Friday, October 13, 2006

Superstitons, Spiders, and Nasty Feng Shui

Are you superstitious?

I can't decide if I am or not.

For instance, I believe in good luck, but not bad luck. I'm contrary that way.

This past Friday the thirteenth, the local radio station was giving away concert tickets to the group Theory of a Dead Man . To compete to win them, you had to run an obstacle course in a supermarket parking lot in keeping with the spirit of the day: spill a little salt, walk under a ladder, break a mirror, and generally complete tasks designed to tempt the gods to give you bad luck.

I have occasionally (and surreptitiously) tossed a pinch of salt over my shoulder out of habit should I spill some, but I can't help but feel that if I had wanted to go to this concert I would have been in the parking lot cheefully smashing mirrors in the spirit of competitive fun and the pursuit of musical appreciation.

I just know somehow that the powers that be would figuratively go *pshaw* and let the Bad-Luck-Whammy Rule slide for little 'ol me.

You see, I've come to the conclusion over the years that I'm a pretty lucky person. Lucky, as in 'good things happen to me'. Oh, I'm not saying there haven't been bad incidents or uncomfortable times but, as my father would say, it all builds character, and overall the good things have FAR outweighed the unpleasantries.

Gee, I hope I'm not tempting the gods by saying that. Come to think of it, I haven't won the lottery lately....

But believing in bad luck is incredibly unhealthy.

I was down by Victoria's waterfront recently and I spoke with a man who had set up a little table advertising "Feng Shui Home Readings". Basically, a prospective client would bring him a floor plan of their home and he would make recommendations to improve their living space.

Now, I think the concept of feng shui is interesting--arranging your home and environment to improve the good energy in your life, clearing the clutter and rearranging the furniture to balance the elements and all that.

I'm afraid most of the complicated Asian theories regarding the geographical and mathematical aspects of it go way over my head(I will move my sofa, but please don't ask me to use a compass), but I have enjoyed reading some of the fluffier westernized theories about it.

But this fellow down by the Harbour seemed deadly serious about the whole business and it gave me the jim-jams. He told me this horrible little story to illustrate how much bad luck you could have if you ignored the "poison arrows"(unlucky things) of the feng shui concerning your real estate. In a nutshell, he was convinced his wife had fallen ill with bone cancer and died because they had moved to a "pie-shaped lot", which is apparently just about the worst thing you can do.


Was his story a genuine belief, or just a marketing ploy to convince me to hire him for his potentially life-saving advice? I don't know. He had very sad eyes and seemed very earnest.

Regardless of his sincerity, nobody's wife has ever perished solely from the side-effects from living on a dessert-shaped piece of property. That would just be so wrong.

I believe that you can choose what you are afraid of.

I, Spider Girl, for instance, was once afraid of spiders. No longer! I decided NOT to be.

Heh, now I believe they're lucky. Maybe it's a rule I made up, but that's a much healthier attitude than screaming and brandishing a bedroom slipper like an armed maniac, as I've observed some do.

But even if you don't believe spiders are lucky--- don't step on them --it makes it rain.

By the way, the spider photo on this post was taken at the Victoria Bug Zoo. Isn't she a beaut? :)

The other photo from there is of the most bugalicious dollhouse I've ever seen---check out the Madagascar hissing cockroach peeking out from under the bed.


Anonymous said...

OK, that dollhouse was not good... I first only glanced at it, and went on to read. When you said "cockroach", and "under the bed", I looked again. 1) This is not a good thing to see right before going to bed. 2) I am so glad I have no space for giant cockroaches under my bed.

PBS said...

We've had giant cockroaches at the workplace, eeuuww! I do love spiders though.

ZooooM said...

This is the best line concerning superstition ever: "I believe that you can choose what you are afraid of."

Grant said...

I wonder how the priciples of feng shui mesh with devil worship. I've been thinking of rearranging the altar.

[eric] said...

Nice post...

Do you know how seriously they take this stuff in China? Every new building in Hong Kong must run it's plans by a feng shui committee to see if it will have good energy. They design buildings around the whole concept of a superstition!

Ian Lidster said...

An amazingly cool dollhouse. I love it. The whole miniaturizing thing fascinates me. As for spiders, you know that I share your sentiments or I'd never have written about Marvin the Hall Spider, as I did a few months ago.
Cheers, Ian

BostonPobble said...

"I will move my sofa, but please don't ask me to use a compass" Yep, this is me to a tee.

"screaming and brandishing a bedroom slipper like an armed maniac" There was a time when I couldn't even manage the bedroom slipper part, only the screaming. However, I am getting better. :)

As for Feng Shui, I think it is most important to surround yourself with the things that make you happy in the place that makes you happy. Bad mojo has a hard time competing against true happiness.

Hageltoast said...

sorry, I scream and brandish somthing that allows me to stay a minimum 3ft away from any and all spiders, often my poor boyfriend is the brandished object. ;)
Would rather deal with roaches.
Thanks for visiting my blog, enjoying yours!

Spice said...

Congrats on the “windfall”. Your trip to Italy sounds great. I should get you too plan my next trip.

About the kids, I can deal with them 1-on-1, but put a group of them in front of me and they smell my fear. You’re a brave girl, for choosing that job, and should get paid accordingly.

Jees, crafty of you throwing that dollhouse in there, I actually thought that was someone’s house. I live in a roach motel, they know me as “the Killing Machine”.

Ms.L said...

Ohh I love this post. You've put into words exactly how I feel:)

Pol* said...

I thought that was a real home (with bad furniture arranging!)And
I thought the spider was one of your Africa sightings. Neat weaver.

I consider superstition, in that I respect it, but don't live by it. Going under a ladder is bad luck? Du-uh!!!! Something will most likely fall on your head! Spilling salt? Well considering it was once as valuable as gold, yes wasting it may be a bad thing. Breaking a mirror? They used to be coated with silver and only the wealthiest could get one, again, REALLY bad luck for the servant that needed to work for about 7 years to pay for it!
They are all based on common sense! So use good common sense and you are likely a very very likey person!!!!!!
Fen shui is real -- to a degree. There are just somethings that FEEL better when it comes to house placement, furniture arranging, colours..... that is a hard to define thing, when its wrong it just isn't right, and when its right it really works! Dread! I live in a pie shaped lot!!!! but I think the Southfacing orientation and steep hill cancel that out...... maybe?

Modern Viking said...

If you ever want to have some fun, hire three different feng shui "experts" to do a room in your house. You'll get three wonderfully contradicting results!

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

Bugolicious! Tomorrow's word of the day!

Liz said...

I believe in Karma, good luck, but like you, I'm not sure about bad luck. But I wouldn't throw around any mirrors just incase.

Anonymous said...

Only people who are superstitious believe it.