Sunday, May 14, 2006

Good luck charms

OK, this might be fun....

Do any of you have anything that you consider lucky?? Like maybe a rabbit's foot, or do you believe in making wishes when you break a wish bone or blow out your birthday candles?

Let me know if you have anything you consider lucky, and I'll do my best to find out the origin behind the story. I got a book called "The Good Luck Book" that has an A-Z guide of all kinds of things...it's pretty cool.

Here are my examples:
I have always loved and collected jade...my Dad always told me it was good luck....this is what the book says:

Jade:From the earliest times in China, jade charms in the shape of bats or storks have been believed to ensure long life. Jade carvings worn around the neck have been powerful lucky charms among the Chinese since the fouteenth century B.C. Even today, a Chinese businessperson might feel luckier holding a jade amulet when making important decisions.

In other parts of the world, jade is regarded as a charm against problems with the eyes. And from ancient times through the Middle Ages, it was used as a prescription for curing kidney disease. When Europeans first arrived in Central America, they were amazed to discover that the Incas in Peru shared this belief and routinely relied on jade charms to prevent kidney problems.

In many cultures, jade amulets are considered the best possible protection for women in childbirth. Some believe the stone is a bringer of rain and that it can drive away wild beasts and evil spirits. It is said to cure dropsy, abolish thirst and relieve palpitations of the heart. Few charms are more effective in assuring victory in battle or protecting against being struck by lightning.

Black Cat:
As superstitions go, the idea that black cats are unlucky is of fairly recent vintage. It dates back to the Middle Ages, when just about everybody believed in witches. They also believed a witch had the power to become a cat and that black was always the color of choice. It followed that if a black cat should cross your path, it just might be a witch in disguise and that could bring nithing but bad luck.

Sometimes a black cat can bring good luck. They are regarded as very lucky in Japan. American folk wisdom has it that if one comes to your door, it brings good fortune to the household. Sailors have long believed that a black cat aboard ship will ensure a safe voyage, and for generations sailors' wives have adopted black cats to help guarantee that their husbands will come home safe and sound.


Anyway, I have found this book very intriguing, and it has a story for all types of good luck charms and traditions. Everything you could think of from shrunken heads to horseshoes to four leaf clovers has a reason behind it. So, if you're curious about anything like that, let me know, and I'll see if I can find it.

Until then....wishing you all the best luck in the world!!!!

9 comments:

Andrea said...

Becky and I used to hold a button and hold our breath as we passed graveyards - it's supposed to make you live longer!

The TapeEar said...

How about this one, picking up a penny or any coin heads up is good luck?

or this one, if a dove makes a nest on your home somewhere it's good luck? ( my uncle has one right now on his front porch)

allison said...

OK, I have to appologize....I forgot to bring my "Good Luck Book " to work with me tonight...but I'll look theese up and see what I can find out.

I'll be back tomorrow!!!

allison said...

Finding Pennies can be good or bad luck according to old American urban legend.

If a penny is found heads up, you should pick it up...this is believed to mean that more money will follow. If a penny is found head down...or tails up, as we might say...it is believed that your money will slowly disappear. The head looking upward vs. downward is what makes the difference. If the face on the penny is forced into the ground, so will be your finances...if the face on the penny is facing upward toward the endless sky, there are supposedly endless possibilites to where your money may take you someday.

The dove's nest derived from the Bible. After Moses' failed attempt to send a raven who was considered a strong bird to find out if the water level was dropping from the Ark, Noah sent the most loving and tender bird he knew...which was the dove. If the dove came back to regurgitate food for its young, he knew land was near. And this is what happened. So the dove has long been known as a "carrier" of good luck. Any dove who chooses to nest nearby is supposedly comfortable with the humans it surrounds itself with, and brings good fortune to them each time it returns to its nest.

allison said...

Andrea,
I've never heard the thing about the button...and I can't find it in my book...I'll have to search the web now for that, but as far as the superstition about holding your breath when passing a graveyard..this is what I found.

From about the 7th century, European burial was under the control of the church and on consecrated church ground. Practices varied but, in continental Europe, bodies were usually buried in a mass grave until they had decomposed. The bones were then exhumed and stored in ossuaries either along the arcaded bounding walls of the cemetery or within the church under floor slabs and behind walls.

The habit of burying corpses in land enclosed within the city walls had a negative impact on health.

The superstition of holding your breath when walking past a graveyard is actually not a superstition at all, but very simple.

It was a putrid smell to inhale, so it was common to try not to breathe when walking nearby. Over the years, many adaptations of this story have arose. Many believe that the dead souls will be angry that the living are in their territory and still breathing...filling them with the life these souls once knew.

As far as making you live longer....in those days, it was probably true!!!!

The TapeEar said...

Hi I'm a good luck charm! Not Really! GHEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

allison said...

Tapeear,
if you're a good luck charm, maybe I could put you in my pocket and carry you around for a couple days.....everyone needs some good luck now and then!!!!

Andrea said...

Hey very interesting facts about holding our breath by graveyards....now I can see why.

GAG!!!

Here's another one for you. Grandma Rutherford always said when the leaves turn inside out (blowing and showing their backsides) it's going to rain!!

Can you find that one?

s-hooks said...

Andrea,
That one is true! Look outside at the trees next time there's a storm coming. I forget which kind of trees do that. Maybe maple...it's some kind of leaf that is a little bit shinier on the backside. My neighbors' have a few, and I use them to gage whether or not to bring Mollie inside! They never lie!