Currently viewing the tag: "superstition"
In the Scandinavian countries simple folk have a vivid sense of the nearness of the supernatural on Christmas Eve. On Yule night no one should go out, for he may meet uncanny beings of all kinds. In Sweden the Trolls are believed to celebrate Christmas Eve with dancing and revelry. -Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan by Clement A. Miles
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story, poem, or haiku about trolls dancing on Christmas Eve.
Journaling Prompt: Write about how your family spent Christmas Eve when you were a child.
Art Prompt: Dancing Trolls on Christmas Eve
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a touching story about a holiday tradition in your family.
Photo Credit: Jan Hammershaug on Flickr
Cerridwen was not only mother of birth, but also of death and transformation. In another legend, she offers Bran the Blessed her magical cauldron, which can resurrect the dead warriors placed inside it. This Cauldron of Regeneration, womb of the death mother, was one of the most famous treasures of Celtic myth. Bran later was transmogrified into the Fisher King of Grail legend, with the Cauldron of Cerridwen recast as the Holy Grail. The cup, as a universal symbol of the mother-element, water, reflects the womb-vessel, and later, the chalice of resurrection, “the female-symbolic bowl of life-giving blood.”5 As for its feminine characteristics, the Grail dispenses both material food and spiritual solace. It preserves youth and maintains life. It heals knights wounded in battle. It radiates light and a sweet fragrance; it rejoices the troubled heart. In all these ways it is a source of solace and spirituality, elevating man above the animal and toward the divine. It is the guiding symbol, the anima, for which man quests. -From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey through Myth and Legend by Valerie Estelle Frankel
Fiction Writing Prompt: How has resurrection – physical or emotional – played a role in your protagonist’s life? Add to your character sketch.
Journaling Prompt: In what part of your life have you experienced a resurrection? How has that affected you?
Art Prompt: Holy Grail
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the role of resurrection in myths from many cultures and why it is such a powerful symbol.
Photo Credit: mararie on Flickr
Not only at Christmas are ceremonial “trees” to be found in Germany. In the Erzgebirge there is dancing at the summer solstice round “St. John’s tree,” a pyramid decked with garlands and flowers, and lit up at night by candles. At midsummer “in the towns of the Upper Harz Mountains tall fir-trees, with the bark peeled off their lower trunks, were set up in open places and decked with flowers and eggs, which were painted yellow and red. Round these trees the young folk danced by day and the old folk in the evening”;? while on Dutch ground in Gelderland and Limburg at the beginning of May trees were adorned with lights.? -Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan by Clement A. Miles
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene that involves a ceremonial tree of your own invention or from history.
Journaling Prompt: What do tress mean to you?
Art Prompt: Ceremonial tree
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience something personal about what trees symbolize to you.
Photo Credit: Christoph on Flickr
I acquired my first (and only, so far) Ouija board when I was 12 or 13 years old. I don’t remember exactly where I got it—whether I bought it with babysitting money or received it as a gift. I called my mom to ask if she remembered, and she wasn’t totally sure either. She was, however, suspiciously insistent on assuring me she “wouldn’t have had a problem” with me having it. She then asked my dad whether heremembered how I got it, and he said, “Tell her I ordered it online from a coven of witches.”.
So I think I got it as a birthday present. -Katie Heaney
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene involving a pre-teen and an Ouija board.
Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you played with an Ouija board.
Art Prompt: Ouija board
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about a teenage exploration into the mystical realms.
Photo Credit: Dave Winer on Flickr
Hindus, for instance, as Mr. Edgar Thurston tells us, “are very particular about catching sight of some auspicious object on the morning of New Year’s Day, as the effects of omens seen on that occasion are believed to last throughout the year.” It is thought that a man’s whole prosperity depends upon the things that he then happens to fix his eyes upon.? -Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan by Clement A. Miles
Fiction Writing Prompt: Create a New Year’s Eve superstition for one of your characters OR write a story about using the reading above for inspiration.
Journaling Prompt: Write about a superstition that you or someone in your family believes in.
Art Prompt: Auspicious omen
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about a cultural superstition that you grew up believing.
Photo Credit: Harini Calamur on Flickr
This night, O Felim the Harper, shall a girl-babe be born to thee within these castle walls. Loveliest among the lovely shall thy star-eyed daughter be; no harp-strings shall yield such music as her voice, no fairy strains pour forth such wonder-stirring sound. Yet, O Felim, in days to come, because of this fair child shall great sorrow come upon our King Concobar and upon all his realm. In those days shall Erin’s chief glory perish, for if the House of the Red Branch fall, who shall stand? -Celtic Tales, Told to the Children by Louey Chisholm
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story based on the prophecy in this Celtic folk tale.
Journaling Prompt: What prophecy or prediction for the future would you like to believe in and why?
Art Prompt: Prophecy
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience your favorite folk tale.
Photo Credit: Chelsea Stirlen on Flickr
If we wish to know the true history of a people, to understand the causes of its sorrows and its joys, to estimate its worth, and to know how to rule it wisely and well, let us read such old-world tales carefully, and ponder them well. Even if prejudice or ignorance should induce us to undervalue their worth as authentic records of its ancient history, let us remember the undeniable fact, that they are authentic records of its deepest national feelings, and let them, at least, have their weight as such in our schemes of social economy, for the present and the future. -An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 by Mary Frances Cusack
Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch. What tales did your protagonist grow up hearing? How did they affect him or her.
Journaling Prompt: What was your favorite folk tale or fairy tale when you were growing up? What lessons did it teach you?
Art Prompt: Folk tale
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a folk tale from your culture and share what it has taught you.
Photo Credit: plaisanter~ on Flickr
A falling star! What luck! -Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold
Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.
Journaling Prompt: What do you think about when you see a falling star?
Art Prompt: Falling star
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about an upcoming astronomical event and how they can best view it in your area.
Photo Credit: Adam Koford on Flickr
To salute a person who sneezed with some form of benediction, was a pagan custom. It is said to have originated through an opinion of the danger attending it; and the exclamation used was: “Jupiter help me!” In Ireland, the pagan custom still remains, but it has been Christianized, and “God bless you!” is substituted for the pagan form. -An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 by Mary Frances Cusack
Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a pagan custom that you’ve created. Trace its practice through the centuries.
Journaling Prompt: How do you react if someone around you sneezes or coughs? What protective steps do you take to stay healthy?
Art Prompt: Sneeze
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the origin of some of our customs and rituals.
Photo Credit: Allan Foster on Flickr
…the just world hypothesis. This is a phenomenon where people act as though the world is fundamentally just, so if a person witnesses something that seems to be an injustice, they blame the victim as if the victim had done something to warrant punishment -Alexander Drake, The Invention of Religion
Fiction Writing Prompt: How does the just world hypothesis operate in your story?
Journaling Prompt: Do you believe that people get what they deserve?
Art Prompt: Just World
Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the just world hypothesis and challenge them to begin to question some of their assumptions.
Photo Credit: tonrulkens on Flickr
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