Are You Superstitious?

Are You Superstitious?

The other day on the National News a top news anchor was interviewing the Mayor of London about the opening of the Olympics. I was surprised to hear him interrupt himself in the middle of a sentence to say, “Knock wood” and then continue with what he was saying!

Before you place a judgment on his action (as I did) or deny having any superstitious tendencies yourself, take this short quiz:

  • Have you ever avoided walking under a ladder?
  • Have you ever felt uncomfortable when a black cat crossed your path?
  • Have you ever entered a house by one door and left by a different one?
  • Have you ever said “Knock wood” or done it?
  • Have you searched for a four leaf clover, found one and saved it for all time?
  • Do you feel a little trepidation when the 13th lands on a Friday?
  • Do you get excited when finding a horseshoe?
  • Have you ever opened an umbrella inside a house?
  • Have you gasped when you broke a mirror, tossed salt over your shoulders, picked up a penny lying in the road, or wished on a wishbone?

Yep, you’re superstitious.

But don’t worry; you’re not alone. According to recent research, this article  says, “Two-thirds of us can’t get through the day without some kind of superstitious gesture.” This author calls it “magical thinking” and claims superstitious rituals “give us a sense of control, of purpose, and help us cope.”

As I was writing this post I heard a mysterious clawing, flapping sound coming from our basement which my husband, upon investigating, said was a bird that had fallen down our chimney.  “I’ll have to open the flue and let him out,” he said. My knee-jerk response: “But then there will be… a bird in the house!

Maybe I’m superstitious. Or maybe I’m just hedging my bets. I didn’t let my husband see me in my wedding dress before I was walking down the aisle in it, had something old, new, borrowed and blue on me, tossed the bouquet, flung the garter and saved a layer of wedding cake for our first anniversary but that was tradition wasn’t it? I learned about the origin of these rituals many years after our happy day. I don’t know if I would have observed these “traditions” had I been aware that they were wedding superstitions.

Do you think superstitions are silly or do these rituals give us something of value? Are you superstitious?

photo credit: Peter Kaminski

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About The Author


I am passionate about writing and community building. I’ve written a book about healing and happiness, The Happy Place, as well as a Community Building book, Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age, now available at any Amazon store. I’ve been through life changes that I thought were the end of my world, but I’m still here. I never know what will happen next. Isn’t that what makes life interesting?