Friday, January 13, 2012

Stay Lucky on Friday the 13th

Worried about having some bad luck today?
Why not tap into your superstitious side and hang a horseshoe above your doorway or carry one as a good luck charm!

Many people believe that the horseshoe is supposed to bring good luck, but do you know why?

Here are some fun facts about the reasons why the horseshoe is considered to be a lucky charm:
  • Many believe that to hang a horseshoe with the ends pointing upwards is good luck as it acts as a storage container of sorts for any good luck that happens to be floating by, whereas to hang it with the ends pointing down, is bad luck as all the good luck will fall out. 
  • However, others believe that the shoe should be hung the other way, as it will then release its luck to the people around it.  Perhaps a combination of the two was used so that after a few days, when the horseshoe was filled with good luck, it would then need to be emptied so that residents could benefit from that luck and the process would be repeated until the end of time.
  • Superstitious sailors believe nailing a horseshoe to the mast will help their vessel avoid storms.
  • Horseshoes are associated with blacksmiths, and smithing is considered a lucky profession. Because they worked with elemental fire and magical iron, they were thought to have special powers. It was believed that a blacksmith could heal the sick and if a couple was married by a blacksmith, their marriage would be a happy one. Their work with horses also brought them much power and prestige, not just because they made the lucky horseshoe but also because they were the keepers of the Horseman's Word (the basis for the movie, The Horse Whisperer.)
  • The (usually) seven nail holes in a horseshoe invoke the traditionally lucky number 7. Since ancient times, the number seven was considered very important. Life was divided into seven ages; a rainbow has seven colors; astrology once held that seven planets made up the universe; there are seven deadly sins; a seventh child was thought to have special powers; there are seven days in a week; the moon changes from one phase to another every seven days; and a long-held belief states that the body goes through a radical change every seven years.
  • Horseshoes are usually iron, and iron repels fair-folk, keeping your house free of mischievous demons, imps, pixies, and elves.
  • A witch cannot walk under a horseshoe.
  • If the devil gets to close to a horseshoe, he will be sucked in.
  • A horseshoe in your bedroom will keep nightmares away.
  • Horseshoes are said to cure hiccups.

However, in order to glean the benefits, there are rules, too:
The horseshoe must have been worn by a horse.
The horseshoe must have been found, not purchased.

Do you have a horseshoe hanging in your house? What other things do you keep around for good luck?

Here's to wishing you a very lucky Friday the 13th!

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