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Posted by Bob on September 27, 2000

In Reply to: Wish posted by Allen Ghasemy on September 27, 2000

: I like to know the meaning of
: "wish upon a star"

An ancient superstition. Our ancestors (in practically every pre-scientific culture) believed the mysterious, distant stars somehow contolled our destiny. Children (the epicenter of pre-scientific belief in today's world) will make a wish upon seeing the first star in the early evening. (It's usually a planet, but why spoil the fun?)

You'll find aster, the Latin word for star, at the root of many words related to fate. Astrology, for example, the mumbo-jumbo that divines from the position of the stars your destiny or personality or something by a mechanism that is unknowable and unexplainable. (The first gift of wishful thinking is to wish that the wish isn't wishful thinking, if you catch my drift.) Disaster (bad star) is the word for a bad outcome resulting from being under the influence of a malevolent alignment of the cosmos. ("Hey, it's not my fault. Check out that galaxy over there.")