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:
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.
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.
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.
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!