It’s Halloween and there are a lot of scary Spirits around. So how can you protect yourself from things that go “bump in the night”? With a magic horse shoe, of course!
Horseshoes have traditionally been made from iron which is one of the strongest metals. Iron was believed to be magical because it was taken from the earth and could withstand fire and cold and was highly prized. Plus, horseshoes were attached to the horse using seven iron nails – seven being a lucky number. The shod horses symbolized power and strength and when walking on cobblestones the metal of the horseshoe often threw off sparks adding to their aura of magic.
There is a very big connection between horseshoes and evil Spirits. These Spirits were blamed for all sorts of things going wrong – from the milk spoiling to accidents. Since horseshoes were made of iron, the tale goes that evil Spirits were repelled by anything made of iron so people started hanging iron horseshoes on their front doors for protection. It was also believed that horse shoes were shaped somewhat like the moon and extra protection was given from the moon goddess.
There has been some debate over the correct way to hang a horseshoe: one is that the horseshoe should be hung points upwards to stop the luck or protection from falling out and the other is that the points should be downwards so that the luck or protection pours out over those people walking through the doorway.
So the next time your horse throws a shoe, don’t despair. Just tack if up over his stall door for luck and protection.
Photo credit: CardCow Vintage Postcards