Whether it’s a charm, amulet, or statue, humans have been using good luck charms for thousands of years for anything from bringing financial success to warding off evil. Some good luck charms are seen throughout many cultures while some are unique to a certain culture. Keep yourself safe and prosperous with these 25 good luck charms from around the world.
Drawing on the strength and power of a horse, horseshoes are powerful good luck charms. A legend of Saint Dunstan from the 10th century says he trapped the devil in a horseshoe; thus, putting one above your door protects your home from evil. An upward-facing horseshoe is said to gather luck and a downward-facing one is said to cover you in good luck. (Though, we’re not entirely sure what’s the difference between those two.)
Kachinas are dolls which represent the spirits of things in the real world to Native Americans in the American Southwest and Central America. The dolls are dressed up and often played with by children. Inviting the doll’s spirit into one’s home and family is said to bring a good harvest.
Native American culture prominently features dream catchers to gather good dreams and do away with bad dreams. The reason comes from the story of Nokomis, the grandmother in Ojibwa folklore. Nokomis watched a spider weave its web day-after-day until one day her grandson came in and tried to kill the spider. She protected the spider and, in return, the spider went to the window and spun a fresh web in the moonlight. It told Nokomis: “See how I spin. See and learn, for each web will snare bad dreams. Only good dreams will go through the small hole.”
Featuring prominently in Middle Eastern cultures, an Evil Eye amulet wards off the Evil Eye: a curse received from the malicious glance of another, often unbenounced to the one being glared at. The amulet protects the wearer from this evil glance and is one of the most popular tourist buys across the Middle East.
Scarab beetle amulets were especially common in ancient Egypt. They represented the rising sun, warded off evil, and were associated with rebirth and transformation.