The magic of the lucky horseshoe symbol – what is its meaning?
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Horseshoes are probably the most commonly recognised good luck charm or talisman in the Western World – millions of people think that they are lucky, and that the horseshoe symbol is a magically protective amulet or talisman. For this reason, they make a popular gift for a friend or relative and for all sorts of events: The happy couple at a wedding for example (or engagement), the bride or groom, best man or usher; or a colleague in retirement from work, someone moving to a new house, the arrival of a new baby (or at a baby shower) or someone entering a competition, a driving test or other exam. Horseshoe charms are commonly found in jewellery worn as earrings, bracelets and pendants on necklaces, and gifted as good luck charms or talismans to hang on the wall of a house. They are thought to possess some sort of magic. But why?
Since earliest times, man has believed that the crescent or U-shape or symbol was a powerful protective talisman. For the Greeks, it symbolised the crescent moon which was regarded as a symbol of fertility, with links to Moon goddesses such as Artemis and Diana. They were also used to ward off the mischievous celtic fairies.
In one story, St. Dunstan, the favourite saint of the English people, nailed a horseshoe to a horse when he was working as a blacksmith. The horse was actually the Devil in disguise and it caused the Devil great pain. Dunstan only agreed to remove the shoe and release the Devil after he promised never to enter a place with a horseshoe.
The combination of luck, protection, religion, and magic are all captivated by the horseshoe symbol and many people believe it will bring them good luck in the lives and to any special events or occasions – and ward off evil and misfortune / bad luck. In the past, superstition dictated that sailors nailed a horseshoe to the mast of their ship to help their vessel avoid bad weather, storms and disaster. And nowadays, gifting a magic lucky horseshoe charm for a wedding is common.
Should a good luck horseshoe be mounted open end up or down? “Up” to stop luck running out – “Down” to pour luck onto you. It doesn’t matter, it’s the thought and effect of the charm that matters – the belief in the magic. See our Lucky Charms guide for why this is so.
A good luck horseshoie for a wedding? Lucky Horseshoes are ideal gifts on Wedding Days (for the Guests, Ushers, Bridesmaids, etc) and for friends or loved-ones who are in a Competition, which they can carry as a talisman to give them more confidence in these stressful events like an Exam or a Driving Test.
- Lucky Horseshoe gift for the Wedding Day
- Lucky Horseshoe gift for a Competition
- Lucky Horseshoe gifts for a Driving Test
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