Atishoo, Atishoo


Yesterday I sneezed, several times.

In the absence of anyone around to ‘bless me’  I zoomed myself into the future of Gnomon and asked Alexa for a blessing.

“Fetch recipes will allow me to cook up a storm so  what did I fancy cooking?” Was the ‘paraphrased’response.

Blessing and recipe do not really sound similar I thought, so  in the interest of “educating Alexa” I tried “Gesundheit”.

“said after someone has sneezed.” she helpfully informed me.

I remained unblessed.  But how did this tradition start and where does it come from?

It is likely a pagan tradition from the thinking that sneezing releases an evil spirit your body was harbouring, and blessing you will restore you back in favour with God.

If you want a longer diatribe about the tradition try this…


In England I think it is perhaps slowly dying out, but among my generation and depending on the area you live, maybe; “bless you”, or even, “God bless you” is still spoken after  someone sneezes.

I still say it.  I make a point of saying it, even if the person is not of my acquaintance.  Why? Because it is a way of connecting with others.  It’s a blessing or kind thought, or interaction showing that we are all connected in some way.  It’s that acknowledgement of you as a person, sharing my space, sharing my world; yes, even sharing germs perhaps.  Whilst I don’t really want to catch whatever you are spreading by the sneeze, it is saying that I am willing to take that risk by being out here.  I am not cocooning myself indoors, or wearing a mask, but am willing to interact with people because we are human and contact with others is necessary for survival.

It is a way of saying, I value you as a person and I’m glad that you are here with me for this brief moment.  I don’t know what you are experiencing.  You might be joyful, you might be sad, you might be facing hardship and difficulties I cannot begin to understand; however you sneezed and thereby showed a weakness of the body and I will support you with a blessing.

Sylvia Villapando, in her book, “The Power of the Spoken Blessing”: writes

“There are many ways to bless someone; however,
the most affirming are those blessings that come in
words: words that affirm and approve; words that
commend and compliment; words that specifically speak
love and affection; words that invoke hope and self actualisation.”


And so for you, dear readers of my ramblings, I give you this blessing for today

May your spirit rise and the words of your heart glow with understanding

May your joys be many and your difficulties be met with bravery

May you be provided for and eat bread and drink in good company

May you live in peace and harmony this day and rest safely this night.

May your dreams be sweet and dedicated to those who love you 

Bless you.


Over to you: share your blessings either of your traditions and culture or of your own in the comments box below.  Only Connect.








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