Last night while getting ready for bed, I partook in my usual nighttime ritual: PJs were put on, cats were fed, teeth were brushed, the contacts came out. Then, right as I turned the light off, like clockwork, I walked over to the closet door and shut it. Weird, right?
I don't know what it is, but I don't like to sleep with the closet door open, and it's been that way since I can remember. My guess is that it's some deeply-rooted childhood fear of "monsters in the closet," but at the ripe old age of 28 (29 in a month!), my closet superstition remains. If I'm hitting the hay, the closet door needs to be shut.
Naturally, as I began to think about this odd behavior, I began to think about what Tarot cards could speak to superstitions.
Webster's Dictionary defines superstition as "A notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary," and these practices are more prevalent in our lives than we may think.
Bad luck on Friday the 13th? Black cats crossing your path? Athletes not washing a jersey in fear it'll break a winning streak? Carrying a lucky penny? These are all notions that the definition speaks to, and I'm sure some, if not all, were recognizable to you.
So, what cards could speak to these practices and the overall term?
A card of illusion and mystery, The Moon can often indicate things aren't as they seem. Are there really monsters in my closet? No (unless you count when my cats sleep in there, but that's a blog post for another time). In my mind's eye, however, there COULD be something I don't want to see that warrants the door needing to be shut despite the fact that I have NEVER seen anything beside hangers and clothes. Is it irrational? Yes. Will I ever stop? Probably not. Years of believing the superstition of closing the door have programmed me to think there's something there when there's really not, and that's often what The Moon can sometimes show. The card can help illuminate behaviors or feelings that are based on a foundation we can't entirely see or understand, either due to our own misguided beliefs or because our surroundings are being manipulated by outside forces.
The key to overcoming this behavior is shedding light on the cause of the problem and finding a productive solution. If you think you're not being told a whole truth or your intuition tells you you're not being shown the big picture, ask questions and get to the bottom of it. When everything around us is shrouded in darkness we need to be able to be our own source of light to help see exactly what surrounds us.
Eight of Pentacles
Work and diligence are often the name of the game with this card, and that speaks to superstitious practices so well. It's so often about the routine and the belief that if it's NOT done then something BAD will happen. Look at athletes or sports fans: if a player doesn't wear his lucky socks or the diehard fan doesn't watch the game with his lucky rabbit foot EVERY game, the team might lose!
Despite its outward silliness, it's a persistent practice these people believe in, for better or for worse, and they are DILIGENT about carrying it out. I recognize my closet door phobia is outwardly silly, but you best believe I do it every night, and have even been known to get out of bed to make it happen in case I forget! There's a security in these beliefs, like covering your bases in case something DOES go wrong. If the team loses or I see a ghost, you can best believe it's not because the lucky socks weren't on, the rabbit foot wasn't present, or because my closet door wasn't closed!
If there's potential for things we're invested or involved in to go wrong and disappoint, scare, or hurt us, we often seek to shift the blame from ourselves to something we can't control, and superstitious practices can often help with that. They help distracts us from the possibility of something failing, and as long as we keep out head down and diligently follow though, we feel a bit more protected and a little less vulnerable.
Superstitious can be harmless, and often fun to partake in, but you can't let them rule or impeded upon your life too seriously. If you decided to become a shut-in every Friday the 13th, avoided ladders or mirrors at all costs in fear of walking under or breaking one, or become unreasonably angry or upset if your lucky penny goes missing, you may need to look at your own self-doubts and fears and examine why you need the security blanket of these particular superstitious beliefs. What are you hiding from that they help distract from? It may be an obvious answer, but it's roots may be worth taking a look at.
Will I be sleeping with the closet door open from now on? Probably not. But I understand that when push comes to shove, I won't let it ruin a good night's sleep. I'm not so deeply rooted in the behavior that I let it dictate my sleep patterns or how much rest I get. I know the limits I'm willing to take my little superstition to, and that helps me not take it too seriously.