Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Post for September 17

Hello All,

I hope you're not too confused with our readings . . .

Don't fixate on all of the allusions (references to gods and religions); what is important are the ideas and concepts themselves.

On that note, on page 42, Anthony Stevens illustrates one root cause of our need for symbols and archetypes:

"Many of the symbolic rituals divised by our ancestors arose out of the anxieties that inevitably afflicted human beings living in the environmental circumstances in which our species evolved and lived for most of its existence [...] Our capacity to find symbolical means of dealing with these fears is one of the most striking characteristics of humankind When in need, we seek symbolical expression as well as practical fulfilment of those needs."

1. Reread pages 42-44.

2. Describe a symbol or symbolic ritual that you use to promote good luck (or blessings) or ward off bad luck (or evil).

I'll give you an example:

I have many good luck charms that I use depending on the situation. When I travel, I try to keep a St. Christopher's medal with me, and when I'm at home and feel like I'm caught in a rut (of depression or bad luck), I will burn some white sage to clean the air. Also, I have a nazar in my office, my car, and at home to ward off "the evil eye." I'm still alive, so these symbols must be working . . .


  1. hello, this is nadee and i usually pray the rosary beads at night and after bad dreams, it helps me feel protected and to sleep in peace.I also believe it helps to keep evil away.

  2. Megan Reimer:
    Ever since I was a young girl I have kept a dream catcher hanging from my bed posts. As a young child I always had night terrors and then my dad bought me a dream catcher. I still had bad dreams from time to time but not as often as I used to. I also have a necklace with the Jewish symbol Hand of Fatima. It represents a hand of protection to ward off bad spirits, bad karma, or fearful situations. I wear this when I am having a bad day or feel like I might be in a bad situation to help me get out off it and bring positive things back into my life!

  3. I have but a few good luck charms or rituals I use to bring me luck or ward off evil. The item I use most often to bring luck is a treasured necklace that was once my mother's. This necklace was passed on to me when my mother died. I believe that because my mom wore this item every day, she is somehow part of the necklace. When I want to bring good luck, I rub the necklace and wish for what I want. I feel that by performing this act, I am somehow bringing my mother's presence and love to me, which makes me feel comforted and blessed. The simple act of just having something that was my mom's makes me feel lucky. Renee Wilson

  4. -Mark A. Macanas

    I have a few lucky charms that I would like to think keep me safe. Every time I take part in any activity in where I might need to calm my nerves or have someone watch over me, I tend to do the sign of the cross across my chest and kiss my fingers and point upwards to the heavens to help ease my thinking and calm me down. It is a way for me to know that everything is going to be ok. I also keep a cross in my car on my rear view mirror to help bless me and those on the road to get me as well as them to their destination safely.

  5. Jessica Delgadillo

    I use prayer as a symbolic ritual to promote blessings and ward off evil. Right before bed, I try to pray so that I do not have any nightmares and so that I may wake up the next day. In addition, I pray right before a long trip because it helps me feel that I will arrive safely to my destination.

  6. Cristina Elizondo
    I pray to the cross when I am under an unbearable amount of stress or when I am anxious. I was raised in a religious family and I always saw my mother pray to the cross whether things were going good or bad. She was always happy and calm, even when things went out of control. Today, the few times that I pray to the cross, I feel the reassurance and the serenity that I have always seen in my mother.

  7. i have various ways or rituals to lift evil or a sour mood. Prayer, reading scripture, listening to music( from elvis to bob marley, soja, rebulation, to kings of leon, paramore) Id have to say for my worse times i seek my evangelist at my church. She's truelly taught me the path to inner peace.
    -Sarina flores

    -Sarina Flores

  8. Trisha Morrissey

    Prayer is what I lean on most often to help me get through hard times and promote blessing. Whenever I feel terrible or feel like my world is crumbling down I pray to God and remember that I am not alone. That is what brings me the most peace and serenity. Sometimes i just close my eyes and take a few deep breaths to get my nerves under control. I find a few moments of silence to bring me back to my senses!
    Whenever I see a penny on the ground and it is heads up I will pick it up for good luck, however if the penny is tails up I leave it because that can bring bad luck. There is a silly little saying that goes for pennies being heads up. "See a penny pick it up, and all day long you'll have good luck." It is something that makes me smile when I see a penny heads up!

  9. My ritual to ward off evil has always been doing the sign of the cross across my chest.Usually when I first get on the freeway or am taking off on a flight i do it and it makes me feel safe. Now.. my lucky charm on the poker table is the way I stack my chips a certain way. I haven't loss my life savings so I guess its been working. P.S. I don't gamble often I wouldn't want someone to give me the gamblers hot-line :)
    -Joey Rico

  10. Hey guys, its Brian. I cannot say that I have many rituals or symbols to bring about good luck or to get rid of bad luck, however I do pray. I pray for myself and for others when I hear of them in need. Thinking about it right now though, I have noticed that I do keep crosses around in various places. From time to time and when I have the spare chains I tend to have one on my rearview mirror similar to Mark, although at the moment I do not have one there since many of my chains have broken and I have not been able to buy new ones yet. I also keep one in my room on my lamp almost all the time and when I have it on it actually sort of makes a shadow of it upon the wall.

  11. Hi everyone! It's Maria De La Riva. I like to consider myself a spiritual person, thus, I use prayer as a symbolic ritual. Everyday in the morning before driving anywhere I have a prayer asking for a safe drive and I also give thanks every day for the gift of life. In my home, I have a candle with the image of the "Santo Nino de Atocha." Most importantly, I always carry a cross with me, in the car, and at home. I believe they help bring blessings to my life and help relieve my fear and anxiety.

  12. When I feel I have fallen into a bad luck streak, I pray for peace and happiness and eventually my troubles go away. Keeping faith and a positive attitude helps me through bad times. I also must remind myself that I’m not the only one who has to deal with bumps in the road, that it is normal and happens to everyone. I keep positive by reminded myself of all the blessings I have and use prayer to guide me back on the right track. I keep religious crosses on me at all times in my home, purse, and my car. Recently, I was given a prayer stick from a Native American from South Dakota and also a prayer catcher which is made of sage to ward off evil. Eva Salas

  13. Hello everyone, Mel here. I don't really have any rituals I do for symbolic purposes, nor do I have any charms or symbols that I use to bring me good luck or ward off bad 'juju.' As I am not religious person I don't pray to anyone for anything. The only symbol I can readily think of is a silver ring I wear on occasion. I look at to remind myself to keep things simple so that I don't overcomplicate matters.

  14. Alyssa Tolosa:

    Some of the symbolic rituals that I follow have always been a part of a celebration resulting in luck for the future. On my birthday I would have to eat a noodle dish because eating long food would result in a longer life. Also, my family and I found it important to have a new bag of rice and fresh round fruit on New Year’s Day to prevent poverty and promote prosperity.

  15. Nate Whiting: I have a few lucky charms and rituals to help me throughout my life. When I surf I always wear the same watch; when I play sports I have wrist bands; when I go through hard times (and even in the good times) I am always praying to God and playing praise music. When I really think about what I do I am reminded that little things like a watch or wrist bands have the placebo effect on my frame of mind. After all, I did tear tendons in my ankle that ended my competitive sports career in a game that I wore the "wrist bands".

  16. Hi! Ok well ever since I was a little girl my mom and my grandmother taught me to say my prayers before bed time. Now I only do it sometimes because I’m always too sleepy to do it. Although I don’t pray before bed anymore, I do pray whenever I’m scared or nervous about something and it helps me relax so I guess it’s what works for me. There is a special prayer I say when I feel in danger, it’s special because my grandmother told me if I said the prayer it would protect me and I believed her.

  17. Hello everyone, this is Jorge Solis. I usually carry around a prayer in my wallet, which makes me feel protected at all times. This prayer makes me feel confident of myself and that there is nothing in this world that can hurt me. It also gives me a positive attitude towards life and it makes me believe that everything is possible in this world. I also carry a rosary in my car so that it can protect me from any accident that I might have on my way to school or work. I don’t actually see them as a symbol or a ritual, but as a weapon that God as given to me. My faith is so strong on this things that I believe that everything happens for a reason, either bad or good.

  18. -Matthew Thompson-

    I'm going to take more of a symbolic approach to this. I have a few rituals (sounds demonic but its the only word that I could think of.)
    I also believe that something symbolic to someone, is special to that one person and that person only. I also believe that it is something that one must hold close and keep to themselves because if other people know, its not as sacred to you as it would be if ONLY you knew what worked for you. I'm not saying that people who DO let people in on the rituals they do are any less lucky than someone who doesn't. I'm just one that feels like if I was to share something with everyone that only I know, it loses a sense of individuality. Thats my take on it all. Hope that not sharing my good luck activities ruins my grade for this assignment because thats just how I feel about it all! Hope everyone is doing well!!!

    -Matthew Thompson-

  19. Luz Stewart:

    I personally do not perform any symbolic rituals to attract luck or ward of bad luck anymore. However, a couple of years ago I was experiencing a deep depression so I decided to recur to a “witchdoctor” or shaman since I was desperate to find an answer to my problems. The shaman decided to perform a symbolic ritual on me called “limpia” which is a spiritual cleanser that removes all bad energy or bad luck from your chacras. These so called “chacras” are seven symbolic points in your body that reflect or attract energy from your body to the world or vice versa. According to the shaman, this energy portals are essential to a person’s well-being and in my case my chacras were supposedly unbalanced and filled with negative energy. Therefore, the Shaman went ahead and performed a “limpia” on me by using a raw egg and some sort of strong scented weeds that were passed through the energy portals on my body to remove all negative energy, bad luck, envy, etc. Furthermore, after the cleansing was done he prepared a type of good luck potion or amulet for me to leave under my bed for exactly three months in order to attract good luck, love, happiness ,etc. In addition, after the three months passed I was supposed to bury this amulet near my home. I followed his instructions and after the three months had passed my problems, worries, and bad luck were gone and the good news that he had promised came at last. Having faith in something like performing a symbolic ritual or owning an amulet seems to help the mind and soul in times of anxiety or desperation just as the book explains. However, I now prefer to let fate take its will and I just live my life without recurring to any form of symbolic rituals.

  20. Hi, it's Danielle Williams. My symbol for good luck is any penny that I find on the ground. This may seem like a pretty common symbol for good luck but it is a symbol of good luck and blessings for me for a slightly different reason. My grandpa passed away over a year ago now and when he did in the hospital, my mom, (his daughter), found 3 pennies outside of the hospital, each of the birth year of her three children, (myself, my sister, and my brother). My family now picks up any penny we see and many have years of significance, such as birth years and graduation years. Any penny I see I pick up and collect because it is now a symbol not only of good luck, but also of blessings.

  21. Some symbolic ritual that I use is a quick prayer before I begin driving. I use this so I will be protected to my destination. And I do the same on my way back. By dong this I feel more secure and take better precautions of my driving for I am reminded that life can be taken away by my unattentiveness. I also carry in my car a rosary. Diana Camacho

  22. I don't use any symbolic good luck charms or special prayers to ward
    off evil spirits; however, I do say ghezunteit or bless you to ward off the evil spirits when some one sneezes. In some areas we say SALUTE in
    order to ensure good luck for our friends and family. Just today in class was a good example. I don't give it much thought its just a natural reaction when somebody sneezes

  23. It would be inaccurate if I said that I had any kind of good luck tokens and untruthful if I said that I've ever tried to ward off any kind of evil spirits. However, I do have a few sports related superstitions (watching, not playing).

    I tend to move around my living room during the course of a game until the team I'm rooting for gains the lead or starts playing well. Once I've found my spot, I stay there and try to move as little as possible. On the other hand, If the team I'm rooting for happens to lose -- especially in a big game -- I try not to sit in that spot or go back to the bar where I watched the game. I know it has nothing to do with the outcome of the game, it's just a strange superstition that I've haven't been able to break.

    - P. Barnett

  24. Ashley Black:

    I remember as I child I had many symbolic rituals I would use because I was always scared. One of the things I always did when I went to bed was pray "Lord I ask you to put your guardian angels around me and my family." This prayer was said as quickly as possible because I believed nothing could happen to anyone in my house once I said these words.