I am not one to be overly superstitious. I may have a few traditions when it comes to sporting events like not shaving during the hockey playoffs, or not wearing team jerseys on the days of games. You might say I am fairly closed-minded when it comes to superstitions. To believe in more serious superstitions, I would have to have a bit more of an open mind. I do believe things happen for a reason. But something happened that made me change my mind.
Almost two years ago, my Golden Retriever Pollo developed a very bad injury, one that I did not think he would recover from eventually. In fact, the realization was that I might have to consider putting him down. But then I heard among co-workers, that someone in our building was practicing an alternative therapy for animals called “pet Reiki.” Now I had heard the term “Reiki” before, and in almost every conversation I heard, everyone enjoyed the way they felt afterwards. Originally I was quite indifferent to what I would have just considered simple relaxation, and who does not enjoy that. But people actually were mentioning that many of their debilitating pains had improved, allowing them more enjoyment in their lives.
I felt that I had nothing to lose. Pollo was not getting better, and it was getting more difficult to take care of him. So I invited Jenny (pictured above) to come over and perform “dog Reiki” on Pollo. Normally Pollo is very excitable, even at his age, but he just laid there as she knelt beside him, put her hands on his back hips which were the cause of his discomfort. Within a minute, he fell asleep. I was astounded. The session went on for twenty minutes and when she finished, Pollo lifted his head up as if in protest, and I offered Jenny for another twenty minutes.
The next day, Pollo was actually improving as it took less assistance for him to be able to stand and support his own weight. By the second day, he was actually trotting around the back yard. Something had happened to him, I just could not believe that it was simply healing hands “drawing out” the pain as Jenny had done. But I could not argue with what I had seen.
So a year later, when Pollo’s issue would relapse, even more serious, I felt I had to give him one more try with Reiki. And again, it worked. I could no longer just dismiss this type of therapy as “hoodoo voodoo.” It worked. I do not know how, but an animal has no concept of what placebo means so it is not as if a human faked injury or recovery. He was actually better where vet medicine failed to help him.
I bring this up for a reason. I like to think that I have an opened mind. I definitely do not judge people for their beliefs, especially when it comes to superstitions. But having Jenny help Pollo like she did, I have learned that sometimes you have to go beyond the conventional, and what might not make sense, does not have to. It just is.
I am not saying I believe in hanging garlic on my door to keep away vampires… not yet at least. But perhaps there might just be something to the following superstitions:
The Pennsylvania Dutch hang horse shoes on their doors to keep bad luck out of the home.
And of course, the Irish have the four-leaf clover. Probably the most popular symbol of good luck next to the “lucky rabbit’s foot” which is not really that lucky if you are the rabbit.
But the Italians take superstition to a whole different level, called “il maloccho”, the “evil eye.” “Mal” meaning “evil” and “occhio” referring to optical. This is actually a curse that is placed on someone to wish them ill or harm.
It is said that by placing water in a bowl, and three drops of olive oil, the reaction of the oil to the water determines if you have “il maloccio”. If the oil stays separate, all is good. But if the oil droplets join together, this forms what is called the “evil eye” and yep, you have the curse. There are remedies for this:
Hanging a scissors (some say with a red ribbon)
A simple charm very similar in resemblance to a chili pepper, anywhere on your possession, along with salt, or simply spoken Italian prayers are said to lift the curse.
Some things have been happening as of late which have made no sense to me and not all good. Perhaps it might be time to consider some of these possibilities. It was Jenny that opened my mind to the possibilities of non-conventional means and it worked then.