wood spirits

Why do we knock on wood?

Chances are you’ve knocked on wood in the past week. But, really, why? Here’s one origin story:

Knocking on wood is thought to come from the folklore of the ancient Indo-Europeans, or possibly people who predated them, who believed that trees were home to various spirits.  

Touching a tree would invoke the protection or blessing of the spirit within.

And somehow, this tradition has survived long after belief in these spirits had faded away.

What are some other origin stories of knocking on wood that you’ve heard?

From the TED-Ed Lesson Where do superstitions come from? - Stuart Vyse

Animation by TED-Ed & @jefflebars

Faun Aesthetic ; requested by @rusticca

The faun is a mythological half human–half goat manifestation of forest and animal spirits that would help or hinder humans at whim. Romans believed fauns inspired fear in men traveling in lonely, remote or wild places. They were also capable of guiding humans in need.