Each of these was meant to protect the wearer from various curses and bad luck. Looking at this pin board got me thinking about the many ways we try to protect ourselves from superstitions, and the superstitions we invent to protect ourselves in everyday situations. I'm going to share a few favorite protective pieces with you and give some background information on each.
As for the key, it's a symbol that offers luck in different ways, depending on how your culture views it. For instance, in Japan a very powerful lucky charm can be made from tying three keys together. If these three keys are worn, the wearer will be able to unlock the doors that lead to love, health, and wealth.
The evil eye is a pretty straightforward symbol. Think of it as a mirror you're wearing to reflect any evil thoughts or mean intentions back on the person directing them at you. The evil eye is often seen in jewelry. Commonly it takes the form of the glass eyes above. I made a pair of earrings from wooden evil eye beads. They kind of resemble goofy, Muppet eyeballs in this photo:
All the beads were a little uneven, so lets just say they're always looking in different directions. I made them as a cute little eyeball fashion statement, but a part of me does wonder if they ward off negativity!
The wishbone is a standard symbol of good luck. We've all heard how the person who breaks off the larger side of the wishbone will receive good fortune. An unbroken wishbone symbolizes the promise of good luck.
Any kind of jewelry that includes the cat's eye gemstone is considered lucky, especially in India. It's supposed to help remove obstacles from your life, ward off the evil eye, ghosts, and negative influences. Some people wear it for good luck when gambling, because it is considered the go-to gemstone for games of chance.
Frogs seem to symbolize luck in nearly every culture around the world! They're said to bring good health, attract true friends, and help bring long-lasting love. Some Native American tribes of the Southwest U.S. believe that frogs helped bring fire to people, and some native Aborigines believe that frogs help bring rain to their crops. So they're pretty much all purpose good luck!
The lucky horseshoe is a symbol we're all familiar with. I never knew why it was considered lucky, until doing a little research just now. Evidently, horseshoes are associated with the strength and dependability of horses. That and the "U" shape is supposed to hold good luck inside of it forever. Some people say that a horseshoe pointing upward will gather luck, while one pointing downward will shower you with luck. Either option sounds good to me!
This gorgeous amulet pendant was made in England, somewhere between 1540-60. The above photo shows the pendant from the front, while the photo below shows the back of the amulet.
You can see that the stones on the back of this pendant would be in direct contact with the wearer’s skin. According to medieval beliefs, this would help the stones' magical properties soak into the wearer. Renaissance pendants were often made as amulets to protect against danger.
This pin is an example of "Witch's Heart" jewelry. Isn't it beautiful? You can tell that it's a Witch's Heart piece, because the side of it is indented. This shape has been used in jewelry since the 15th century, but gained popularity in Scotland in the 17th century. These hearts were sold in Edinburgh, Scotland as tokens to ward off evil spirits and protect loved ones. Tiny Witch's Hearts were often pinned to a baby's blanket as protection.
These hearts are being added to my jewelry wishlist. With any luck, I'll find one of these at an estate sale some day!
I've saved one of my favorite pieces for last. This is a lucky Chatelaine. It was made in Germany somewhere between 1870-1880.
Evidently, the woman who wore this Chatelaine had a different purpose in mind. She had more than enough symbols on this to keep her safe! That, and I bet people always heard her approaching.
You could wear any of these objects to feel safe, or just opt out of leaving the house on Friday the 13th. Evidently, a lot of people do!
As I read on the Friday the 13th Wikipedia page:
According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. "It's been estimated that [US] $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day".
So, whether or not you're outfitted with protective jewelry, today might be a good day to hit the mall. You'd probably encounter a stress free traffic and shopping situation!
I ran across endless amounts of lucky symbols to share, so it was hard to choose just a few. Do any of you have a piece of jewelry or clothing you find lucky to wear?
Have a happy and safe Friday the 13th!