This morning when I was washing up the dishes I started to empty out the washing up bowl and there at the bottom of the bowl were a few knives, criss crossed over each other. Now I have more than a few remnants of a superstitious childhood lingering in my behaviour so I of course, uncrossed them immediately. There is always my mother's warning hovering in the ether whenever I see or do something that contravenes her superstitions. "Uncross those knives immediately before you have an argument with someone" her voice whispered from the past. Without even nano second of resistance I did exactly as her voice said. As quickly as the event passed it still started me thinking about the whole metaphor that I had witnessed with the knives being there all the time hidden by the murky dish water, unnoticed by me....but waiting lying there ready to be exposed as I went about the process of cleaning up. It also started me thinking about how superstitious beliefs had formed some of my behaviours
Isn't that what we do when we start to clean up our lives? In the process of the cleaning up it is inevitable that we find things we don't like. We expose the anger and the pain we have covered up for whatever reason. They just stay there until, like the knives at the bottom of the dirty dish water, they cant be ignored. But I am digressing.......
It started me thinking about some more of my mother's little warnings, like throwing salt over my left shoulder (and wishing) if I spilled the salt. I have heard of old folk in the west country who put salt around their fireplaces and on the doorstep to keep evil away. I imagine this superstition came from the belief that salt can drive away the evil and the left shoulder? Why is that associated with evil? (Those left handed people get some bad press don't they?) I would really welcome any other readers thoughts on this.
Now why would putting an umbrella up in the house be unlucky? A bit messy perhaps..even a bit dangerous in a small west country cottage but unlucky??? Is there something to do with covering your head?? Any ideas?
Walking under a ladder? Blessing yourself if you see a magpie? Where do all these come from?