The Auspicious Looking Cat & Other Strange Things

Myths and superstitions say that eclipse signifies danger, upcoming war and destruction.

Are you saying there’s a terrible prolonged eclipse in Syria? Or just selfish humans destroying each other and causing innocent lives go to waste?

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I’ve never heard of the word “auspicious” until I traveled to India with Sam. I’m not even sure if I’m using the word right – even today. He kept mentioning this in random occasions but vaguely elaborates. Everyday there’s seemed to be something “auspicious” going on.

Indian Weddings have plenty of “auspicious” beliefs which I will most likely discuss on a separate post. That is – if I ever get the use of the word auspicious right.

I thought the word “auspicious” can be identified with two things: either a warning sign for bad luck or an overflowing of good fortune. At least in my own wide array of careless vocabulary- this is what it meant. Something that could either be a curse or a blessing. Turns out, it only meant the latter: something promising, something favorable, something favored by fortune or good luck.

I somewhat related “auspicious” to superstitions, religious and cultural beliefs – which are more focused on debarring the bad rather than welcoming the good.

Macmillan dictionary defined it well as: showing signs that suggest that something is likely to be successful

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When a black cat once crossed our path in the middle of the night, Sam and I stopped dead in our tracks [even if we’re open-minded on things like these]. We were like… let’s not jeopardize our upcoming wedding. This nasty black cat could ruin our future plans. We might have another huge fight over dinner and call off our plans by morning.

On the other hand, it’s always not fair to judge something by its color.

So we crossed the street anyway.

But we waited for another couple to cross first. Just to be sure.

To sum up, there’s no such thing as an “auspicious looking cat”. Even if it’s the most tender loving looking feline in the universe. Because black cats have always been identified as bad luck. Like it’s her fault to be born that.

Poor thing.

Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat
What Are they Feeding You? 
Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat
It's Not Your Fault....

Here’s the thing about myths, superstitions, cultural beliefs and the so-called auspicious things. We believe what we want to believe in. If it’s good, we embrace it. If it’s bad, we reject it.

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When mom passed away last April, I faithfully followed all the old practices back home. Out of respect and out of fear [that bad things may come true] but mostly out of fear of grandma. She goes berserk when you disobey house rules.

Filipino Superstition and Beliefs during Wake and Funeral.

1. No pregnant woman should attend a wake. Bad things might happen.

My cousin was seven months pregnant that time and the entire family is of course always flocking at the ancestral house where the wake is. She- on the other hand because of her condition stays next door at my aunt’s place, alone. She was like, I don’t know which one is scary, me alone here and your mom visiting me or me there visiting her???

2. No one should sweep the floor or even clean. Bad things will happen.

Everyday we are flooded with visitors. How can you not clean the house??? Plastic cups and paper plates were scattered all over the place. If you have OCD you will go ballistic like my sister.

3. Someone has to be up all night to look after the dead.

We need to guard mom or she will roam around and we may never find her. We already lost her. I don’t think we will ever find her. Come on.

4. You can’t throw the sympathy flowers even they were already decaying.

Mom needs fresh flowers everyday. She deserves it.

5. Avoid crying over the casket because the dead will have difficulty transitioning to after life.

Mom is the most gentle, compassionate, kind soul I have ever met in my entire life. I don’t think my tears on the casket will disqualify her entry to heaven.

6. You’re not allowed to say “thank you” to those giving condolences.

We’re not thankful that it happened or that we lost someone. We are thankful that we have people who loved her genuinely and cared about her family even if she’s gone.

7. When carrying the casket, avoid bumping it anywhere.

I thought this is because the casket is so freaking expensive we don’t want it scratched or anything. But again, it’s bad omen.

8. Once the casket is carried out of the house for the funeral, the house should be empty. No one goes back to the house until after the dead is buried. If you do, you will be next. This is solid scary.

My aunt Ada forgot her purse in the bedroom and ALMOST stepped inside the house but as soon as she attempted to, the entire family and neighbors waiting outside for the procession screamed a bloody NO!!!!

She was kinda traumatized.

9. No one takes a bath  during the five to seven day wake.

 I don’t know about grandma  but we all took a shower everyday.

10. Lastly, if you see a butterfly during a wake, that’s the soul of the dead person.

A white butterfly landed on my mom’s coffin during the wake. This – I believe in.

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Photo Credit: thequotesland.com, a2ua.com, hdwallpapergrounds.net, timeanddate.com, animalfair.com, indiatoday.com

Eclipse

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