DS: “Here’s a superstition I live by. Every time I think of something negative, I knock on wood three times. If I don’t see any wood, then I knock on my head. It’s all about the transfer of energy. I’m literally trying to knock the bad energy out so it can be replaced with positive energy.”
DS does not define himself as a spiritual person; however, he does believe in good and bad energy. He wholeheartedly believes in this superstition. DS’s mother first told him this superstition when he was a child and he has lived by it ever since. He is unsure of its origins; however, he does not believe it has to do with his Chinese roots. Instead, it is simply a personal superstition that everyone in his family performs daily.
This appears to be a case of Sympathetic Magic. In knocking on wood or his head, DS is expelling the bad energy and leaving room for the good energy to flow. This falls under the Law of Contact, as the action being performed is creating the magical effect. Personally, I think this is a very interesting superstition. I always knew the superstition ‘knock on wood’ but had never heard of someone doing the same with their head. I feel like this helps to illuminate the meaning of the superstition and why it still holds weight to this day.
As this is a famous superstition, there are many variations of it within the popular culture. For further research, be sure to check out this Ted-Ed article:
LaBrascio, Lisa, and Stuart Vyse. “Why Do We Knock on Wood?” TED, May 19, 2017. https://blog.ed.ted.com/2017/05/18/why-do-we-knock-on-wood/.