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Does Luck Really Exist?

Have you ever had that feeling that you were in the exact right place at the exact right time to witness a particularly meaningful event? While you may have shrugged it off as coincidence, or simple happenstance, there is one more possibility to consider: luck.

Per Webster’s dictionary, luck is defined as a “purposeless, unpredictable and uncontrollable force that shapes events favorably or unfavorably for an individual, group or cause.” Whether you believe in luck or not, most recognize the phenomena as eerie. But what does it mean to have luck on your side? Here’s a rundown of how luck has influenced both history and today’s modern society as well – don’t ignore the signs in front of your eyes!

History

In antiquity the concept of our understanding of luck had been articulated in Old English using the word “speed”, which directly translates as prosperity, profit, abundance and good fortune. It wasn’t until the tail end of The Middle Ages that the notion of probability was factored in and the word was changed to luck. Throughout history many deities, from the luckiest countries in the world to the least, have been tasked as luck-bringers or, as is the case in India with Jyestha, luck-stealers. Here are some of the most popular lucky charms to grace society in the olden days:

  • Pennies: in days of old, people held stock in the belief that metal protected them from evil spirits; the more money you had the better your odds were of warding off the things that go bump in the night.
  • Four-leaf clover: a symbol of love, hope and faith, the clover was supposedly the only thing carried out from the Garden of Eden. It is believed that for every ten-thousand regular three-leaf clovers in existence, only one four-leaf clover exists. Upon the wielder of the coveted clover, the luck of the Irish shall be bestowed.
  • Horseshoe: thought up during The Middle Ages by local blacksmiths, the luck of horseshoes was brought about by the magical powers bestowed by combining fire and iron.

Today

Luck isn’t just a concept of our ancestors. In fact, there are some researchers who believe that luck actually has more meaning in our modern era than it did in antiquity. With the adoption of lucky headgear, jewelry and even socks, our society has found its own way to worship luck to bring about favorable odds. Here are some of the most bizarre charms that bring luck to people all around the world in today’s society.

  • Vulture heads: vultures are known for their incomparable eyesight and are thought to be able to see so far, they can glimpse the future. Recently South African fortune-hunters have taken to packing dried vulture heads in their pockets to bring luck when buying lottery tickets.
  • Baculum: more commonly known as a raccoon phallic bone, the baculum supposedly brings its possessor unparalleled luck in the realm of fertility and gambling – this particular token is all the rage in Texas.
  • Bezoar: a hardened substance made up of the undigested materials within an animal’s gut, the bezoar is used in psychic healing and rituals to ensure protection against poison.

In a world where nothing is certain, and everything constantly changes, belief can be a powerful thing. If an item gives you confidence to take on the world and make better decisions, who’s to say it isn’t filled with magical luck powder? The alternative is far more depressing.

 

( image courtesy of wallpaperswide.com )

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