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What Astronomy Says About Religion

“God is watching over all of us from above,” is the general saying in religious groups. This means that he is watching from outer space – from the cosmos, the skies. This is why so many astronomers get asked these questions: “How does the cosmos work, and why does it work that way?” Needless to say, they all want to know if there is an actual force that makes everything spin – literally.

God is watching from above

The Insight of Astronomers

Still, what do astronomers have to say about religion? This topic has always been rather controversial: most astronomers (and scientists in general) handle God with skepticism, whereas religious groups have faith that there is a god out there, in the stars, watching over them. And considering that astronomers are directly connected to the cosmos, they are continuously asked for their thoughts on the matter. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, claims that he is often “cornered” by people who ask him whether they are there for a reason or not.

His first reaction, he claims, is that of confusion: he could not see why people were coming to him for answers, as his answers are guaranteed to be disappointing. And this does not necessarily have anything to do with his personal beliefs.

The Ability to Monitor, Observe, and Influence

As mentioned, astronomers receive solicitations of their thoughts from people mainly because they deal with the entire cosmos. However, their response to this is not always something that people wish to hear. The reason for this is very simple: ever since the finite time of the Big Bang – when astronomy and celestial navigation started to take a turn – their telescopes only allowed them to see so much.

As Shostak puts it, all they did was to routinely observe the cosmos, think about it, and look at stuff that is very old and very big. Considering that God’s realm was pictured to be somewhere above the skies, it would seem logical to think that astronomers have some special insight into this.However, the truth is far from it, as per the astronomer’s words. Measuring the synchrotron radiation strength over a few million light years distance doesn’t say much about why bad people get punished for the bad things that they do.

Astronomy and Theology

Still, it is believed that astronomy can help define the theological inquiry scope. When running computer simulations containing all the condensed galaxies, you see exactly how the earth looks like: small, undetected, and surrounded by endless possibilities and universes. If you “zoom out” enough, even the Milky Way can become undetectable. This might not be the answer people are looking for but astronomers can’t provide any insight on the matter of souls and sin – or whether creating a deadly bow and arrow will send you to Hell or not. However, they can provide some insight into the scale of things.

If there was a God out there that would monitor, observe, and influence the galaxies, then it is the actual galaxy that keeps everything in motion. Astronomers cannot make any confirmations of a God, but they can appreciate the enormity of things – and that, in hindsight, we are actually very small.

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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.

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.

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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 fix our imperfections 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.


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.


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.


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 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.

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The Roman Goddess Of Luck – Fortuna

Associations and Other Names

Fortuna, goddess of fortune and luck – 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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