What is su·per·sti·tion ?
Is it a fear of the supernatural? A hope in a positive outcome? Or the collective creativity that brings meaning to our lives? Perhaps superstition is all of this, and so much more.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary1, superstition is the belief that particular events may happen in a way that cannot be explained by reason or science. Its etymology derives from the Latin superstitio, which could have been translated as “standing over” due to Ancient Roman fears of supernatural credences upstaging religion. But despite all attempts to dismantle superstition and associate it with darker connotations, it has carried on and it continues to transform into something more… innocuous. Today, studies2 have shown us that believing in superstition and lucky charms may well improve performance. Then, why shouldn’t we live life believing in a bit of good luck?
Who is Superstition Sam ?
Superstition Sam is the mascot of this project. A lucky (or unlucky, depending on your perspective!) black cat that is exploring personal rituals, protective charms, good omens and proverbs—to determine how superstition can be a positive outlook in a chaotic world. And always looking out for similar stories in different parts of the Earth to hopefully show you that we are not so different after all!
Artwork by Prairie Bones.
What is #Superstitiology ?
Our new hashtag #Superstitiology is a combination of the words superstition and the suffix -logy, from the Ancient Greek logos and Latin logia—meaning ‘the study of’. The word has been used in a couple of papers3, but this is far from sufficient usage within the larger realms of folklore and academia in order to establish the study of superstitions as its own field. That is why, even though Superstitiology is more or less still a ‘made-up’ word, our mission is to spread it as widely as possible, as we continue to explore superstition and its overlap with psychology, as well as philosophy and other fields of study of the human experience. Use it and cherish it on social media channels so that we can find all the superstitions!
Whether it’s good luck or bad luck, have no fear: Superstition Sam is here!
Exploring the rituals and beliefs that bring some meaning to our lives.
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