Friday 5 – Superstitions


Since it is Friday the 13th in October nevertheless, I figured why not look at the Superstitions for the Friday 5. I am writing this while I have Stevie Wonder “Superstition” on repeat by the way.

Superstition are defined as (according to Merriam-Webster):
: a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation
: an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition
: a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary


Many people can be superstitious, especially athletes. If you are it isn’t a big deal but here are my top 5 superstitions:


5. Step on a Crack, Break Your Mother’s Back

This is one I learnt as a kid and might actually explain my moms bad back. This one comes from African and European folklore that cracks, in the earth, on a sidewalk, or almost anywhere, have long been seen as portals to the realm of the supernatural, for both good and ill. To step on those cracks might be to invite or release unwelcome spirits into the world ready to do one harm.


4. Broken Mirror

Breaking the mirror causing 7 years of bad luck is a common one that has roots in Ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Origins in the fact that reflections of ourselves are uncanny and often unnerving. Humans have long had bad associations with them. Take, for example, the Greek myth of Narcissus, or the idea that a crack in a mirror would somehow break its charm or trap one’s soul.

This one can be reversed by taking the broken mirror outside and bury it in the moonlight.


3. Walking Under a Ladder

The superstition of not wanting to walk under a ladder also has roots in Christian symbolism: the “Holy Trinity” of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit led to an association of the number three with something sacred. The triangle, with its three sides, came to be regarded as sacred as well, and a ladder of course forms a triangle, so, naturally, to walk under that ladder would be to destroy the sanctity of the Trinity and thus incur punishment.


2. Knocking on Wood

The actual origins, and even meanings, of the phrase are as varied as the cultures which use it, with some suggesting roots in the Indo-European or Celtic belief that spirits good and bad resided in trees who could be either called upon for protection or chased away by knocking on their home, and others (particularly Christians) linking the practice to the magical power of the wooden Crucifix.  Adults picked up on the habit and the phrase (the British still say “touch wood” today), and the rest is history.


1. Lucky Charms

No I’m not talking about the cereal, but having or believing in “lucky charms” or items is a form of superstition. Whether this be the lucky penny, horseshoe, rabbit’s foot or even underwear. The idea of the lucky charm being able to change your fortunes is one that some scientists believe could actually work, but as many who have this superstition may want to avoid Vegas.


– Everett