Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bad Luck Files - Breaking a Mirror

Mirror mirror on the wall…a disaster if you fall. I’ll never believe you if you say you’ve never thought about the years of misfortune after breaking a shining mirror. 7 years of misfortune to be precise. But have you ever wondered how this superstition has spread in our modern world?

Answering this question is not a big deal. At the beginning of time, even if mirrors didn’t exist, the superstition probably evolved from the fact that first humans saw their reflections in the water, believed that the image they were seeing was a stranger ,and probably an enemy. When people acquired a little bit of consciousness, the representation changed. They started believing the reflection was their actual soul and ruffling the surface would mean injuries and danger to both body and soul. Also a lot of ancient myths told mirrors had magical powers, including the power to foreseen the future and were thought to be devices of the Gods. Breaking the mirror meant ending the powers of the object. Mirrors were worshiped as divine object. This power was given to mirrors from ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese and Indians. But then breaking a mirror was very improbable because these populations produced  mirrors made out of silver, gold, brass or bronze. The results were (almost) unbreakable mirrors.

But the actual origin of the superstition has to be blame to the Ancient Romans. They believed that a mirror had the power to steal parts of the soul of the reflected person. Any distortion of the reflection meant a corruption of the soul.

And things get worse and worse. A break was an evil sentence. In fact the soul was trapped in the world inside the mirror. Essentially, a broken mirror created a broken soul, which led to an unhealthy and unfortunate future. The length of the prescribed misfortune came from the ancient Roman belief that seven years were needed for life to renew itself. If the person looking into the mirror was not of good health, the image would have broken the mirror. After seven years of misfortune, the life would have been renewed, the body physically rejuvenated, and the curse would have been over.

But Romans were very greedy. In old times, mirrors were very expensive, despite low quality and defections. In order to save some money it was told that breaking a mirror would have brought seven years of bad luck. So maybe was simple greed tactics…

Romans created the curse…and then they created lots of remedies. Accidentally breaking a mirror was very common and if the poor soul didn’t wish seven years of disasters, there were many possibilities. Here for you the best ones:

-Taking all pieces of the mirror and burying them in the moonlight.
      -Taking all pieces and throw them into running water.
            - Pounding the broken mirror into tiny pieces so that no one could reflect anything ever again.
- Leaving the broken mirror for seven hours and then picking it up immediately after the hours were up.
- Burning the mirror, or at least blackening the pieces in the flames of a fire. The fragments should have been buried after a year.
A demon showing his....butt in a mirror

Some other modern measures include lighting seven white candles on the first night after breaking the mirror and blowing them out at midnight in one breath, while another is touching a tombstone with a piece of the mirror. Another counter-remedy, maybe the easiest, is to take a five-dollar bill and make the sign of the cross, even if it’s not clear about what to do with the five-dollar bill.

Nowadays superstitions around mirrors are connected with evil powers and death. Someone even say that the Devil invented it to keep people away from Heaven. Maybe a symbol of vanity….or maybe just an useful object to always look impeccable.


  1. Very interesting! I thought that breaking a mirror would cause misfortune only because, at the beginning, they were very expensive. But I saw that actually there's much more to discover.

    1. There's always something new underneath an immortal superstition. Always something to discover :D

  2. Wow. I didn't know it went far back as that and that the remedies are complicated. Really interesting. It's a good thing I don't believe in superstitions then.

    1. There are easier remedies against it, but I just decided to put the most curious ones. :)

    2. Yes, these are curious ones. :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you so much for coming and reading it. I appreciate it


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