Superstition and Omens

Linda pubpixI’m just so excited about Forever His Texas Bride and love sharing tidbits about it with readers. In the story, Rayna Harper is very superstitious. Early on, she sees a white owl before dark and to her it’s a bad omen so she tries to ward it off by quickly stuffing her pockets with acorns. Another time she see five black crows land on a wagon and breathes a sigh of relief that it’s not six because six crows together mean death. She refuses to walk under a ladder and in another scene I have a blood moon and she really freaks out thinking it means something very bad. The Comanches think the blood moon means a big coming battle. Her strange beliefs irritate Brett a little because he doesn’t buy into any of it.

OwlDid you know that to give away a book with a red cover will break a friendship? I doubt it. Red is the color of anger and misunderstanding it seems. I don’t know about that but I’ve lost some friendships because a person I loaned a book to never returned it. This is a pet peeve of mine and it taught me a valuable lesson.

In the old days, ashes retaining their heat for a great length of time foretell a marriage in the family. But beware of taking ashes out of the house after nightfall or you’ll bring death in. Also, when baking bread cracks across the top it is a sign of death. And in Armenia, a baby had to be covered with a quilt when bread was put in the oven or the baby would pine and die.

Nature was believed to be a good predictor of weather and some is still believed today. When ducks migrate early in the fall, a difficult winter can be expected. Rain is coming when wasps, flies, or spiders come into the house. Cattle running about with their tails up in the air mean a storm is coming. But an ax stuck in the ground can “split the cloud” to keep an unwanted storm from forming. Or so they say.

full-moonThe moon has always been a mysterious force. To Native Americans it held special meaning. The phases of the moon are still important to farmers when it comes to birthing, weaning, breeding, planting, and harvesting. Among paramedics and medical personnel today, the nights of a full moon bring increased trouble and number of patients. Some people used to believe that looking at the new moon over the left shoulder was a harbinger of ill fortune.

Animals and birds are sometimes full of ill omen. Take for instance….when a redheaded woodpecker pecks on the roof, a member of the family will die. Don’t let a buzzard cross your path or it’ll bring bad luck. Killing a wren or disturbing its nest will also cause bad luck. And some used to swear on their mama’s grave that if a centipede walks across any part of you, that part will rot to the bone and fall off. Yuck!

ForeverTexasBridcustomSome people think a dropped dishrag, an itchy nose, or a rooster crowing through a door or window means company is coming. My parents used to say that an itchy palm meant you were going to get some money. We never did.

And who hasn’t heard the one that if your ears ring it’s a sure bet someone is talking about you? That one is very common. Or if you spill salt, you throw some over your shoulder to ward off bad luck. Or breaking a mirror means you’ll have seven years of bad luck. Or the bad luck associated with the number 13. I’m not overly superstitious but I hate anything associated with the number 13. I can’t help it.

Then, there are some superstitions to bring good luck your way: nail a horseshoe over your door; carrying a rabbit’s foot, or wishing on a falling star before it disappears.

Are you superstitious? Or do you know of some I haven’t mentioned here? I’m giving away a copy of Forever His Texas Bride. Leave a comment to enter.

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Posted in Books, History permalink

About LindaBroday

I'm a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of western historical romance. I love stories of the old West and the people who once lived there. I haunt libraries and museums and can hang out in them for hours. To tell all the stories that are in my head would take a lifetime.

Comments

Superstition and Omens — 13 Comments

  1. I am not overly superstitious but I do think some things should be avoided. I love reading books on Native Americans. I find their culture fascinating and beautiful!!!

    • Hi Glenda…….Thank you so much for coming by. I’m very happy to see you. I’m not overly superstitious either except where it comes to the number 13. And even then it’s more like an uneasy feeling. I don’t do anything special though. I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds American Indians fascinating. I really relate to their beliefs and how they view the earth, feeling like they’re the caretakers of it. More people should take note and do the same. The land would be so much more beautiful. We’ve become slobs.

      I’ve entered you in the drawing. Good Luck!

  2. I always wish on stars. But that’s about it.

    I found all of this very interesting. I had never heard of some of the superstitions.

    • Hi Tiffany……So happy to see you back. I’m very glad you came. I’m also glad my blog interested you. I find superstition very eye-opening. My mom would never let anyone lay a hat on the bed because it would bring bad luck. Kinda funny.

      I’ve entered you in the drawing. Good Luck!

  3. I get ichy palms all the time and money doesn’t come my. Never had figuired that one out. I alway heard if you nose iches you are going to have company. I am not very superstitious myself, but if I find a penny I always pick it up.

    • Hi Quilt Lady…….Thanks for coming. Great to see you. I never get money either. I had forgotten that one about the nose itching, but I’ve heard it for years. I always pick up pennies also but I think it’s because I like to find money rather than it being superstitious. Ha!

      I’ve entered you in the drawing, my dear!

  4. Hey Linda, I have a staff in the west corner of the room to keep the heyoka tricksters from mischief in the house and burden basket by the door entering house to leave outside cares in…sundog,rainbow relection on either side of the sun means weather going to change…looking forward to reading your book…blessings

    • Hi Dawn……Thank you for coming! Great to have you come and talk about superstition. I’d say you’ve taken steps to make your life easier and protect. I’ve always heard about the sundog. Glad you mentioned that.

  5. Hi Linda. Just finished reading Forever His Texas Bride and loved it! Loved everything about Rayna including her superstitious side. My parents said the same thing about an itchy palm meaning you’d receive some money. But I think it was only the left palm. An itchy right palm meant you were going to meet someone. Also, a dropped fork or spoon meant a visitor was coming — and would arrive from the direction the fork or spoon pointed. No money or visitors appeared after these events but the sayings never stopped 🙂

    • Oh, Jacqui! Thank you so much for liking the book, especially Rayna’s superstitious nature. She was a fun character to write. I had forgotten the dropped fork or spoon. Glad you mentioned it. I wonder who started all these superstitions. They must’ve had a lot of time on their hands and I think a lot came about to frighten people…probably a child. Very interesting.

      Thank you for reading the book. I hope you put up a review.

      Merry Christmas, my friend!

    • Hi Anon 1001…….I’m so glad to see you. Thank you for coming. Sounds like you have your feet firmly planted and don’t buy into people’s neuroses! Good for you. Just live your life and be happy.

      I’ve entered you in the drawing.