Horseshoe Superstitions, Good Luck Up and Down

superstitions about horseshoes

Horseshoe superstitions cover all kinds of beliefs from protecting against evil spirits to enhancing good luck and have spanned centuries and cultures. Here are some of the tales and traditions surrounding this iconic symbol.

The Legend of St. Dunstan

Origin of Good Luck

Legend has it that the horseshoe’s good luck powers originated with St. Dunstan, a clever blacksmith who outsmarted the Devil himself. By nailing a horseshoe onto the Devil’s hoof, Dunstan secured a promise that the Devil would never enter a place adorned with a horseshoe.

The Devil came to Dunstan and requested that he fit him with new horseshoes. Dunstan recognized the devil and nailed a horseshoe onto his hoof. This caused the Devil great pain. While he was in agony, Dunstan chained him and only released him after the devil promised never to enter a place that had a horseshoe hung over the door.

St. Dunstan’s legacy lives on as the Archbishop of Canterbury in 959 AD.

Leaving Luck Behind

Some believe that guests entering a home with a horseshoe above the door must exit through the same door to preserve the luck within.

New Year’s Eve Charm

To ensure a year brimming with good fortune, tuck a horseshoe under your pillow on New Year’s Eve.

Dreams, Luck, and Witches

Lucky Discoveries

Finding a horseshoe, especially with the open end facing you, is considered exceptionally lucky.

Toss the horseshoe over the left shoulder and spit after it to increase the good luck that will soon arrive.

Dreaming of Good Fortune

Dreaming of finding a horseshoe is believed to bring good luck into your waking life.

Warding Off Witches

Suspected witches were laid to rest with horseshoes nailed to their coffins, preventing their return as witches.

The crescent shape of the horseshoe can ward off the evil eye.

Navigating the Seas of Superstition

Seafaring Superstitions

Sailors once safeguarded their voyages by nailing horseshoes to the foremast, warding off curses from witches and wizards.

Horseshoe Positioning: Up, Down, or Sideways?

Horseshoe Hanging for Good Fortune

The debate over whether to hang a horseshoe with the opening up or down continues. Some believe that hanging it downward showers the home with good fortune, while others argue that pointing it up keeps luck sealed within.

Some say the horseshoe, tacked in place with three nails and the open end down, wards off evil. Others think that hanging it with the opening pointing down allows all of the good luck, protective powers and good fortune to shower upon you and surround the home.

Some believe that hanging the horseshoe with the opening pointing upward like a “U” holds in all the good luck and the powers it brings and that hanging it upside down would allow the powers to spill out.

Bedroom Charms

Hanging a horseshoe in the bedroom is thought to ward off nightmares. The direction of the opening is said to influence the sleeper’s masculine or feminine powers.

If the horseshoe is hung with the opening pointing up, the sleeper’s masculine powers will be increased. If the sleeper is female, her latent powers will be awakened if the opening points down.

Nails and Numbers

Counting Nails for Wealth

The number of nails remaining in a found horseshoe is thought to predict the time until wealth or marriage. Different beliefs connect the remaining nails to weeks, months, or years of good luck.

Some say not to bother with a found horseshoe unless it still has some nails left in it.

Iron and its Magical Aura

Originally crafted from iron, horseshoes were seen as magical due to their resilience against fire. This belief dates back to prehistoric times when iron was considered a powerful charm against evil spirits.

The Power of Seven

Horseshoes were often affixed with seven iron nails, a number revered for its significance throughout ancient times.

Explore the enchanting world of horseshoe superstitions, and perhaps you’ll find a charming belief to add a touch of luck to your own life!

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