Lucky charms used by superstitious | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Lucky charms used by superstitious

Lisa Marsh

There may seem to be many evil omens awaiting you on this day, but there are precautions you can take. Good luck charms and powers of protection are as old and numerous as the dangers of bad luck.

Salt was seen as one of the holiest, most pure substances by many cultures. It was not uncommon to have a few pounds around the house, to be used for seasoning and protection. Spilling the salt and throwing it over the shoulder are well known today.

In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the devil stood directly behind the left shoulder, waiting for one to do something wrong or lose their fortune so he could claim their soul. To spill salt was bad luck, but by throwing it over the shoulder, one could temporarily blind the devil until good fortune returned.

The four-leaf clover holds powers of sight. It allows the bearer to see and know the difference between good and evil spirits, identify fairies and protect humans from witches. If given as a gift, its power increased.

Knocking on wood originated with the Celts, who would rap on trees to summon protection of the good spirits in the wood. Trees were thought to be the closest to the gods because they were grounded in the earth and reached for the sky. Whenever a boast is made or bad luck is tempted, touching the wood takes the evil and puts it into the ground, making it inert.

Since bad luck is not limited to Friday the 13th, it may be a good idea to keep lucky charms with you at all times. After all, you never know when evil spirits may be lurking.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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