Marjorie Young

The Psychic View: Do You Believe in Magic?

By Marjorie Young

To the overwhelming joy of so many in the region, the Seattle Seahawks are Super Bowl bound! The NFC Championship game against the San Francisco Forty-Niners was a true nail-biter, the outcome decided in the final seconds. Without doubt, myriad fans did more than simply cheer their team on; they carried out many a good-luck ritual to insure their victory. My friend Ann wore her lucky sweater. A neighbor refuses to change socks until the Hawks win it all. I’m hardly above such goings on. I habitually do not watch any sporting event if I am a fan of either side… believing if I do, bad luck will befall my heroes. In other words, I’ll ‘jinx’ them.

Obviously, such beliefs have little acquaintance with ‘rationality’! The outcome of a competition is rarely decided by what a viewer at home is wearing. But eccentric observances are hardly the province of fans alone. No, athletes are notorious for being a highly superstitious bunch. Some will not shave during a playoff. One coach actually chews grass from the field before every game. A certain football player insists on eating two cookies (no more, no less) before every contest. At least the participants are required to perform – so their ‘lucky rituals’ may somehow help them focus. But what of those merely watching from afar?

Without doubt, odd but entertaining beliefs go as far back as human history. Amulets against the ‘evil eye’ are found even today, everywhere in Greece and Turkey, for one example. When I lived in Japan, there is a yearly ritual, called ‘Setsubun.’ Each household cleanses itself of ‘demons’ by donning a ‘demon mask,’ then throwing red beans out the door or window, proclaiming: “Oni wa soto! Fuki wa uchi!” (‘Demons out – Luck in’)! This charming custom perhaps bears a relationship to the Western tradition of throwing rice at newlyweds.

Of course, similar illustrations abound, applying to every society on earth. Observances may be carried out in a light-hearted manner or with deadly seriousness. Perhaps their ultimate goal is to give us humans a sense that we are, at least to a degree, masters of our fate, rather than merely passive victims of circumstance. Life is, at all times, so uncertain; who would not care to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm? (And let us not forget making the object of your desire fall for you…love charms and potions being a perennial favorite throughout the ages).

Millions, if not billions, offer up prayers daily, to a variety of higher powers. Those offerings may deal with heart-rending difficulties, or prove as ‘frivolous’ as asking for one’s favorite team to win. Certainly, the very act provides meaning and consolation, bestowing upon us a voice in altering events; bridging our will with the seemingly impersonal flow of existence.

As long as we feel the better for it, there is little harm in doing so. And who knows: the legions of fans summoning up their ‘personal magic’ and positive energy for their team may even bring about a Seahawks Super Bowl victory (Knock wood!).

Marjorie is available for readings at the Ballard Sunday Market, her Ballard home, or by phone. Please email her at:

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