Horseshoe symbolism

The horseshoe is a good luck charm that has been around since the beginning of recorded times. Finding a horseshoe is normally associated with two meanings:

1. foretelling of good fortune to come

2. being a protection against evil

No ill omens seem to be connected with the horseshoe symbol. Even if a person merely dreams of finding a horseshoe, good luck will come to the dreamer.  

We will try to write some of the many stories about the symbolism of the horseshoe and show why this bracelet is a meaningful and special gift to give to your loved ones.

 

Saint Dunstan – How the horseshoe became a protection against the devil

Many believe the origin of the lucky horseshoe can be traced back to an old legend about Saint Dunstan. Saint Dunstan (924-988) is the patron saint of blacksmiths, goldsmiths, jewelers, locksmiths, musicians and the blind. He was a reformer, statesman, abbot and archbishop of the tenth century in England.

Saint Dunstan was a brilliant blacksmith. One story refers to his exceptional talent as a blacksmith. The Devil was hard at work trying to win Saint Dunstan over. On one occasion the Devil asked Saint Dunstan to nail horseshoes on the Devil’s horse.

Saint Dunstan pretended to agree on taking on this task. The devil stood close by to make sure Saint Dunstan was true to his word. Saint Dunstan then suddenly grabbed hold of the Devil’s foot/hoof and with strong determination nailed the horseshoe on the foot of the Devil instead of the horse.

The devil screamed as the pain was horrific. The Devil begged Saint Dunstan to remove the horseshoe. Saint Dunstan agreed to remove the horseshoe from the Devil’s foot under one condition: the devil was to swear never to enter any house that had a horseshoe hanging by the door. The Devil obliged instantly. That is why the horseshoe forever more will keep evil out of the home. 

Pointing up or down?

There has been a never-ending debate on the proper way to hang a horseshoe. Many believe that it should be hung in a "U" shape. The horseshoe would then catch and collect good luck for the home. Some believe that if it is hung upside down, all the good fortune and protective powers would run out. There are however those who choose to hang it the other way, believing that when you walk under it, all the positive vibes will "rain over" them. During the first world war, horseshoes were hung upside down outside of barracks, to rain down good fortune on the soldiers.

Omega

The last letter in the Greek alphabet, Omega, is shaped like a horseshoe. There are stories about how the ancient Greeks tried to use reverse psychology when they nailed a symbol of "the end" (Omega) on their walls for protection against the plague. The Romans followed this custom and started placing horseshoes on their walls, believing the horseshoe being an able defender against the terrible disease.

Moon goddess

In another tale, before the Chaldeans, in ancient Middle East, the horseshoe's crescent shape was a representation of the moon goddess, who protected believers from the evil eye by providing good luck and protection.

Witches and evil spirits

Throughout the Middle Ages there was a belief that witches and evil spirits had a fear of horses, primarily the horseshoes as they were made of iron and iron withstands fire. The coffins of buried witches had a horseshoe nailed to it to prevent them from resurrecting.

At sea, sailors used to see to it that a horseshoe was nailed to the foremast of their vessels to keep witches and wizards from cursing the voyage or damaging the ship. By hanging the horseshoe, bad luck and evil are prevented from entering and also ensured a safe arrival to their destination.

In the bedroom

Some traditions prescribe the hanging of a horseshoe in the bedroom to prevent nightmares from invading one's sleep. If the horseshoe is tacked points upward, the sleeper's masculine powers will be increased. If the sleeper is female, her latent powers will be awakened if the points are facing downward.

There are many more stories about the meaning of the horseshoe. But one thing is for sure, anyone receiving a horseshoe will forever remember the person that wished them good fortune. 

Find your horseshoe, Find your fortune