I popped out this morning and had to navigate the window cleaners ladder to get to the shop I wanted to go in, it was funny to watch, as people were walking in the road rather than walk under the ladder. I took a deep breath and walked under it, how silly that I and others even gave it a thought. All superstitions begin somewhere and at the end of this Blog I will lay a few to rest. But this morning made me smile as I thought about my lovely Nan.
Many years ago, I lived in central London, my Nan lived in south London and I would often pick her up on my way to the coast to visit my parents for the weekend. One day I was driving quite happily when my Nan screamed with fear ‘Oh my God Nooooo’, I thought I must have at least run over a small child holding a puppy, I slammed on the brakes shouting “What, what, what ” …. Nan replied we have approach hay from the back, now just to explain a lorry pulled out in front of us carrying hay, yes you are reading this right, I said “so what is the problem” she said “its unlucky” I said “why” she said “buggered if I know”, but my point is, now whenever I approach hay from the back it puts the fear of God in to me. How silly fears start from something so small. When I added the date up today and it was the Devil, it made me smile.
On seeking out the old wives tales below I came across a fabulous workshop I wrote a few years ago called Motivation and Inspiration all based on releasing fear, I surprise myself sometimes, might have to pop a date in the diary!
Some old wives tales do have an element of truth in them, but most can be taken with a pinch of salt.
Walking under a ladder brings bad luck. Dates back to early Christianity as the sides of the ladder and the ground from a triangle, the symbol of Holy Trinity. When one walks through it, it’s said to violate the trinity, putting you on the same level as the devil.
If you spill salt you’re supposed to throw it over your left shoulder immediately. This is because when you spill it the devil appears above your left shoulder and you’re supposed to blind him with the salt.
Magpies. Seeing one is deemed unlucky because magpies pair with a partner for life, if they are on their own it means the other one is no longer here.
Pearls are unlucky, possibly because of the belief they caused pain to the oysters producing them. Or the fact divers died from staying on the sea bed to long.
Dropping one Glove. Picking up a glove you dropped means you’ve challenged yourself to a duel and have to fight at dawn.
Wearing an item of clothes inside out. It is lucky to put on an item of clothing inside out, although you must not change it until the time you would normally take it off, to hold the luck. William of Normandy inadvertently put on his shirt back to front just before the Battle of Hastings; when his courtiers pointed out his mistake and said it was a bad omen, quick-thinking William assured them it was not and was in fact a sign that he was about to be changed from a duke into a king.
KNIFE: crossing two knives is bad luck. If you are given a present of a knife, give a coin in return to avoid ‘cutting’ the friendship
STAIRCASE: it is unlucky to pass anyone on the stairs (cross your fingers if you do so). Early stairways were very narrow and two people passing each other left themselves open to attack from behind. Stumbling on the staircase is said to be a good omen and may indicate a wedding in the household before long.