Oct 12, 2010
Superstition - Part I
A long time ago, people believed that metal was a gift from the gods, given as a protection against evil. Any form of metal was considered lucky, whether it was a horseshoe hung over a door, a charm bracelet, or a good luck coin.
The old-wives tale of putting a penny in the shoe of a woman on her wedding day comes courtesy of an old Victorian rhyme. "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in your shoe." If a sixpence wasn’t available, a penny could be substituted. Over time the saying changed to, "and a lucky penny in the shoe." The penny in the shoe ensured that the newly married couple would always have wealth.
Find a penny, pick it up
All the day you’ll have good luck
See a penny, let it lay
Bad luck will follow you all day
The original phrase was "see a pin and pick it up and all day long you'll have good luck." This was a reference to a pagan ritual in which a pin could be used in a good luck spell. The myth was that a dropped pin might have been used in such a spell and would provide good luck to the person who found it.
Before you start scouting for good luck pennies, remember that you should only pick up a penny if it’s heads up. If it’s tails, spread the luck by activating it when you turn it over. Just beware not to pick it up yourself or you’ll draw bad luck to you.
The bottom line is that if you see a penny, why not pick it up? Even if it doesn’t bring you good luck you’ll be one cent richer.
If you have a favourite superstition you’d like to find out more about, send me an e-mail at carolrward(at)gmail(dot)com.