I am not really a superstitious person, I generally think some superstitions are born out of good safety practices for example “it is bad luck to walk under a ladder” well, of course, it is there is every chance that something might drop on your head. Or don’t step on the crack or the bears will get you, this was to stop young children tripping over. (*My brother has a great story about this but maybe for another time*)
The only superstition I follow is bowing to magpies and it is so ingrained in my it is almost and impulses action if I see one magpie too look for a second if there is not one bow my head.
I remember once I was on a summer job working to support young people with learning disabilities and we were travelling in a minibus to an activity in the afternoon.
There were 4 adults, all staff, sat on the bus and we passed a single magpie on a gate.
Three of the four people all did something
- I bowed my head
- one person saluted the magpie
- and one person said “good morning Mr Magpie how nice to see you”
the fourth person in our group look perplexed at us all and said: “what just happened?”
We all explained that one magpie was bad luck according to the rhyme “One for Sorrow, two for joy” and our various grannies, had told us that to avoid the bad luck you should – bow your head etc.
It always seems to be grannies fault,
Interestingly this person
a) have never heard this, and
b) was rather superstitious so said was quizzing us at to which one they should do we jokingly said well all of them I guess to be safe.
I was then working with that same person a week or so later and we saw a magpie and she bowed her head, saluted, turned around twice and said “Good Morning Mr Magpie how nice to see you”
It was my turn to be perplexed?
She explained that after talking to us she was with another couple of people and they had said there was also the turn around twice so now she had to do them all. I suggested it might be taking it a bit far and maybe they should ask their granny for the solution.
It seems odd how superstitions can take over our lives and cause chaos, taking my bowing I instinctively bow when I see one magpie does not matter if I am driving, which thinking about it could be quite dangerous.
How about you, do you have any superstitions and how do that manifest themselves?