We're Made of Mud and Magic

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Why I won’t be blessing you when you sneeze

A black cat with glowing green eyes. “Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy; the mad daughter of a wise mother.” ā€’ Voltaire (1694-1778).

 

Some say that all religion is superstition.

 

They can look alike. Carry a rabbit’s foot or a rosary. Wish upon a star or pray to a great spirit. Knock on wood or light a candle.

 

They can be intermingled. If you spill salt, throw a pinch over your left shoulder to blind the devil waiting there. If someone sneezes, say “bless you” to stop the devil from claiming their freed soul. If you break a mirror, bury the pieces under a tree during a full moon to renew your damaged soul so it can fight off bad luck.

 

They can slip from one to the other. Black cats: sacred in ancient Egypt; bad luck now. Knocking on wood: ancient tree worshippers laid their hands on a tree when asking for favour from the spirits that lived inside it; now a superstitious knock to acknowledge luck and keep it going. Rabbit’s foot: part of an ancient Celtic coming of age ceremony; good luck now.

 

Some say one person’s religion is another’s superstition, and maybe that could make for a blurry line between them. But I think the line is usually pretty clear: superstitions are driven by fear and ignorance; religions are powered by love and creativity.

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One Response to Why I won’t be blessing you when you sneeze

  1. Pingback:Why I won’t be blessing you when you sneeze | We're Made of Mud and Magic

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