What Happens if a Black Cat crosses the Path?

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Nimittani cha pasyami viparitani Kesava" ~says Arjuna to Lord Krishna in an anxious manner indicating that the omens are bad, before the war at Kurukshetra. Nimitta means omen.
Black Cat

Saguna sastra is a branch of astrology that studies about omens. It is also called nimitta astrology. Sakuna means omen that indicates a forthcoming happening and is not a cause for it.

Everything is ordained by supreme God and nature whispers the good and bad that we have to face in the form of omens.

Saguna Sastra

Saguna sastra is astrology of omens where an astrologer can predict the forthcoming events based on the omens. It is about beliefs that when we set out towards a journey and whomever we meet, which can be persons, animals or birds, reptiles from the opposite direction or sounds of birds and animals indicate success or failure in our endeavor. Sage Garga has written a treatise about good and bad omens.

When a black cat crosses- bad omen
  • When a black cat crosses our path, it is an omen. Black represents planet Saturn. This planet causes failures and delays in our tasks and ventures. When a black cat crosses the path, it means that the particular task at hand would not be fruitful or would get delayed. It means that planet Saturn is not working favorably for him or her.
  • When one happens to experience such an omen, then one can sincerely offer prayers to God and light a lamp for Lord Ganesha to ward off the ill effects of planet Saturn.
  • It is good omen to see a cow, cow with calf, horse, elephant, before setting on a journey but a bad omen when a black cat comes across the path, according to saguna sastra.

Beliefs across different cultures

Different cultures across the world have superstitious beliefs ascribing to either good luck or bad luck when a black cat crosses. For example there are sayings that implicate good luck when Black cat crosses the path.

Old English Charm “Black cat, cross my path - good fortune bring to home and hearth. When I am away from home, bring me luck wherever I roam”
English Proverb Whenever the cat of the house is black, The lasses of lovers will have no lack."

Folklore

Folklore from Sussex in England says that Black cats are suspected to be witches and crossing one`s path would mean bad luck. In China, it is believed that they bring in famine and poverty. However, Latvian farmers believe that black cats are spirit of Rungis, the God of harvest and when they find black cats in their granary, they become overjoyed.

Good Luck - when it crosses one`s path
  • In Germany, it is believed that if a black cat crosses left to right, then it is good luck.
  • If a black cat walked away from someone, then it is good luck, according to the beliefs of the 19th century pirates.
Bad luck – when it crosses one`s path.
  • It is bad luck when black cat crosses the path. To ward of bad luck, it is believed that if one should walk backwards in ten steps and turn around 3 times.
  • In Germany, if the black cat crosses right to left, then it is bad luck.
  • If a black cat towards someone, then it is good luck, according to the beliefs of the 19th century pirates.
  • Gamblers believe that if a black cat crosses their path while going to play then luck would not favor them.
  • When driving if a black cat crosses it is believed that one should turn around and go back to avoid ill luck.
  • In western and southern Europe, black cat crossing one`s path is bound to bring misfortune.

Omens indicate happenings. If good, one is happy, but if it is bad one tends to get fearful. Positive thoughts should be reinforced with belief that one`s resolve to live life fearlessly should become prime most with surrender to the universal laws in operation. Determined attitude is all that counts.