Monday, March 7, 2016

Very Superstitious!

It might seem funny for a blog on astrology and magic to urge people to be aware when they are superstitious, but it turns out to be necessary.

Of course, to the modern atheistic materialist, anything relating to the spiritual is superstition, but that's not what I mean.

I'm following the dictionary definition, superstition is "a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like." Of course again, a modern atheistic materialist would say that the spiritual is automatically irrational, but that's only because their worldview excludes magic and the spiritual. See the Modern World View.

So for me the classic superstition is "step on a crack, break your mother's back" A seemingly innocent action that somehow has terrible consequences, so you'd better watch out. Just as the definition indicates superstition is inextricably tied up with ominous overtones.

Now, I am not condemning superstition. I'm rather superstitious myself. For example, when I number exhibits in a legal case, I don't like to have Exhibit 13. I don't walk under ladders and if I spill salt I throw a bit over my shoulder. I follow these superstitions because to not makes me a bit uncomfortable and because following them doesn't interfere with my life or work.

The problem we fall into is having a self image that is "rational" This means that we don't like to acknowledge our irrationality. Superstition can often have a neurotic or obsessive compulsive twinge to them and we don't want to accept that. What this means is that we can't quite get out of the grip of the superstition, but we can't accept that it is superstition either, so we have to rationalize it and turn superstition into a "real" problem.

Here's a classic example of what I would term superstition. It is very hard to get even decent cords for talismans. It is even harder to get cords that fit over your head and don't need to be clasped and unclasped each time. And finally numbers of people don't like leather. So the long, non-leather cords I could find are not that great and tend to break. Some clients find this very upsetting and are convinced that the cord breaking was a very bad omen. In fact, they are just cords that tend to break.

This is not to say that everything is not connected to everything else and every event is significant. It's just that every event is not of cosmic significance and every event that doesn't go our way is not foretelling disaster. !#$!% happens! Personally, I am very reluctant to claim that I know exactly what the spiritual or magical cause of a particular event is or what effect a talisman or invocation is likely to have. I do elect astrologically major events like filing a class action, otherwise I try to have faith that my ritual and invocations, done repeatedly over years, have produced a strong connection to the celestial spirits, who will then watch over me and provide me with what they in their great wisdom know is best for me, not what I might personally want.

So, in my view it is fine to be superstitious, so long as we recognize it and don't let it get in the way. The last case I had, had an exhibit 13 and I still won the case!