Do you avoid anything connected with the number thirteen? Think it lucky when a black cat crosses your path? Or unlucky to see the new moon through glass?Belief in superstitions links us with a time when everyday events and objects had magical significance. A treasure trove of fascinating information, Philippa Waring's A Dictionary of Omens and Superstitions reveals the secrets of hundreds of ancient traditions.Do you know:What it means if a cat sits and washes itself in your doorway?Why women should have their hair cut only when the moon is waxing?Why Yorkshire people throw caterpillars over their shoulders?What it means if you mistakenly recognise a perfect stranger as someone you know?Why Thursdays are the unluckiest days in Germany and December 28th is ill-fated throughout Europe?And why it is universally believed to be unlucky to walk under ladders?Philippa Waring explores intriguing mysteries and rituals, tracing the origins of our superstitions and explaining their rich symbolism. Engagingly and entertainingly written, the wide-ranging entries list customs and portents from all over the world, throughout the ages.Whether you wish to settle a question that has been nagging at the back of your mind, or increase your good fortune and ward off bad luck, this is the most complete reference guide available to omens and superstitions.The definitive dictionary of omens and superstitions, this has been a popular resource for over 40 years. Containing over 500 entries the 'Dictionary of Omens and Superstitions' traces the origins of superstitions from all over the world, discusses the rich symbolic context in which they survive and suggesting how they are a guide to help us exploit good luck and avoid bad luck. Folk beliefs affect every aspect of our lives and link us to a distant magical past when chance happenings and natural phenomena could be portents. However, the modern world has forgotten the meanings of many of these portents, though the superstitions persist and this engagingly written book is a guide to their continuing significance. 'A Dictionary of Omens and Superstitions' reveals the secrets held within hundreds of years of tradition and custom. Do you know: what it means when a cat sits and washes itself in your doorway, why women should have their hair cut when the moon is waxing, why Thursdays are regarded as the unluckiest day in Germany and why it is universally believed that walking under ladders is unlucky?… (more)
INTRODUCTION Dr Johnson, that most inquisitive and urbane of men, tells us in an entry in one of his journals that he was quite sure that something unlucky would happen to him unless he touched every wooden post as he waled along a particular road.
(Although you will notice they are not actually all used in this last sentence!)
Originally published in 1978, this dictionary traces the probable origins of superstitions from all over the world, discussing the symbolic context in which they still survive and suggesting how they can help exploit good luck and avoid the bad.