We continue our exploration of lucky things from around the world. Last week we looked at the lucky four leaf clover, this week we investigate the lucky horseshoe.
The horseshoe is an instantly recognisable lucky charm, one that covers many countries and cultures across the globe from American to India. The reach of the horseshoe as a symbol of luck spans not only distance but time as well, with many ancient peoples believing in the lucky powers it possesses.
Horse Powered Luck
Since they were first domesticated the horse has been exposed to many conditions that caused their hooves to wear down, for example, having to carry heavy loads. Ancient peoples soon recognised the need to protect the soles of these valuable working animals.
Horseshoes have been found in many shapes and materials dating back as far as 400BC with widespread manufacture and usage beginning from the 13th century.
There is no clear explanation as to why the horseshoe is regarded as a lucky symbol but it is highly likely that the symbolism emerged over time from a combination of different “lucky factors” that were all associated with the horseshoe.
So, what are these different factors that make the horseshoe lucky?
Horseshoes were predominantly made out of the metal iron. Iron was considered magical as it was able to withstand high temperatures of fire and was stronger than other metals. In ancient times it was considered capable of warding off evil spirits.
Many cultures and religions see the horse as a lucky animal.
The crescent shape was seen as a protective shape by ancient cultures. The horseshoe needs to be hung with the ends pointing up to effectively store the good luck within the crescent. If the horseshoe is hung facing down then the good luck will fall out.
As workers with iron and fire and protectors of the ‘horseman’s world’ the trade of the blacksmith was considered very lucky and they were believed to have special powers.
The Number Seven
The horseshoe has seven holes for nails. In many ancient cultures the number seven is considered very lucky.
As you can see, the horseshoe developed its ‘good luck’ mythology over many centuries and across great spans of civilizations – from ancient Egypt and Rome, to the modern world of today.
Is this your lucky symbol? What can the lucky horseshoe do for you?
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