Jump to content
Talbot Michaels

Welcome Guest!

Welcome to UK Pagan; The Valley

Like most online communities we require you to register for an account before we give you access to read and post.

Only a small number of our forum areas can be read without registering for an account.

Please consider supporting us to help keep our Website and Facebook groups online. Become a Patron!

Superstition


Guest morbidia
 Share

Recommended Posts

im wondering just how much of peoples beliefs in past times are down to just superstition,were people led to believe that you only do things a certain way because of the gods or was a lot of it down to plain old superstition ? :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please consider supporting us to help keep our Website and Facebook groups online.

Hi,

 

If you are asking about the beliefs of people who lived in the past (as I think you are) then I would have to say the question seems quite broad and I imagine the answer would vary from culture to culture.

 

If you are asking about the beliefs of people on this forum, I would find it difficult to answer. I don't really perceive a fundamental difference between being compelled to do something by a God or being compelled to do it because of superstition; they are both aspects of the supernatural and I don't believe in that.

 

I have a suspicion that I am missing the point though; perhaps you could elaborate on the question a bit more; an example of what you mean perhaps :o_bolt:

 

Peace

 

DM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HHmm. Good question. Some superstitions may have begun as warnings or recommendations that had a valid basis: feed a cold and starve a fever, etc.

 

Others were probably due to fears: don't clip your nails on Sunday (the Devil will get them) and the black cats being good or ill luck.

 

When, I wonder does superstition become folklore - or are they the same thing?

 

Do folks have family superstitions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't really perceive a fundamental difference between being compelled to do something by a God or being compelled to do it because of superstition;
I don't think I agree with that DM.

 

Don't walk under that ladder because you'll displease Blind Io?

 

Don't put your shoes on the table or you'll be struck by lightning?

 

I can't help wondering if many superstitions weren't introduced because of laziness - the equivalent of "because I say so!".

 

For example someone playing around with an umbrella inside the house and eventually someone else says, "Stop putting that umbrella up inside the house!"

 

"Why?"

 

"Because, errm, it's unlucky, everyone knows that!"

 

It gets repeated and passed on and next thing you know, you've got a superstition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

If you are asking about the beliefs of people who lived in the past (as I think you are) then I would have to say the question seems quite broad and I imagine the answer would vary from culture to culture.

 

If you are asking about the beliefs of people on this forum, I would find it difficult to answer. I don't really perceive a fundamental difference between being compelled to do something by a God or being compelled to do it because of superstition; they are both aspects of the supernatural and I don't believe in that.

 

I have a suspicion that I am missing the point though; perhaps you could elaborate on the question a bit more; an example of what you mean perhaps :blink:

 

Peace

 

DM

288521[/snapback]

 

 

hi sorry my question is a bit broad :rolleyes: ,i was struggling to think of a way to phrase it :( ,i meant people in the past ,as a lot of superstitions are built on fear of what might or might not happen should the advice be ignored and people werent as knowledgeable in times past about the world in general

although im aware that people nowdays are still supertitious i dont think it has the impact now as it might have then because we are more knowledgeable about the world in general now

this reply probably doesnt make much sense either,but i hope you get my gist :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't really perceive a fundamental difference between being compelled to do something by a God or being compelled to do it because of superstition;
I don't think I agree with that DM.

 

Don't walk under that ladder because you'll displease Blind Io?

 

Don't put your shoes on the table or you'll be struck by lightning?

 

I can't help wondering if many superstitions weren't introduced because of laziness - the equivalent of "because I say so!".

 

For example someone playing around with an umbrella inside the house and eventually someone else says, "Stop putting that umbrella up inside the house!"

 

"Why?"

 

"Because, errm, it's unlucky, everyone knows that!"

 

It gets repeated and passed on and next thing you know, you've got a superstition.

288580[/snapback]

 

 

 

Or it could be a case of Nursie-like Wisdom -

 

Nursie: You're so clever today, you better be careful your foot doesn't fall off.

 

Queenie: Does that happen when you have lots of brilliant ideas? Your foot falls off?

 

Nursie: It certainly does. My brother, he had this brilliant idea of cutting his toenails with a scythe, and his foot fell off.

Edited by Esk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

HHmm. Good question. Some superstitions may have begun as warnings or recommendations that had a valid basis: feed a cold and starve a fever, etc.

 

Others were probably due to fears: don't clip your nails on  Sunday (the Devil will get them) and the black cats being good or ill luck.

 

When, I wonder does superstition become folklore - or are they the same thing?

 

Do folks have family superstitions?

288536[/snapback]

i agree that some were due to fear and others because they were actually valid,its a subject im really interested in but not massively knowledgeable about

i was also raised in a non religious family but my mum is very superstitious and used them to keep us in line,it got me wondering if maybe this was a common thing

im not sure about family supertitions but my mum would never allow playing cards into the house,they were bad luck,but she would never say why just that they were bad,i know playing cards can be used as Tarot so im wondering if it stems from that,i took some pink blossom into the house once when i was little and she went mad,again i dont know why(probably pissed off because i pulled it out the garden :rolleyes: )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't really perceive a fundamental difference between being compelled to do something by a God or being compelled to do it because of superstition;
I don't think I agree with that DM.

 

Don't walk under that ladder because you'll displease Blind Io?

 

Don't put your shoes on the table or you'll be struck by lightning?

 

I can't help wondering if many superstitions weren't introduced because of laziness - the equivalent of "because I say so!".

 

For example someone playing around with an umbrella inside the house and eventually someone else says, "Stop putting that umbrella up inside the house!"

 

"Why?"

 

"Because, errm, it's unlucky, everyone knows that!"

 

It gets repeated and passed on and next thing you know, you've got a superstition.

288580[/snapback]

i wonder though if its a safety thing, putting shoes on the table could introduce disease so dont do it,mind you things werent that clean anyway so im probably wrong

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my mum would never allow playing cards into the house,they were bad luck,
Same thing, someone knew someone whose family had fallen on hard times because Dad was a gambler. Or the local priest/vicar/wise man put it about to discourage gambling.

 

Tell people not to gamble and they'll want to try it. Tell them that having playing cards in the house is unlucky plays upon their fears.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would be interesting to find out when various superstitions first came about too. Are they purely pre-christian, christian or a mixture of the two?

I would have thought the not-walking-under-a-ladder thing was fairly obvious, i.e. you could get a paint pot on your head, but no, it seems a ladder/wall/floor forms a trinity which it is blasphemous to break by walking through it.

Sneezing allows the devil to fly up your nose or some such (which is why you have to say "bless you", in order to scare him out again) so is that a purely christian superstition or is it an update of a much older superstition whereby bad spirits would fly up your nose (Obviously in real terms it's meant to ward off a cold which could be fatal)

 

We didn't do superstition in our household, it's not pagan, but papistical which is infinitely worse... :rolleyes:

BM

xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm led to believe that 'Bless You' after a sneeze is to protect against plague. Sneezing being one of the first signs you'd contracted it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm led to believe that 'Bless You' after a sneeze is to protect against plague. Sneezing being one of the first signs you'd contracted it.

288600[/snapback]

Yes I heard that too but wondered if it went further back than the plague. Apparently saying "thank you" allows the devil to re-fly back up your nose so you should never be polite...

BM

xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Sneezing allows the devil to fly up your nose or some such (which is why you have to say "bless you", in order to scare him out again) "

 

Same should also go for farting - who would want Auld Nick flying up one's bum!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Sneezing allows the devil to fly up your nose or some such (which is why you have to say "bless you", in order to scare him out again) "

 

Same should also go for farting - who would want Auld Nick flying up one's bum!

288603[/snapback]

Ah now you're thinking of the Dragon of Unhappiness, which happen f you don't put the toilet seat down...

BM

xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many superstitions came from associations with bad luck - walking under a ladder was associated with breaking the eternal triangle, not putting new shoes on the table was related to funerals and over time to placce new shoes on a table foretold of a death. Friday 13th was created in Victorian times if I remember correctly - both Friday and the 13th were seen as unlucky prior to then, for their own reasons (Good Friday and the Last Supper being 2 reasons but there are others) and these eventually became merged into 1 superstition.

 

I suspect there are many origins of modern day superstitions, as andy says some were probably 'created' over time to encourage us to live virtuous lives while some had connotations with unhappy events or bad luck. All superstitions would have been local to small areas at one time, many will have died out over time while some continue to be passed through the generations to this day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think I agree with that DM.

 

Don't walk under that ladder because you'll displease Blind Io?

 

Don't put your shoes on the table or you'll be struck by lightning?

 

288580[/snapback]

 

I was only talking about the difficulty of answering the question from my own point of view.

 

In terms of their ability to compel me to do something, the phrases

 

"Don't put your shoes on the table or the gods will punish you."

 

and,

 

"Don't put your shoes on the table or you'll bring bad luck."

 

have the same effect on me; which is to say none, since I don't believe the sanctions exist.

 

Naturally, I appreciate that in the view of someone who believes in a God (or Gods) there is a difference between incurring divine wrath and simply inviting bad luck.

 

Hope that clears things up :)

 

On the subject of how superstitions start, I too suspect, that many may have had a practical origin. That doesn't necessarily distinguish them from religion however, since religious doctrine can also be rooted in practical consideration; food laws are a good example.

 

Peace,

 

DM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Naturally, I appreciate that in the view of someone who believes in a God (or Gods) there is a difference between incurring divine wrath and simply inviting bad luck.

 

Well it also depends on how you consider luck too though, doesn't it?

 

For example, among the pre-Christian Scandinavians, luck was very important and would have been a hell of a threat to them. The individual's luck was also blended and shared with the luck of his or her family members and any negative impact on his or her luck would affect everyone else. So with the idea of avoiding bad luck was also this sense of responsibility. Almost like a social responsibility.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i watched a bit of a programme this morning called The Celts and it was mentioned that they were a supertitious people ,i couldnt watch it properly because i was meant to be doing something else but got distracted :)

 

im still trying to think of a better way to ask my question :o_rofl:

 

so if the people were told to behave in a certain way because the gods would look favourably on them and if they didnt behave in a certain way the would incur the wrath of the gods

or behave in a certain way and it will be lucky for you (the gods will be pleased) and if you dont you will be unlucky (the gods will be angry) im not talking about umbrellas and shoes i mean performing rituals and making offerings or doing things in a certain way

im now going away to find a bigger shovel so i can dig a bigger hole :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you asking if the Gods and Luck are the same things Morbidia?

 

I don't know that I quite understand your question but it sounds like whatever it is is going to be a goodie :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i watched a bit of a programme this morning called The Celts and it was mentioned that they were a supertitious people ...so if the people were told to behave in a certain way because the gods would look favourably on them and if they didnt behave in a certain way the would incur the wrath of the gods

 

288798[/snapback]

 

The problem is that these programmes tend to be made by people who are either monotheist, or brought up in a monotheist culture who are taught to regard polytheism as a primitive mindset where people don't have relationships with their gods - they simply do things, or don't do them, rather mechanically, in order to please something. They're assumed to be stupid, for no better reason (ISTM) than they are not monotheist.

 

Or else, perhaps they are judged by biblical standards, where the ancient Hebrew peoples (according to the Old Testament) being told to act in certain ways in order to ensure their god would not get angry.

 

Meh. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you asking if the Gods and Luck are the same things Morbidia?

 

I don't know that I quite understand your question but it sounds like whatever it is is going to be a goodie :huh:

288988[/snapback]

 

 

i might be <_<

 

i guess im just wondering if people did things in a certain way because they wanted to appease their gods? or was some of it just down to superstition,so maybe i do mean does the belief in a god and the subsequent behaviour of people come down to the belief in luck/bad luck or superstition

 

im not too sure what im getting at,it all seemed so clear in my head :( <_<

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Or else, perhaps they are judged by biblical standards, where the ancient Hebrew peoples (according to the Old Testament) being told to act in certain ways in order to ensure their god would not get angry."

 

Sounds a very reasonable premise to me MH - but TF I am not of the Judaic persuasion - imagine a life of no crabs, mussels, bacon! (Even WORSE for the poor boy babbies!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i guess im just wondering if people did things in a certain way because they wanted to appease their gods? or was some of it just down to superstition,so maybe i do mean does the belief in a god and the subsequent behaviour of people come down to the belief in luck/bad luck or superstition

289016[/snapback]

 

Now, or in the past?

 

For now, I'd say there is another way entirely: to do things because of one's relationship with gods, without relation to the kind of luck it might bring. ISTM that doing something specifically to attract good luck, or avert bad luck, is entering a contract with a god. And, as every Heathen knows, that means 'a gift for a gift'. <_< In other words, if we want something from a god, it's a matter of negotiating whether one is willing to give it ,and what they want in return. But that isn't the same thing at all as the don't-walk-under-a-ladder sort of superstition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a brilliant topic you have brought up here. Thank You. It is one of my personal favourites.

 

My families were all very superstitious, and all of the ones mentioned above were included along with tonnes more.

 

They said to go against the superstition would bring bad luck.

 

It never occured to me to ask what they meant by bad luck.

 

I just went along with the superstition because I didn't want bad luck, whatever it meant, it didn't sound nice to me, and if it made them afraid, then I accepted it was something to be afraid of, too.

 

I don't think they felt it would upset or anger any Gods or Goddesses, but I can't be sure.

 

All I know is that I still cannot go against the superstition, whatever it is, because there is real fear for me in them, even though I've no idea what will actually happen if I break them.

 

I broke a mirror a few weeks back, and because I forgot the way I'd been taught to deal with it to lessen the bad luck, I just boxed up the bits and took them to the local dump without ceremony or anything else.

 

A few days later my car broke down costing me £800.00 to fix, the breakdown truck recovering me broke down, and when my MOT came up it failed on the 2 front tyres.

 

Powerful stuff, then, this superstition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tend to think of "superstition" as being like most types of unauthorised belief - it's something that people do in order to seek some sort of control over an uncertain world. Don't think there are any definite boundaries between what might be thought of as superstition and what might be thought of as lore and folk magic - if you keep some cold iron by your doorway to protect you from the faeries, is that magical or superstitious? And if belief in the ill-luck or a certain action becomes widespread, doesn't that mean that a large number of people are exerting their will to make it so?

 

gwyn eich byd

 

Ffred

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a brilliant topic you have brought up here.  Thank You.  It is one of my personal favourites.

 

My families were all very superstitious, and all of the ones mentioned above were included along with tonnes more.

 

They said to go against the superstition would bring bad luck. 

 

It never occured to me to ask what they meant by bad luck. 

 

I just went along with the superstition because I didn't want bad luck, whatever it meant, it didn't sound nice to me, and if it made them afraid, then I accepted it was something to be afraid of, too.

 

I don't think they felt it would upset or anger any Gods or Goddesses, but I can't be sure.

 

All I know is that I still cannot go against the superstition, whatever it is, because there is real fear for me in them, even though I've no idea what will actually happen if I break them.

 

I broke a mirror a few weeks back, and because I forgot the way I'd been taught to deal with it to lessen the bad luck, I just boxed up the bits and took them to the local dump without ceremony or anything else.

 

A few days later my car broke down costing me £800.00 to fix, the breakdown truck recovering me broke down, and when my MOT came up it failed on the 2 front tyres.

 

Powerful stuff, then, this superstition.

289499[/snapback]

 

By any chance was it to put the pieces in a stream? (Or even a running tap?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

By any chance was it to put the pieces in a stream? (Or even a running tap?)

289555[/snapback]

 

Rain works better than a tap. Though a stream better than either. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep.

 

Now you come to mention it.

 

Or summit like that.

 

I wish I'd remembered it before the car went caput.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So if you put bits of broken mirror in water, your car won't break down and the tyres won't need replacing? Kind of flies in the face of reality, doesn't it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually i'm sure that superstition works. I think so for two reasons, one because i do magick which i see as partly your intent and partly belief in what you do and two because there's so much going on in life combinations of events are always going to crop up.

If you break a mirror or something and believe that bad luck will happen then there's a good chance that it will via your projecting negativity onto things. And if it doesn't, you will read something into events of today that the day before you'd simply sworn at and not associated with superstition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Earthdragon
      Rather than avoiding the forgetting of their deity, maybe one can use ritual to say hello in a formal way. In between times there can be all the more casual familiarity that is befitting the relationship.
    • Moonsmith
      One of the issues of long membership here is that we oldies - sorry, long serving members - have given answers to a lot of the questions raised here many times.  That’s not a bad thing and if I look back to 2009 I can see that my Paganism might have shifted but my way of expressing it is vastly different.  So:  Something that hasn’t been asked for a bit. Something that everyone can answer however new or established.  What IS Paganism in 2021?  Why are we Pagans at all?  Do we have anything in common? “We” is all of us, with or without labels or groups.
    • Moonsmith
      I was thinking exactly that as I read the earlier part of your post.  If you know what effect you are striving for it must be easier to focus on the task.  Nothing to do with ritual or mindfulness but if you get chance, video bats in slomo.  Then replay with the sound on.  It’sa beautiful way to contemplate the little animals.
    • Ellinas
      That could be an interesting experiment...
    • Stonehugger
      I imagine the repetition of doing something regularly, using a clock or the sun or whatever, could contribute to its meaning and significance. For me, making coffee using a slow technique such as an aeropress has a sense of ritual about it which isn't there with instant coffee or a nespresso machine, but maybe that's because I overlap ritual with mindfulness, and it's easier to be mindful when the activity takes long enough to create some mental space (although, come to think of it, reframing the time something takes can be a useful exercise, such as the sequence of senses evoked by snapping your fingers if you can slow it down enough in your head perhaps. I'm now wondering about filming myself in slow motion snapping my fingers...
×
×
  • Create New...