Whether you put your trust in a forked avian bone formed by the fusion of clavicles, a U-shaped item of iron that has been nailed to the hoof of an equine mammal, the severed limb of a long-eared, short-tailed burrowing Leporidae, a mutated example of a plant of the genus Trifolium, a feline with high melanin pigment and all-black coloration, or any of the other objects, creatures, symbols or numbers in their very exclusive group, one thing is for sure.
YOU must be feeling LUCKY.
How do lucky charms work? Why, for two reasons. One is that they act as a self-fulfilling prophecy:
“Luck is believing you’re lucky”- Tennessee Williams
The other is that they act as flags to alert beings on other planes of existence to our desires. The Romans raised temples to the Goddess Fortuna as the embodiment of luck and Fate, both good and bad.
Some consider that when our family and loved ones die, they become spirits and continue to exist in the spirit world.
These are our guardian spirits which now inhabit the higher realm – all we have to do to attract them to us and have them protect us is to acknowledge them and to concentrate and focus on wishes we desire to have granted. Unless they know what we want, they cannot help us, so we signal them using symbolic charms.
When good luck comes our way, we should be sure to recognize it as the benevolent attentions of the guardian spirits, and express gratitude, otherwise they will cease to take trouble with us.
The self-fulfilling prophecy aspect does enter into this theory also, as fortune favours those who are themselves positive and generous – these qualities are recognized and rewarded by the spirits. Harboring negative thoughts and desire for violence, revenge or petty victories over others will undoubtedly attract the attention of negative spirits, who may attach themselves to the person and be extremely hard to get rid of.
So we can use the many prayers, incantations, spells, toasts and charms which have been used over the centuries for the same end – to bring good luck to us.
Most charms work along the lines of sympathetic magic – a type of magic based on imitation or correspondence. If the charm resembles something, or symbolizes certain qualities, it is considered to attract those qualities. Therefore…..
Pigs are considered lucky in China & Germany – their charming quality probably resides in the simple fact that if you have a pig, you have a potential meal, so you will not go hungry.
Four-leaved clovers: these are out of the usual, so if you find one you can be considered to be singled out by the Fates for a discovery. It also stands for having extra, above what is usual.
Chimney sweeps are considered lucky in the UK, where sweeps still hire themselves out to appear at weddings for good luck. Good luck charms in the form of sweeps can be bought in Germany & Austria – as roaming outsiders who come into households to perform a task which the householders themselves are not capable of to prevent fires which could destroy the home, they have accumulated lucky significance. Lucky charms widely available often combine the chimney sweep and the pig, by depicting the pig in a sweeps black hat.
Horseshoes are usually seen as good luck when held upright, and potentially bad luck when inverted, when the good luck can “pour out of them”. They are seen as lucky because of their role in protecting horses hooves, also they are traditionally made of iron, which is considered to repel supernatural interference.
Lucky coins are the simplest example of sympathetic magic available. It is hoped that “like will attract like”.
Fly Agaric toadstools symbolise luck because of their value as a hallucinogenic drug and relative scarcity in the wild.
The Maneki-neko cat has various versions of its origins as a luck-piece. The most prevalent seems to be the story of a nobleman who was diverted from his journey by a calico cat who seemed to wave to him, and by distracting him helped him avoid a trap.
These cats originated in Japan but are found throughout Asia in homes and businesses with their calm smiles and raised paws.
The rabbits foot is a strange thing. As it is often specified to have been harvested in a cemetery and at dark of moon, combined with the witches reputation for being able to transform into a hare or rabbit, there seems to be a connection which suggests that the rabbits foot may potentially belong to a transformed witch.
Possessing part of a dead, transformed witch would suggest a transfer of power to the owner.
By the way, did you know a group of rabbits is called a fluffle? Absolutely true.
Wishbones– thanks to their reputation for granting wishes when pulled (more sympathetic magic- the person with the larger portion is the winner), have achieved a general association for potential good luck.
The black cat is a divisive creature, considered very lucky under some circumstances and in some places, and very unlucky in others. In 1649 Charles I of England is reported as saying upon the death of his pet black cat that his luck was gone. In fact, he was arrested the next day and charged with high treason. It’s the madonna-whore complex for black cats.
The Scots believe that a black cats arrival at the house signifies prosperity. The Irish believe that the ownership of a black cat will guarantee a lady many suitors. In England, black cats have long been considered the familiars of witches, and potentially evil, but if they cross your path it means good luck. In Germany, it is thought that their crossing your path will bring ruin and death. The poor black cat, like the Pushmi-Pullu, doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going.
The ancient Egyptians worshipped the cat goddess Bast and favoured black cats as the embodiment of the goddess in their homes, but according to the latest figures, these days animal shelters find it harder to find homes for black cats than for any other colour. Lucio Fulci didn’t improve matters when he made this minor masterpiece:
Fish in China are considered lucky, simply because fish’s Chinese pronunciation( yu 2) is same as another Chinese character that means surplus.
Jade is a lucky stone in China due to its colour – green is the colour of nature & money, thus has lucky significance. So go green, for a luckier tomorrow!
Many people have individual luck-pieces, which have personal significance to them- perhaps an item which they had in their possession on a lucky occasion, which they hope will ensure further luck – more sympathetic magic.
Some people choose to have significant images tattooed permanently into their skin.
What it comes down to is personal belief, but these things are genuinely effective – whether they are just bolstering our self-confidence and feelings of personal power or whether they are inspiring support from entities from Elsewhere.
If you wish to make yourself a glass of liquid luck, you may wish to assemble a Stinger.
A stinger is made by adding crème de menthe to a spirit. The classic recipe involves white crème de menthe added to brandy – this can be traced as far back as 1917 but may have existed long before that. Here, I have made a vodka stinger, using vanilla vodka in place of brandy, and have chosen green crème de menthe as green is the lucky colour.
Sergei Rachmaninoff refused to drink any alcoholic beverage apart from crème de menthe, and called the 24th variation in his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini the Crème De Menthe Variation as he found a minty nip beforehand helped him keep his fingers steady when playing the intricate piano part.
Lucky Green Stinger
Equal parts crème de menthe and vanilla vodka
Simply combine your two ingredients, shake over ice and serve garnished with a lucky charm of your choice. I have chosen here a golden horseshoe.
When you drink this, don’t forget to toast with a hearty “Be lucky!“
“I believe in luck- how else can you explain the success of those you dislike?” – Jean Cocteau