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rashore

Superstition participating

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Please let this thread not go off into derailment of beliefs or not, real or not land folks. I'm more interested in awareness of superstitions, and folks can't helping themselves but to think about it.

This isn't about if you believe or not in broken mirrors bring bad luck, or seeing ladders or black cats is really spooky or not. Or the practical aspects of yes, walking under a ladder is a bad idea, so is stepping into the road to sidestep a cat.

I mean this thread for sharing stories of participating in tales of superstition, belief or not. If it worked or not.

I'll kick this off with a few...

Years ago with the whole family of some inlaws I was acquainted with the custom of throwing pennies across the threshold from inside the house to outside to "pay into the new year" kind of thing for good luck. The youngest threw first, onto the oldest- and everyone watched to see how far the pennies went into the snow.

I can't help myself but to think about seven years of bad luck every time a mirror breaks.. though I don't actually believe a broken mirror brings bad luck.

I've been the bride and the bridal party doing "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" superstition.

Again, I don't want this topic to be an argument over belief or not, works or not, proof or evidence or not. But stories of participation in the folklore and witnessing this.

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Why "magical thinking" works for some people.

Figure I'll drop this into the thread for perspective.

As for myself I have no superstitions. Think I've rationalized them away.

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Oh gosh Xeno.. this isn't about your superstitions, or your belief or not or how magical thinking works. It's about if you have participated in other superstition.

Tossed rice at a wedding. Raised a glass at a wake. Been in a house that covered mirrors in the wake of death. Pitched pennies out the door on New Years.

 

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1 minute ago, rashore said:

Oh gosh Xeno.. this isn't about your superstitions, or your belief or not or how magical thinking works. It's about if you have participated in other superstition.

Tossed rice at a wedding. Raised a glass at a wake. Been in a house that covered mirrors in the wake of death. Pitched pennies out the door on New Years.

 

Yeah I've done none of that. That's why I'm not really taking part in this thread and sorry if I misunderstood. You can just delete whatever I've posted in this thread since I'm not adding anything too it.

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I have done or given second thought to many of the things that rashore mentioned.

As a child, I long avoided stepping on cracks and, now, I knock on wood whenever 

either someone mentions something fortuitous or I'm tempted to think and talk in

absolutes, e.g. always and never.  

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Image result for distelfink hex sign

Image result for pa dutch hex signs

This is a distelfink. It is the Pennsylvania Dutch bird of happiness and blessing, found on hex signs, which are common in PA. When I was a child, my grandmother gave me a locket that had the distelfink on it. I don't really believe in warding off hexes, but I still have a distelfink magnet on my refrigerator that says "Bless This House".

Here is a wiki on Pennsylvania hex signs. My upbringing was that they were intended to ward off bad things or bring prosperity and happiness. There are still many in the area where I live.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hex_sign

You can look up other links that will show the signs and what their meanings are. Here's one that talks about some of them. 

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/hex-signs-of-pennsylvania

Edited by susieice
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Sure, I've done many, many of those things, mostly because they are cultural/social 'habits'.  Can't see I've ever seriously thought they were for real, even as a kid, but they are fun..

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There is a fine line between superstitions and traditions. I recall one New Year's Eve when I visited some Italian friends. They were concerned that I wear something red and that our dinner that evening include lentils. They were kind enough to give me a red woolen scarf which I still use, and we had dinner in a nice Indian restaurant that had some fancy lentil dish on the menu.

I didn't feel that I had gone soft on ignorance and superstition. This is how they celebrated, who they were and what they did. I was happy to be included.

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7 hours ago, susieice said:

Image result for distelfink hex sign

Image result for pa dutch hex signs

This is a distelfink. It is the Pennsylvania Dutch bird of happiness and blessing, found on hex signs, which are common in PA. When I was a child, my grandmother gave me a locket that had the distelfink on it. I don't really believe in warding off hexes, but I still have a distelfink magnet on my refrigerator that says "Bless This House".

Here is a wiki on Pennsylvania hex signs. My upbringing was that they were intended to ward off bad things or bring prosperity and happiness. There are still many in the area where I live.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hex_sign

You can look up other links that will show the signs and what their meanings are. Here's one that talks about some of them. 

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/hex-signs-of-pennsylvania

I haven't seen one of those in a while.. My grandma had a couple of those in her house and on her garage. Not just the bird one, other hex signs too. Had an art teacher in second or third grade that had the class make hex signs too. My art talent was only about as good as making the stars with a compass, I couldn't draw a distelfink. My grandma has been gone for ages now, but I wonder if that art teacher is still having kids make hex signs.

Thanks for the remembering, I had almost forgotten about this fun nugget from my childhood.

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When I was little, me and my friends would catch the floating seeds of, I think, cottonwood trees; you then whisper a wish to it then set it on the wind again.

Edited by Ryu
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7 hours ago, rashore said:

I haven't seen one of those in a while.. My grandma had a couple of those in her house and on her garage. Not just the bird one, other hex signs too. Had an art teacher in second or third grade that had the class make hex signs too. My art talent was only about as good as making the stars with a compass, I couldn't draw a distelfink. My grandma has been gone for ages now, but I wonder if that art teacher is still having kids make hex signs.

Thanks for the remembering, I had almost forgotten about this fun nugget from my childhood.

So much of Pennsylvania is deep-rooted in the Germanic traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch (Deutsch) Down to the food the state is known for, like shoo-fly pie and scrapple. Both of which I love. It is also a tradition to eat pork and saurkraut on New Year's Day to ensure prosperity in the coming year. In the Colonial, pre-Revolutionary War days of the state (late 1600's-1700's), the many groups of settlers were Germanic and settled a lot of Eastern and Central PA and started many of the settlements of the time. Amish, Mennonite, Lutheran, Moravian... With them came the folklore.  From my mom's side of the family I get French descendancy but my grandmothers for 3 generations back that I know of were PA Dutch. My dad's side is British, though I don't think they date back to before the Revolutionary War like my mom's. Much of this folklore is still with us today.

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23 minutes ago, susieice said:

So much of Pennsylvania is deep-rooted in the Germanic traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch (Deutsch) Down to the food the state is known for, like shoo-fly pie and scrapple. Both of which I love. It is also a tradition to eat pork and saurkraut on New Year's Day to ensure prosperity in the coming year. In the Colonial, pre-Revolutionary War days of the state (late 1600's-1700's), the many groups of settlers were Germanic and settled a lot of Eastern and Central PA and started many of the settlements of the time. Amish, Mennonite, Lutheran, Moravian... With them came the folklore.  From my mom's side of the family I get French descendancy but my grandmothers for 3 generations back that I know of were PA Dutch. My dad's side is British, though I don't think they date back to before the Revolutionary War like my mom's. Much of this folklore is still with us today.

Lol, my grandma was Wisconsin Danish, so I got no idea where she got the Pennsylvania Dutch thing from. And mmmm, I've had scrapple before, it's good stuff. Haven't had that in ages, scared to try making it myself off a random internet recipe, and don't know anyone who makes good scrapple to beg a recipe off of, lol. I rather like the superstition of pork and kraut on New Years Day. We like that a lot here, I might have to start participating in that tradition since my hubby is German and is fond of the New Years holiday.

Speaking of German.. for our wedding we threw a poiterabend the night before the wedding. I was the one that suggested it- heck of a fun way to drink, eat, and break dishes. One of my new uncles tried convincing me that part of the tradition was that the bride had to pick up each shard before sunrise, taking a drink for each shard to ensure good luck. His wife assured me that was only for dishes the bride broke over her drunk uncles head :lol:

And a random superstition that is one I can't help but think of. When I see groups of crows, I can't help but think of the nursery rhyme/fortune telling and the variants of it. "One for sorrow, two for mirth" and ect. There's several variations of this.

Edited by rashore
spelling error
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12 minutes ago, rashore said:

Lol, my grandma was Wisconsin Danish, so I got no idea where she got the Pennsylcania Dutch thing from. And mmmm, I've had scrapple before, it's good stuff. Haven't had that in ages, scared to try making it myself off a random internet recipe, and don't know anyone who makes good scrapple to beg a recipe off of, lol. I rather like the superstition of pork and kraut on New Years Day. We like that a lot here, I might have to start participating in that tradition since my hubby is German and is fond of the New Years holiday.

Speaking of German.. for our wedding we threw a poiterabend the night before the wedding. I was the one that suggested it- heck of a fun way to drink, eat, and break dishes. One of my new uncles tried convincing me that part of the tradition was that the bride had to pick up each shard before sunrise, taking a drink for each shard to ensure good luck. His wife assured me that was only for dishes the bride broke over her drunk uncles head :lol:

And a random superstition that is one I can't help but think of. When I see groups of crows, I can't help but think of the nursery rhyme/fortune telling and the variants of it. "One for sorrow, two for mirth" and ect. There's several variations of this.

Wisconsin was heavily settled by Germans. So was Minnesota and Ohio. Just follow the breweries and the polka festivals. :lol: That's where the traditions came from. A lot of people here aren't Germanic descent but they know the folklore.

Edited by susieice
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9 minutes ago, susieice said:

Wisconsin was heavily settled by Germans. So was Minnesota. Just follow the breweries. :lol: That's were the traditions came from. A lot of people here aren't Germanic descent but they know the folklore.

Oh yes. My dads side is German, not PD German, and my grandpa I knew from moms side (gma remarried) was German- straight from Germany, not PD either. He's the guy who told me the real Grimms and other serious Old World folklore legends when I was a toddler.

And not just breweries- also wonderful charcuterie and a seriously trackable folklore of werewolves.

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The Pennsylvania Dutch are probably the best known of the early German settlers, but many, many German settlements went across the eastern to central part of the US. With them went the folklore. Here's one from my hometown.

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-hexenkopf-rock-haunted-halloween-2016-20161030-story.html

The settlement of Raubsville, south of Easton and along the Delaware was full of pow-wowers that passed traditions down. There are some today that can still follow the old ways.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pow-wow_(folk_magic)

Edited by susieice
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12 minutes ago, susieice said:

The Pennsylvania Dutch are probably the best known of the early German settlers, but many, many German settlements went across the eastern to central part of the US. With them went the folklore. Here's one from my hometown.

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-hexenkopf-rock-haunted-halloween-2016-20161030-story.html

The settlement of Raubsville, south of Easton and along the Delaware was full of pow-wowers that passed traditions down. There are some today that can still follow the old ways.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pow-wow_(folk_magic)

That's a neat bit of folklore. Have you actually participated? Not necessarily as part of a pow-wow, but been to the rock itself at least?

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I've been to the rock. Being surrounded by all these old stories, I got really interested in the old folklore of the region. The English settlers called them witches. The German settlers called them Hexen. Europe itself was in the midst of witch hunts during the early settlement of the new world. Lancaster is full of stories like this also. Here's one from that area.

http://www.wgal.com/article/tales-of-witchcraft-spells-murder-surround-rehmeyer-s-hollow/6239526

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I've done various things culturally, despite thinking that they're all BS. The weirdest thing was, as the best man at a friend's wedding, I had to hold down a goat while an Imam cut its throat in a ritual way. It was a traditional northern Nigerian wedding, and it was one hell of an experience. I got goat blood on my suit.

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On 11/12/2017 at 1:04 AM, eight bits said:

There is a fine line between superstitions and traditions. I recall one New Year's Eve when I visited some Italian friends. They were concerned that I wear something red and that our dinner that evening include lentils. They were kind enough to give me a red woolen scarf which I still use, and we had dinner in a nice Indian restaurant that had some fancy lentil dish on the menu.

I didn't feel that I had gone soft on ignorance and superstition. This is how they celebrated, who they were and what they did. I was happy to be included.

I agree. I do some of these things only because it is a tradition. I say 'bless you' when someone sneezes only due to an influential Christian that was once in my life. I dont really believe nor even remember the superstition surrounding it. I also avoid walking under ladders, though that could just be more of a common sense thing.

 

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On 12/11/2017 at 6:56 PM, ChrLzs said:

Sure, I've done many, many of those things, mostly because they are cultural/social 'habits'.  Can't see I've ever seriously thought they were for real, even as a kid, but they are fun..

This for me too ^

For example; on Tuesday I was on a fishing charter in the Bay of Plenty NZ. Some rookie brought a banana on board, myself and some more seasoned fisherman on the boat kicked up a fuss (in good nature) as bananas are meant to be bad luck on a boat for catching fish, no one owned up to it.

But it thankfully didn’t have an effect! 

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