Signs and Symbols of Good Luck
There are many signs and symbols from around the world that are seen as lucky. Others are thought to bring good fortune, grant wishes or even heal the sick. There are also symbols for warding off evil and curses .
Here are the most popular signs and symbols of luck and good fortune from around the world...
Sources: AncientSpiral.com, Artsmia.org, avenefica.wordpress.com, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSIOP), feng-shui-products-decorating-tips.com, usbridalguide.com, WhatsYourSign.com
Insects Known To Bring Luck
A Cricket on the hearth has been a sign of household luck for thousands of years.
This belief could stem from prehistoric times, when a Cricket's chirping provided a kind of companionship.
In China and other Asian countries, the cricket served as a watchdog: at any sign of danger, the chirping will stop. In the Far East as well as across Europe, it is considered very bad luck to kill a cricket, even by accident.
Almost every Native American tribe believed the Cricket, a bringer of luck, and they thought that imitating it's chirp was disrespectful.
Images of Crickets appear on charms and amulets, particularly those intended to ward off the evil eye, in ancient cultures of the Middle East and Europe.
The Ladybug is considered a harbinger of good luck and prosperity. It shall free you from day to day problems. Wearing a Ladybug amulet or having a live one land on you will brighten your day, give you patience with those around you, and most importantly, lessen your burdens.
Killing a Ladybug is considered bad luck.
If one lands on you when you are ill, it takes any illness away.
If a Ladybug lands on your hand and then flies away, it said to be good weather on the following Sunday.
Spots: If a Ladybug lands on the hand of a recently married woman, the number of dots on its back, is the number of children she will have. The number of spots on a Ladybug can also indicate the number of happy months that are ahead. And, folklore also suggests, if you catch a Ladybug in your home, count the number of spots, that's how many dollars you'll soon find.
Dragonflies are another lucky insect.
As a creature of the wind, the dragonfly represents change. As a creature of the water, they represent the subconscious, or "dream" state.
Other symbolic meanings associated with dragonflies, are prosperity, strength, courage, peace, harmony and purity.
Scarabs date back to Ancient Egypt, when Scarabs were considered good luck beetles.
As a symbol of the rising sun and a protector from evil; the Scarab, is also a symbol of rebirth, regeneration and transformation.
"For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way. Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day." - Irish Blessing
Nature's Good Luck Signs
In Norse folklore, both the Acorn and its bearer, the oak tree, bring good fortune.
The Vikings associated oak trees with Thor, the god who created thunder and lightning with his great anvil and hammer. Because the tree attracted lightning, it was sacred to Thor. Thus they believed that the Acorn, the fruit of the oak tree, was always spared the god's wrath, and so they began putting a lone Acorn on their windowsills to protect their houses from lightning's wrath.
Rainbows are considered lucky, because we all know, if we find the end of the Rainbow, there will be a pot of gold.
In traditional folk religion, the Egg is a powerful symbol of fertility, purity and rebirth.
It is used in magical rituals to promote fertility and restore virility; to look into the future, to bring good weather, encourage the growth of crops and protect both cattle and children against misfortune, and ward off the evil eye.
In England, a gift of a white Egg is considered lucky, but a brown Egg, not only brings luck, but happiness as well. -(The Encyclopedia of Religion, 1987, p.37,"Egg")
Good Luck Talisman Pins
Lucky Animal Totems
Dolphins are considered lucky in many different cultures, including the Ancient cultures of Greece, Sumer, Egypt, and Rome.
For Christians and Native Americans, the Dolphin is a symbol of protection, and its image is said to bring good luck. The belief stems from the fact that ancient sailors who spent months or even years out of sight of land, found the sight of Dolphins swimming around their ships to be the first sign that land was near.
German-natives have a saying "Schwein gehabt (had Pig)" which literally means "Good Luck is at Hand".
Good Luck tokens in the shape of Pigs are believed to bring Good Luck, as they are a Symbol of Wealth, Good Fortune & Prosperity.
Among the Chinese and the Europeans, charms in the shape of Pigs, are believed to have the power to bring Good Luck, as they are a symbol of riches and wealth.
The Pig in Chinese mythology is a symbol of honesty, tolerance, initiative and diligence.
Tortoises are considered a good luck symbol in Feng-Shui decorating. They are also one of the 4 sacred animals (among the Dragon, Unicorn, and Phoenix)
Turtles are believed to have Power over all kinds of Bad Magic.
A Turtle symbolizes the primal mother and Mother Earth. Turtles are also said to symbolize Longevity and one's Hope and Wish for a long life.
Turtles are said to be a link between heaven and earth which made them a natural for use in divination.
Due to its long life, Elephants are a Symbol of overcoming death.
Elephants are good luck in Feng Shui and the Ganeshsa is the Hindu God of Luck.
Elephant figurines placed on shelves or by doorways are said to ensure longevity and luck.
Elephants are a Symbol of Wisdom, Power, Loyalty, Intelligence, Strength and Solitude.
13. Red Bats
In China, Red Bats are symbols of long life, and amulets are worn as lucky charms to bring happiness.
The red bat is thought to ward of evil. Five red bats can also represent the "five good fortunes" of health, longevity, love, wealth and virtue.
Tigers are considered lucky in Chinese astrology.
The Tiger is also considered a protector against certain evils, including theft and fire.
The Frog has been a symbol of prosperity, wealth, friendship and abundance in many cultures and a symbol of fertility in others.
In the Native American culture of the Southwest, the Frog carries a piece of wood in its mouth, because the Mojave people believe Frogs brought fire to humans.
For the Romans, the Frog was a mascot believed to bring Good Luck to one's home.
The native Aborigines of Australia, believed that Frogs brought the thunder and rain, to help the plants to grow.
Frogs are also said to be effective in speeding up recovery from disease.
Among the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, Frogs symbolized inspiration and fertility.
In Egypt, Hekt, the Frog goddess, protected new-born babies, hence Frogs are symbols of fertility and birth.
The Frog is also said to attract true friends and to help you find long-lasting love.
Some parts of Animals are also thought to be Lucky...
16. A Rabbit's Foot The hind foot of a rabbit been a good luck symbol for the common man for ages.
Because of the rabbit's reputation in procreation, it is said to enhance the chances of the wearer to become a parent. When the rabbit's foot is worn by a man, he shall sire a child. When worn by a woman, she will become pregnant.
17. Alligator Teeth are said to bring luck to gamblers in Africa.
Icons Symbolizing Luck
Superstitions and Legends
A Chimney Sweep is a sign of good luck, wealth and happiness.
The Chimney Sweep is said to be "the ultimate bringer of good luck".
One legend from old England says that one day King George was riding his horse in a royal procession, when a dog suddenly ran from the crowd, barking and nipping at the King's horse. The horse reared, and to the horror of the crowd, almost threw the King! A lone figure, dressed in rags and filthy, stepped into the road, caught the horse's halter and calmed the animal; a chimney sweep had saved the King!
A Buddha charm or statue is thought of as being lucky, especially if you rub the Buddha's belly.
The Pueblo, Hopi and Zuni nations of the American Southwest, place great faith in the luck-bringing properties of these dolls.
Kachinas represent native spirits and each is dressed in elaborate costume. Although regularly used in tribal ceremonies, these dolls, are also used as playthings by children and displayed in homes as well as in sacred places. It is believed that by making the spirit represented by the doll a member of the family group, luck will come to that family in the form of good harvests and protection from natural disasters.
21. Saint Christopher
As the patron saint of travelers.
It is common for Catholics to have a Saint Christopher cross in their car.
The Legend of the DreamCatcher
A spider was quietly spinning his web in his own space. It was beside the sleeping space of Nokomis, the grandmother. Each day, Nokomis watched the spider at work, quietly spinning away. One day as she was watching him, her grandson came in. "Nokomis-iya!" he shouted, glancing at the spider. He stomped over to the spider, picked up a shoe and went to hit it. "No-keegwa," the old lady whispered, "don't hurt him."
"Nokomis, why do you protect the spider" asked the little boy. The old lady smiled, but did not answer.
When the boy left, the spider went to the old woman and thanked her for saving his life. He said to her, "For many days you have watched me spin and weave my web. You have admired my work. In return for saving my life, I will give you a gift." He smiled his special spider smile and moved away, spinning as he went. Soon the moon glistened on a magical silvery web moving gently in the window. "See how I spin" he said. "See and learn, for each web will snare bad dreams. Only good dreams will go through the small hole. This is my gift to you. Use it so that only good dreams will be remembered. The bad dreams will become hopelessly entangled in the web."
Tokens of Luck
Dreamcatchers, from Native American culture, are considered good luck, because they catch the negative images from dreams. See The Legend of Nokomis (above)
23. Red Chinese Lanterns
These Lanterns are a symbol of luck in the Chinese culture.
A Horseshoe symbolizes good luck, power of evil, good fortune and fertility.
Horseshoes have associations with the strength and dependability of the horse, and, in an upright position, it is also symbolic of the moon. Pointing downwards, it is symbolic of the womb. To the Greeks, it symbolized the crescent moon which was regarded as a symbol of fertility.
The Horseshoe protects one's house and land, to keep strangers away, when hung up on the wall of a home or above a doorway. The "U" shape will hold good luck inside forever. This tradition may stem from the 10th century Saint Dunstan. He trapped the devil using a Horseshoe and from that point on the devil would never enter a Christian home adorned with a Horseshoe over the door.
Some legends say, that a Horseshoe "'Pointing Up" will gather your Luck, whereas "Pointing Down" it will shower you with Luck.
"See a penny pick it up and all day long you'll have good luck. Leave it there and you'll despair."
Some even take the idea of luck to the other side of the coin, and believe that if the coin is face down that it's best to leave it on the ground. Luckiest of all, are Coins that are bent or have holes in them, especially if they turn up as change after making a purchase. The luck of such Coins is enhanced if they are carried in a left-hand pocket or worn around the neck.
Coins can bring luck in many ways.
- You will have good luck if you keep a jar of pennies in the kitchen.
- The first Coin you receive each day should be placed in an otherwise empty pocket and it will attract more.
- A Coin in a new jacket, handbag, or wallet will bring good luck.
- If you get pennies as change on a Monday, you will have good luck all week long.
- Many people consider it lucky to carry a Coin with their birth date.
- Some say that a Coin minted in a leap year will bring good fortune.
Coins also have a place in Feng Shui, as luck bringers.
26. A Pot of Gold
A Pot of Gold is what you will find at the end of a Rainbow, making it doubly lucky.
Good Luck Cuff links for Men
Lucky Symbols and Numbers
The Nautical Star, or North Star, is seen as providing guidance, and it is a good luck symbol for sailors.
The Star of Bethlehem guided the three wise men; in the Old Testament, the starry sky symbolized the numerous children of Abraham, and gave direction to the promised land.
28. The Evil Eye
Unlike other sources of good-luck, where good fortune resides in the possession of the object itself, the power of the Evil Eye Amulet resides in its capacity to ward off the misfortune cast by the Evil Eye.
29. The Number Seven
The number Seven is considered lucky by many different cultures and religions.
Seven represents self-sacrifice and higher virtue. It appears repeatedly in Scripture in such things as the seven lamps of the temple, seven wise and seven foolish virgins, and Christ's feeding of the multitude with five loaves and two fishes. The early church taught that belief in God brings seven gifts: wisdom, understanding, honor, glory, blessings, strength, and godliness.
It is believed that the seventh son of a seventh son has the power of healing and that the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter has the gift of interpreting dreams.
In the mythology of Japan, there are also Seven Gods of Fortune.
Plants Representing Luck
The Four Leaf Clover is a popular Western symbol of luck, probably due to its association with St. Patrick's Day.
Four-leaf clovers do exist, they just are not as common as the three-leaf variety. (Flora Brittanica). If you find one, it's considered good luck. Legend goes that when Eve had to leave paradise she took a four-leafed Clover along for Good Luck.
A gift of bamboo is considered good luck, specifically the Dracaena (botanical name) Lucky Bamboo; a member of the lily family that grows in the tropical Rainforests of Southeast Asia and Africa, it needs little care which makes it a perfect house or office plant.
Lucky Bamboo Tree
9GreenBox - Live Spiral 7 Style Lucky Bamboo Plant Arrangement with Black/Blue Square Lucky 7 Ceramic Vase
In China, Lucky Bamboo are thought to bring good fortune to their owners. Feng Shui practitioners believe placing the plant on the east side of a room will improve the flow of energy or "Chi". A simple elegance and low-maintenance care needs make this bamboo variety a popular indoor plant. This Lucky Bamboo is 8 to 12 inches tall and comes in a Chinese red container. Every plant order includes specific growing instructions.
Make A Wish
A wishing well is a place where you toss a coin (another symbol of good luck) and make a wish.
The ancients believed that a token gift to the gods would keep the wells from running dry. They and others also believed that the gods of the sea could be kept happy if a few coins were occasionally thrown their way as a tribute.
A custom observed all over the world, says that if you look for your reflection in the water and then make a wish after throwing a coin into it, the wish will be granted. But when in Rome, remember that their sea gods will accept no less than three coins.
A wishbone is a symbol of good luck. It also is a wish maker.
Two people tug on the wishbone, each making a wish. After the wishbone breaks, the person with the bigger piece will have their wish granted.
34. Stray Eyelash
A stray eyelash is seen as a wish maker, much like the wishbone.
If a stray eyelash falls upon your cheek, place it on your finger, make a wish, then blow the eyelash away.
35. Falling Star
A falling star or a "shooting" star as it is sometimes called, grants the person lucky enough to see it, a secret wish.
Good Luck Gemstones
Do You Believe in Magic?
Amber is thought to be a bit of the sun with the power to bring good fortune.
The Greeks called this Amber "elektron", which gave us our word of electricity, and its power to give off sparks when rubbed may be why many people have considered it a lucky charm. Both the Chinese and the Muslims burn amber as incense as a protection against evil spirits.
The sapphire has been a symbol of good luck since the most ancient of times.
The Greeks believed that to wear the sapphire was to invite the favor of the gods.
In the ancient Middle East, this blue stone was believed to have supernatural powers. It was said to have been the centerpiece of King Solomon's ring.
In India, it has the power to bring health and wealth.
Among its other powers in other parts of the world are the ability to repel spiders, to protect virgins and to turn away envy.
38. Cat's Eye
The Cat's Eye clears all obstacles and helps one to move ahead in life. It also wards off the Evil Eye, Ghosts, Spirits and negative planetary influences.
In India, it is common wisdom that if one carries a cat's-eye stone, fortune will never diminish. Among gamblers, it is a charm of choice to bring luck in games of chance.
It protects one from unforeseen losses in business or profession, and ensures financial stability, by guarding the owner's wealth.
Cats Eye To Remove Obstacles and Gain Wealth and Riches
Luck Comes in All Different Shapes and Objects
A symbol of eternal life, a cross topped with a loop comes to us from ancient Egypt where it was an indispensable lucky charm for the Pharaohs. The gods are often seen holding an ankh to someone's lips, this is considered to be an offering of "The Breath of Life". The breath you will need in the afterlife.
Axes are lucky charms that can bring success. Archaeologists have unearthed talismans in the shape of an Axe head in all parts of the world. They usually have holes in them, indicating that they were worn around the neck.
Ancient art from the Far East, pre-Columbian America, the Mediterranean, and Africa frequently depicts a double-bladed Axe to indicate power.
The circle is one of mankind's oldest symbols of good fortune. It stands for eternity because it is without beginning or end. It is a sign of completeness, perfection, and wholeness.
The concept gave us many kinds of lucky symbols, including rings of every description and the circular designs of Amish hex signs, not to mention the wreaths we hang on our doors at Christmas-time.
Among the most powerful of all lucky symbols, the crescent is especially lucky for young children and their mothers.
In ancient Egypt, the crescent moon was the symbol of Isis, the Mother of the Gods. As its symbolism spread throughout the world, it eventually became a symbol of paradise, when represented with a star. It is particularly significant in Islam.
Although the cross has come to be a symbol of Christianity, it was both a religious and lucky sign for centuries before the Christian era. It has been found in parts of the world where the message of Christianity never reached. In most pagan religions, the cross represents the tree of life.
In some ancient cultures, the crosspiece intersecting the upright piece, represented a ladder that helped a worshiper to reach God. In other cultures, the upright pointed the way to heaven and the crosspiece represented earthly influences.
In just about every Mediterranean country, charms in the shape of human hands have been powerful symbols of good luck.
In Muslim countries, the hand is made with the thumb and fingers outstretched in honor of Fatima, the favorite daughter of the prophet Mohammad. Fatima was one of only three women worthy of entering heaven. The thumb represents the prophet himself, the first finger represents Fatima, the middle finger her husband, and the others her two sons.
The ancient Etruscans and the Greeks wore lucky amulets representing a fist with the thumb tucked beneath the fingers. Similar charms with the index finger extended were believed to have power to ward off the evil eye. Sometimes a simple hand gesture encourages good luck or helps ward off bad luck.
In many countries, but especially in Italy, the evil eye is thwarted with the so-called "devil's horn," the fist clenched with the index and little fingers outstretched
Charms in the shape of hearts are obviously intended to bring luck in love.
In Christianity, the heart is seen as a representation of love and wisdom. In Egypt, the heart is seen as the center of our psychic energy and were thought to have power over the influences of black magic. Islam sees the heart as the basis of thought.
The horn, signifies strength power and abundance. In ancient Greek and Roman mythology the horn represented the phallus.
Because of the horn's form, it is equally effective for both male and female as a sexual symbol.
Sometimes called the horn of plenty, this charm signifies future wealth and prosperity.
Like crescents, which they resemble, charms in the form of animal horns are believed to have great power over the evil eye.
As a symbol of luck, a single key is among the most important, not to mention one of the oldest, of charms.
A key given as a gift between lovers is considered a symbol of unlocking the door to the heart. It is believed that the giver will be lucky in love.
The Greeks and Romans believed it represented the "Key of Life" and had the power to unlock the door through which prayers reached the gods. It was also used to promote remembrance of things past and foresight for things to come.
The ancients attached special significance to keys made of silver, the metal sacred to the goddess Diana. She was the protector of doorways and thresholds as well as the special guardian of mothers-to-be.
Among the Japanese, three keys tied together are considered a powerful lucky charm. They enable the wearer to unlock the doors that lead to love, health, and wealth.
According to the Gypsies of Eastern Europe, a door key with a metal ring attached will ensure a good night's sleep, if it is hung upside down over the bed. It will also prevent nightmares.
Ladders have been considered lucky symbols for centuries. The Egyptians usually placed them in their tombs to help the souls of the dead climb heavenward. They also carried charms in the form of ladders, to help avoid earthly temptation and to climb to greater heights.
Ladders enter the realm of the unlucky when they are leaned against a wall to form a triangle with the ground. The same triangle is formed by an open stepladder. The three sides are believed to represent the basic family unit -father, mother, and child- and passing through it can violate the unity of the family. Others say the triangle represents the Trinity -Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- the unity of which must also never be interrupted.
There is an antidote, of course. If you should unwittingly wander under a ladder, you can save yourself by crossing your fingers and spitting three times through the ladder's rungs.
In engineering, the triangle is considered the strongest and most indestructible form for structures of every description. Even before mankind began to realize this, practitioners of ancient religions found mystical significance in the shape of a triangle and frequently fashioned charms and amulets in that shape.
It was perceived as representing the cycle of life -birth, maturity and death- and as such it stood for the harmony of humans with their gods. It was considered a sacrilege to break its perfect shape.
The ancient Egyptians used this holy shape when they created the great pyramids, which many today regard all by themselves as symbols of good luck, even though they are in reality monuments of dead. The architects who designed them combined four triangles as a symbol of the coming together of the forces of earth and of heaven.
The flag of modern India has Buddha's Wheel of Life as its centerpiece. It was said that Buddha himself drew such a wheel in a rice field to teach his followers that all creation is a series of causes and effects following each other like the turning of a wheel.
As a circle representing eternity, the wheel appears frequently as a lucky charm in many cultures. It symbolizes that bad luck passes and good luck rises, just as a wheel is turned.