very back luck to leave Christmas decorations up after New Year’s Eve. But because I don’t live there any longer, sometimes I do leave it up if we’re expecting guests for New Year’s Day. (Although I’ve never actually admitted to my mother that I don’t follow the old rule!)
    All the general and specific astrological profiles I read about myself seem spot-on (Pisces), as well as my chart. But I never read daily horoscopes, only monthly ones.
    In my writing life, I keep trying to defy the Mercury retrograde thing instead of giving into it. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes not!

    Reply
  7. I scoff at superstitions. I laugh because one of my nephews makes sure that his pre-school son wears a particular shirt when UGA’s Dawgs have a football game scheduled since the Dogs have never lost a game when the son is wearing his lucky shirt. I can remember telling my mother who scolded me for opening an umbrella in the house that both reason and faith proved superstition absurd. But I always pick up any penny I pass, and I am quick to still any empty rocking chair.

    Reply
  8. I scoff at superstitions. I laugh because one of my nephews makes sure that his pre-school son wears a particular shirt when UGA’s Dawgs have a football game scheduled since the Dogs have never lost a game when the son is wearing his lucky shirt. I can remember telling my mother who scolded me for opening an umbrella in the house that both reason and faith proved superstition absurd. But I always pick up any penny I pass, and I am quick to still any empty rocking chair.

    Reply
  9. I scoff at superstitions. I laugh because one of my nephews makes sure that his pre-school son wears a particular shirt when UGA’s Dawgs have a football game scheduled since the Dogs have never lost a game when the son is wearing his lucky shirt. I can remember telling my mother who scolded me for opening an umbrella in the house that both reason and faith proved superstition absurd. But I always pick up any penny I pass, and I am quick to still any empty rocking chair.

    Reply
  10. I can’t help remembering Carl Sagan’s comment that the obstetrician is more likely to exert gravitational influence on a newborn than any astronomical body.
    The one superstition I observe is that you cannot give a knife or sharp-bladed object to someone, or it will sever the friendship. You have to “sell” it to them for a penny or whatever other small coin they have on them.

    Reply
  11. I can’t help remembering Carl Sagan’s comment that the obstetrician is more likely to exert gravitational influence on a newborn than any astronomical body.
    The one superstition I observe is that you cannot give a knife or sharp-bladed object to someone, or it will sever the friendship. You have to “sell” it to them for a penny or whatever other small coin they have on them.

    Reply
  12. I can’t help remembering Carl Sagan’s comment that the obstetrician is more likely to exert gravitational influence on a newborn than any astronomical body.
    The one superstition I observe is that you cannot give a knife or sharp-bladed object to someone, or it will sever the friendship. You have to “sell” it to them for a penny or whatever other small coin they have on them.

    Reply
  13. From Sherrie:
    I’m not one for superstitions, but many of friends are. They would never admit it, of course, but they are.
    As a child, however, I observed all the usual superstitions. Never walk under a ladder. “Step on a crack, break your mother’s back,” so I always avoided cracks in sidewalks. Don’t open an umbrella in the house or you’ll have bad luck. Break a mirror and you’ll have 7 years of bad luck.
    I had an aunt and uncle who were loads of fun and always had a joke or a humorous story to tell. They had been in vaudeville in their younger years, and traveled all over the world giving performances. Like most people in show biz, they were very superstitious. I remember how upset Uncle Art was when a guest threw his hat on the bed (that was back in the days when, if you had a houseful of company, all their coats went on your bed). I guess it was bad luck to toss your hat on the bed, because Uncle Art performed some sort of incantation to counteract the bad luck. (By the way, Aunt Opal and Uncle Art used to entertain all kinds of dignitaries and politicians in their posh Texas home, and Mom used to talk about how they would borrow my sister and brother and me to attend some of their fancy dinners because we were so well behaved and polite, with such perfect table manners that we put the governor to shame. All I remember of those elegant dinners was the weird food and being painfully shy and everyone always making such a fuss over what well-behaved and polite children we were.)
    As I said, I don’t have any superstitions, but I have found myself doing certain things that baffle me. Such as always counting the steps if I have to go up or down stairs. I have no idea why I do it now. It started when I was an adolescent who’d read far too many mystery books where someone got kidnapped and blindfolded and then had to remember how many right and left turns they’d made, how many steps they’d climbed or descended, in order to escape by retracing their steps.
    So I and my vivid imagination took to pretending I had been kidnapped and had to count steps and such. I did this all the time, as a sort of mental game, and the counting of steps never went away. If I’m ever kidnapped and thrown into a dungeon blindfolded, I’ll know exactly how many flights of stairs I must climb to freedom, and exactly how many steps in each flight. I’ll be prepared!
    Sherrie

    Reply
  14. From Sherrie:
    I’m not one for superstitions, but many of friends are. They would never admit it, of course, but they are.
    As a child, however, I observed all the usual superstitions. Never walk under a ladder. “Step on a crack, break your mother’s back,” so I always avoided cracks in sidewalks. Don’t open an umbrella in the house or you’ll have bad luck. Break a mirror and you’ll have 7 years of bad luck.
    I had an aunt and uncle who were loads of fun and always had a joke or a humorous story to tell. They had been in vaudeville in their younger years, and traveled all over the world giving performances. Like most people in show biz, they were very superstitious. I remember how upset Uncle Art was when a guest threw his hat on the bed (that was back in the days when, if you had a houseful of company, all their coats went on your bed). I guess it was bad luck to toss your hat on the bed, because Uncle Art performed some sort of incantation to counteract the bad luck. (By the way, Aunt Opal and Uncle Art used to entertain all kinds of dignitaries and politicians in their posh Texas home, and Mom used to talk about how they would borrow my sister and brother and me to attend some of their fancy dinners because we were so well behaved and polite, with such perfect table manners that we put the governor to shame. All I remember of those elegant dinners was the weird food and being painfully shy and everyone always making such a fuss over what well-behaved and polite children we were.)
    As I said, I don’t have any superstitions, but I have found myself doing certain things that baffle me. Such as always counting the steps if I have to go up or down stairs. I have no idea why I do it now. It started when I was an adolescent who’d read far too many mystery books where someone got kidnapped and blindfolded and then had to remember how many right and left turns they’d made, how many steps they’d climbed or descended, in order to escape by retracing their steps.
    So I and my vivid imagination took to pretending I had been kidnapped and had to count steps and such. I did this all the time, as a sort of mental game, and the counting of steps never went away. If I’m ever kidnapped and thrown into a dungeon blindfolded, I’ll know exactly how many flights of stairs I must climb to freedom, and exactly how many steps in each flight. I’ll be prepared!
    Sherrie

    Reply
  15. From Sherrie:
    I’m not one for superstitions, but many of friends are. They would never admit it, of course, but they are.
    As a child, however, I observed all the usual superstitions. Never walk under a ladder. “Step on a crack, break your mother’s back,” so I always avoided cracks in sidewalks. Don’t open an umbrella in the house or you’ll have bad luck. Break a mirror and you’ll have 7 years of bad luck.
    I had an aunt and uncle who were loads of fun and always had a joke or a humorous story to tell. They had been in vaudeville in their younger years, and traveled all over the world giving performances. Like most people in show biz, they were very superstitious. I remember how upset Uncle Art was when a guest threw his hat on the bed (that was back in the days when, if you had a houseful of company, all their coats went on your bed). I guess it was bad luck to toss your hat on the bed, because Uncle Art performed some sort of incantation to counteract the bad luck. (By the way, Aunt Opal and Uncle Art used to entertain all kinds of dignitaries and politicians in their posh Texas home, and Mom used to talk about how they would borrow my sister and brother and me to attend some of their fancy dinners because we were so well behaved and polite, with such perfect table manners that we put the governor to shame. All I remember of those elegant dinners was the weird food and being painfully shy and everyone always making such a fuss over what well-behaved and polite children we were.)
    As I said, I don’t have any superstitions, but I have found myself doing certain things that baffle me. Such as always counting the steps if I have to go up or down stairs. I have no idea why I do it now. It started when I was an adolescent who’d read far too many mystery books where someone got kidnapped and blindfolded and then had to remember how many right and left turns they’d made, how many steps they’d climbed or descended, in order to escape by retracing their steps.
    So I and my vivid imagination took to pretending I had been kidnapped and had to count steps and such. I did this all the time, as a sort of mental game, and the counting of steps never went away. If I’m ever kidnapped and thrown into a dungeon blindfolded, I’ll know exactly how many flights of stairs I must climb to freedom, and exactly how many steps in each flight. I’ll be prepared!
    Sherrie

    Reply
  16. Like you, Edith, I only believe in the facts, but I’ll leave an open mind for things that can’t be explained fully as fact or superstition. I may not “see” ghosts but I “feel” them. I seem to carry my own little mercury retrograde around with me sometimes, causing machinery to go haywire when my tension rises, so I’m quite willing to blame mercury for all the mishaps I encounter this month!
    Pat

    Reply
  17. Like you, Edith, I only believe in the facts, but I’ll leave an open mind for things that can’t be explained fully as fact or superstition. I may not “see” ghosts but I “feel” them. I seem to carry my own little mercury retrograde around with me sometimes, causing machinery to go haywire when my tension rises, so I’m quite willing to blame mercury for all the mishaps I encounter this month!
    Pat

    Reply
  18. Like you, Edith, I only believe in the facts, but I’ll leave an open mind for things that can’t be explained fully as fact or superstition. I may not “see” ghosts but I “feel” them. I seem to carry my own little mercury retrograde around with me sometimes, causing machinery to go haywire when my tension rises, so I’m quite willing to blame mercury for all the mishaps I encounter this month!
    Pat

    Reply
  19. I lost six new pages to a computer glitch today, Pat.
    What wood did I fail to knock on?
    Oh, dire Retrograde!
    I am become a believer.
    best,
    Edith, the Gemini, in a astrological corner

    Reply
  20. I lost six new pages to a computer glitch today, Pat.
    What wood did I fail to knock on?
    Oh, dire Retrograde!
    I am become a believer.
    best,
    Edith, the Gemini, in a astrological corner

    Reply
  21. I lost six new pages to a computer glitch today, Pat.
    What wood did I fail to knock on?
    Oh, dire Retrograde!
    I am become a believer.
    best,
    Edith, the Gemini, in a astrological corner

    Reply

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