Author: John Kay

New For You

Moving to New Home: Superstitions from Around the World

If you are in your twenties or older, it is likely you have been to more than a few housewarming parties by now. Although having friends and family over to your new place is a fun way to make it feel like home, there are numerous age-old traditions and superstitions from around the world that are believed to bring good luck to your new house. If you are moving house soon and would like to increase your chances of good fortune, try your hand at tackling a few of the superstitions listed below.

Guarantee a Fresh Start by Leaving Your Troubles Behind

Moving house is a great opportunity to have a thorough clear out of all unwanted belongings that no longer serve a purpose in your life. A common superstition surrounding moving home is bringing the broom you used in the old house, into the new. It is believed that your broom not only carries dirt and dust of the old home, but also all the negative aspects of your life that you experienced while living in that house. Therefore, to give you a fresh start and leave old troubles in the past you must throw away your broom before you move and buy a new one to take into the new property.

Today this can be applied to brooms, hoovers, and mops as well. Some people get carried away with this superstition and end up throwing out most of their furniture and utensils in attempt to maximise the good fortune of a fresh start. However, this is not necessary as the tradition is to remove the broom only. If you do feel that your furniture needs a sprucing up for the new place, you could opt for reupholstering them instead. Nu-Rest Re-Upholstery is a Scottish business specialising in upholstery Edinburgh, meaning if you are moving home to Scotland’s capital or the surrounding area you can have your sofas and chairs re-stuffed and covered to help you create a fresh look in your brand new home.

Paint Your New House Blue to Deter Spirits and Insects

New homeThis tradition comes from the southern states of America where it is extremely common for the ceiling of a porch to be painted blue. It stems from Gullah superstition which claims that haints (spirits) cannot cross water, therefore painting the threshold of a home blue like the ocean will keep spirits out. Today it is common to have porches, doors, windows and shutters painted blue to keep up tradition and ward off evil spirits. As well as spirits, haint blue paint was known to keep mosquitos and other annoying insects away.

The secret behind this legend is down to the way the pain is made. Originally paint in the southern states was made from mixing pigment with lime, and the lime deterred bugs. However, as tradition tells us it was the colour that warded off spirits, blue paint is still used today in attempt to keep both spirits and insects out of the home. When moving to a new property you could try painting some part of it blue to help bring you good fortune.

Pack Bread and Salt on Your Moving Day

It is said that bread and salt are symbols of hospitality and that they should be the first things taken into your new home. Likely deriving from Russian Jewish traditions, it is understood that bringing bread into a new home ensures those living there will not go hungry and that salt signifies they will always have flavour. Years ago bread was a staple food eaten at every meal throughout the day, while salt was also extremely valuable therefore both were understood to be signs of wealth and hospitality. By bringing these items into your new house on your moving day could guarantee a life full of flavour and food. What more could you want?

Burn Sage in Your New Home

Most likely deriving from Native American traditions, burning sage is understood to clear negative energy and add protection from it. After burning dried sage and while the edges are still smoking, you should wave the smoke into the dark corners of your new property to add protection from negativity.

Light a Candle to Cast out Darkness

Similarly to burning sage, many religions believe that you must light a candle when entering a new home in order to cast out darkness and evil spirits. It is said that lighting a candle on the first night in a new home is a blessing. In Chinese tradition specifically, the owner of a new home must shine a light into every corner and closet as this shows the spirits where to go and hide. More generally, house warming is thought to have meant lighting a fire in a new home. Fire is symbol of good, purity and strength therefore lighting a fire on the first night is said to be a good omen.

Boil Milk and Rice

Milk and rice cooked until it is overflowing in the pot symbolises purity and long life according to the Indian tradition of Vasthu Sastra. The overflowing mixture is a symbol of wealth overflowing into the home. In this culture it is believed that unseen entities and energies are present in homes and they must be cast out with prayer. If you do not follow this faith, you can stick to the overflowing pot and even try breaking a coconut as this is believed to clear all obstacles in the way of the moving day.

Continue reading
New For You

Ancient Healing Methods | Celtic Gods

England has a rich Celtic history that dates back over 2,000 years. This was a time of superstition where unexplained events were depicted through storytelling and inventions were explained by word of mouth. Therefore England has an extensive heritage of myths and legends that are still talked about in this day and age. The ancient group of Celts lived in a very different world compared to our modernised world of science and technology. Inhabiting small, rural communities rather than towns or cities, Celts had little to no knowledge of the science and medicine that we have today. Their beliefs in wellbeing and health circled around using the sea, sky, natural elements and the inhabitants of the Otherworld they believed in. They shared this knowledge through an oral system of passing this onto future generations. One of Celts main beliefs is the power of healing from natural elements combined with their connection to the earth and sea.

In England, whilst with modern technology we would tend to use a local practitioners and specialists for medical or aesthetic treatment or an orthodontist for and teeth problems, Celts used the traditional forms of medicine to treat themselves. Not only methods for healing and protection but priorities have also changed immensely over the years. For example, the Celts had a strong connection with nature and were concerned with having enough food to drink, surviving the natural elements and disease through worshiping deities. On the other hand, in modern day UK we are much more concerned with looking young and beautiful for as long as possible and we achieve this by hiring private surgeons to insert cheek fillers or reconstruct our face in some way. It is fair to say the Celts were dealing with much more pressing medical issues. Here we look at the ancient healing methods used by them.

Ancient healing methods - from feet to head and theet

Sacred Herbs

These herbs tend to be found in ritual shafts and burial sites. The combination of herbs were made from recipes that will have be handed down from previous generations. What we believe are common herbs from Bilberry to burdock root to mistletoe, each of these herbs have healing properties which the Celts utilised.

Stones

Whilst stones were often used as tools for manual labour they were also seen as objects of luck and protection. Certain types of stones were used in places of burial, blessings and worship which shows the connection this group of people had with nature. Stones would also be used to mark out territories, bless season ceremonies and used as altars. Some of these can still be seen in Ancient sites across England.

Water

This element is still relevant in today’s medicine practices and was considered to have been held in deep respect by the Celts. They believed water held power in refreshment, hydration and rejuvenation and would often gather, bathe and drink in sacred waters. Water is also considered a fertility symbol which was held highly in Celtic superstition.

Nature

Throughout each of these healing methods the main source of each is nature. The Celts based their beliefs heavily on the power of nature and how to use each element to benefit their wellbeing and health. Particular attention would be paid to change in seasons, natural locations and the tides of the moon. Trees were seen as ancient elders whom gathered in ancient hilltops which would become sites of blessings and sacred locations.

Dieties

Dieties have played a major role in the creation and assembly of the Celtic Culture, especially in Celtic healing. The main Celtic beliefs circle around the spirit world and life after death. Celtics used Shaman and Priests to mediate between the physical and after life.

Continue reading
New For You

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.

Continue reading
New For You

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.

Continue reading
New For You

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!

trade

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.

Continue reading
New For You

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.

Continue reading