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15

1966 was a hinoe-uma (丙午) year. This does not come from "crossing zodiac with elements" per se, but is instead a specific combination of celestial stem and earthly branch in the traditional sexagenary dating system. Both the stem hinoe (丙) and branch uma (午) belonged to the element of fire. This overabundance of fieriness informs the astrological ...


10

To make sure your vessel is seaworthy. Sailors in the 17th century would sometimes knock with their hands or tools on the wooden hull of their ship to listen for woodworm or rot, hearing a solid sound coming from wood in the hull would mean it was good to go (or ship shape). In fact this was a practice during the age of sail. For continuing your good luck ...


9

Richard Webster addresses this well-known superstition in The Encyclopedia of Superstitions and gives three theories for its origin: Walking under a ladder is believed to cause bad luck. No one really knows why, but at least three theories have been proposed. The most likely theory is that a ladder forms a triangle when placed against a wall. The triangle ...


7

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable claims the superstition dates to the Romans, when salt was used in sacrifices and spilling it from the head of the victim would be considered a bad omen: Spilling salt was held to be an unlucky omen by the Romans, and the superstition remains to this day, though, with us, the evil may be averted if he who spills the ...


7

It is true that the vast majority of solar eclipse folklore, myths and superstitions are looked upon in less than favorable light. Throughout history, solar eclipses have been viewed with dread and associated with myths and superstitions. Even today, in the 21st century, some cultures consider them a bad omen. It is not completely surprising that ...


6

There are many myths surrounding crystals. They are held by many to be capable of channelling positive energy and so promoting health and wellbeing. Your picture looks like quartz. Quartz in particular is said to balance the energies of the body and the building. There are many sources online that describe the properties attributed to crystals, this and ...


6

Well, not many do anymore. I found this on a question on the skeptics stack exchange [Carolyn J. Marr] illustrates a change in Native Americans' attitudes towards photography from the late 19th to the early 20th century. At first, many Native Americans were wary of having their photographs taken and often refused. They believed that the process could ...


6

There appears to be a folk belief in Italy that "flowers planted during a solar eclipse are more colourful than those planted at other times of the year"1. I'm afraid that although there's a ton of references to this factoid I wasn't able to find more information on it. 1 Khomami, N. Solar eclipse 2015: what you need to know. The Guardian. Available at: ...


6

From what I gather, the origin is uncertain, but it seems common sense that "if association with a bride and the high profile of the day did not attract a husband after two opportunities, then perhaps there was little hope" (Marriage Customs of the World 98). In terms of pinpointing the locale of the superstition, I believe that the modern use of ...


5

I did some quick searching and found this page recounting a British nursery rhyme, with the oldest version accounted to be: One for sorrow, Two for mirth, Three for a funeral And four for birth. SOURCE: British Bird Lovers referencing Proverbs and Popular Saying of the Seasons by Michael Aislabie Denham The rhyme appears to have several ...


2

That's the legend of the Church Grim. They're from English and Scandinavian lore, and they protect cemeteries and churchyards. https://enacademic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/1233957 From the website: The Church Grim, Kirk Grim, Kyrkogrim (Swedish) or Kirkonväki (Finnish) is a figure from English and Scandinavian folklore, said to be an attendant spirit, ...


2

My anthropology professor linked it back to the belief that there were spirits, of whatever kind, living in trees and wood, and in order to keep them from hearing what you were saying and spoiling things when they were going well, you should knock on wood as you were speaking.


1

It could have a valid basis in actual early oceanic navigation. The albatros is the bird that can venture the farthest into the open ocean so it stands to reason they would be the first birds seafarere would actually see before reaching land. As navigation maps & sextants became more accurate, seafarers no longer had to rely on bird spotting.


1

There are many who believe that the spilling of salt is a sign of bad luck and has its' origin in Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper! The Last Supper has given us two common superstitions: the first is that you should never seat 13 at dinner, and the second is that spilling salt brings bad luck. If you look closely at Leonardo da Vinci’...


1

There is some science backing this. In 1966 Japan began testing birth control and abortion which led to the decline of births. However they did this even more with women because there is an old omen that says that women born on this year would be impossible to marry off. The paper "Increased induced abortion rate in 1966, an aspect of a Japanese folk ...


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