jodiJodi A. Zeramby has had a rich history of interacting with the metaphysical community before finding her way to the Lightarian Institute. She has received all Lightarian modalities including Lightarian™ Reiki, Lightarian Rays™ , Lightarian Clearings™, Lightarian AngelLinks™, the Expansion Program, and the Purification Rings™. In fact, she played a leading role with creating the Lightarian Purification Rings™ program. In addition to her role as a Lightworker, Jodi is an author, attorney, and educator. With her education and skills, Jodi offers a practical outlook to the Lightarian modalities.

To learn more about Jodi, please visit our Staff page

Posted: Spring 2009

The Power of Intent: Superstitions, Rituals, and Signs—All Mine!
by Jodi A. Zeramby

Superstitions are an interesting phenomenon. It is so engrained in our culture that most do not think twice when “knocking on wood” to avoid manifesting what they have just uttered. For example, someone might say, “It’s supposed to be sunny at this Saturday’s wedding—knock on wood.” If no wood is handy, many knock on whatever is available including their own noggins. Some knock on wood to ensure what they have said will still occur, while others knock on wood to prevent the event from manifesting. Whereas a person knocks on wood to maintain the present hope in the example used, one might also say, “It’s supposed to rain on Saturday—knock on wood!” with the intention of preventing the rain from falling. But, how many people understand that this ingrained reaction stems in part from those who believed that tree nymphs, dryads, or tree spirits would grant their requests when knocking gained their attention? Moreover, those people believed tree spirits helped people to obtain the desired outcome when given proper notice—by knocking on their tree trunks—later, wooden furniture, and now, anything handy. Others believe that they must knock on wood to prevent tree spirits from hearing about the person’s good fortune. According to this belief, the knocking serves as a distraction, preventing the tree spirits from hearing what is being said. Contradictory, isn’t it?

Why do people say “bless you” when a person sneezes? One reason may be the person who sneezes is expelling evil from the body and the words act as a celebration. Another explanation is that when a person sneezed during the time of the plague, it meant that person may have caught the disease. With that in mind, the Pope passed a law to bless the sneezer, who might soon after die, to save the soul. Others believe that when a person sneezes, the soul is expelled and saying the words helps to retrieve the soul and prevent the devil from stealing it. Similarly, some believe that a sneeze attracts the evil spirits and saying the words wards them away. Then, there is the scientific-based belief that the heart stops or skips a beat when the sneeze occurs, granting the possibility that the person is momentarily dead or could die if the heart does not reactivate. “Bless you” is a thank you to God for allowing the person’s heart to continue beating. Yet, even with all of these originations of this benediction, most people nowadays have no idea why they say the words when a person sneezes.

Many superstitions have conflicting interpretations. The symbolism attached to a black cat, a raven’s caw, an albatross, rain, or sleeping with the feet toward the door—all are signs of good luck or ill-fortune, depending on the situation and the interpreter. Or, certain signs can be interpreted in several ways—an itchy nose can mean anything from being about to kiss a fool, being thought of, receiving an unexpected visitor, getting into a fight, meeting a stranger, having it rain, or having allergies (all right, I made the last one up).
People try to make sense of the world they live in by labeling events. They attempt to create order among chaos.
Rituals also play a large part within our society. Athletes are notorious for ritualistically preparing for each game by wearing the same socks, not shaving while on a winning streak, taking five minutes to complete his preparations to hit a ball while at bat, eating the same food before each game—the lists goes on and on. Why?
Most believe such actions give them an edge, a feeling that is most certainly subjective and self-manifested. These rituals help the person return to a certain rhythm they have felt when in the same situation; they get into the zone. They are totally present and in the moment—in tune with their desires, all the variables connecting to them and affecting them, and how they feel while completing the rituals. They feel the anticipation of the next moment, the familiarity of the present actions, and the comfort of past success.

While I was in law school, I would engage in ritualistic behavior before each law school exam. At those times, I would eat the same meal at the same restaurant. The one time I did not, my grade suffered. Is this due to some cosmic order that I’d created and then disrupted? No. The short answer is that I created my reality and the rituals that I needed to manifest it. When I did not complete the ritual, I gave myself an excuse, a reason to not reach the goal I desired.

How is it that viewing a rainbow, a bird or some other animal, hearing a favorite song, or seeing one’s alma mater symbol—how is it that at that perfect time, when asking that crucial question, a sign manifests? We create them, of course. We create them in our reality. After all, we are multi-dimensional beings.

When we are unable or unwilling to listen to our instincts, our “knowings” given to us by other aspects of ourselves, we create signs to contact our conscious minds and to bridge the gap between the mental and spiritual bodies.

We use them to answer our questions, to reflect our hopes and fears, to support or destroy our reality, to affirm or deny our fledgling desires. We try to understand our realities. We attempt to categorize, simplify, and organize our lives, but we cannot, at least not to the extent that we seek.

Even mythology and folklore serve the purpose of explaining events. An earthquake, lightning, thunder—all are now created by angered gods; a cave indentation is the birthplace of a god; a sudden earth formation such as a lake, a tree, or an island are forever memorialized mortals turned into them as punishment for crossing the gods.

I saw a double rainbow one day, as, I am sure, did others. Was that sign for me? For them? For all of us? What did it signify? Or, was it only what it appeared to be, independent of any meaning I could attach to it? It is all—a sign I and others use to answer our questions, as well as just a rainbow. It all depends on our perspectives. Was I seeking a sign? If so, I received one. Yet, it is also just a manifestation of refracted and reflected light caused by the mixture of the sun’s rays with water molecules to create different vibratory levels—seen as the various colors of the rainbow. If I were asking for confirmation that my present set of actions was the best for me at this time, the rainbow might act as a positive sign. If, on the other hand, I asked no such questions, had no such doubts and needed no such confirmation, then the rainbow is a beautiful reflection of nature—nothing more.

I choose my own interpretation based on my situation, my desire, and my perspective of my reality.

Symbolism is used in literature, theater, and the arts to function as a signpost for concepts the artist wishes to express. A dove symbolizes peace, the red rose means true love, the lion reflects strength and courage, and winter represents decay, death or an ending.

In Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven,” the raven represents eternal sadness through the loss of a love he will see nevermore, creating everlasting sorrow. The raven leads the narrator down the road of shadow and blackness, a reflection of his empty heart. Along with the inhuman cawing the raven projects, the raven represents a messenger from the Plutonian shore of death, darkness, and earthly hell. The narrator interprets the ebony bird’s bearing and single utterance, “Nevermore” as an affirmation of his worst fears—that his broken heart will never mend and he will never be reunited with his true love, Lenore.

Signs are opportunities manifested by the observer to perceive and analyze the details of one’s world. Ignoring signs or misinterpreting them usually occurs when a person is not entirely present or in tune with the spirit—the Higher Self. The subconscious mind may be trying to guide the person, yet that person’s fears blind him or her to the reality of the world. The bottom line is that we create our own signs to support our thoughts, whether they are positive or negative.

We follow superstitions to comfort ourselves in times of fear. We indulge in ritualistic behavior to help ourselves refocus on the moment at hand and to feel comfort with past successful efforts while engaging in similar situations. And, we use symbolism in mythology, folklore, and the arts in an attempt to explain and understand past events and behavior. In the end, these are all tools we use to help us navigate in an uncertain world. As long as these techniques can help us feel more comfortable with the unknown, unexpected, and unwanted events of life, they will continue.

To contact Jodi directly, please email her at jzerambyesq@aol.com.
2009 copyright Jodi A. Zeramby


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