Tom was watching the PBS TV series "Doc Martin" recently and someone threw salt over their left shoulder. We wondered what that meant, so I looked it up and found this interesting article on line. Maybe it'll explain some things you've heard about! There are a lot of superstitions, so you'll be able to read about them over the course of several days.
- RobPart 3: What's behind Some Superstitions? Ladders, Magpies, Rocking Chairs, Spilled Salt
Ladders - Often thought to arise from a risk of falling scaffolding, the fear of walking under ladders may have far more complex origins. It is believed that the triangular shape made by a ladder leaning against the wall invokes the Holy Trinity and that walking through the triangle is desecration.
If you’ve wandered under one by accident, the only solution is to walk back underneath it, saying a prayer as you do so.
Magpies - Throughout Europe, magpies are seen as birds of ill omen. And apocryphal tales recount that the magpie was the one bird that refused to sing and comfort Christ when he died on the cross.
The number of magpies you spot will determine whether you enjoy good or ill fortune. As the popular rhyme suggests: One for sorrow,
Two for mirth, Three for a funeral, Four for a birth.
Rocking chairs - An old Irish superstition claims that if you set an empty rocking chair rocking, you invite evil spirits to occupy the empty seat.
Spilled salt: Because of Judas Iscariot, spilling the seasoning is associated with lies. The Last Supper has given us two common superstitions: the first is that you should never seat 13 at dinner, and the second is that spilling salt brings bad luck. If you look closely at Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper, you can see that Judas has knocked the salt cellar over with his elbow. Thanks to Judas Iscariot, spilled salt is associated with treachery and lies. If you do spill salt, a pinch thrown over your left shoulder is supposed to blind the devil waiting there.