• We have updated the guidelines regarding posting political content: please see the stickied thread on Website Issues.

Amulets & Charms For Good Luck


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 18, 2002
Hold on to your talisman, it might work
By Prasun Sonwalkar, London, Jan 6 (IANS):

Sceptical about using the lucky charm your well-wisher gave you? Don't be - new research suggests that keeping a talisman can really bring good luck.

If you genuinely believe that a 'taveez' (amulet), 'rudraksha' (bead) or a stone in your ring will bring you luck, it will, concludes the research involving over 100 people who carried a talisman for nearly a month.

The research, conducted by professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, suggests that carrying a rabbit's foot or similar items can increase a person's sense of personal well-being and confidence, and give them positive feelings for the future.

At the end of the month, of the sample of 100 people asked to carry a talisman around for a month, approximately 30 percent reported increased luck.

Wiseman gave all participants a "lucky" Victorian coin and asked them to record their emotions and mental state.

Although the study proved that no lucky charm could increase the laws of probability for winning the national lottery, those who reported an increase in luck recorded it in terms of personal happiness, optimism and well-being.

The majority of participants said they would continue to carry the charm after the research concluded.

"I was really surprised when 70 percent of the participants said that they would not be parting with their lucky coins after the project," said Wiseman.

"Past research has shown Britain to be quite a superstitious country, and this project suggests that having some kind of lucky charm with you, whether it actually brings you luck or not, can give you a real psychological boost and positively affect the way you are."

The report also revealed that more women than men reported noticing increased good luck, which the professor attributes to cultural pressures.

"It's probably just a case that men are conditioned to be more sceptical about these things and it's therefore less acceptable for a man to be seen to believe in such things as lucky charms."

But Wiseman, who last year published an investigation into why some people appear luckier than others, entitled "The Luck Factor", argues that many people today still believe in the value of the lucky charm.

"It all just goes to prove that the lure of superstition is still with us, even in this day and age."

Last edited by a moderator:
June 2, 2004 KST 11:04 (GMT+9)

For every misfortune, there's a lucky charm

No aspect of a Korean's life was considered too small to be guarded by amulets of all shapes and siz

Once upon a time, Koreans believed that certain objects or animals had supernatural powers that could fulfill their dearest wishes or drive away bad luck.

Times have changed, of course, and people don't put quite as much faith in these things as they used to. But it never hurts to be safe, which is why amulets are still around today, just not as visible.

The first time amulets were mentioned was during the period of the Three States, which lasted from the fourth century through the seventh century.

"Samgukyusa," a book written during the Goryeo Dynasty, tells the story of Cheoyong, a son of the Dragon King of the East Sea, who accidentally found an ill-spirit-turned-human in bed with his wife. The spirit begged for forgiveness and promised Cheoyong that he would never enter the house again.

After that, people began placing the drawings of Cheoyong's face in front of their houses to fend off evil spirits.

The kinds of amulets are unlimited, and even scholars differ on how to group them. One of the simplest classifications put amulets into two groups: those for fulfilling wishes or bringing good luck and those for preventing misfortune.

Buddhist monks and exorcists categorize amulets into more than 10 different types. They were used to achieve higher professional status; to accumulate wealth and business success; to get better grades; to win the love of one's life; to prevent calamities; to avoid pain and hardship and to prevent or cure disease.

In the past, amulets were made for every occasion, even seemingly trivial ones. Some paper amulets were drawn up to prevent servants from running away; to keep a husband from falling for his concubines; to prevent a child from crying at night; to avoid stomachaches and to cure headaches.

"There were so many kinds of amulets because people believed in them," said Yoon Yul-soo, director of the Gaehoe Museum in Seoul, whose collection is rich in amulets and folk painting collections.

Strong beliefs

Wolsan, a Buddhist monk in Busan who sells paper amulets, said, "Without faith, amulets are no more than a piece of paper."

That faith was something amulet-makers possessed in abundance. They believed that they had to clean their body and clear their mind before working on amulets so that their creations would be imbued with power.

Makers of amulets were not limited to Buddhist monks or exorcists as they are now. "Aristocrats and intellectuals who were able to read and write Chinese characters also made amulets," Mr. Yoon said.

Another reason that amulets were so common in the past was the lack of modern medical treatment. "As medical science was yet undeveloped, people relied on whatever they could, regardless of their social status," Mr. Yoon said. "It was a part of folk medical practices."

One of the most common amulets that ward off misfortune is "Samjaebu." "Samjae" means three types of disasters: calamity, disease and famine or flood, fire and wind. Monks say everyone enters the three-year period of Samjae, which occurs every nine years, but they can be prevented by Samjaebu, a paper amulet that often contains the picture of a hawk with three heads on a single body and one leg.

These days, paper amulets seem to be most common type, but in the past, people carried around solid shapes, made of both artificial and natural materials, such as trees, that were considered especially powerful.

Peach trees' flowers bloom well before the late spring, so people believed the trees were full of yang energy to counter evil spirits, which were governed under the principles of yin. Dodonggi, the branch that faces east, where the sun rises, was believed to be the most powerful.

The jujube tree was also revered for its mythical power because of the hardness of its branches. The most powerful jujube tree was the one that was hit by a thunderbolt. People believed that the lingering effect of a thunderbolt could stun demons.

Animals such as tigers and roosters were considered symbols that were able to repel evil spirits. Drawings of roosters, which cry out to announce the beginning of dawn, were often used in amulets in hopes of warding off demons. Rooster crowns were exaggerated in drawings for those wanting higher status. Tiger teeth, skin and fur were also used to fight off bad luck.

Fish-shaped locks were also common because fish sleep with their eyes open and thus were believed to guard what's locked inside.
For paper amulets, both drawings and characters were used, and drawings on the paper amulets were something like folk paintings, Mr. Yoon said. Many of the subjects used for folk paintings were animals and objects that are often seen in paper amulets.

For paper amulets, different types of scarlet or red inks were used because evil spirits are supposedly afraid of the color red. The type of ink that exorcists and Buddhist monks say they use is made of a ground powder of gyeongmyeonjusa, a material whose chemical composition includes sulfur and mercury. Traditional paper called hanji, which is typically yellow or brown, is used.

Modern amulets

The use of amulets persisted through the 1960s and 1970s, especially in the countryside, but as Korea became a more industrialized nation, the popularity of traditional amulets faded as people considered them superstitious relics.

The very existence of an amulet museum testifies to how far these talismans have fallen in popularity.

"People believed in the effects of amulets, and that's why they bought them," Mr. Yoon said. "But because people have left the amulets behind, they are now kept in the museum."

However, some people still have faith in what only looks like pieces of paper, which they will keep in their wallet, place under their pillow or hang on the rearview mirror of their cars.

Other contemporary amulets are based on decidedly modern objects. A few years ago, there was a rumor that the eagle emblem and ivory emblem of some luxury cars were effective in helping students get good grades on the college entrance exam. Desperate students seeking every advantage wrenched these emblems off cars parked in the streets.

What has also changed for the amulets are how they are used or traded.

"Unlike in the past, when the most common types of amulets were about acquiring happiness, nowadays more people buy amulets for career success or more wealth," Mr. Yoon said.

These days, amulets are sold not only directly from monks and exorcists to customers but also through the Internet. The price of amulets is no bargain. The cost varies from 50,000 won () to 500,000 won, and unfortunately, they don't come with a guarantee.

by Limb Jae-un <[email protected]>

Gaehoe Museum (http://www.gahoemuseum.org) is a 10- to 15-minute walk from the No. 2 exit of the Anguk subway station, on the No. 3 line. Or take maeul bus No. 2 from the subway station. For more information, call (02) 741-0466.

The 'good luck' snack that makes Taiwan's technology behave


Kuai Kuai crisps

By Hope Ngo16th April 2021

In Taiwan, coconut-flavoured corn crisps are seen as good-luck charms that ensure high-tech machines co-operate. But why?

Crisps have a sacred role in office culture. They are the perfect mid-morning pick-me-up, the moreish side to a light sandwich lunch, or the fuel that keeps us going when meetings run past mealtimes.
But in Taiwan, one particular brand of crisps does more than keep hunger pangs at bay. Many of the island’s machines – from cash machines to radio transmission towers – seem to rely on the presence of green bags of puffy, coconut-flavoured corn crisps to stay in tip-top condition.
People see these crisps as amulets – or good luck charms – that, if used properly, will ensure that technology behaves well and doesn’t break down. They place bags of this humble snack, known as ‘Kuai Kuai’, on or around vital machines in many of the island’s laboratories, banks and even hospitals to ensure the machines continue to do their jobs.
But how did this savoury product end up assuming near-mythical protective properties and, in a technologically advanced society that supplies most of the world’s semiconductors, why exactly do people buy into it?
A bride-to-be asked my wife for help to find a sixpence that she would wear in her left shoe on her wedding day for good luck.

My wife found that Amazon sells sixpences.

I have never heard of this tradition !

This bride is doing it all, something old, new, borrowed, blue, and then the sixpence.
When I was somewhere between 7-10, I briefly had a small plastic pink mouse:dunno:. I carried it for awhile in my coat pocket. I started to consider using it as a lucky charm.

I somehow, at this age, was aware that if I did this, my obsessive traits would turn it into something that would mean something much greater to me than what it was. I knew that if I viewed it as a charm and subsequently lost it, it would cause me more anxiety (didn't know this word until much later) than I needed a stupid plastic toy to cause me. I never carried it in my pocket again and did eventually lose it with no regret.

I have no lucky charms - cereal included:).
I guess a nervous bride wants all the luck she can get.

It seems that lucky charms are different in each country.

In England people supposedly walk around with acorns in their pockets to protect them.

By the way I like Lucky Charms cereal.

I bought a Chippewa Dream Catcher when I married for our bed.

My wife and I still have bad dreams, so maybe I should have gotten my money back on the dream catcher , or it only works for Chippewa people ?
My dad always carried a buckeye in his pocket for good luck.

"Most people know the tradition that bestows magical good luck properties on the venerable buckeye. It is said that keeping a buckeye rolling around in your pocket brings wealth, wisdom and the ability to ward off all manner of nasties from emerald ash borers to falling stock markets."

Source: https://www.courier-journal.com/sto...10/07/fall-brings-good-luck-buckeye/91462234/
Charlie Brown, lived in England for over 40 years and never heard this about Acorns. However many people "salute " magpies and the new moon.

By salute we mean acknowledge, not actually salutes as that would be weird.