Good Luck Charms


There are many things considered Good Luck Charms, some of the most popular being the four-leaf clover, horseshoes, dice, ladybugs, a rabbit´s foot… the list goes on and on.

When I was at school I had several lucky charms though I only remember one of them now, a little turtle that was made from beads. I was hoping they would bring me luck for my exams, and I remember that some of my classmates used to have them too.

I´m not quite sure if they worked though, as the results often varied – obviously depending on whether I liked the subject or not. 😉 And although part of me knew that it was only superstition, I always felt less confident when I didn´t had them with me.

The belief that certain objects can have the power to bring you luck is probably as old as mankind.

The Japanese for instance have the Maneki-Neko, a figurine in form of a cat, that is believed to bring good luck.

Here´s one I´ve recently painted for a friend:


Maneki-Neko (water-color on paper)


In Ancient Egypt there were several good luck charms, but one of the most popular ones was the scarab (dung beetle).

I´ve made a water color of a scarab amulet that can be admired among other beautiful artifacts in the Egyptian Museum in Kairo and that once belonged to Pharao Tutankhamun, who’s nearly intact tomb was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922.


Scarab (water color and gold lacquer painting pen on paper; Sept. 2018)


In ancient Egyptian religion, the sun god Ra is seen to roll across the sky each day, transforming bodies and souls.

Beetles of the Scarabaeidae family roll dung into a ball as food and as a brood chamber in which to lay eggs; this way, the larvae hatch and are immediately surrounded by food.


Skarabäus detail
Scarab detail


For these reasons the scarab was seen as a symbol of this heavenly cycle and of the idea of rebirth or regeneration. The Egyptian god Khepri, Ra as the rising sun, was often depicted as a scarab beetle or as a scarab beetle-headed man.

The ancient Egyptians believed that Khepri renewed the sun every day before rolling it above the horizon, then carried it through the other world after sunset, only to renew it, again, the next day.


Scarab detail


Another explanation states that the Egyptians believed the beetles being able to actually feel the beginning of the annual flood season of the Nile in advance (the flood season being from the utmost importance to the Egyptian agriculture), crawling away from the waterfront and into their houses, thus bringing them luck.


Do you have a lucky charm? Let me know about it in your comments!



Published by Sarah

Artist & Illustrator

70 thoughts on “Good Luck Charms

  1. I have bunches of lucky charms, but they aren’t the “usual.” They might be a shell I collected or a squashed coin, or a special rock – always something found. And I don’t know what attracts me to them or why they become charms. Hmm. My grandmother wore scarab jewelry, so your history about them was fascinating to me. 🙂 Beautiful paintings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Diana! And I think I actually prefer lucky charms that aren’t the usual types, they´re much more personal that way.
      Have a wonderful and creative weekend! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your paintings Sarah and your use of the gold lacquer. You see a lot of those Maneki-Neko cats in Bangkok.. My friend hates them, she finds them really creepy! It’s fascinating learning about how the scarab was viewed by the Egyptians. I have been watching this show called Fresh Paint, it’s all about body painting, and a few of the artists have used scarabs. Have a lovely weekend 🙂


  3. I’m so glad others like the Maneki-Neko too 🙂 It really is such a joy to have it on my desk.
    Your scarab painting is really beautiful too. The colours are so vibrant.
    I’m not a “lucky charm” sort of person, although I used to wear a pendant of NZ jade (pounamu). The design is called hei matau — a fishhook — and it’s traditionally given to travellers from NZ because the hook symbolises (amongst other things), safe travel over water. Mine was a gift before I moved to the UK and I wore it all the time I lived there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so lovely to know that it’s now on your desk. 😄
      I think I’ve seen those fishhook lucky charms a few times, people, mostly men, in Europe are quite keen on tribe tatoos from NZ and wear the hooks too. I’m not quite sure many know the meaning behind each of them, it’s probably more a fashion statement for most of them. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The use of Maori (and indeed many indigenous people’s) cultural symbols is a huge concern, because they are sacred to the vulture, and to find them used without respect is incredibly distressing to their owners. It is the same with language. A few years ago, a Maori singer found she could not perform in a European country under her own, legal name, because a local band had copyright over the words. ☹️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can only imagine how that must feel like. I always think it´s so strange that people are willing to get a tattoo of something they don’t really know the meaning of, or worse, that they aren’t even aware that there IS a meaning behind the designs. It must be very frustrating to deal with that kind of thing, and I´m so sorry for that Maori singer. Hope she found a suitable artists name instead?


  4. What a great post, Sarah! I love the Maneki-Neko the best, just so adorable! But of course, all your artwork is fantastic! I don’t really have one myself. But I do wear some jewelry all the time that is special to me..a Faith ring my daughter and I both have and wear (we bought these after her diagnosis 6 years ago), a Love pinky ring my husband gave me when we first met, a silver bracelet my son gave me that has a “family” charm on it, and a silver heart locket my hubby also gave me that I put tiny pics of the kids and him in it. So maybe special jewelry that my family gave me or that we share is something I consider good luck or at least all blessings. 🙂 Sending lots of hugs and love your way, dear friend. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Lauren! And I think that you have indeed a lot of good luck charms in all that lovely jewelry. It´s so wonderful to carry around something given to you by a person you love, how could that not be a good luck charm, right? And in my book anything can bring luck as long as we believe in it, that´s the beauty of it. 🙂
      Wishing you a beautiful week and sending lots of hugs and love your way, too! xoxo ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my, how adorable your Neko is! Just about every store, restaurant here in Singapore has one (or several!). Asians, I thing, love their good luck charms, and this one invites prosperity & luck, hence is extremely popular!

    Your rendition of the Scarab is stunning! I love the vibrant colours – can’t believe they are water colours!?!!! And is that shimmery gold I see?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Ju-Lyn! I’ve heard of that and hope I’ll get to see it one day, must be quite a sight, all those cats trying to lure you into the stores.😉
      The colours are amazing, aren’t they? It really paid off investing in these high-end watercolours. 😄 And yes, that’s gold, though not real one. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your Maneki-Neko is so adorable. It is very kind of you to have taken the time to create a special artwork for your friend. Personally, I don’t believe in lucky charms but I like to surround myself with items that remind me of those I love. Two of these persons gave me luck charms that I carry in my handbag most of the time: a St. Christopher’s medal that was given to me by my mother because at the time I was traveling alone very often; and a tiny Buddha statuette, a gift from a dear friend of mine. Happy Monday!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Dominique! I don’t believe in lucky charms anymore either but like you rather keep little gifts from family and friends around to remind me of them. 😊
      Have a beautiful weekend, dear friend! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Spent a great time on your blog catching up 🙂 Love your scarab, and the kitty. I don’t have particular lucky charms myself, but I sometimes wear a ‘stone of the year’ recommended for my horoscope by Chinese calendar. Sometimes 🙂 Have a wonderful and lucky week, Sarah! xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww – thank you so much, Inese! Also for the catching up, it´s very much appreciated, dear friend!
      That stone of the year sounds fascinating! Which stone is it for this one, if I may ask? Do you wear it on a necklace or keep it close by in a pocket?
      Have a wonderful and lucky week too! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww – thank you so much, Lisa! And I like your way to see lucky charms, they are indeed filled with hope. And everything Irish is a good choice for a good luck charm I think. 😉 Have a fantastic and creative week! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your paintings, Sarah! The cat looks so happy. Personally, I don’t have good luck charms, but I guess I don’t need them, because my husband has tons. He picks up pennies he finds on the streets, wore a St. Christopher’s medal for years, and has all sorts of little doo-dads that he will not allow me to throw away because something good happened while they were in his possession. I have to admit I don’t always understand it, but I’ve learned to just live with it!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much, Ann! And I agree – you won´t need any lucky charms of your own when you keep your husband around! I rather like that he´s so fascinated by them and insists on keeping them. I think I still have the lucky charms I had as a kid, but really don´t know where they are now! Probably hidden away in a box or something. Maybe it´s time to walk back on memory lane and sift through my old school things. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your Maneki-Neko is a very cute lucky charm. It is so cute that makes you want to hold it. I think that should bring enough luck anytime.

    The scarab is beautiful work! It looks elegant and definitely a decorating piece.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww – thank you so much for saying that about my Maneki-Neko! I admit, part of me wanted to keep it, but I thought it was better to send to a friend. 🙂
      The Egyptians were really great in turning even the most unspectacular things into pieces of art, just like they did with these dung beetles.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sarah, thank you for the fascinating story. I have an image of scarab beetles rolling the sun across the ground each day. I think your vibrant water colour is very fitting for such an important creature. We are lucky to have dung beetles in our lawn. The number of flies are much reduced as a result.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You´re very welcome, Tracy! And thank you!
      I´ve never seen a scarab beetle for real, or if I have (I´ve been on holidays in Egypt when I was very little), I don´t remember it. They sure are so important for our ecosystem and I´m glad they help you reduce the number of flies at your place! Go scarabs! Or rather: stay!! 😉 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Jill! And that´s exactly where the cat landed upon, a greeting card for a friend. 😉
      Have a wonderful and creative weekend! ❤


  11. Very interesting information. I’ve looked into luck a great deal and not sure I believe in it. I kind of think we make our own luck. That doesn’t stop me from having a lucky bamboo plant in my kitchen for wealth or using Feng Shui to adjust the flow of Chi in my home. I remember trying different good luck charms when I was a kid. My daughter still plays the lottery hoping to be lucky enough to win. I sure wish she would. 😉 She would love those paintings as they are quite lovely. I’ll show them to her tomorrow. Have a great weekend, Sarah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Marlene! And it´s so sweet to know that you´re going to show my pictures to your daughter too. 😀
      I agree with you on luck and think we kind of make our own. But like you that doesn’t stop me from having some lucky charms around, just in case they might work after all. 😉 And I sure hope your daughter will win the lottery! I never played at it but sometimes wish I would, just for the thrill. 😉
      Have a fantastic weekend, dear friend! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Sarah, nice and interesting post… you are very versatile in your art! Glad you are having fun with these good luck charms… all new to me! Hope you have lovely weekend and much love. 😃 🌹 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Iris! Thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed this post and learned something new, there can never be enough of that, right? 😉 Have a fantastic weekend! Much love! 😄❤🐨🐞🍀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This is interesting and fun info, Sarah. Superstition becomes part of one’s culture – for instance, four leaf clovers are associated with Irish customs. I don’t think I ever had good luck charms, at least not for hoping to gain anything or warding off evil – the other reason lots of people have lucky charms. Your paintings are charming, the cat quite friendly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Shari! It was fun doing a bit of research for this one. 😄 Did you know that acorns are associated with English customs?

      P.S. The cat was for another friend, you’re getting something else. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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