Mirror – The Wonder
In the Bible, the Book of Genesis says that God made man in his own image. Therefore when we look into a mirror do we merely see our own image? Or, are we looking into the face of God?
Man first found his own image in water and got scared. Later when that image did not haunt or harm him – he started wondering what could be that thing … moving, mimicking and gesticulating in such perfect, simultaneous and instantaneous replication!
It took some evolution before he understood that – in fact it is his own image! Ever since that time – he fell in love with the objects that reflects his own image. He was not satisfied with the fidelity of reproduction and went on to invent the Mirror. Mirror has become the integral part of human lives – the first thing to visit when you wake up in the morning, and mostly the last thing to look into – before going to bed each and every day. A lady can probably go without food for days – but not without a mirror for few hours.
Contrary to the belief that mirror shows your own image exactly the way you are – it actually shows it in inverse – right & left – interchanged. In fact only a photograph shows you the way you actually are – but never the mirror. Thus mirror creates the first illusion. Subsequently, mirror has been used by many magicians for creating much bigger illusions.
There are areas of the world, including parts of the USA, Greece and Southern Ireland, where it was, and in some cases still is, the tradition that when there is a death in the house, all the mirrors in the household are covered until the body has been removed, so that the soul of the dead person will not be forever trapped there. There is also a belief that if a person was to look at the reflected image of the dead person in a mirror then they would see the face of the devil.
The thought of the soul being seen in a mirror, would also explain why, in stories of vampires, the vampire does not have a reflection in a mirror. As the vampire is already dead it has no soul and therefore cannot have a reflection. To break a mirror is to have seven years of misfortune and bad luck, is a widely held superstition. There are a couple of reasons as to how this may have come about and became widely believed.
One offering is that in the 16th century when the art of making mirrors from glass was developed, the mirrors commanded such a high price that indeed breaking a mirror would probably take seven years of work to be able to afford to pay for another one.
The other reason goes back to the soul being held in the mirror. To break a mirror was to break or distort the soul. From this there are several interpretations as to how the bad luck came about. In some cultures the soul was trapped in the distorted world of the broken mirror. In others the soul was damaged by the mirror breaking. Some believed the soul renewed every seven years, others believed the body renewed every seven years. Thus whichever way you looked at it, it would take seven years of having a tormented soul or ill health until renewal.
But even broken mirrors have a silver lining, and for the unfortunate who suffered the mishap of a broken mirror, there were remedies that could be resorted to, that would remove the bad luck. One such remedy would be to grind the pieces of the mirror down to a fine dust in order that, if there were no more reflecting pieces, the soul could not be trapped there.
Another remedy, offered to the poor soul that broke the mirror would be to bury the pieces in the ground beneath a tree under the light of a full moon. Alternatively, tapping the broken mirror on a gravestone seven times would allow the soul to heal.
Apparently these could not be mixed. If the mirror was tapped on the gravestone and then buried, the luck would not decrease and therefore it would be necessary to dig up the mirror, grind it down and sprinkle it around the grave that was originally tapped upon. A further remedy is one that has been attributed to the African slaves forced into working the American plantations. The belief was that the bad luck could be washed away and the soul cleansed by placing the pieces in the bed of a river or stream that flowed South.
Getting confused and scary? Relax … forget everything – enjoy your image in the mirror!