Hi everyone, Winnie Griggs here. I hope everyone is having a wonderful March so far.
Did you ever wonder where the superstitions around horseshoes as a good luck charm came from? I did, so I thought I’d do a little digging.
Many people believe that the concept of a lucky horseshoe originated from a myth about a man named Dunstan and his encounter with the Devil in the tenth century AD. Dunstan was a blacksmith and when he was asked to re-shoe the Devil’s horse, he nailed a horseshoe to the Devil’s hoof instead. This caused the Devil great pain, and Dunstan only agreed to remove the shoe and release the Devil after the Devil promised never again to enter a place where a horseshoe is hung over the door. Thus, hanging a horseshoe over your door is said to ward off the Devil. As a side note here, Dunstan the blacksmith eventually became the Archbishop of Canterbury and was later canonized to become Saint Dunstan.
There are two different schools of thought among the superstitious about how to hang a horseshoe to ensure you receive the coveted good luck. Some believe that the charm should be hung in the upward or “U-shaped” position so that all of the luck can’t fall out. Others believe just the opposite, that if it is hung in the downward position, it allows the luck to rain down on you. So take your pick. Or maybe hedge your bets and do both! 🙂
Did you know that, originally, horseshoes were affixed to the animal’s hoof with seven iron nails? That’s because seven was considered to be an extremely lucky number. And that’s why many of the horseshoe good-luck tokens today are made with seven “nail hole” impressions.
Of course, I’m not superstitious by nature and don’t set much store by good luck charms. However, I do have a few tokens I carry with me, but these are sentimental in nature rather than based on the belief that they will bring me luck.
What about you? Do you have a good luck charm, a token of some sort, that you like to carry around? Care to share?