Lucky charms: some people swear by them, and others think that they’re silly. But regardless of whether it’s possible to influence Lady Luck with a rabbit’s foot or a cuddly pig, lucky charms can affect your attitude and can be a lot of fun.
And if you are having fun and feeling more positive, your attitude can make you luckier, too! So if you don’t have a favorite lucky charm already, check out these popular symbols to see if any inspire you.
Lucky Four-Leaf Clover Charms
Four-leaf clovers are an ancient Irish symbol of luck.
The Celts believed that a four-leaf clover could help them see fairies and avoid their mischief, which was believed to be a common source of bad luck.
The four leaves were supposed to have mystical powers representing faith, hope, love, and luck.
Another legend has them standing for fame, wealth, health and faithful love.
There are many variations of clover that have four leaves as a matter of course, but the lucky ones come from the white clover plant, also called Trifolium repens.
True four-leaf clovers are rare, with only about one in 10,000 plants carrying the lucky leaves. A Scientific America video on finding four-leaf clovers offers proven ways to improve your odds.
To know you’ve found a true four-leaf clover, look out for one leaflet that is smaller than the other three. If all four leaflets are the same size, you are probably looking at the wrong variety of clover.
If you’d like to have a four-leafed lucky charm, you don’t have to spend a lot of time trekking through fields of clover. There are a lot of fun crafts that let you make them yourself.
Lucky Horseshoe Charms
Horseshoes are one of the most popular lucky superstitions, with various legends attributed to giving them their lucky powers.
One legend says that horseshoes are lucky because they were traditionally made of iron.
Mischievous fairies could not stand the touch of iron, so they shied away from houses that were adorned with it.
Another legend attributes lucky horseshoes to Saint Dunstan, a historical figure who died in 988 AD. According to the legend, Dunstan, who was a blacksmith, was commanded by the devil to shoe his horse.
Instead, Dunstan nailed a horseshoe to the devil’s foot and refused to remove it and ease the devil’s pain until he received a guarantee that the devil would stay away from any house with a horseshoe on the door. Thus, any house with a horseshoe was guaranteed to be lucky.
Whatever the legend’s background, horseshoes make a fun lucky symbol to hang on the door of your home or computer room (just make sure that the points face up so that the horseshoe can fill with luck). Or use horseshoe stickers to decorate your computer (making sure you don’t cover the ventilation slats).
Lucky Dice (Fuzzy or Otherwise) Charms
Considering how many games of chance are played with dice, it’s no surprise that they have become a symbol of luck. But compared to some of the lucky charms on this list, fuzzy dice are a relatively recent invention.
During World War II, fighter pilots would fly missions with terrible odds of coming home again. They would bring their own lucky charms with them in the hopes of tipping the odds of a safe return in their favor. Gambling items like cards and, yes, dice were popular aboard the fighter planes.
Knowing the WWII tradition, Deccofelt Corp started marketing fuzzy dice to hang on the rearview mirrors of cars in 1959, and a fad was born.
If you want to use fuzzy dice as your talisman, you could sew yourself a pair or buy a bunch of brightly-colored dice and hot-glue them to your monitor or the edge of your desk.
Ladybugs as Good Luck Charms
Ladybugs are popular insects worldwide and many cultures believe that they bring luck. In German-speaking countries, they are literally called lucky bugs: “Glueckskaefer”
How can a ladybug make you luckier? Some cultures say that if a ladybug lands on you and you don’t brush it off, your luck will improve. Others say that if a man and a woman see a ladybug at the same time, they’ll fall in love. in Belgium, a ladybug crawling across a maiden’s hand was a sign that she would be married soon.
A large number of ladybugs in the spring was an indication to farmers that there would be a good harvest.
And all ladybugs are not created equal in the luck department; the deeper red their color and the more spots they have, the luckier you’ll be!
If you want to be luckier, be careful around these cheerful-looking insects, since killing a ladybug can bring you misfortune.
Ladybugs are cute, and they can make excellent lucky symbols. Some ideas for ladybug charms include creating a cute ladybug pot for your computer desk, painting rocks to look like ladybugs, or having fun with other ladybug crafts.
Lucky Number Seven Charms
Growing up, you may have heard that seven was the luckiest number, but did anyone tell you why? The number seven has been connected with luck, with perfection, and with gaining knowledge in many cultures throughout history.
One reason for this might be that the number seven has special mathematical properties. The ancient Greeks called 7 “the perfect number,” the sum of 3 (triangle) and 4 (square), which are perfect forms. Seven also crops up in a number of prominent places:
- There are 7 days of the week.
- There are 7 colors in the rainbow.
- There are 7 planets visible to the naked eye.
- The 7th son of a 7th son is supposed to be especially gifted and lucky.
- 7 is a winning roll in many games of chance.
How can you adopt the lucky seven as a lucky charm? If the number itself doesn’t excite you, how about making a grouping of seven lucky symbols: seven small crystals, for instance, or seven ladybug charms.
Lucky Number Eight Charms
Now, if you’d have grown up in China, you would probably be saying that the number 8 is the luckiest number, and the reason is much more clear than with the number 7.
In Chinese, the word for the number 8 sounds a lot like the word for prosperity. So its luck-bringing properties are a kind of play on words.
The number 8, with its two graceful curves, is also a balanced number. Balance and harmony are vital ingredients for a lucky life.
If the number 7 doesn’t catch your fancy as a lucky charm, then perhaps the number 8 would fit your style better.
Lucky Rabbit Foot Charms
Lucky rabbit foot keychains, whether real or faux, are popular symbols of luck. But did you know that the tradition actually comes from hoodoo magic?
The original legend says that the left hind foot of a rabbit that is captured in a cemetery at night can ward off evil magic.
Luckily, we don’t have to go through that much effort to have a fun rabbit’s foot charm for inspiration. There are fake rabbits’ feet for sale if you don’t want to harm a living bunny.
You can also try sewing a lucky felt bunny for yourself or learn to draw your own lucky bunnies.
Recommended: What Makes Number 7 Lucky For Most Of Us
More Lucky Animal Charms
Rabbits aren’t the only animals to be used as a lucky charm. For example:
- In feng shui, goldfish are said to attract luck and prosperity. Dragons and horses are also considered lucky.
- In Germany, lucky pigs (“Glücksschwein”) are often given as tokens to wish friends and family a happy and lucky New Year.
- Turtles and tortoises are also considered lucky, due to their long lifespans.
- Ancient Egyptians considered the scarab beetle to be lucky.
- In Korea, the swallow is considered a sign of good luck thanks to the story of Heungbu and Nolbu. According to the story, a sparrow rewarded a kind deed with prosperity.
Given such a wide range of choices, it’s pretty easy to find a favorite animal to serve as a lucky charm.
Rainbow Good Luck Charms
Rainbows are considered lucky because of the legend that says that if you dig at the end of a rainbow, you’ll find a pot of gold.
Rainbows are great lucky symbols for sweepstakes fans. Not only do they have a great story behind them, but they are also beautiful and cheery. If you need something to keep you motivated to enter sweepstakes, what better than a bright and colorful rainbow?
Lucky Coin Charms
There’s a famous saying about lucky coins: Find a penny, pick it up, and all that day you’ll have good luck!
Some people say that not just any penny lying on the ground is lucky, but that lucky pennies have to be found face-up. Personally, I think any free money that I find lying around is lucky!
Did you know, however, that pennies aren’t the only lucky coins? For example, Chinese I-Ching coins are also considered lucky and are often given as gifts of luck on Chinese New Year and for weddings.
Pennies and I-Ching coins can make pretty decorations for your office while bringing a little extra luck to your sweepstakes entries.
Lucky Bamboo Charms
Lucky bamboo is technically not bamboo at all, but a close relative called Dracaena. It’s a hardy, long-lived plant, which might account for its lucky properties.
The more stalks a lucky bamboo plant has, the more luck it’s supposed to bring. A plant with three stalks is said to bring happiness, wealth and longevity to the owners. But some plants have even more stalks, which are said to impart more kinds of luck.
Dreamcatcher Luck Charms
Dreamcatchers come from Native American lore. Looking like a web or net stretched over a loop and decorated with bright beads and feathers, they are said to catch bad dreams as they enter a household.
By capturing the disturbing dreams, they make the owner happier, more balanced, and luckier. Plus, they look pretty cool, too.
Hang a dream catcher inside your office window to keep bad luck away. Or buy a pair of dreamcatcher earrings or a dreamcatcher necklace to bring luck with you wherever you go.
Evil Eyes to Ward Off Bad Luck
While you may give someone the evil eye when they annoy you, people used to take malevolent looks much more seriously. Usually triggered by jealousy, giving someone an evil eye was supposed to cause all manner of suffering including mental illness and physical maladies.
For thousands of years, people have been using evil eye talismans, or nazur, to ward off the bad luck caused by these curses.
The evil eye lucky charm takes several different forms. Some cultures use a hand with an eye in its center for protection. Others use simple blue or green beads.
But some of the most popular and beautiful evil eye talismans come from Turkey. They use glass beads with alternating blue and white circles to bring themselves more luck.
To create your own evil eye charm, you can either buy jewelry containing the evil eye pattern or DIY your own nazur by painting rocks or creating an evil eye amulet out of clay.
Acorns as Lucky Symbols
Because of its association with the Norse god, Odin, the lowly acorn is also considered a symbol of luck. Odin hung himself from an oak tree to gain knowledge, so the acorn has come to symbolize wisdom.
The Norse also believed that acorns could bring divine protection and placed them in the windows of their homes to ward off lightning.
During the Norse Invasion, Englishmen would carry acorns in their pockets, perhaps hoping that they would make their conquerers more sympathetic toward them.
As the saying, “great oaks from little acorns grow “ indicates, acorns also signify fertility, youth, and prosperity.
Acorns make fun lucky symbols to keep with you because they are so common in the fall. They are fun to gather and even more fun to decorate. Spray paint them gold and silver, or simply use acrylic paints to give them a gorgeous color.
This article was originally published by The Balance Everyday.