Oct 12, 2010

Superstition - Part I
Finding Pennies

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.


Ciara said...

Black Cats!

C R Ward said...

Okay. I'll do them next week. :-)

Wulfe N. Straat said...

New copper coinage in the US is over, as of April, 2015, which makes the penny so much more valuable as a witching tool. When someone loses a penny, they are either losing some of their bad luck or some of their good luck, depending on which side the coin drops. If the coin drops tails up, you shouldn't pick it up and put it in your pocket but leave it there, because you've just gotten rid of some of your bad luck. The reverse is also true. If you drop a penny and it is heads up, you can't leave it there because it's your good luck dropping away from you.

How do you change your luck? An old Roman method involved the copper coin known as the "Republican As." Count out ten pennies (and no more than that), find a parking lot and toss the pennies in the air. Then, pick up all the pennies that are face up and leave all the pennies that incorporate your bad luck. Then wait for someone else to pick up the bad luck you've left for their greed. VERY IMPORTANT! Do not repeat this procedure/ritual until all the coins have been picked up and not under that same sun or moon. Wait until you've slept and the coins are picked up by someone else. At that time, you can toss another ten pennies in the air and repeat until all your bad luck is gone. Let's not forget, belief is half the battle.

Now that you know, you will begin seeing three or more pennies tails up in a parking lot and realize that someone has just performed this ritual to get rid of bad luck. Personally, I wouldn't touch those coins for fear of contamination. Maybe, you're so generous that you will risk turning the coins over for somebody else. Do you feel lucky? Turning them over makes the pennies lucky at your expense, draining your good luck. Everybody knows this. Leave the coins alone!!!