All Women's Talk

7 Common Good Luck Charms and Their Origins ...

By Holly

There are common good luck charms that you’ve all heard of, but probably don’t know the origin of. In most cases, the exact root is unknown, but there are different myths that explain them. Most date back hundreds of years and have religious or cultural aspects. Even though we don’t know why we believe these common good luck charms are fortuitous, we still use them.

1 Horseshoe

Horseshoes have become one of the most common good luck charms, possibly because they were made by blacksmiths who were once considered lucky. This was due to the fact that they worked with fire and iron, which people believed contained magical powers. Iron was also used to ward off spirits in the past. Just be careful if you decide to hang a horseshoe on your wall. It’s only good luck if you keep the ends pointing upward. If it’s pointed down, the luck will slip right out of it.

2 Rabbit Foot

In folk magic, called hoodoo, a bone from a witch is needed in order to perform a certain ritual. Since witches were believed to be shapeshifters who could transform into rabbits, the human bone could be substituted with a rabbit’s foot. There are some restrictions to this charm: it can’t be any foot from a rabbit, only the left hind foot. It also has to be from a rabbit that was shot in a graveyard. If it’s just any old rabbit, it doesn’t contain any luck.

3 Penny

Have you ever picked up a penny that was facing heads up? Chances are that you have. It’s a good luck charm we’re told about when we’re young, because it’s easy to find. Some believe that pennies are good luck because they’re a form of money, which represents power. Others think that it’s connected with the belief that metal is a gift from the Gods in order to protect them from evil.

4 Four-Leaf Clover

Have you ever been lucky enough to stumble across one of these? According to legend, four-leaf clovers are lucky because Eve carried one out of the Garden of Eden. Others believe that it’s simply because finding one is so rare. There are 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every 1 four-leaf clover. Each leaf represents a special aspect: faith, hope, love, and luck.

5 Wishbone

In the past, people believed that chickens were able to predict the future. When the animals were killed, their collarbone was saved and left out in the sun. Once it dried, you were supposed to find a partner and grab each end. You both pull until it snaps and whoever winds up with the bigger half gets to make a wish. As long as you didn’t tell anyone what you wished for, it should come true.

6 Elephant

In the Hindu religion, Ganesha is a God with an elephant head. Most believe that it is the cause of the connection of elephants with good luck. Years later, the animal became a popular good luck charm outside of the religion. However, only elephants with their trunks in the air are considered lucky. When facing down, the luck falls out of it.

7 The Number Seven

Have you ever wondered why one number is cherished above the rest? It might be because there are seven planets, seven colors in a rainbow, and seven days in a week. The number is mentioned repeatedly in the Bible and used in many other religions. In Chinese culture, 7 symbolizes togetherness and is lucky for relationships. Although any number would seem to pop up often if you researched it enough, seven is still thought to be special.

Even though it’s difficult to trace the origins of good luck charms, we still use them. Do you have a good luck charm? Why do you feel it’s lucky?

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