If you've ever opened an umbrella indoors, walked under a ladder, or gone out on Friday the 13th, superstitious people would say that you've tempted bad luck. Superstitions go back to ancient times, and they are a way of explaining the forces of Nature, or Fate. They're based on magic, religion, and folklore, and sometimes they actually work. If you believe something may happen, it's more likely that it will.
Superstitions can be powerful, because to a certain extent our lives are governed by our thoughts. Subconsciously, you can make your hopes and fears come true.
The Charm Bracelet has been popular since the time of the Ancient Greeks. They wore gold and silver charms of all sorts hanging from chains around their wrists, just as we do today. The word "charm" comes from the Latin word "carmen". This was a song or incantation that people chanted over an amulet or talisman to give it power and to make it "charmed". The charms on a charm bracelet are said to protect the wearer from harm, and bring them good fortune. Some people say that a charm that is given to you by someone else is luckier than one you buy for yourself. Apparently the goodwill in the gift gives the charm extra power.
For thousands of years, people in all parts of the world have worn charms called Amulets to protect the wearer against evil spirits. These included garlic to protect against vampires, posies of flowers to protect against the plague, and bells in a baby's crib to protect against evil spirits. The Ancient Egyptian sailors wore the symbol of a fish as amulet, made from lapis lazuli or turquoise, to protect them against drowning. The image of an open hand was used as an ancient amulet against the Evil Eye. Amulets of all kinds are still used today.
Whereas Amulets protect you from bad luck, charms called Talismans bring you good fortune. A rabbit's foot was said to bring you good luck because of it's contact with the Earth's energy. Sapphires and moonstones are believed to be powerful bringers of luck because of their ability to store and reflect light. The swastika, which means "good fortune" in Sanskrit, was a talisman in many Eastern cultures. It is now regarded as sinister since Nazi Germany adopted it as a symbol during World War II.
These are events or sightings which are seen as predictions, either happy or otherwise. To many Native Americans, a black crow's feather is a symbol of death. In Christian countries, the shiny black plumage of the raven is a bad omen, as black is traditionally linked with satan and sin. The number 13 is regarded as an unlucky omen too. This is based on the fact that there were 13 people present at Jesus' Last Supper. In different parts of the world the same omen can have the opposite meaning.
For example, in some countries a black cat crossing your path is a lucky omen and in others it's unlucky.
The power of the Evil Eye is one of the most widespread and ancient fears. It appears to be based on people's mistrust of those with an unusual appearance. In countries where most people were brown-eyed, blue-eyed people were seen as a threat. In countries where most people were blue-eyed, dark eyes were feared. Today many people in the Mediterranean and Middle East still wear charms in the form of eyes to protect themselves from the harm of the Evil Eye. In Ancient Egypt the "Eye of Horus" was an amulet worn to outstare anyone who might have the "Evil Eye". Horus was the sky god. His left eye, or "wad jet" eye symbolized the power of light, and his right eye was his "solar" eye.
Courtesy of The Element Pocket Encyclopaedia
Of Mind Body Spirit & Earth
Author: Joanna Crosse