A four-leaf clover is good luck. Walking under a ladder is bad luck. A penny heads-up is good luck, but heads-down is bad. A horseshoe is good luck if it's nailed open end up, but your luck runs out if you have it down. If you break a mirror it’s bad luck for seven years—WHO MAKES UP THIS STUFF? You know what I think is bad luck? Looking in a mirror while trying on bathing suits. I guess I should say sad luck. I suppose I'm more concerned about sad luck than superstitions about bad luck.
Why do we believe any of these things? My grandmother was the oracle of good-luck/bad-luck. Things that actually came out of her mouth:
- It’s bad luck to have owls in the house—this when someone had an owl shaped whistle. Peacock feathers and Siamese cats were also on the bad luck list. It was a very long list and seemed to include a lot of the treasure I’d try to drag into the house.
- Don’t put your shoes on the table. They’ll burn your feet.
- Don’t open an umbrella in the house. It’s bad luck.
- Don’t eat lettuce without washing it first. Those lettuce pickers pee on it.
That last one isn’t about luck, but I was getting into sharing Gram-quotes. After growing up with the ever-expanding good-luck/bad-luck list, maybe that’s why I don’t put much stock in it. Who can keep track of all that stuff?
Plus, who believes any of it? Recently I wrote a book about a witch, and in my witch research I found an interesting comment by a practicing witch. She said people will often tell her that they don’t believe in that stuff, but if they think she’s going to cast a spell on them—suddenly they’re not so certain. I kind of get that. We’re covering all of our bases. Who's to say why fate rolls good fortune for some and bad for others? Who can blame us for trying to control it? Remember that scene from the movie The Mummy when Benny was trying to find the religious icon that would stop the mummy?
As a kid I was into stories not numbers, but during an Easter egg hunt I found a green egg with the number thirteen on it. The older kids told me it was bad luck, but they were never so wrong. I scored a live rabbit with it. Life doesn’t get any better than that in kid world. I don’t know that I particularly paid attention to that number after that, but when I did notice it—it seemed to always be something good. One of my favorite houses had thirteen as the address. When my kids played sports, if I could pick the number on their jersey, it was always thirteen to match our home.
When we moved to a new house with a different address, the kids objected to living at the wrong address. I had to math it out in order to reassure my kids that thirteen was hidden within our new address and we were still in the happy zone numerically. But do I believe it’s my lucky number? No, but neither do I believe thirteen is unlucky, and as far as I'm concerned ALL Fridays are lucky. You might be able to make case with me about Monday the Thirteenth.
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Despite my beliefs, when I wrote Bitch Witch I specifically requested that the release date be on a Friday the 13th. It's an excellent witchy date and I've grown attached to the number. Somehow it all worked out too, which is a bit miraculous in book prep and release time, especially considering this year only has one measly Friday the 13th. Enjoy it while you can, and enjoy Bitch Witch. The book's not about luck. It’s about making your way in life no matter where you come from, even if that happens to be somewhere dark and evil.
My name is S.R. Karfelt and I’m a wife, mother, writer, and occasionally a bitch witch. While I object to slapping a negative label on numbers or days, I’ll admit that I do pick four-leaf clovers (I’m quite good at finding them), and in my purse I usually have an old Roman coin and one perfect stone from a beach in Greece. It’s not for luck. It’s for memories. What about you? Are you a believer in good-luck/bad-luck sayings and objects?