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Superstition Wednesday Bless You

Throughout the world's history, omens surrounding sneezes have been warded off with a, Bless You. The actual time people started believing sneezing started attracting superstitions. Some people attributed it to Pope Gregory the Great (540-604 AD). He uttered it in the sixth century during a bubonic plague epidemic (sneezing is a prominent symptom of one form of the plague). There are some references to Omens about sneezing in Homer's Odyssey, written in the 8th century BCE.

One thing that stands out is how persistent and widespread folk beliefs are, take a trip around the world and witness that every country has a blessing response to sneezes. In Germany, German superstitions that said when a person sneezed, their soul departed their body for an instant. If you said a quick blessing, Gesundheit, it would prevent a demon's entry at this awkward time.

Some African natives would say, "Far from you! " and make the gesture of shooting away evil, while others would exclaim, "Save you!

According to the Zulu religion, a sneeze is caused by spirits of dead ancestors or "shades ."

In the Old Testament, the nostrils are the receptacle of the breath of God: "And the spirit of God is in my nostrils" ~Job 27:3 Granted, this is only a few words from the whole verse, but it's common knowledge that Christians believe that God breathed into them the breath of life, and it's safe to assume it entered the body through the nostrils.

The Scots believed that a newborn baby was under the power of a fairy until it gave its first sneeze, then the spell was broken, Midwives carried snuff with them to induce sneezing. During the baptism, if a baby sneezed, it was a bad omen.

A myth that goes back to Roman times is the belief that if a woman sneezes during orgasm, she will not become pregnant. I can't help but wonder if she fakes a sneeze if it will also prevent conception.

Some sneezes brought good luck. If a sailor sneezed on the ship's starboard side as the vessel departed, it would have a lucky voyage. However, to sneeze on the port size, the ship would encounter foul weather.

The number of successive sneezes at one time foretold the future. An old rhyme says One for a kiss, two for a wish, Three for a letter, four for a better, Five for silver, six for gold, Seven for a secret never to be told.

So there you have it. No matter where you are in the world, you will be blessed to ward off evil omens or celebrate beautiful blessings when you sneeze.

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