Superstition: On MacBeth, the Tarot, and the Tale of the Lucky Leprechaun

I am superstitious and proud. I think people come by superstition because they want to have control over things they really don’t. They want to believe they can control their own fate, through faith and ritual.

In Shakespeare’s play, MacBeth takes superstition to extremes by consulting with witches and killing the king. Of the many themes in the play, my favorite is the notion that MacBeth has subverted nature by violating the natural order of things, by mixing with the supernatural. In the end, he is undone by an army who camouflages itself with tree limbs, leaving an image of the woods rising up to defeat him: nature wins.

Of course, some people are superstitious about the play and won’t even speak the name “MacBeth” in a theater. There’s actually legend that real witches cursed the play since Shakespeare used their spells in the text.

I have a Lucky Leprechaun I use for special events. I got it when I was studying for an exam, for a business credential. I was terribly stressed out about the exam, and the weird guy who taught our exam-prep class gave us each a small, Lucky Leprechaun pendant as good luck. I believed the leprechaun would help me pass, and I held it like a talisman on the morning of the test.

They were very strict about people using cheat-sheets at the exam center though, and we weren’t allowed to bring anything more than a couple pencils and a calculator inside. There was a locker for us to put our phones, keys and wallets. We even had to empty our pockets, and go through a screening line.

I took the Lucky Leprechaun in though, opened it in my palm for the guy at the door, and asked if it was okay I brought it in, please? He just gave me a look of pity and disgust, and waved me on. I passed.

I used to read Tarot cards, and enjoyed learning the meaning of each.Tarot_13_Death Some cards like Death¬†you might think is bad, but it’s really not. But take a card like Wheel of Fortune, and if it’s inverted, that’s not good.

I have no interest in fortune tellers or Tarot cards anymore, though. I saw my death already, in a dream some time ago. I realized that death, and now I am starting over.

swords09

John Lennon: (Just Like) Starting Over

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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4 Responses to Superstition: On MacBeth, the Tarot, and the Tale of the Lucky Leprechaun

  1. Nice way to tie the ending up. I used to like Tarot cards, still like the images, but not sure how I feel about the “meanings.” Regardless, I miss being able to come and read everyone’s work daily. Sigh.

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  2. alesiablogs says:

    I don’t know what I think of all this fortune tellings stuff. As a Christian it seems a bit over the top, but some people probably think my belief in a higher being is over the top. I do know I have at times done things that a person would consider a superstition of some sort like not walking on the lines in tiles…I have had my palm read for fun too….I do not remember what she said. haha

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  3. Each post I read kens me back to my earlier years as a seeker of wisom!

    We live, we grow, we learn. After all is said and done many beliefs have been studied and embraced, depending on what level our belief system has reached. I look back and have to chuckle at all the philosophies I finally realized were in not relevant to my evolving life. However, each one taught me a thing or two at the very time I studied them and now they are simply memories of lessons which, once learned, are applied daily…….plpk

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  4. I have never met an actor who has been in a production of MacBeth who doesn’t have a story of nearly fatal mishaps and unfortunate occurences. Electrical storms, disappearing props, lights falling from the rafters. The show does seem to be haunted itself, in addition to the bad luck associated with other shows if you say the name on stage. Theaters are eventful places – does shit happen more during productions of MacBeth, or do we just remember them more because of the legend?

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