SUPERSTITION

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Pat Rice in the room—

As my  debut blog under the new regime, it was just too obvious to give me Friday 13th.  I must assume the Fates decreed that I actually research my subject for a change. Wikipedia  gives the dull boring theories as to the origins of the Friday the 13th superstition. One must wonder how the paranoid determined what day it was that Adam bit into his apple since there were no calendars before there were scientists to study the stars, but fear is always marvelously illogical.

Personally, I prefer the tales of clashes between Christian and pagan religions for the origins of the  superstition .  By Roman times, we at least had a calendar to mess with, and if sex goddesses dominated Friday (Romans worshiped Venus at the end of the week, and when the Norse Freya
adopted their calendar, the day of the week that is now Friday was named after their goddess of love, Freya),  I can just see the pagans celebrating  week’s end with a good old fashioned drunken roll in the hay in celebration of Venus and Freya and those old priests cursing the day. So Friday already had a bad rep going for it before the 13th came into play.

The 13th part of the superstition has any number of sources, starting with the 13 people at the last supper (Jesus and his twelve apostles with Judas arriving last), the 13 months in the pagan lunar calendar, and the 13 months of the human menstrual cycle—making the number female, mysterious, and thus evil to male-dominated religions. Makes one wonder if we’ve wandered as far from primitive times as we thought.

Knight_templar
Anyway, the story that truly fascinates me is about the  Knights Templar , which kind of sealed the deal for Friday the 13th. Killing off an entire company of enormously wealthy, powerful, Christian warriors on a single Friday the 13th with such methodical madness is sufficient to give any day a bad name.

I imagine, in the way of human nature, that all these various events, curses, and tales combined and generated coincidences that fueled the fear.  I’m sure, if one looks hard enough, there are plenty of disasters related to Fridays and the number 13 (look at the Apollo 13, for instance) to reinforce the superstition. And according to psychologists, the mind can be so strong that people make their own disasters out of their fears–thus, if you believe today is bad, it’s gonna be bad, so go back to bed.

It’s rather obvious that the fear of Friday the 13th is a superstition (defined by Wikipedia as  “the irrational belief that future events are influenced by specific behaviors, without having a causal relationship.”).  But determining the boundaries of superstition is a little tougher. Astrology attempts to predict future events, but does it have a causal relationship? Astrologers would argue that the planets Astrology
have a magnetic or energy affect on events, but scientists would scoff. It may be irrational to believe that by moving red objects and wind chimes and so forth into the proper sectors of your house according to the ancient Chinese belief in the forces of feng shui will produce the positive future effect you hope to achieve, but how do we know for certain that there isn’t a causal relationship if we actually produce that effect?

We can, of course, also carry this into our religious beliefs, since rationally, we cannot prove that any god exists or that the heavens have any effect on our lives.  Call me superstitious, but I’m a believer in things I can’t see. I can’t see gravity, but I haven’t fallen off the planet yet.  So why can’t I believe in God and astrology and feng shui as well? Or ghosts. And the power of Love.  That’s a big one for me, although there are cynics who shrug off Love as a female affectation and the aftereffect of strong sex.

Angel
So where do you draw the line at superstition? And how do you justify that line?  I’m off to set a little angel in my Fame sector to see if that affects the fate of this blog…

44 thoughts on “SUPERSTITION”

  1. Oh, very cool post, Pat! I’d never made the connection that the love and good times goddesses ruled Friday, but it makes perfect sense. Nor did I know that the slaughter of the Knights Templar took place on Friday the 13th. Things like that can definitely give a day a bad name. (Of course, the Templars were also bankers, a group that does inspire an urge to whack upon occasion.)
    As to believing in the unseen–Mercury Retrograde, anyone? 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  2. Oh, very cool post, Pat! I’d never made the connection that the love and good times goddesses ruled Friday, but it makes perfect sense. Nor did I know that the slaughter of the Knights Templar took place on Friday the 13th. Things like that can definitely give a day a bad name. (Of course, the Templars were also bankers, a group that does inspire an urge to whack upon occasion.)
    As to believing in the unseen–Mercury Retrograde, anyone? 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  3. Oh, very cool post, Pat! I’d never made the connection that the love and good times goddesses ruled Friday, but it makes perfect sense. Nor did I know that the slaughter of the Knights Templar took place on Friday the 13th. Things like that can definitely give a day a bad name. (Of course, the Templars were also bankers, a group that does inspire an urge to whack upon occasion.)
    As to believing in the unseen–Mercury Retrograde, anyone? 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  4. Oh, very cool post, Pat! I’d never made the connection that the love and good times goddesses ruled Friday, but it makes perfect sense. Nor did I know that the slaughter of the Knights Templar took place on Friday the 13th. Things like that can definitely give a day a bad name. (Of course, the Templars were also bankers, a group that does inspire an urge to whack upon occasion.)
    As to believing in the unseen–Mercury Retrograde, anyone? 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  5. I’m not Jewish, but someone told me once that part of the Sabbath celebration is for the parents of a home to have marital relations on Friday night after supper. That would fit right in with the pagans celebrating the day in a like manner.

    Reply
  6. I’m not Jewish, but someone told me once that part of the Sabbath celebration is for the parents of a home to have marital relations on Friday night after supper. That would fit right in with the pagans celebrating the day in a like manner.

    Reply
  7. I’m not Jewish, but someone told me once that part of the Sabbath celebration is for the parents of a home to have marital relations on Friday night after supper. That would fit right in with the pagans celebrating the day in a like manner.

    Reply
  8. I’m not Jewish, but someone told me once that part of the Sabbath celebration is for the parents of a home to have marital relations on Friday night after supper. That would fit right in with the pagans celebrating the day in a like manner.

    Reply
  9. LOL, true, whacking bankers might be a fun game, but in this case, old Phillip was little more than a ticked-off bank robber.
    And now I have to go back and research Fridays, for sure. At what point did we know Friday was Friday? Did the change in the Gregorian calendar change the days of the week? Inquiring minds need to know…

    Reply
  10. LOL, true, whacking bankers might be a fun game, but in this case, old Phillip was little more than a ticked-off bank robber.
    And now I have to go back and research Fridays, for sure. At what point did we know Friday was Friday? Did the change in the Gregorian calendar change the days of the week? Inquiring minds need to know…

    Reply
  11. LOL, true, whacking bankers might be a fun game, but in this case, old Phillip was little more than a ticked-off bank robber.
    And now I have to go back and research Fridays, for sure. At what point did we know Friday was Friday? Did the change in the Gregorian calendar change the days of the week? Inquiring minds need to know…

    Reply
  12. LOL, true, whacking bankers might be a fun game, but in this case, old Phillip was little more than a ticked-off bank robber.
    And now I have to go back and research Fridays, for sure. At what point did we know Friday was Friday? Did the change in the Gregorian calendar change the days of the week? Inquiring minds need to know…

    Reply
  13. The only thing that frightens me about Friday the 13th is the random chance I might one day be forced to watch those stupid movies of the same name! I’m not especially superstitious, but we lost power at 3 AM due to a freak April snowstorm, and my hair was definitely scary (no shower). I went to work anyway but was happy to come home to a warm house, blinking timers, and a flushed toilet.

    Reply
  14. The only thing that frightens me about Friday the 13th is the random chance I might one day be forced to watch those stupid movies of the same name! I’m not especially superstitious, but we lost power at 3 AM due to a freak April snowstorm, and my hair was definitely scary (no shower). I went to work anyway but was happy to come home to a warm house, blinking timers, and a flushed toilet.

    Reply
  15. The only thing that frightens me about Friday the 13th is the random chance I might one day be forced to watch those stupid movies of the same name! I’m not especially superstitious, but we lost power at 3 AM due to a freak April snowstorm, and my hair was definitely scary (no shower). I went to work anyway but was happy to come home to a warm house, blinking timers, and a flushed toilet.

    Reply
  16. The only thing that frightens me about Friday the 13th is the random chance I might one day be forced to watch those stupid movies of the same name! I’m not especially superstitious, but we lost power at 3 AM due to a freak April snowstorm, and my hair was definitely scary (no shower). I went to work anyway but was happy to come home to a warm house, blinking timers, and a flushed toilet.

    Reply
  17. Must…post…can’t help myself. There’s a little #*%@ angel grinning and beckoning!
    Whenever I draw a line, on superstitions or anything else, I’m liable to erase and move it again, at whim.
    I like what a writer named Starhawk says in her book, The Spiral Dance. This is just a line or two, so I hope it falls under “fair usage” as far as copyright.
    “Magic is not a supernatural affair; it is, in Dion Fortune’s definition, ‘the art of changing consciousness at will’ — of switching the flashlight off and on, of picking out details, of seeing by the stars.”
    So my mind says fame and fortune to all this Friday the 13th! And blessed be the kitties, black or otherwise, curled up on laps while their people try to tap on keyboards.

    Reply
  18. Must…post…can’t help myself. There’s a little #*%@ angel grinning and beckoning!
    Whenever I draw a line, on superstitions or anything else, I’m liable to erase and move it again, at whim.
    I like what a writer named Starhawk says in her book, The Spiral Dance. This is just a line or two, so I hope it falls under “fair usage” as far as copyright.
    “Magic is not a supernatural affair; it is, in Dion Fortune’s definition, ‘the art of changing consciousness at will’ — of switching the flashlight off and on, of picking out details, of seeing by the stars.”
    So my mind says fame and fortune to all this Friday the 13th! And blessed be the kitties, black or otherwise, curled up on laps while their people try to tap on keyboards.

    Reply
  19. Must…post…can’t help myself. There’s a little #*%@ angel grinning and beckoning!
    Whenever I draw a line, on superstitions or anything else, I’m liable to erase and move it again, at whim.
    I like what a writer named Starhawk says in her book, The Spiral Dance. This is just a line or two, so I hope it falls under “fair usage” as far as copyright.
    “Magic is not a supernatural affair; it is, in Dion Fortune’s definition, ‘the art of changing consciousness at will’ — of switching the flashlight off and on, of picking out details, of seeing by the stars.”
    So my mind says fame and fortune to all this Friday the 13th! And blessed be the kitties, black or otherwise, curled up on laps while their people try to tap on keyboards.

    Reply
  20. Must…post…can’t help myself. There’s a little #*%@ angel grinning and beckoning!
    Whenever I draw a line, on superstitions or anything else, I’m liable to erase and move it again, at whim.
    I like what a writer named Starhawk says in her book, The Spiral Dance. This is just a line or two, so I hope it falls under “fair usage” as far as copyright.
    “Magic is not a supernatural affair; it is, in Dion Fortune’s definition, ‘the art of changing consciousness at will’ — of switching the flashlight off and on, of picking out details, of seeing by the stars.”
    So my mind says fame and fortune to all this Friday the 13th! And blessed be the kitties, black or otherwise, curled up on laps while their people try to tap on keyboards.

    Reply
  21. Excellent quote, Jane.
    There really are more things in heaven and earth. Does discovering a scientific base de-mystify? Not always.
    For example, I gather — heaven knows, I wouldn’t be able to understand it — that Stephen Hawking’s time stuff means that all time is simultaneous rather than linear, so in theory we should be able to move around in time, and predicting the future should be possible.
    There are also places which most people agree have special vibes, good and bad.
    Which is not quite the same thing as Friday, 13th, but I’ll accept the possibility that the cosmic clock doesn’t like that particular pattern.
    Some people are so opposed to anything supernatural, however, that they won’t read fiction that appears to say it might be true.
    Anyone here in that camp?
    Jo, who thinks being stuck with reality would be terribly boring. 🙂

    Reply
  22. Excellent quote, Jane.
    There really are more things in heaven and earth. Does discovering a scientific base de-mystify? Not always.
    For example, I gather — heaven knows, I wouldn’t be able to understand it — that Stephen Hawking’s time stuff means that all time is simultaneous rather than linear, so in theory we should be able to move around in time, and predicting the future should be possible.
    There are also places which most people agree have special vibes, good and bad.
    Which is not quite the same thing as Friday, 13th, but I’ll accept the possibility that the cosmic clock doesn’t like that particular pattern.
    Some people are so opposed to anything supernatural, however, that they won’t read fiction that appears to say it might be true.
    Anyone here in that camp?
    Jo, who thinks being stuck with reality would be terribly boring. 🙂

    Reply
  23. Excellent quote, Jane.
    There really are more things in heaven and earth. Does discovering a scientific base de-mystify? Not always.
    For example, I gather — heaven knows, I wouldn’t be able to understand it — that Stephen Hawking’s time stuff means that all time is simultaneous rather than linear, so in theory we should be able to move around in time, and predicting the future should be possible.
    There are also places which most people agree have special vibes, good and bad.
    Which is not quite the same thing as Friday, 13th, but I’ll accept the possibility that the cosmic clock doesn’t like that particular pattern.
    Some people are so opposed to anything supernatural, however, that they won’t read fiction that appears to say it might be true.
    Anyone here in that camp?
    Jo, who thinks being stuck with reality would be terribly boring. 🙂

    Reply
  24. Excellent quote, Jane.
    There really are more things in heaven and earth. Does discovering a scientific base de-mystify? Not always.
    For example, I gather — heaven knows, I wouldn’t be able to understand it — that Stephen Hawking’s time stuff means that all time is simultaneous rather than linear, so in theory we should be able to move around in time, and predicting the future should be possible.
    There are also places which most people agree have special vibes, good and bad.
    Which is not quite the same thing as Friday, 13th, but I’ll accept the possibility that the cosmic clock doesn’t like that particular pattern.
    Some people are so opposed to anything supernatural, however, that they won’t read fiction that appears to say it might be true.
    Anyone here in that camp?
    Jo, who thinks being stuck with reality would be terribly boring. 🙂

    Reply
  25. Great post, Pat! I’m not a superstitious person, and I used to be a big scoffer at anything that smacked of New Age or paranormal. I’ve grown older and wiser, though, and come to realize that the more I understand some of these things, the more I see the logic in them.
    However, I have had experiences that cannot be explained in the normal way of things, and where no logic can be involved, so like Pat, that has made me a believer in things I can’t see.
    I mean, can you *see* love? Is there any logic to love? I rest my case. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

    Reply
  26. Great post, Pat! I’m not a superstitious person, and I used to be a big scoffer at anything that smacked of New Age or paranormal. I’ve grown older and wiser, though, and come to realize that the more I understand some of these things, the more I see the logic in them.
    However, I have had experiences that cannot be explained in the normal way of things, and where no logic can be involved, so like Pat, that has made me a believer in things I can’t see.
    I mean, can you *see* love? Is there any logic to love? I rest my case. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

    Reply
  27. Great post, Pat! I’m not a superstitious person, and I used to be a big scoffer at anything that smacked of New Age or paranormal. I’ve grown older and wiser, though, and come to realize that the more I understand some of these things, the more I see the logic in them.
    However, I have had experiences that cannot be explained in the normal way of things, and where no logic can be involved, so like Pat, that has made me a believer in things I can’t see.
    I mean, can you *see* love? Is there any logic to love? I rest my case. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

    Reply
  28. Great post, Pat! I’m not a superstitious person, and I used to be a big scoffer at anything that smacked of New Age or paranormal. I’ve grown older and wiser, though, and come to realize that the more I understand some of these things, the more I see the logic in them.
    However, I have had experiences that cannot be explained in the normal way of things, and where no logic can be involved, so like Pat, that has made me a believer in things I can’t see.
    I mean, can you *see* love? Is there any logic to love? I rest my case. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

    Reply
  29. I’m not a superstitious person (knock wood) except, of course, when I spill salt (throw some over my left shoulder to get in the devil’s eye) or someone sneezes (geshuntiet! sp?) or I see a funeral procession driving by (tug my left earlobe) or when it’s New Year’s Eve (and I have to eat pickled herring) – and when I cross my fingers for good luck, or ..
    Okay. So I am a superstitious person. But only a little, kind of. But you know? I never minded Friday the Thirteenth, because in my experience bad things happen when you’re not looking for them. (Like good things.)

    Reply
  30. I’m not a superstitious person (knock wood) except, of course, when I spill salt (throw some over my left shoulder to get in the devil’s eye) or someone sneezes (geshuntiet! sp?) or I see a funeral procession driving by (tug my left earlobe) or when it’s New Year’s Eve (and I have to eat pickled herring) – and when I cross my fingers for good luck, or ..
    Okay. So I am a superstitious person. But only a little, kind of. But you know? I never minded Friday the Thirteenth, because in my experience bad things happen when you’re not looking for them. (Like good things.)

    Reply
  31. I’m not a superstitious person (knock wood) except, of course, when I spill salt (throw some over my left shoulder to get in the devil’s eye) or someone sneezes (geshuntiet! sp?) or I see a funeral procession driving by (tug my left earlobe) or when it’s New Year’s Eve (and I have to eat pickled herring) – and when I cross my fingers for good luck, or ..
    Okay. So I am a superstitious person. But only a little, kind of. But you know? I never minded Friday the Thirteenth, because in my experience bad things happen when you’re not looking for them. (Like good things.)

    Reply
  32. I’m not a superstitious person (knock wood) except, of course, when I spill salt (throw some over my left shoulder to get in the devil’s eye) or someone sneezes (geshuntiet! sp?) or I see a funeral procession driving by (tug my left earlobe) or when it’s New Year’s Eve (and I have to eat pickled herring) – and when I cross my fingers for good luck, or ..
    Okay. So I am a superstitious person. But only a little, kind of. But you know? I never minded Friday the Thirteenth, because in my experience bad things happen when you’re not looking for them. (Like good things.)

    Reply
  33. **because in my experience bad things happen when you’re not looking for them. (Like good things.)**
    Like it was really lucky I wasn’t drinking anything when I read this post. LOL!

    Reply
  34. **because in my experience bad things happen when you’re not looking for them. (Like good things.)**
    Like it was really lucky I wasn’t drinking anything when I read this post. LOL!

    Reply
  35. **because in my experience bad things happen when you’re not looking for them. (Like good things.)**
    Like it was really lucky I wasn’t drinking anything when I read this post. LOL!

    Reply
  36. **because in my experience bad things happen when you’re not looking for them. (Like good things.)**
    Like it was really lucky I wasn’t drinking anything when I read this post. LOL!

    Reply
  37. I used to be a scoffer, too (dour rigid Presbyterian that I am, LOL!). Then I started working in an inpatient hospice and my ideas about death and the “supernatural” (for lack of a better word) got rearranged in the face of experience.
    For example, in our small hospice (14 beds) we would admit dying patients throughout the week–but then 4, or 5, or 6 of our patients would end up dying on the same day around the same time. One of the nurses used to say, “The Bus is coming. . .I feel the energy gathering.” I would just roll my eyes when I first started working there, but I stopped rolling them when the same thing happened over and over again, week in and week out.
    I know the same thing happens with births in hospitals–laboring women come in throughout the day and then all give birth at the same time (kind of like the checkout line at the grocery store, smile). At the hospital where my daughter was born they called this a “Baby Storm.”
    “The Bus” and “A Storm” aren’t my favorite metaphors for this phenomenon, though. . .I like to think of this as being like a tide that comes in and out and brings souls in and out with it.
    You learn a lot about the mysteries of life, the supernatural, and the strength of the human spirit when you get to know death as part of the natural rhythm of existence.

    Reply
  38. I used to be a scoffer, too (dour rigid Presbyterian that I am, LOL!). Then I started working in an inpatient hospice and my ideas about death and the “supernatural” (for lack of a better word) got rearranged in the face of experience.
    For example, in our small hospice (14 beds) we would admit dying patients throughout the week–but then 4, or 5, or 6 of our patients would end up dying on the same day around the same time. One of the nurses used to say, “The Bus is coming. . .I feel the energy gathering.” I would just roll my eyes when I first started working there, but I stopped rolling them when the same thing happened over and over again, week in and week out.
    I know the same thing happens with births in hospitals–laboring women come in throughout the day and then all give birth at the same time (kind of like the checkout line at the grocery store, smile). At the hospital where my daughter was born they called this a “Baby Storm.”
    “The Bus” and “A Storm” aren’t my favorite metaphors for this phenomenon, though. . .I like to think of this as being like a tide that comes in and out and brings souls in and out with it.
    You learn a lot about the mysteries of life, the supernatural, and the strength of the human spirit when you get to know death as part of the natural rhythm of existence.

    Reply
  39. I used to be a scoffer, too (dour rigid Presbyterian that I am, LOL!). Then I started working in an inpatient hospice and my ideas about death and the “supernatural” (for lack of a better word) got rearranged in the face of experience.
    For example, in our small hospice (14 beds) we would admit dying patients throughout the week–but then 4, or 5, or 6 of our patients would end up dying on the same day around the same time. One of the nurses used to say, “The Bus is coming. . .I feel the energy gathering.” I would just roll my eyes when I first started working there, but I stopped rolling them when the same thing happened over and over again, week in and week out.
    I know the same thing happens with births in hospitals–laboring women come in throughout the day and then all give birth at the same time (kind of like the checkout line at the grocery store, smile). At the hospital where my daughter was born they called this a “Baby Storm.”
    “The Bus” and “A Storm” aren’t my favorite metaphors for this phenomenon, though. . .I like to think of this as being like a tide that comes in and out and brings souls in and out with it.
    You learn a lot about the mysteries of life, the supernatural, and the strength of the human spirit when you get to know death as part of the natural rhythm of existence.

    Reply
  40. I used to be a scoffer, too (dour rigid Presbyterian that I am, LOL!). Then I started working in an inpatient hospice and my ideas about death and the “supernatural” (for lack of a better word) got rearranged in the face of experience.
    For example, in our small hospice (14 beds) we would admit dying patients throughout the week–but then 4, or 5, or 6 of our patients would end up dying on the same day around the same time. One of the nurses used to say, “The Bus is coming. . .I feel the energy gathering.” I would just roll my eyes when I first started working there, but I stopped rolling them when the same thing happened over and over again, week in and week out.
    I know the same thing happens with births in hospitals–laboring women come in throughout the day and then all give birth at the same time (kind of like the checkout line at the grocery store, smile). At the hospital where my daughter was born they called this a “Baby Storm.”
    “The Bus” and “A Storm” aren’t my favorite metaphors for this phenomenon, though. . .I like to think of this as being like a tide that comes in and out and brings souls in and out with it.
    You learn a lot about the mysteries of life, the supernatural, and the strength of the human spirit when you get to know death as part of the natural rhythm of existence.

    Reply
  41. Wow, RevMelinda, that’s a new one on me, and absolutely fascinating. I definitely believe in spirits, although defining them is beyond me. I think there’s a whole collective of human spirit watching over us somehow, call them what you wish, imagine them as you wish. And this is a wonderful aspect I hadn’t considered. There may be a book in there…

    Reply
  42. Wow, RevMelinda, that’s a new one on me, and absolutely fascinating. I definitely believe in spirits, although defining them is beyond me. I think there’s a whole collective of human spirit watching over us somehow, call them what you wish, imagine them as you wish. And this is a wonderful aspect I hadn’t considered. There may be a book in there…

    Reply
  43. Wow, RevMelinda, that’s a new one on me, and absolutely fascinating. I definitely believe in spirits, although defining them is beyond me. I think there’s a whole collective of human spirit watching over us somehow, call them what you wish, imagine them as you wish. And this is a wonderful aspect I hadn’t considered. There may be a book in there…

    Reply
  44. Wow, RevMelinda, that’s a new one on me, and absolutely fascinating. I definitely believe in spirits, although defining them is beyond me. I think there’s a whole collective of human spirit watching over us somehow, call them what you wish, imagine them as you wish. And this is a wonderful aspect I hadn’t considered. There may be a book in there…

    Reply

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