It's your day, Triskaidephobics! It's Friday the 13th and this close to Halloween too. How appropriate.
Ever wonder how certain ordinary things have come to represent something bad or portend evil like, black cats for instance. Why black cats? How is this little cutie face something evil? By the way, this was Gypsy, one of the many kitties in our past. She was the dearest, sweetest (not the brightest by the way) cat ever. Not an evil whisker about her. So why does she represent something bad?
Well, superstitions came to pass out of ignorance. Things that people couldn't understand a very long time ago, were attributed to powers beyond their understanding, sometimes good (when things went they way people wanted them to) and evil (when things did not). And the evil/good attribute is utterly dependent on each specific culture.
For example, the Scots believed that a black cat signified prosperity (things must have gone well in that house where a black cat lived) whereas in western cultures a black cat was thought to be a witches "familiar' and therefore a demon. Possibly a crotchety old woman that others thought to be a witch owned a black cat and the association was complete. In Japan black cats are a positive thing in most of Europe, very bad.
There is just no understanding superstitions really. Perfectly reasonable, educated, rational people can have a very real, irrational, unreasonable fear of opening an umbrella inside the house, which obviously brings bad luck (??) Well I suppose if you accidentally knock grandma's antique vase off the table while opening said umbrella, it will indeed mean bad luck for you. But that is probably not the umbrellas fault.
But that's what phobia's of any sort are; unreasonable fears. Regardless of what your 21st century, educated brain is telling you, the body still reacts with fear. Literally, a phobia is a strong, irrational fear of something that posses little or no real danger. We all have at least one. Think of a superstition like a phobia. There are probably as many superstitions the world over as there are phobias.
Itchy palms brings good luck and/or money. Walking under a ladder is bad luck (if the paint spills on you, yes). Finding a horse shoe is good luck. Breaking a mirror brings 7 years of bad luck (I wonder why 7 years specifically?) And it's good to know that to reverse all that bad luck, you only have to knock twice on wood.
Even saying, "Bless you" when someone sneezes is a superstition. A long time ago, folks believed that that a sneeze opened the body to evil spirits. Saying "God Bless you" which morphed into just "Bless you" was a charm that shielded the sneezer from being invaded by those spirits. I am guilty of this one. It's automatic. If someone sneezes, even a total stranger, without a second's thought I say, "Bless you". They nearly always thank me. Which is sweet but I don't think either of us is concerned with evil spirits. I think we believe we are just being polite.
It is thought that the origin of the bad luck associated with Friday the 13th stems from the Last Supper where Jesus and his 12 apostles gathered for the last time. But was it a Friday? In Greek and HIspanic cultures it's all about Tuesday the 13th. In Italy it's Friday the 17th.
So you see, it's just a day. An ordinary day. Any power it has, we have given it. If we believe that bad things happen on Friday the 13th, then bad things will indeed happen. It's called a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So have a great Friday the 13th my friends. Or a bad one depending on what you prefer.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.