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Very superstitious, writing on the wall

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CharlesJohnson, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. CharlesJohnson

    CharlesJohnson
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    I just finished reading Ralph Sarchie's Deliver Us From Evil (source material for the movie of the same name). Sarchie is basically a super Catholic. My impression on his take on possession, evil, malefactors, was one of his being superstitious. Don't use a ouija board, don't read questionable books, don't neglect baptism, or else one is inviting in evil. Everything is evil, everything leaves you vulnerable. I remembered some of the same things my mother told me, stuff she learned from her mother. She told me not to knock on a door inside a house because it invited the devil in. She was nuts about black cats running in front of the car (despite owning a black cat). She tacitly believes in curses; ask her and she may demure, but in the back of her mind she remembers telling me as a kid which neighbor cursed grandpop. Fucking Italians.

    Not all of her nonsense is directly related to invisible evils. An itch on your left palm means bad luck is imminent, however an itch on the right palm means money is coming. Three sneezes in a row is good luck. So, you've got that going for you... which is nice. My friend's wife is wiccan, so they jumped over a broom to start their marriage on a gracious note. Carrying a bride across a threshold? Same idea.

    The Scottish believe herrings are sensitive to violence, and blood shed on land sends them retreating from nearby waters. The Scots also won't wash the scales from the boat while at sea because it brings bad luck. Not *might*, but *does* bring bad luck. Old English said never to turn a feather bed down on Sunday, preventing nightmares. Protestants in the new world would fill a jar with nails and urine, burying it under the entryway to their home to keep away witches. During the Black Death, German flagellants would group up to parade around town whipping themselves into a bloody frothy mess because they believed God had abandoned them, and their sacrifice would bring them back into his good graces.

    Focus: Ever refrain from picking up a penny tales facing up? Throw salt over your shoulder? Shit yourself when you see a comet? Believe in curses, the evil eye? Your Sicilian grandmother spit on the ground when someone mentions the devil? Do you have any superstitions or routines you engage in to ward off bad luck? Religious, cultural, whatever.

    Anti-Focus: This is not a thread to bash religion, or even talk about the machinations of religion, liturgy, or faith. This is not a thread to give people shit for sharing either. However it is a thread to discuss certain aspects of those practices in an adult manner.
     
  2. Nettdata

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    When I was racing I found a lot of drivers were very superstitious.

    Personally, I always wore the same pair of nomex socks for every race each year. (Nomex is a fire-retardant cloth, and under our fire suits we wear basically Nomex long johns and socks, to help with that "don't burn when stuck in a car on fire" thing). I didn't give a shit about what socks I wore when I was practising or qualifying, but the actual race, it HAD to be that exact pair of socks.
     
  3. comforter

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    For the evil you should really worry about, try the 2006 film Deliver us from Evil (not for the weak of stomach) which is what I first thought of when I saw the title.

    Focus: I believe in luck, but I'm not superstitious, if that makes sense. There is such a thing as luck, and sometimes you're lucky, and sometimes not. Some people are luckier than others, and some unfortunates are just plain unlucky (and be thankful you're not one of them). But superstition? Bah. Luck is far too powerful and arbitrary a force to be influenced by your petty human actions.

    And yes, some people use luck or its absence as an excuse. That is testimony for luck's existence, not against.
     
  4. himsoforreal

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    My Dad was baptized Mormon, but has Catholic superstitious beliefs. My mother is baptist but is just as superstitious. So growing up my brothers and I were taught many of them. If you knock over salt on the dinner table it meant unexpected company was coming, which is when you toss salt over your shoulder. A penny facing heads up is good luck, so you had to pick it up, if it was facing tails up then you filp it over and leave it to change a stranger's luck. Always turn down the stereo in a vehicle when passing a cemetery, otherwise the dead won't be able to rest. Something about driving at night, when you pass an oncoming car with one headlight out you make a cross with you finger on the windshield, so the devil doesn't take you?

    I could go on.
     
  5. JWags

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    I knock on wood constantly, dont ask me why. I also have the same pre-flight routine and prayer as we pull from the gate, since I was probably 6 or 7.

    When it comes to sports, all hell breaks loose. Personally, when I play hockey I jump into the boards, right shoulder first and smack my helmet with my left hand before the opening drop. I run the same cris-cross pattern when I get onto the soccer pitch, and when I used to play baseball, I was really particular about my laces on my shoes and gloves and my helmet being completely devoid of dirt when I went to bat. The first two were definitely initially about looking cool and then turned into superstitious rituals after good games and have stuck with me years later.

    When watching my favorite teams, I'm even more so. I have favorite jerseys and t-shirts that have been shelved for entire seasons cause of unfavorable outcomes of key games when wearing them. There are a couple bars in Chicago I will never watch a Bears game at and certain people I won't watch Marquette basketball games with. Sports superstitions get even crazier because its out of your control completely, so your nonsensical mind runs wild.
     
  6. Rush-O-Matic

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    I once broke a mirror under a ladder

    I think that spilling salt, breaking a mirror, walking under a ladder, black cat in front of you, etc. has no bearing on whatever bad luck I receive, and if I find a penny, toss it in a fountain or find a four-leaf clover, it has bearing on any good luck I receive. I say that because I feel that way because of reason and rational thought. One thing can't possibl influence the other, through any sort of cosmic interface with the world, in my opinion. However, when I played baseball, and later softball, I was surrounded by crazy superstitious guys. And, I participated in one that I felt very strongly about: do not cross the bats. When I am at the Braves game and they need runs late, I will put on my rally cap. I don't do it because I think it has any real influence. I just do it because it's another way to cheer and support my team, and it's fun to sort of act like you're participating with the folks around you.

    Tangential . . . being around superstitious ball players, there were lots of guys that would do certain things in a routine, if they thought it brought them luck. One day, one of my buddies was talking about always putting his left sock and shoe on first. One sock, then one shoe, then the other sock, then the other shoe. I don't know why, but I cannot do this. I have to put both socks on, usually left first, and then shoes - not just sports. Everday when I get dressed. Every now and then, I'll try it again, and it totally creeps me out, and makes me feel weird. I have no idea why. I just can't stand to have my left foot completed, while my right foot is entirely bare.
     
  7. xrayvision

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    I'm extremely superstitious about hospital jobs. Especially when I was working in the trauma center. You never talk about how slow your day is going. Ever. You can mentally observe that your workload might be lighter than normal. But the minute you utter any words pertaining to the situation is the minute a bus accident comes rolling in the doors with 15 people near death.

    I've nearly sent students home before for mentioning how our work list seemed rather small that day. Because after that, 9 xrays got added on. While trauma can be fun what with all the carnage, the rest of the work is just tedious and mind numbing.

    At my current job, 95% of my work is scheduled ahead of time so very little can change during the day. Plus, if there are no doctors in the office, I basically sit on the clock and steal money all day. I've watched entire series of shows because there was no work and the boss wouldn't let me go home early. I'm not superstitious about this job. Only ones where anything can happen.
     
  8. Omegaham

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    Superstition frustrates me. It's natural for our brains to do it, as we're very good at correlating patterns. But to take a statistics phrase, superstitions and the things that they "affect" are independent variables. Flipping a penny over is about the same as astrology, and I find it amusing that guys will mock the shit out of dumbass women who read the astrology column but have superstitions of their own.

    That being said, I see nothing wrong with sports superstitions, if only because rituals are part of the game and can calm you down. If it helps you win, go for it.
     
  9. Currer Bell

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    It is hard for me to make definitive statements about something that I want to happen in the future, even when I am confident that it will happen the way I say. Part of it is because I just feel it is arrogant, but mostly it's because of my secret fear that the opposite will happen just because I said it out loud. Like the universe will foil me out of spite. So instead of, "It's not going to rain on Saturday" I'll say "I think it isn't going to rain" or "I hope it won't rain."
     
  10. Kampf Trinker

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    I'll sometimes tell someone to knock on wood, or subconsciously cross my fingers. To me these things are saying or forces of habit, they don't really mean anything to me.

    I know a lot of people who believe in ghosts and I regularly hear stories about something having been moved in their house, or a scent that reminds them of a dead loved one. It's always something really subtle. A guy I used to work with had a business on the side building ghost detectors and doing tours in St Augustine. I don't think he made a lot of money doing it, but it was by far his favorite hobby.

    I've also had friends who thought things like remote viewing and astral projection were real. One went a month eating little food, never masturbating, and not drinking any alcohol or taking any drugs so he could meditate and have an out of body experience. I don't believe in any of the astral projection stuff, but I still find a lot of aspects of meditation appealing and went through a phase where I was reading books on that subject and hypnosis. I dabbled with mixed results. I guess I'm a bit of a flake.
     
  11. happyfunball

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    I don't have any superstitions that I can think of, even when I played basketball. I think in part it's because of my mom telling me to "stop being an idiot" whenever I would try to do something remotely superstitious. Look, all I know is if I didn't mail those chain letters to 10 people, bad stuff would happen! How could she doubt that?
     
  12. HenryAllenVenture

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    Before every football game I have a routine. I drink a red bull about 5-10 minutes before we get off the bus. I walk the 10 yard lines across the field with my headphones on. I don't eat any candy the day of the game. I nap after pregame meal and before we get on the bus. I say the exact same words during pregame warm up. Basically I keep everything the same so I can focus on calling the game and the opponent. Except for the candy, that shits just bad juju.
     
  13. Danger Boy

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    All I know is that I've stepped on many a crack, yet my mother has never broken her back.
     
  14. toddamus

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    I'm a hockey goalie, so I'm not sure if my superstitions or just regular OCD. Either way, I have to get dressed 25 mins before a game, not 27 and certainly not 23, always 25 because you know, it makes more sense than 30 or 20. When I put my leg pads on each strap has to be exactly the right hole, I actually count them. If I'm even one off something feels deeply off, again, probably regular OCD but what athlete isn't particular about their gear. During the game, I always tap off my posts in the exact same way before the ref drops the puck, left-right left-right, left-right, tap the gloves on the posts hit the cross bar with the top of my stick and go. If I don't do this, my game is off. If the face off is to my left I tap my stick on the post, glove on the cross bar three times exactly. Right side stick cross bar on the post exactly three times.

    Again, all regular player OCD.

    My only real superstition is that I will not tape my stick with fresh white tape before a game. Why? Because I feel if I have fresh white tape on my stick more shooters will shoot five hole. Which is a good thing for most goalies, but I'm better with high shots, despite my unremarkable height and butterfly technique.
     
  15. Angel_1756

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    I have some superstitions or good luck "routines", mostly because of my mother. She and her sisters are ridiculous with their superstitions, particularly at Chinese new year. No dropping forks or chopsticks, no pointing chopsticks, no talking about death or the number four, no cleaning the house on new years day, definitely cleaning the house on new years eve, no taking or making phone calls on the third day of the year, etc. I wear a lucky gold penny on my necklace and I don't take it off for love or money. If I need a particular lucky boost during my day, I listen to Metallica's The Unforgiven. If a black cat walks in my way, I will do a complete 180 to get away from it. I have a lucky jade dragon pendant in my car which I touch for good luck but which never leaves my car.

    So yeah. I have a few.
     
  16. Rush-O-Matic

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    Re: I once broke a mirror under a ladder

    *eta: realized I left the word "no" out of my initial post there. Kind of changes my intent . . .

    Damn fortune cookie was right!
     
  17. Trickysista

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    My italian mother and grandmother were really superstitious about the "overlooks"--basically someone giving you the evil eye or, in italian, "malocchio". It was described to me as someone being nice to your face and paying you a compliment, but in reality, they're thinking envious thoughts about you and wishing you ill. The overlooks really affected the weak, such as children and older adults, so as a baby, my mom always had me wearing something inside out, salt in my pocket or a protective religious medal. I don't know if I totally buy into all of it, but my mom said she would get really sick (nausea, headache) if someone gave her the overlooks. Apparently there is a way to get rid of it, but my great-great aunt was the only person in our family who knew how and the secret died with her.

    There's also the superstition (or tradition, depending how you look at it) of keeping an italian horn in your house to ward off the "malocchio" and men wear one especially to protect their manhood. I have a little italian horn in my house because why not?

    Other than those above, I don't really follow any superstitions, save for a few sports ones I had in high school. I did the long jump for track and I used to lace my spikes the same way every meet so I wouldn't foul.
     
  18. fleafly

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    I've crossed my fingers in anticipation of an event. I've not picked up a penny because it's tails-up. I've knocked on wood. I think we all do superstitious things but not because we are superstitious. I step on cracks, walk under ladders, and ride my motorcycle without a gremlin bell. I'm still here and still fine and I don't think that's going to change just because I don't follow some "demons" OCD tendencies. That being said I do believe in the placebo effect and I think that's the basis for superstitions. If you mind thinks something bad will happen you will rationalize something being bad as because of the superstitious thing you didn't do. Same goes for something good. If you pick up a heads-up penny your mind will rationalize the penny as being the reason you had that spectacular orgasm.
     
  19. katokoch

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    I grew up in a very religious Catholic family but we weren't superstitious in the least because of it. However a family that lived down the block and went to the same church was... as in their house was full of candles for variety of patron saints, and they'd never leave the house without a medallion of St. Christopher with them. Their cars had stickers of patron saints on the dash. They wouldn't allow their kids to read the Harry Potter books because it glorified pagan witchcraft. They were really nice people but obviously a little different.

    I have a lucky old camo shirt for hunting and fishing trips. My grandpa first had it and spent most of his life afield, and it was given to me after died years ago. It doesn't always come along and I only wear it when I haven't seen any game yet or the fishing is slow. On a weeklong fishing trip two years ago it rained every single day except for the day I wore that shirt- and when we went fishing that day, the sun came out and we couldn't keep them out of the canoe. I caught the most fish in a day than ever before, by far, and when we got back home I noticed the day I wore that shirt was on the anniversary of his death. That's when I realized it was special. When I put that shirt on the fish start biting and the critters come out, and they fall over dead the instant I pull the trigger too.
     
  20. lostalldoubt86

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    I believe a full moon makes the crazies come out. I can say this for certain because I work in an assisted living facility and everyone goes completely insane when there is a full moon. This is also the case on Friday the 13th. Everyone loses their shit. I think it was June when Friday the 13th fell on a full moon and it was the night from hell. A bunch of residents bitching nonstop about dinner, at least 3 people shit their pants (the facility I work in is for people who don't quite need to be at a nursing home, so shitting your pants is something that does not happen often. That's what makes 3 people doing it in one night particularly insane), and I spent half an hour walking around fixing TVs because so many people forgot how to change the channel.

    Besides the full moon, the only other superstition i have is that I hold my breath when I drive past a cemetery so I don't inhale death. It's something I was taught as a kid and I do it without thinking now.