Superstition

marion

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#61
After reading a section in Animals In Translation by Temple Grandin about how pigeons and pigs have been observed to develop superstitions I totally dropped any slight nod to superstition myself. It is a function of the brain connected with learning that can become overblown and is totally meaningless.
 

Yithian

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#62
Poke around in enough Chinese and Korean restaurants and there's a fighting chance that you'll turn up a golden pig.
To expand on this, a lot of new businesses buy or are given a metal pig as a good luck omen. Many then conceal or inconspicuously place the pig on the premises. Pigs are associated with money in Chinese folklore and mythology and are thought to 'attract' money to their owner.

By chance, I was poking around in a bric-a-brac store in Chinatown on the very week I started my own business. Most of the stuff on sale was junk, but, never one to miss a good story, I had to buy the chap below when I spotted him. He was rather grimy for the ten quid or so I paid, but he cleaned up well enough and has a pleasantly dull patina. He's about the correct size to fit comfortably in one palm, and although I don't know what metal he is made of he is heavier that you'd imagine and pleasantly smooth and round when held.

The business has thrived, and while I'm not convinced he is the cause I shall not be parting with him!

1524408317566.jpg
 
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Mythopoeika

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#63
To expand on this, a lot of new businesses buy or are given a metal pig as a good luck omen. Many then conceal or inconspicuously place the pig on the premises. Pigs are associated with money in Chinese folklore and mythology and are thought to 'attract' money to their owner.

By chance, I was poking around in a bric-a-brac store in China town on the very week I started my own business. Most of the stuff on sale was junk, but, never one to miss a good story, I had to buy the chap below when I spotted him. He was rather grimy for the ten quid or so I paid, but he cleaned up well enough and has a pleasantly dull patina. He's about the correct size to fit comfortably in one palm, and although I don't know what metal he is made of he is heavier that you'd imagine and pleasantly smooth and round when held.

The business has thrived, and while I'm not convinced he is the cause I shall not be parting with him!

View attachment 9390
Looks like bronze. Has a happy vibe.
 

Zeke Newbold

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#64
Yeah I've been influenced/infected by the superstitions of Johnny Foreigner too!

In Russia there still exists a tradition of people consulting dream interpreation guides to see what their fortune holds. Many Russians - women mostly - will have a `sonik`. A `sonik` is is a dream dictionary that explains to them what their dreams foretell.

Before you question whether this counts as `superstition` or not, I should explain that thses Soniks are not the dream interpreation guides of the Western post-Freud/post Jung variety- but rather they are fortune telling items that make often very abstruse connections between dream images and what will occur in the future (e.g dream of fish and you will become pregnant - but some are a lot more obscure than that).

I had a Russian one - but it was just too much effort to not just translate my dream but translate the langiuage too - so, following a tip off from a Russian lady - I found an English language version of Gustavus Hindman Miller's 1909 classic -An alphabetical Guide Through the Imges of Sleep - which was just the job.

So I use to consult this after a recalled dream and see it it correlated with a future event (hell, I was bored - and it went down well with the ladies!) Most of the time nothing...except..

One night I had a curious dream about finding bats had entered through a window in an upstairs room. I leafed through my Dictionary only to find that this dream fortells a sudden and tragic incident.

Nothing happened to me, but the following day a colleague announced that he had to return to the States because a family member was seriously ill. His disappearnce also had a knock on effect on us and the school we worked for -as we had to cover his classes, etc.

I did wonder a bit at the time, but, on balance...nah! Superstition has the power to enrapture anybody when times are uncertain...

The Miller Book is a great historical document though!
 

Yithian

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#65
Interesting. My first thought would be to wonder how universal such symbolism would be. I once had a boozy dinner with a very highly-respected psychologist (interesting man: he had been a medical officer on submarines when young and later specialised in mental development in young children). When I referred to Jung in support of some point or other I was enquiring about, he opined that psychoanalysis has limited application in East Asia as the people of the region conceptualise themselves differently, or using different templates and metaphors (forgive the vagueness, it was boozy and through his second language). Anyway, one wonders whether and how far from the place of origin such symbolism can travel before it fades--if there be any truth in the whole concept.
 
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#67
Pigs are associated with money in Chinese folklore and mythology and are thought to 'attract' money to their owner.
I've seen small metal pigs, or rather boars, on sale at a gift shop connected with a tourist attraction somewhere in the UK but for the life of me I can't remember where.
A Celtic symbol, I think. Cornwall?
 

Cochise

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#68
A superstition of my wife's. Whenever she salted food while cooking, she used to throw a pinch of salt over her left shoulder. Anyone know what that's about? It's one of the things I never asked, having discovered early in our relationship that she didn't like to talk about her past.

(There were a lot of difficulties in her past as well as one highly abusive relationship, I knew some of this when we first went out. Some would have wanted to pour it all out, she didn't , she wanted to put it behind her. )
 

EnolaGaia

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#69
A superstition of my wife's. Whenever she salted food while cooking, she used to throw a pinch of salt over her left shoulder. Anyone know what that's about? ...
This was the superstitious follow-up to spilling salt, which was supposed to be bad luck. It was common among my family when I was a child.

I don't think I've ever heard this action prescribed for applying / sprinkling salt in general, without there being an accident or error involved.
 

Coal

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#74
Isn't that salt supposed to go in the Devil's eyes?
Sure, the powerful Lucifer Morningstar, ex-archangel, ruler of Hell and all its dominions, stopped in his tracks with a bit of a stinging eye. Makes sense. :D
 

Cochise

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#75
Sure, the powerful Lucifer Morningstar, ex-archangel, ruler of Hell and all its dominions, stopped in his tracks with a bit of a stinging eye. Makes sense. :D
I can just picture it. :) Remember to be buried with a pinch of salt so you can see off the Devil. No need for all that prayer and stuff.
 

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#76
My Mother didn't like me hanging washing out on the line on a Sunday, she said it was 'disrespectful' and I assumed she meant to the Sabbath (although she wasn't that religious). Eventually got the confession that the practice came from the old women in her village (Prussia, Germany) when she was a little child. The 'disrespect' they didn't want to show was to the Winter Huntsmen lead by Odin searching for his missing wife Frea.
Pagan mum - well well.
 
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maximus otter

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#77
My mother (born Perthshire, 1913) had a couple of superstitions that l recall:

Boots or shoes on a bed were bad luck.

If one left the house, then had to return almost instantly for a brief period, e.g. to retrieve a forgotten item, one had to sit down and count to ten.

maximus otter
 

Bad Bungle

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#78
My mother (born Perthshire, 1913) had a couple of superstitions that l recall:

Boots or shoes on a bed were bad luck.

If one left the house, then had to return almost instantly for a brief period, e.g. to retrieve a forgotten item, one had to sit down and count to ten.

maximus otter

Did she ever say why boots on a bed were bad luck ? Surely there must be a good book of origins and explanations of Superstitions somewhere. Or is it all aimed at corrective behaviour of small children ?
 

escargot

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#80
Did she ever say why boots on a bed were bad luck ? Surely there must be a good book of origins and explanations of Superstitions somewhere. Or is it all aimed at corrective behaviour of small children ?
The Welsh side of my family wouldn't have footwear anywhere but firmly on the floor. Not on tables, beds, stairs, even the house back step.
 

GNC

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#81
I've certainly heard shoes on the table are supposed to be bad luck, new or otherwise. But not shoes on the bed - does that include slippers?
 

Bad Bungle

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#82
To my shame l don’t remember ever asking. lf pressed, l’d guess that it was something to do with death - corpses being laid out on the deathbed in their Sunday best for viewing?

maximus otter
Oh um... that was a bit darker than I was expecting. Thought it would be something like 'bad luck to get Granny's bed clothes dirty' or the like.
 

Coal

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#83
The Welsh side of my family wouldn't have footwear anywhere but firmly on the floor. Not on tables, beds, stairs, even the house back step.
Given the work that was required to keep even a modest house sensibly clean and the working and living conditions of even 100 years ago, that might just be sound common sense.
 

Ringo

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#84
To my shame l don’t remember ever asking. lf pressed, l’d guess that it was something to do with death - corpses being laid out on the deathbed in their Sunday best for viewing?

maximus otter
That's the reason we were given too. The dead had clothes and shoes laid out on the bed or table so putting shoes there was a bad omen.
 

escargot

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#85
Given the work that was required to keep even a modest house sensibly clean and the working and living conditions of even 100 years ago, that might just be sound common sense.
There was no problem about wearing shoes in the house. You'd wipe your feet though! When people had slippers, which you wouldn't expect to get dirty outside, they weren't allowed on beds/tables etc.

Come to think of it I won't allow shoes anywhere except on the floor either. If I place a suitcase on a bed to pack it any shoes stay on the floor and then go straight in, they don't sit on the bed with the pants and socks!
 

escargot

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#86
Sure, the powerful Lucifer Morningstar, ex-archangel, ruler of Hell and all its dominions, stopped in his tracks with a bit of a stinging eye. Makes sense. :D
Salt used to be expensive back when it was used in practically the only feasible method of preserving meat. It was therefore precious and even magical.
 

Bad Bungle

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#88
The Welsh side of my family wouldn't have footwear anywhere but firmly on the floor. Not on tables, beds, stairs, even the house back step.
Picked up the Penguin Guide to the Superstitions of Britain & Ireland today - shoes on Table, no plausible explanation offered but suggests a corpse laying there. Also "Boots placed where they could not reach the ground suggested the dangling of the body - and the gallows" (not the slightest evidence to support this.). Most interesting is that the first known reference only dates from 1869. Who else can I bore ?
 

escargot

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#89
"Boots placed where they could not reach the ground suggested the dangling of the body - and the gallows"
A forebear of mine was hanged in the 19th century for sheep-stealing, in Shropshire. Most likely Shrewsbury.

That wasn't on the Chapel-going, God-fearing Welsh side though.
 

Bad Bungle

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#90
A forebear of mine was hanged in the 19th century for sheep-stealing, in Shropshire. Most likely Shrewsbury.

That wasn't on the Chapel-going, God-fearing Welsh side though.
A tip of the hat to you Sir for your illustrious ancestry. My forebears (mainly the elderly) had a habit of starving to death at the end of assorted wars.
 
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