The concept of luck plays a part in all of our daily lives. We might wake up feeling lucky. We put our successes or failures down to luck. We wish people luck before they take on a challenge. And we count ourselves lucky when we avert danger. Without even questioning it, we move through life accepting that circumstances might be influenced by other forces as well as our own actions. Yes, we like to be in control but we also accept luck may play a part; or we believe that by remaining focused on our goals, we can make our own luck.
Lucky Charms & Symbols
Every country and culture has lucky symbols. Many European cultures touch or knock on wood for luck. This tradition comes from the ancient belief that spirits lived inside trees and knocking was a request for good luck. Other lucky symbols include crossed fingers or horseshoes. In Ireland, the four-leaf clover is a symbol of good luck, as is the supernatural being known as the Leprechaun, whose notoriety for finding pots of gold has made Rainbow Riches one of the most popular slot games ever. The gambling industry itself is synonymous with the concept of luck, so the two worlds work well hand-in-hand. In the USA, the creature is also a good luck mascot for the Boston Celtics basketball team and the Lucky Charms cereal brand.
In China, the Jin Chan (golden toad) is a charm for prosperity that is said to appear during a full moon near the homes of people who will receive good news. Like the Leprechaun, the golden toad has also found its way onto video slot games. Even when faced with the reality of computerized randomness, people feel drawn to lucky charms.
In the Islamic world, the Hand of Fatima (also known as the Hamsa Hand) is believed to ward off evil spirits and is also a symbol of health, fertility, and good fortune. It can be seen above the Gate of Justice which is one of the original entrances to the Islamic Alhambra fortress in Granada, Spain.
Comfort during Uncertainty
Good luck charms and superstitions can be born out of tradition or religion. When faced with uncertain outcomes in life, we look for symbols to hold onto or to guide us. People wore rabbit feet as charms during the Great Depression believing they would bring better days. The tradition of hanging furry dice from the rear-view mirror of a car was started by American fighter pilots during World War II, who hung them in their cockpits for luck.
Lucy charms or superstitious actions make us feel more comfortable and relaxed which in turn can make us perform better and get positive results. This then reinforces our belief that our rituals have influenced events in some way and we continue the cycle.
There seems to be some deep-seated feeling in humans all over the globe that we are somehow connected on a spiritual or supernatural level to unexplained forces that we can call upon when needed to improve our fortunes. Yet, we take it so much for granted, we rarely consider the spiritual nature of our actions.