Whether worn as an amulet on a necklace or kept as a token in one’s pocket, humans have always relied on the power of good luck charms. Every culture all over the world has a special symbol, icon, or emblem believed to hold positive influence over the owner.
Hoping to channel some good juju into your life? Check out these famous good luck charms from around the world.
The hamsa is a mystical symbol that goes all the way back to the ancient Middle East. Depicting a symmetric hand finished with an eye at the palm, the hamsa symbol is used as a protective amulet in people’s homes to ward off bad energy and draw in happiness.
More than a beloved animal, the elephant is also a cherished symbol of wisdom, strength, and longevity throughout Asia and India. People like to place elephant tokens in doorways to invite protection and wealth. In India, the god of new beginnings and remover of obstacles, Ganesh, wears a large elephant head, and many like to hang His picture in the home.
Dream catchers derive from Native American tribes, specifically the Ojibwe tribe of North America. Featuring a woven net hung with feathers and stones, Dream Catchers are displayed throughout the home to protect the user from misfortune and inspire good energy.
A tumi is an ornate axe previously used by ancient Peruvian cultures for ritual sacrifices and special ceremonies. Today, it’s common to hang a tumi on the wall in order to bring good luck into the home.
In Chinese culture, fish represent abundance and wealth. Goldfish in particular are said to attract money and good energy due to the golden color of their scales. In Buddhism, two fish swimming together are a symbol of eternal joy and happiness, while in Japan, koi fish are prized as symbols of perseverance and strength because of their ability to swim upstream.
In Japan, it’s common to spot a beckoning cat at the doors of small shops and businesses. Based on a legend of a wealthy lord who was saved by a poor monk’s cat, this beloved critter is known as Maneki-Neko. Placing a Maneki-Neko cat in an entryway is said to attract wealth and bring in customers.
Throughout Asia, lotus flowers are regarded as icons of grace, purity, rebirth, and the ability to triumph over obstacles. Many mythological figures in India are featured seated on Lotus flowers, while Buddha is sometimes shown holding a lotus flower.