Superstitions and why we have them – broken mirrors

For many centuries, the soul was perceived as separable from the body, and never so clearly as when seeing one’s reflection in a pool or a mirror. The reflection there was believed to be your soul on a brief walkabout from your body. But having been separated for a short time in this way, the soul normally returned home safely to within its owner – unless a water creature snapped the soul into ripples or, in later centuries, a mirror broke. A broken mirror is the basis of an ancient superstition of untraceably distant origin but impressive longevity that, whether or not the soul has vanished into splinters, the body is going to experience seven years’ bad luck. It was believed o be ‘seven’ because the philosophers of ancient Rome said that a person’s state of health moved in cycles of seven years. In this case, the years triggered a bump in the cycle, inaugurating a new seven-year period of unhealthy misfortune. There is a way out though. If the mirror’s pieces can be collected, they must be either buried in sacred ground or flung into a flowing stream or river.If these cures are not available locally, the mirror pieces can be held under a water tap turned on full… and the bad luck will be washed away!

Published by Exisle Publishing

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Max Cryer

Max Cryer is well known for his books on language and other subjects. In a long career, he has been a teacher, television host and m.c. as well as a performer on the opera stage in London and in cabaret in Las Vegas and Hollywood. He is now a full-time writer.