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Popular Superstitions

Popular Superstitions and Good Luck Charms

Good Luck Charms

Along with many superstitious beliefs there is the idea of good luck charms. A Good luck charm is a charm that is believed to bring good luck. Almost any object can be use as a charm. Coins and buttons are good examples of charms. Charm comes from the French word charme which means song.

Originally there were spoken charms. An example of this is a blessing that a minister or a priest gives at the end of a ceremony. Later on, people assumed that spoken words were just a temporary fix whereas a solid object is a more permanent charm.

The “lucky rabbit charm” was passed on and incorporated into our culture by the African slaves that were brought to the Americas. The lucky bag or the “Mojo” is another borrowed idea from the African culture.

It is used in voodoo ceremonies to carry several lucky objects or spells and intended to cause a specific effect. The concept is that particular objects placed in the bag and charged will create a supernatural effect for the bearer. Even today, mojo bags are still used.

Europe contributed to the concept of lucky charms. Adherents of St. Patrick (the patron saint of Ireland), adopted the Four leaf clover as a symbol of Irish luck due to the fact that clovers are abundant in the hills of Ireland. The four-leaf clover was consistently believed to be a lucky charm. This very old Irish verse describes why:

One leaf is for fame,
And one leaf is for wealth,
And one is for a faithful lover,
And one to bring you glorious health,
Are all in the four-leaved clover.

Small objects that are given to you make very good lucky charms. It is because of the favorable associations they make. Good luck charms are usually worn on the body although there are exceptions. Pictured above is a beautiful necklace with the spiritual sign of Judaism, symbol of hope and protection.

Our health, happiness, wealth, hope and fear are major aspects of our lives. Wearing an ornament to ward off troubles or to increase our trust in the future taps in to the universal optimism that has guided humanity throughout our history.

A Good Luck Charm is generally a small ornament usually (dangling) from a bracelet or chain. It could be a symbol, an animal likeness, beads, or any number of things that generally the wearer may believe will bring them good luck – or in some cases ward off bad luck.

Sometimes you might see someone wearing a necklace with a symbol or figure on it. This too might be a good luck charm for the person wearing it.

No one knows when wearing good luck charms started. They may have been originally used as an amulet to ward off bad luck and evil spirits.

“There is superstition in avoiding superstitions.”

~ Francis Bacon, Sr.


“The greatest American superstition is a belief in facts”

~ Hermann Keyserling

Back in pre-historic history, jewelry charms would be made from shells, animal-bones and clay and other natural items. There is evidence from Africa that shells where used for adornments around 75,000 years ago, so the custom is very old.

From those ancient times until today people have been wearing charms. Regardless of your reasons for wearing good luck charms, there is a long history surrounding many good luck charms.

Popular Superstitions

Superstition is a belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any physical process linking the two events, such as astrology, omens, witchcraft, Black Magic, lucky charms, etc., that contradicts natural science.

Superstition is also commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luck, prophecy and spiritual beings, particularly the belief that future events can be foretold by specific unrelated prior events.

In religion superstition is a deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God. Many religions have superstitious beliefs in them. But of course the religions themselves do not call any of their practices superstitions.

The term superstition contrasts with the term religion, by definition referring to what are seen as excessive or false religious behavior as opposed to a standard of proper or accepted religious standard.

European folk belief fell under the definition of superstition since it contrasted with Christian theology, public worship, or ritual. Due to the development of folklore studies in the late 18th century, use of the derogatory term superstition was sometimes replaced by the neutral term “folk belief”.

Both terms remain in use; describing a practice such as the crossing fingers to nullify a promise as “folk belief” implies a neutral description from the perspective of folklore studies, while calling the same thing a “superstition” implies its rejection as irrational.

Superstition is a belief, not based on human reason or scientific knowledge, that future events may be influenced by one’s behavior in some magical or mystical way.

We are not discussing these but superstition may also refer to:


popular superstitions


Questions about Superstitions

Chris asks…

what are some of those sayings/superstitions?

If you put your feet on the table while your eating someone will die
or if your left ear tingles people are saying bad things about you
if you walk under a lader its bad luck
if you do this or that stuff happens….I want to know them all, hook it up
or if you toss something over your shoulder some one will appear

Suzi Q answers:

If the broom swept your foot you must spit on it or you won’t get married.
Break a mirror 7 years bad luck. Drop a fork someone coming for dinner.
Black cat crossing your path. Early Bird catches worms or you not as big as a grasshopper or knee high to a duck this was said when you did something grown. One bad apple, Birds of a feather flock together..So many more but here’ a sign off Since I don’t want to wake up on the wrong side of the bed….God’s Love & Blessings!

Thomas asks…

Do you know any superstitions about a lunar halo?

My Pop use to tell me something about the ring around the moon, either good luck or bad luck and something about the weather too.

Since its about 3:30 am, I’m not about to call my mother to ask.

Do you know any sayings or superstitions about the ring around the moon? (full moon) or “lunar halo”, what ever you like to call it?
I know what causes it. I know what causes fairy rings too, but there are still superstitions about them

Suzi Q answers:

It is seen as good fortune and a portence of rain.

Maria asks…

Why are humans prone to ask why instead of how?

And could this tendency be one cause of superstition and religion?

Suzi Q answers:

Curiosity. Unfortunately many get deceived to believe ad hoc ‘answers’ with no supporting proof.

Robert asks…

Have you ever heard of some ridiculous superstitions that just made you laugh?

if you have then post them here where they’re ridiculous or not. I just want to hear about more superstitions.
eg. Ringing in your ear means someone is saying something bad about you.

10 points for most interesting and informative
Sleeping on your back causes nightmares. i actually believed that one to the point that up to this day i don’t sleep on my back w/out getting nightmares
or how about Don’t step over someone, they’ll stop growing

Suzi Q answers:

This one is my favorite: If you secretly put your toe-nail clippings in a glass of lemonade and make someone drink it, then that person is supposed to fall in love with you

Muslims call it the Hand of Fatima,
while Jews refer to it as the Hand of Miriam, hamsa hand or hamesh hand.
Both faiths, however, agree on its powers. The hand with the colored eye — found on necklaces, ornaments, stickers, etc. — will shield you from the powers of the evil eye.

Layer on the eyeliner and smoky eye shadow.
Ancient Egyptians believed that makeup prevented the evil one from entering your eyes.

Show the ‘horned hand.’
It looks like a secret greeting among Metallica-heads, but Italians do the mano cornuta for protection. To form the gesture, use your thumb to hold down your middle and ring fingers, then extend your pointer and pinkie like horns. Though this might ward off evil spirits, it could also attract heavy-metal rockers or University of Texas fans.

The reason we are encouraged to hold our hand over our mouth when we yawn so as not to let the Devil into our mouth

“knock on wood”. Supposed to keep the devils living in the wood from hearing your ill-considered idle comments

Breaking Mirrors = 7 years bad luck. Some time ago (ancient Romans, if I remember right), people believed that reflections were actually glimpses of the viewers soul. People had gazing pools in their gardens in which they could look at themselves. A really mean thing to do was wait until a person was gazing at their reflection and throw a stone in the water because the distruption of the reflection affected their soul and brought about bad luck. We don’t have gazing pools anymore, but the mirror breaking superstition still lives on

Carol asks…

what are the superstitions / beliefs on how to stop successive deaths in the family?

every year someone in the family dies… its getting pretty weird. not all are natural causes there has been an instance when it was by accident. my cousin was rammed by a truck… and only last week my uncle died of a heart attack.. any inputs?

Suzi Q answers:

Well to us Chinese there is a superstition that could link to this, when a person dies a person is buried. But there are cases that the body does not rot and fade to dust over time, due to geographic weather, bad feng shui and special cases. They remain preserved the same as it is when they were buried, the body becomes something like a living dead, neither living as a human, nor dead as a body. When this happens, it is said that it brings a curse that will harm its descendants, and they will die in a successive manner.

The way to stop it is to find the body of the ancestor whose body doesn’t rot and cremate it, but the catch is that there is a specific date and time that it should be dug out, perform a ritual/ceremony and have the body cremated. A feng shui master or those Chinese oracles otherwise known as a “fa shi” will know how to find the bad feng shui and calculate the time and date of cremation.

Perhaps it sounds weird, but such cases really exists. I’ve seen cases like this in the newspapers a few times already, and I think its really scary. Especially the part that the body never rots even after so many years when they dug the coffin up and opened it.

Popular Superstitions

Sandy asks…

Is is better of all to disown all sorts of superstitions and so-called religions to avoid conflicts?

The burning of Quran can cause bloodshed and terrible consequences. It is now time for all those open-minded atheists to come together to reduce the influence of fairy tales, superstitions,religions and hold high the banner of science , researches and advance in learning to clear off the mess and ignorance!

Suzi Q answers:

Trying to abolish religion is like trying to abolish alcohol. It has been attempted ,but never successfully.
As a species, we have many forms of escape, some more benign than others. Reading a book, watching a movie. These are all ways of losing oneself to another experience; to vicariously feel what others in situations might feel.

Religion and alcohol are powerful forms of escape. In a poem by A.E. Housman, there is a telling line “ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink, for fellows whom it hurts to think.” The same can be said for religion

It is true that some parts of the more civilized world are more secular, so what you are suggestion is possible to some degree. But the values inherent in religion are so powerful that people, historically, and currently, have been and are willing to give up their lives to protect them. So, its a nice thought, but it won’t happen in my lifetime

Michael asks…

Are Indians afraid of Thursdays?

My mom is afraid of me having a haircut on Thursdays cause her superstitions tell her that it brings bad luck. Furthermore, she says that women aren’t allowed to wash their hair on Thursdays either so there is a separation between women and men. Its nonsense, what if all your free time is during Thursdays, what do you do then? I don’t believe in this stupidity and want to know what is the general feeling towards Thursdays among other Indians and what other Indian people’s parents might feel.

Suzi Q answers:

I am Indian. I am a Sikh. So i don’t have a hair cut. But i wash my hairs on any day. Never heard of that superstition.

John asks…

What are some of the weirdest superstitions you’ve ever heard?

1.) Eating and reading at the same time give you liver cancer.
2.) Opening an umbrella inside the house causes you to become shorter.
3.) Kissing a child while they are sleeping will cause them to become mean.

I got 3 of those from my parents. I think they’re completely insane.

Suzi Q answers:

My mom just told me last night – if your big toes are outrageously big, that means you lose your father first…

Linda asks…

do you think sleep paralysis can explain many superstitions?

every now and again i wake up with sleep paralysis and it can be pretty scary….. so i was wondering if it can be the cause of a lot of superstitions.

for those that don’t know what it is…
Physiologically, sleep paralysis is closely related to the paralysis that occurs as a natural part of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is known as REM atonia. Sleep paralysis occurs when the brain awakes from a REM state, but the body paralysis persists. This leaves the person fully conscious, but unable to move.(yes i copied and pasted that it was easier)

Suzi Q answers:

I’ve had about 10 episodes of these so far in my life. This can be very scary no matter how much you know what it is, same with nightmares. I can see though how one would think it’s some sort of entity or demon doing this. I know when I’m under stress without much sleep I will most likely have them. It’s not always the same thing people think it was some people claim it was an alien, some say a demon,other say someone was sitting on their chest, for me it was I felt like I was trying to get back in my body and I couldn’t quite get in there and I couldn’t move my body. But to answer your question yes it can explain some superstitions. It’s also funny how different parts of the world have their own superstitions.

Donna asks…

Most atheists are ignorant of religion and equate it with terrorism, why is that?

I mean honestly after all religion has done for us with the promise of eternal damnation, the crusades, the current war on terrorism, the jihads, and all of the genocidal conflicts that pop up around the globe caused by a different set of superstitions… WHO in their right mind would make the connection between religion and terrorism?

Suzi Q answers:

Yes most of them are ignorant. But Many of them are wonderful and have more knowledge of scriptures than Christians

Laura asks…

What are the effects and causes of superstitious beliefs?

Please anybody answer my question . thanks you

Suzi Q answers:

The world is a scary place. Anything that acts as a shield against that fear is embraced.

Perhaps there is a devil over your shoulder, so fling that spilled salt.

Red Skies at morning have brought storm clouds, so i need be wary.

When I rub my lucky rabbit’s foot, good things happen.

The drawback is that you may become a slave to these fetishes

Nancy asks…

Is Superstition sinful?

Last week I found four animal? teeth in my front yard. I am fascinated by the teeth and what meaning there is, if any, to the fact that I found them. I researched on the internet to find out if there is any significance to this event. These teeth resemble Bear, Pig or possibly Horse teeth. I’m going through a very frightening chapter in my life and ever since I found these teeth I’ve felt amazingly better. It probably has to do with the fact that I believe the teeth are keeping evil spirits away and just that belief causes me to feel secure. Does anyone know:
1) the significance of finding teeth
2) do you have any idea what animal these teeth came from, and
3) since I’m Catholic am I committing a sin by keeping the teeth, and
4) to what degree I am sinning if I am being superstitious

Thanks for any insight.
Thank you for all of the insights. Everyday is a new day to learn something new. God bless!
Thanks Mack. Today I went and got some blessed salt from my priest. I would have got holy water but I didn’t have a bottle. I”m going to try sprinkling some around. Possibly tomorrow I will get some holy water too. God bless.

Suzi Q answers:

Teeth are used to bite, tear, chew and gnaw. In this regard, teeth symbolize power, this is why you may feel you have power and better in yourself because the teeth are a symbol of power.
Are you were you lacking power in some current/recent situation? Perhaps you are having difficulties expressing yourself or getting your point across not having the power to, this may be why these teeth have been brought to you.

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