Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, October, 22, 2003.
Are you superstitous? Don’t deny it too quickly. There are sorts of little things we do without even considering them to be a superstition. Do you read horoscopes? How much credit do you give to them? Would you consider your day not as great if you have a poor horoscope? Kind of superstitious aren’t you?
Wicca and Witchcraft are full of superstition though we might deny it. I think, Pagans in general, try to distance themselves from the occult and the superstitions which have all gotten a bad reputation.
It’s funny cause the very stuff they deny is partly what their beliefs are based on. Occult was a word long before Wicca. Meanwhile, I expect superstitions have been around right from the first people on the planet.
Most people think about superstitions around weddings, births and deaths, the major life events. I think those are the times when we are most off balance, in need of some extra sign or guidance that everything will be ok. That’s really what a superstition is. Just that extra assurance that you’re going to be all right.
Of course, some superstitions are safety precautions. You should avoid walking under ladders, breaking mirrors and squishing spiders. Not because you fear having a run of bad luck but because it’s less likely ladders will fall on your head, glass will cut your hand and spiders are needed for eating other bugs. It’s all logical and reasonable.
So go ahead and avoid stepping on cracks, tossing salt over your shoulder and so on, guilt free. Superstitions might be soffed but they have their own purpose and history. As long as they harm none what’s the harm in humouring your own superstitions?