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Art in the Religions

Updated: 13.11.2017
There are numerous expressions of art are embedded in the daily religious practices. They differ in affiliation depending on the given specific religion. Religious art entails any artwork illustrating the adoration of a deity or a supreme God. Different arts may attract critics from a different religion with different faith, ending up being blasphemous. As such, to qualify as religious, art must be backed up by a recognizable moral narrative. Some of the major domineering religious of the ancient days include the Christianity, Islamic, and Buddhism.

Art in Christianity

Historical background

art-in-christianityThe early Christian art has been dated back to the between the third century. The development of the art was dominant in the Roman Empire. Christianity was integral from the late antiquity to the European culture. In the late medieval renaissance Italy, the prevalence of the art in Christian was attributed to the life of Christ. Scenes from Christ’s life became desirable in churches and the books as well as small altarpieces and religious statues for private and communal Christian consumption for example in weddings, funerals etc.

The various Christian arts

  • Early representation of Christ and the apostles

This is depicted in the catacombs of Domitilla where it is represented by Christ flanked by a group of disciples. This image represents the last supper and conveys the idea of Christ being the true teacher.

Apostle’s sculpture

The sculpture identifies Paul as the main apostle with representation of identifiable beards and high forehead, conveying the message of a great philosopher evidenced from the early Roman copy.

Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus

This was a Roman of the high-ranking position in the Roman government who is believed to have converted to Christianity shortly before his death. The sculpture is meant to pay tribute to him even as it passes the message of spreading the gospel.

The art in Islam

Collection of art in Islamic is known to have taken place since the 7th century. More than 1200 objects have been used to represent the Islamic cultural and religious traditions. Among these objects are the sacred arts that reveal the importance of the religion while invoking the inner beliefs. Islamic art resulted from accrued knowledge of the environment, traditions as well as Byzantine inspirations. The first work of art is the Quran. The verses offer an interrelation of the verses in the Quran serves to give a reader a unique experience that is divine.

Vegetal and floral art

The plant branches, leaves, and flowers are seen well woven in this art and often not easy to distinguish them. This is a symbolic art that to some extent is a prohibition of the imitation in the living creature.

Geometric art pattern

This was brought in as an alternative for the forbidden depiction of living creatures earlier demonstrated. It also demonstrated the sophistication and scientific popularity in the geometrical Muslim world.

The calligraphy

This consisted of artistic lettering. They were at times combined with geometrical and natural forms. This was significant to the Muslims in that it attached the holy book with the blessings to the readers.

Art in Buddhism and Origin of Buddhism

It was originally founded in northeastern India by Prince Siddhartha who later came to be known as Shakyamuni. His teachings of encouragement towards individual’s moral code formed the basis of enlightenment. Art in Buddhism is a combination of the various monuments and paintings that seek to edify Buddhism. There still exist these arts in the current. Gautama Buddha has played the major significant roles in the cult divinities of the soil in the Brahmanical Pantheon.

Symbols and evolution

  • The two Vajra symbol

The two Vajra warriors are displayed in one pair to with a symbolism of guarding the temple, befitting their roles as dharma protectors. The shape of their mouth depicts them as if they are speaking, symbolizing confrontation of life with brevity.

  • Amida Buddha

The sculpture depicts an image of a being who is known to be a source of infinite light. Symbolism for this is the fact that Amida, the Buddha, created a paradise where individuals could get enlightened without much pain and suffering.

  • Jizo Bosatsu symbol

This is a divine, infinite being who symbolizes grace and compassion. The sculpture of him shows a young traveling monk carrying a pilgrim’s staff and a wish-granting jewel. He is believed to assist the individuals who are condemned to the torments of hell.

  • Seated Bodhisattva Guanyin

He has been displayed in the sculpture seated. This symbolizes that he is observing the worlds sound. He is further known to have delayed entering paradise to assist others in attaining enlightenment.

  • Painting of a young boy leading an ox

The picture of a boy leading an ox in the farm is a representation of nature and its rhythm. It is a metaphor that shows the duo working together for getting enlightened. The two works together in a path that seems elevated path. This painting is a symbol for the harmonious relationship between man, nature, and animals

  • Bodhisattva

The statue depicts him coiffed with a decorated hair dress and garments. This being has jewels and multiple charms. He is known to guide others to salvation.

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The Roman Goddess Fortuna

Associations and Other Names

Fortuna, goddess of fortune -both good and bad- was a popular goddess throughout Rome, enjoying prominence as a common cult figure with temples located throughout the empire and also frequently being a personal goddess, part of an individual’s own set of gods and goddesses whom they most frequently honored and implored. She had many epithets that varied depending upon the type of luck that was desired, e.g. Fortuna Augusta who was called upon to strengthen the prosperity of the emperor, Fortuna Tranquilla for luck in oversea trade, and Fortuna Felix for overall happiness.

Primary Attributes and Depictions

Particularly old depictions of Fortuna show her with wings and sandals. Mythology tells us that when she came to Rome, she discarded these as a sign that she had found her true home and had no intention of leaving. Frequently, she is depicted blindfolded, representing how volatile and changing life and luck can be. She is commonly shown holding a cornucopia, depicting the prosperity, fertility, and increase she brings; holding a rudder, noting her ability to steer the fortunes of men; and standing atop or near a ball, symbolizing how unpredictable luck can be. Frequently, too, she is shown with her sister Nemesis, who attempted to rein in the capricious manner in which she bestowed luck and argued for fair distribution for all.

Origins and Lasting Influence

The goddess Fortuna’s popularity and influence can be seen to this day. Old prayers for gamblers luck and even popculture songs mentioning “Lady Luck” or “Lady Fortune” evoke this famed goddess and her ability to favor whom she will. She is also depicted upon the Wheel of Fortune card found in the Tarot. While initially, she was seen solely as a goddess of fertility, with time and the growing reach of her influence, Fortuna became tied up with the Fates, who oversaw the fates and fortunes of all. As she was able to dictate fortunes, it was also believed that she was able to see future fortune -good and bad- and so she also had at least two oracle sites where the future was divined via clay tablets that were chosen from a jar.
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Traders’ Superstitions: Should you be Afraid?

One might wonder whether superstitious traders ever lose money in the trading markets. Just like any other field, the trading sector has some superstitions that have meaning but might sound ridiculous as well. Since rituals may be healthy to some people, it is not right to judge those who believe in the trade superstitions. Below are some of the prevalent trade superstitions.

Never Trade the First 30 Minutes

Traders at the stock markets have a superstition that inhibits them from participating in trade for the first 30 minutes. Although the current exchange markets are very busy, some superstitious people may not risk trading their shares in the first 30 minutes for fear of bad luck. It may sound humorous considering the fact that rates may drop as one waits for the 30 minutes to pass while as on the other hand, it may work for the better if the “waiting time” finds an increase in the rates. Either way, some people have no problem with this superstition, but try it the next time you visit your favorite Forex broker!


Never Go Back into a Stock the Third Time

If you have never heard of the old saying that goes “Avoid sticking your hand in the cookie jar too many times”, well, now you know never visit a stock for the third time. This superstition warns the traders that one trick cannot work repeatedly. Change of plan is critical especially when trading in the highly volatile stock markets. Although some people still regret for missing their opportunities given that some people have pocketed huge moneys from playing the same cards repeatedly, now you have a choice to believe in the traders’ superstition or hope for the best on the third time.

The Maiden Sacrifice to the Volcano

Even for a superstition, could you believe in the practicability? Some people still hold the belief that in the times of market turmoil sacrificing a maiden to a volcano will please the market gods. As absurd as it sounds, there are those who believe that the sacrifice spares them of wrath but to their surprise, the stock rates still rally. The primitive thinking does not help anymore in the modern corporate world especially if one has luck of finance trading.

Never Sell a Stock Crossing $90

For the superstitious traders, despite their desire to convert their stock into cash, they may not sell their stock crossing $90 per share for fear that they always raise to $100. This belief is similar to that of options expiration that inhibits a trader from selling stock at the monthly stock options expiration dates especially if it rhymes with the third Friday of a month. No matter the returns of the stock at such times, superstitious traders will not risk selling their stocks hitting the $90 mark.

Personally, I do not undermine the applicability of traders’ superstitions because nobody has real proof that they actually work (after all they are just superstitions) but I may not waste my opportunity for their sake. Although they may seem silly and surreal, some traders out there still treasure them dearly.

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The Superstitious World of Gambling

Gamblers are notorious for superstitious behaviors. There are a lot of different things that each player does to hedge their bets, and often, it doesn’t work at all. There are some instances where skill overtakes the notion of luck, and it becomes an interesting exploration, but more often than not, these are not indicators of winning. Regardless of what one may believe, there are some elements of luck in gambling. If you look into gamblers superstition, you’ll find that common threads run throughout the world. The following are just some of the most common belief elements found within the world of betting.

The Dry Spell

In various casinos aroundvarious_casinos the world, people watch machines. They look at slot machines, video poker machines, and other devices that are based on a computer or random number generator. The belief is that if a machine causes someone to lose often, that it’s going to get hot in time. When a perennial loser is found, the player will jump on board and spend all of their money chasing a windfall. The dry spell may never turn into a hot streak, but gamblers across the world think that there’s a method to this, and therefore they spy on other players and wait for a losing streak to appear before taking their place.

The deposit methods/options used

Some gamblers believe that their luck is tied to the online casino deposit methods they used. Usually this is because of the confirmation bias – “Last time I deposited via Skrill I won big time, so if I continue using Skrill I will win again”. Or I used casino deposit bonus last time and win so I use it again.

Red and Luck

Have you ever been to a casino or place of gambling and see people wearing red? Well, for many cultures, including Chinese, red is the sign of riches and good luck. This goes back centuries, and people attach luck to the color of clothing they are wearing, as well as the way things are situated. Red being the ultimate color of good luck.

Location Is Everything

Feng Shui is a Chinese art form of positioning elements in a home, or business. Feng Shui can be determined in the home, casinos, and even small businesses. Location is everything within this ideal, and one big news story broke when the MGM Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada changed the way that their casino floor opened up to the general public. You see, the building has a large lion out front, and that was the entrance point when it first opened. That changed when they saw a dip in gamblers, noting superstition. The gamblers superstition had everything to do with Feng Shui, as people did not want to be symbolically eaten by the lion.

The Rabbit Foot

One of the long-held elements of gambling and superstitions is found with the foot of a rabbit. Lore has it that anyone holding the foot of a rabbit will find themselves amidst good luck when gambling. This long held tradition dates back centuries across many cultures. The idea is that the rabbit is noble, fast, and lucky, therefore anyone that has their foot will find riches.

The Heater and The Cooler

Within the gambling communities across the world there are two types of people that casinos bank on. They are called heaters and coolers. Coolers are perennially unlucky. There is even a feature motion picture about this called “The Cooler”. Someone that has terrible luck, never wins, and therefore is inserted into a casino gaming table to offset those that are winning has been the secret weapon of casinos. But there are also heaters. People that win, no matter what, and people often seek them out. Gamblers are superstitious about heaters and coolers, seeking those that win often, to just be there, not even play, just to hang out in order for good luck to rub off on them.

Blowing On Dice In Craps

Lastly, but certainly not least, you’ll often see people blow on dice when they play craps in a casino. Blowing on dice is said to help with the luck element. People are superstitious in that their hot breath can help the dice roll towards the right numbers, giving a push forward amidst the odds.

At the end of the day, luck in gambling is not going to go away. Some games lend themselves to that. Gambling and superstitions are plentiful, and the above just represents a handful of things that gamblers do on a regular basis. There’s a lot more to explore, but the most common are found in the aforementioned superstitions.

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