Friday, June 13, 2014

Ladders, Black Cats, Broken Mirrors, and Open Umbrellas, Oh My!

While Tuesday the 13th and Friday the 17th are unlucky in other cultures, today is Friday the 13th, a day that brings bad luck for many of those who are superstitious in the Western culture. There can be as many as three Friday the 13ths in a single calendar year or as little as one in 14 months.

According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed (called paraskevidekatriaphobia).

To help and assist those readers out there who may be affected by the date today, we have scoured our titles for some ways to deal with the bad luck and superstitions of Friday the 13th.

This 1901 guide to casting a horoscope and interpreting the stars introduces the reader to the Ptolemaic roots of astrology and explains everything the amateur forecaster needs to know: how to determine the exact place and time of your birth, necessary for astrological calculations, how to formulate predictions from cast horoscopes, and more.

This "Book of Fate" is said to be a perfect facsimile of the one used by Napoleon, and was supposedly consulted by him on every important occasion. It permits fortune telling by dice; fortunate and unfortunate days; behaviors; the lines and forms of the face, hair, and eyes; as well as fortune telling by cards, palms, and coffee grounds in a cup. Last but not least, it provides spells, charms, and incantations, as well as signs of a speedy marriage, and ways to choose good husbands and wives.

According to Frazer, superstition may have been responsible for some terrible misunderstandings and even worse misdeeds, but in lending strength to the core institutions of government, private property, marriage, and respect for human life, superstition has played an invaluable role in the increased civility of man. 

The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients: A Wiccan Guide to Spellcasting by Lexa Rosean

Lexa Rosean provides beginner and experienced practitioners of spellcasting with a quick, easy, and accurate guide to the magickal powers and properties of herbs, spices, flowers, vegetables, fruits, metals, and colors -- more than 500 ingredients in all. With this info at your fingertips, you can craft spells for specific desires or needs -- whether it's love, luck, fertility, or even next month's rent!

Fear not all ye who are superstitious, studies have shown no correlation between things like increased accidents or injuries and Friday the 13th, in fact, there seem to be less!  So breathe and think soothing thoughts, today might not be so unlucky after all.

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