Signs, Omens and Superstitions

May 25, 2013 by

signsomensSIGNS, OMENS AND SUPERSTITIONS by Astra Cielo was first published in 1918. It is another predictive little book from the early 1900’s.  Here are a few lines from the opening chapter for your amusement:

“Signs, omens and predictions, Are not all fictions, And many facts does history cite To prove that I am right…It is an interesting question as to how the many superstitious beliefs and practices had their beginning. The origin of most of them is no doubt to be found in man’s efforts to explain the phenomena of nature, and in an attempt to propitiate an angry deity and to invite a better fortune. From these sources come many of the absurd notions still in vogue among primitive people, which have been handed down in modified form to us.

Man has ever found it difficult to understand the mysteries surrounding him on all sides, and groping in the dark he has tried by prayer, incantation or peculiar practices to force nature to do his bidding. Superstition, therefore, arises primarily from ignorance. Early man believed that every phenomenon of nature was the work of a spirit or devil. His intelligence could not suggest any other explanation. To this belief was added fear. The thunder, the lightning, the earthquake,                 darkness — all filled him with fearful dread. To him they were the workings of spiteful powers to be propitiated.

Where ignorance and fear are surrounded by danger they will always grope for a way of escape. Thus superstition is born. A belief in the existence of spirits antagonistic to man gave rise to most of the old superstitions. There is no nation, however ignorant or advanced, which does not recognize customs, rites, usages and beliefs which have their origin in superstition. The Bible speaks of such practices as had found their way from pagan sources into the monotheistic beliefs of the Israelites, calls them “abominations,” and warns the Jews against them. The penalty of death was attached to sorcery, yet many of the superstitious practices continued to be observed, as is proved by the invocation by Saul of Samuel’s spirit. All the prophets spoke strenuously against the existing immoral and superstitious rites, and Judaism was probably the first religion that attempted to free itself from their shackles.

In Egypt, Greece and Rome, superstition gave birth to mythology with its pagan rites and ceremonies. During the Dark and Middle Ages when people were for the most part illiterate, superstition flourished with unprecedented vigor. Every religious sect gave rise to new beliefs.  Crusades had the effect of bringing to Europe many oriental practices and ideas that in the course of time became grafted on the religious habits of the people, and not a few of them have been handed down to our own times.”

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