In many culture, be position is of great importance. However, people’s opinions regarding where beds should be aligned are quite conflicting. Some think that beds should bet set on north-south direction, whereas others think that best results can be obtained by orienting beds in east-west direction. Meanwhile, most people think that pointing the bed in same direction as floorboards the best way to go. According to Chinese Feng Shui practices, it comes with bad luck when bed is set such that sleeper’s feet are pointing toward the door. This position is called the Coffin Position. This position can be remedied by placing crystals between beds and doorways. On the other hand, another unlucky position is placing the bed in position, where it is cut across by overhead beams. This position is supposedly also cuts through life energy. In such cases, red tassels are hung on beams.
People should also be careful of getting out of bed in mornings on side which is different from where a person entered the night before. This practices causes a person to be ill-tempered throughout the day. This is where the phrase “got out of bed on the wrong side” originates.
In ancient times, candles were one of people’s source of light. How a candle burns is also believed to be ominous. When the flame of a candle is blue and dim, some people believed that it is a sign of passing spirits. Meanwhile, in other places, this phenomenon serves as sign of incoming frost. When the wick is burning brightly and with spark, a letter will be arriving for the person nearest to it, or a visitor will knock on someone’s door. On the other hand, a flickering and wavering flame even in the absence of breeze or draught indicate incoming windy weather. Meanwhile, a candle that does not light signifies rain.
Burning a candle from the hearth is believed to be bad luck. There is a reason why candles are blown out before they burn out: guttering out of candle wax in candlestick is an omen that a sailor will lose his life while at sea. Accidentally snuffing out a candle forecasts a wedding. Meanwhile, people should never light candle using a single match or taper or burn three candles in just one room because it represents bad omen. Meanwhile, some parts of Britain consider this practice a sign for upcoming wedding. In other places, it is believed that people staying in one room lit by three candles are apt to fight with one another.
Leaving a burning candle in an empty room is also considered bad lack. However, large candles should be left burning the whole night of Christmas Eve to ensure prosperity, warmth, and light throughout the coming year. This practice originated from a celebration of Yule prior the proliferation of Christian belief. Candles are also common tools in casting spells. For example, a lover will come when a person sticks two pins into a lit candle and chanting a specific charm over it.
In some places, front door is barely used. However, it also serves as symbolic and ceremonial entrance in a number of traditions. For example, it is believed that brides should always use the front door when attending the wedding ceremony and leaving the venue for the honeymoon. When entering a new home for the first time, owners should use the front door to ensure happiness inside the house.
Meanwhile, after death of a loved one, front doors are normally left unlocked until the corpse is buried to avoid confusing the soul of the dead and trapping it inside the house. The coffin should also be carried out of the house through the front door. Front doors are also left open until the mourners have come back after the burial.
Hearth was symbolic center of the house electric and gas heating became popular among households. In the old days, fire burning at the center of the main room was used for cooking and heating and thus, considered as source of life. In the past, fire was also maintained, as unlit hearth was symbol for an abandoned house, broken family, and lost loved ones. During weddings, brides were brought to hearth of their new homes, and fire-irons were handed to symbolize their new status as mistress of their respective houses.
Scottish and Irish cultures necessitate raking open peat fires at night. This practice is accomplished by dividing the embers into three portions and leaving a small heap in the middle. A peat was laid in each peat, and entire thing was covered with ashes to keep the fire burning but. Normally, this custom was led by the woman of the house, and it was performed to protect the household and family.
Meanwhile, it is considered bad luck to poke without permission someone else’s fire unless the visitor has known the home owner for at least seven years already. Meanwhile in Britain, some people believed in the past that giving away fire or light was unlucky during New Year’s Eve. This practice was believed to cause death in the coming year.
Manner of burning of fire in the grate was also believed to represent various things. People would be separated when a fire was burning on one side, or when it fell into two heaps. Not starting the fire early in the morning was an omen for conflicts. People were also expected to quarrel when fire when coals splutter from the hearth. A death was foretold by coffin-shaped piece of coal flew out from the burning fire. On the other hand, cradle-shaped coal represented birth. Bluish flames foretold frosty weather, whereas when bright sparks were seen at the back of the chimney, people could expect some good news. Meanwhile, dull sparks represented bad news.
In the past, people considered knives as personal belongings, and they carried the tool constantly and used for hunting and cutting. Steel knife was used as protection from fairies and curses. A knife was also thrusted into the door for protection, whereas sticking the sharp metal into headboard of cradle protected babies. Knives were also used to protect boats.
Crossed knives at the table indicated bad luck, and this was reversed by straightening one of the knives right away. When a knife falls to the ground, male visitor is expected to arrive. Meanwhile, knives with white handle were also used to determine the complexion of future spouses. The knife would be spun around, and when the handle ended up pointing to the user, his spouse would be fair. Meanwhile, opposite result indicated that the spouse would be dark-skinned.
Meanwhile, people were discouraged from giving knives as gifts because such tools were believed to sever love or friendship between individuals. On the other hand, knives should always be exchanged for something.
There were days that were considered bad luck for doing the laundry. For example, people should not wash their clothes on New Year’s Day because washing on this day was believed to wash the family away or cause death or parting. People were advised to wash their clothes at beginning of the week.
In Wales, people believed that it was bad luck to spill water while on the way from spring to the washtub. People were also careful in splashing water deliberately while washing clothes. Another belief was that women who got wet while washing clothes were bound to marry drunkards.
Breaking mirrors into pieces is usually associated with seven years of bad lack. When looking at mirrors, actors are prohibited from looking over another actor’s shoulder; babies should also not be allowed to gaze into mirrors before they reach the age of one. Meanwhile, the worst of the superstition related to mirrors is possibly when a person fails to see his reflection. This phenomenon is believed to be premonition of death.
In case of death of a loved, mirrors should be covered. When people saw their reflection while somebody’s wake is held, it is believed that another death will soon follow. Meanwhile, brides are prevented from looking at mirrors when trying out their gowns before the ceremony; defying this believes can inhibit successful matrimony. Meanwhile, to prevent such thing from happening, believers normally ask brides to leave piece of their entire wedding costume and accessories.
Because they are made of iron, nails were previously used for casting charms and spells. In times of Romans, people drove nails into walls to prevent the plague from invading their homes. People also believed that epilepsy could be cured by hammering a nail onto the ground where an epileptic had fallen.
Meanwhile, it was considered good luck to come across nails on the road, especially the rusty ones. Such nails were supposedly picked up and brought home. Nails were also carried by people in their pockets to avoid being affected by witchcraft and evil eye. During the Burning Times, nails were driven into footprint of suspected witches. Supposedly, when confirmed a witch, the person owning the footprint would go back to remove the nail.
In medieval times, nails were used to scratch gums as form of treatment for toothache. After scratching the gums, nails were driven onto oak trees. Meanwhile, people of Cheshire used binding ceremonies for groups of people. In this practice, people would travel to woods far away from residential areas and then drove nails onto trees. Then, they made their vows, which basically involved promising to be together as long as the nails were in the tree. The nails could not be removed from the tree without approval of both parties. However, when both parties agreed to remove the nail, it signified their separation.
Giving gift as scissors was believed to severe friendships or relationships with other people. Thus, they were only given as form of token.
Scissors were also believed to effective charms against evil. Just like with nail, scissors were driven onto doors for protection, or they were laid on thresholds in cross-shape form. Bad luck as associated with accidental dropping of nails, and the person who dropped them should refrain from picking the tool up. Others should be requested to retrieve the scissors. Death was premonition associated with scissors falling with point oriented downward. However, such manner of falling was considered lucky for dressmakers, because it signified incoming work.
A dropping spoon is normally associated with a visitor, mostly a child. Spoon and bowl that both fall downward represents disappointment. Two teaspoons ending up in a single saucer is omen for weddings. However, when the sauces belongs to a woman or a girl, that person is predicted to marry twice during her lifetime.
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