By Ernst: There is a clear difference between being spiritual, religion and superstition. When you talk about being spiritual, it’s about things that have to do with your spirit. In Latin “the spirit” is called “spiritus”. From the very beginning, in prehistoric times, there was already a form of the concept of spirituality that has grown into the many religions and spiritual movements that we now know in this world.
People have always had the awareness that there was something they could not comprehend and they tried to explain this in any way they could. That being said, the concept of spirituality is very broad. Spirituality is used in many ways. It has to do with both religion and supernatural powers, or self-development, also called “spiritual growth”. It can also be a quest for wisdom and inner peace and tranquility. The emphasis is then based on the personal and inner experience.
Spirituality can also include the belief in the supernatural and the seemingly invisible. We usually cannot physically see, grasp and fathom spiritual matters, we will have to believe it and sometimes we can experience it a bit. Many people believe in supernatural things such as making contact with the other side, psychics, mediums, earth rays, the influence of planets, the influence of minerals and crystals, alternative medicine, extrasensory matters, aura, palm reading, magic, reading cards, predicting the future and so much more.
Superstition is a non-religious belief. Superstition usually revolves around supernatural forces or powers. Superstitions are often about objects and symbols. Superstitions have been spread all over the world for centuries. If you are superstitious, it means that you have come to believe in unnatural forces that can affect future events. There are actions you can perform (performing rituals), which can then summon the forces. Many of these rituals are there to force good luck or to prevent an accident. Superstition used to play an important role in life. For coincidences were explained by superstition and everyone could avert misfortune in this way. It probably arose because people have made connections between things, even when there is no connection. There is often a tricky difference between belief and superstition.
Many people still believe, for example, that an accident can happen on Friday the thirteenth or when you see a black cat. Whoever talks about a lot of prosperity must knock on wood.
Some other examples of superstitions that we have all heard of are:
One of the forms best known, is the fear of different numbers, especially the number 13. Some hotels or hospitals do not have a 13th floor or room and airplanes often do not have a 13th row of seats. The fear of this is called Triskaideka phobia.
Friday the thirteenth is also considered an unlucky day. On that day, people often do not go to work to avoid bad luck. Other people are convinced that it is a lucky number and think that the rumor has spread that it is an unlucky number, so that there is still room for the smart ones in the thirteenth row.
Many people are afraid to walk under a ladder. An angled ladder forms a triangle with the ground and the wall. Since this is the symbol of the Holy Trinity (The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit), our ancestors considered it a very irreverent act. If you did this, you were accused of worshiping the devil and veneration. Later that developed into that, whoever walked under a ladder, called bad luck upon himself or could be struck by death. A woman would never get married within a year.
Horseshoes are best known as good luck charms. Some say that you should hang them open side up, then they ‘catch the luck’. They say that if you hang them upside down, happiness will fall out.
Many people are afraid of black cats. This is because black is the color of death and because a cat is ‘an embodiment of the devil’ and so witches, among others, turned into cats. (Black) Cats still often play the bad guy in children’s stories. Something less known is that if you keep cats too close to your mouth, they would take your breath away.
In England it is the other way around, black cats bring good luck and white cats bad luck.
Four-leaf clovers are hard to find and are said to bring good luck. If a girl puts a clover in her right shoe, she will marry the first man she meets.
Five-leaf clovers are supposed to bring bad luck.
If an eyelash falls out, blowing it away would grant you a wish. The reason for this is not known.
Breaking a mirror is said to bring 7 years of bad luck. This comes from the ancient Roman Empire, a mirror is said to be a reflection of your soul, so if you break a mirror, you break your soul. Although shards bring good luck, this does not apply to those from a mirror, but from China, for example. According to an ancient American superstition, a young, unmarried woman could see her future husband in a mirror at midnight on Halloween. She had to stand in front of the mirror with a burning candle in her hand.
If a painting falls off the wall, someone in the family dies.
If ladybugs come flying at you, it brings good luck. Killing them brings great misfortune, and trampling on them brings rain, according to different stories.
The mistletoe was a sacred plant for the Celts and Germans. There is also a story that if you stand under a mistletoe, you may be kissed with impunity. Therefore, this brought luck.
Near or in the Bermuda Triangle, many boats and planes mysteriously disappeared. Some say it’s due to tsunamis or violent thunderstorms, others think of aliens or ominous magical powers.
But you know: Only if you do not believe in all this and others do, it is superstition for you. If you believe in it, it is not superstition, but belief.
Love and Light,
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