Throwback Thursday #19 – Superstitions, Amulets, and Charms

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday. I thought this week it might be fun to explore a little magic. Lauren will be back for the first Throwback post of the new year. If you want to join in, it’s easy:

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

This week’s prompt is: Superstitions, trinkets, and Charms

To quote Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, “You’ve got to ask yourself a question: ‘do I feel lucky? ‘ Well, do ya, punk?

What makes you feel lucky? Is it a four leaf clover, a rabbit’s foot, or a lucky penny? 

What are you superstitious of? Will you walk under a ladder? What’s your lucky number? What if a black cat crosses your path?

Where did you learn ideas concerning luck? Do you still have superstitions in your adult life?

Since this is the last week of the year I am curious – do you make resolutions, eat specific foods, or have traditions or superstitions to usher in the new year?

My post follows:

I remember walking on sidewalks trying to avoid stepping on a crack. “Step on a crack, break your mother’s back”. Now did I think stepping on a crack would actually break my mother’s back? No, of course not, but I still tried to avoid cracks in the sidewalk.

I was never afraid or worried about black cats. Maybe because I had an all black cat named Midnight. I will admit if a black cat crosses my path now, I think about the superstition, but I do not put any credence in it. I am trying to think back as a child and determine if I felt differently then.

I do remember having a pink rabbit’s foot on a ball chain. How horrible that is to think about now. Superstitions are so bizarre, but there I was with my pink rabbit’s foot.

“Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck.” I loved finding an abandoned penny until later when I decided only a penny that was heads up was good luck.

My dad was amazing at finding four leaf clovers. I have never found one. My step-daughter and my grandson have the same ability. I once carried a key chain with an encased four leaf clover but I am not sure I considered it particularly lucky.

I often saw a horseshoe (ends pointing up) hung over the doorway in people’s homes and in their barns. This was supposed to capture all the good luck coming into the house. I do not see many horseshoe charms these days so perhaps that superstition has died out.

Star light, star bright

The first star I see tonight

I wish I may, I wish might

Have the wish I wish tonight

We always recited that into the night sky, making a wish on the first star we saw. Wishes were a big part of my early life – always wishing for something special in our rather simple lives.

If I was not the one responsible for cleaning, I might still throw a pinch of spilled salt over my left shoulder to dissuade any bad luck. 

As kids, we always tried to finagle a way to be chosen to break the “wishbone” of a chicken or turkey. We were really all about wishing! I only recently discovered there is a way to hold the wishbone which will almost always guarantee you will get the desired long piece once the bone is broken.

When I was young, I had a wart on my finger. My grandfather took a piece of thread, rubbed it over the wart, then buried it in the ground. He told me when the thread rotted away, the wart would be gone. 😳

My grandparents always planted their crops “by the moon”.  The Farmer’s Almanac always had a calendar (they still do) which told what days were good to plant what crop. I know many people who believe in planting by the calendar or the moon. Honestly, there is some logic to it. Plants are seasonal after all.

I do not make new year resolutions. I do sometimes think of a word that might be my focus for the coming year. We try to stay up until midnight, but we do not always make it. No parties for us! On New Year’s day, we do not fix the traditional black eyed peas, Hoppin’ John, or collard greens, but I do remember my step mom making boiled cabbage and including a coin in the pot to bring luck and good fortune for the coming year.


SoCS – Just My Luck

Continued thanks to Linda Hill who sponsors this lovely stream of consciousness every week. Every Friday she provides a new word to spark our minds into action.

Check out Linda’s blog if you want to join in – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers. This week, the prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “luck.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

Have you ever said that when something goes wrong? “That’s just my luck!” You might as well say “Everything that can go wrong will.” I wish people good luck a lot, but I am not sure that anything really happens because of luck.

Or how about this one: “Thank my lucky stars!” I’m not sure stars are lucky and if this was not SoCS I might look up the origin of that phrase. I guess that’s the phrase we might choose when things seem to go our way.

Did you ever watch Hee Haw? It was an American television show that featured country singers dressed in stereotypical denim and plaid dress. They had a segment in which this song was featured (I will come back and add it when I finish my stream of consciousness writing):

How about the phrase “The luck of the draw”? That implies chance to me so is luck just chance after all?

And what about that famous line by Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry?

Uh uh. I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?

That’s where my mind went today.

With any luck, someone will actually read this post and comment.