What Is The Origin Of The Walking Under A Ladder Superstition?


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Jennifer Bone Profile
Jennifer Bone answered
This particular superstition is often put down to common sense: Why walk under a ladder if you can go around? However, the origins of this superstition are a bit more complex.

The triangle has been considered a symbol of life and therefore to walk through a triangle – or triangular shape such as that created by the ground, a wall, and a ladder – is considered to be tempting fate by disrupting a symbol of life. The triangle also means three points and the number three has long held symbolic power. The trinity and the number three are linked, so there is also a link to Christianity which makes walking under a ladder comparable to blasphemy to some. To break the trinity can be seen as being in league with the devil. Such a crime was once punishable by hanging or, if you were female, being tried as a witch.

Another possible origin is the association of a ladder leaning against a wall being similar to a gallows. This, however, could be counteracted by spitting three times through the rungs of the ladder or on your shoe. Alternatively you could back out the way you came and then make a wish.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Generally you have someone working at the top of a ladder - and things dropping from a height can do a lot of damage. Therefore it was common sense to say walking under a ladder is unlucky. Also walking under the ladder you could shake the ladder and the person standing on it could fall off.

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