Interpretations of Luck
Presented by Charles L Harmon
Medicine Wheel, a Native American sacred site and National Historic Landmark in Wyoming. Some think these are good luck symbols.
Medicine Wheel Image above
Medicine wheels are stone structures constructed by certain indigenous peoples of North America for various astronomical, ritual, healing, and teaching purposes.
There are various native words to describe the ancient forms and types of rock alignments. One teaching involves the description of the four directions.
Medicine wheels, or sacred hoops, were constructed by laying stones in a particular pattern on the ground. Most medicine wheels follow the basic pattern of having a center of stone(s), and surrounding that is an outer ring of stones with “spokes”, or lines of rocks radiating from the center.
More recently, hybridized uses of medicine wheels, magic circles, and mandala sacred technology are employed in New Age, Wiccan, Pagan and other spiritual discourses around the World.
Ways of Interpreting Luck
Luck is interpreted* and understood in many different ways. Here are short descriptions of four different interpretations of luck.
Luck as lack of control
Luck refers to that which happens to a person beyond that person’s control. This view incorporates phenomena that are chance happenings, a person’s place of birth for example, but where there is no uncertainty involved, or where the uncertainty is irrelevant.
Luck as a fallacy
One view of Luck holds that “luck is probability taken personally.”
It cannot be shown that luck actually exists, hence Luck is nothing more than a word used by one in a self delusional assumption of understanding events of which one is informed or which one witnesses. As such, it is a word which superstitious people use to simultaneously presume to have insight into events and, paradoxically, to cease efforts to understand the causes and effects of those same events.
Unusual Native American Gifts
“Some folk want their luck buttered.”
~ Thomas Hardy
“Luck is believing you’re lucky.”
~ Tennessee Williams
“For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way. Good health, good luck, and
happiness for today and every day.”
~ Irish Blessings
“Luck has a peculiar habit of favoring those who don’t depend on it”
~ Author unknown
Luck as an essence
There is also a series of spiritual, or supernatural beliefs regarding fortune. These beliefs vary widely from one to another, but most agree that Luck can be influenced through spiritual means by performing certain rituals or by avoiding certain circumstances.
Luck can also be a belief in an organization of fortunate and unfortunate events. Luck is a form of superstition which is interpreted differently by different individuals. Famous Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung, who founded analytical psychology, coined the term “synchronicity”, which he described as “a meaningful coincidence”.
Christianity and Islam believe in the will of a supreme being rather than luck as the primary influence in future events. The degrees of this Divine Providence vary greatly from one person to another; however, most acknowledge providence as at least a partial, if not complete influence on luck. Christianity, in its early development, accommodated many traditional practices which at different times, accepted omens and practiced forms of ritual sacrifice in order to divine the will of their supreme being or to influence divine favoritism. The concept of “Divine Grace” as it is described by believers closely resembles what is referred to as “luck” by others.
Luck as a self-fulfilling prophecy
Some encourage the belief in luck as a false idea, but which may produce positive thinking, and alter one’s responses for the better. Others, like Jean-Paul Sartre and Sigmund Freud, feel a belief in luck has more to do with a locus of control for events in one’s life, and the subsequent escape from personal responsibility.
People who believe in good luck are more optimistic, more satisfied with their lives, and have better moods. If “good” and “bad” events occur at random to everyone, believers in good luck will experience a net gain in their fortunes, and vice versa for believers in bad luck. This is clearly likely to be self-reinforcing.
Questions about Luck
Am I being too negative here?
I’ve always had the worst luck when it comes to women. For some reason, I don’t, quote-unquote, “fall in love” easily. And when I do, the women in question never reciprocate (I have no issue with them, can’t force anything, ha). So, up to now, I’ve never had a girlfriend, even at my age (26). For the most part, it doesn’t bother me, life goes on regardless, just more time to devote to myself.
However, at this point, I sometimes fear I’ll never meet that special someone. I don’t know, maybe I’ve just stopped caring? A large part of me has really grown accustomed to the single life, and I worry that I would be a horrible boyfriend/husband due to always being single and not knowing all the little nuances the go on in relationships.
Am I being too pessimistic here?
Ha, I am not 30 and have not met “the one” yet. Not sure if my advice is worth much but I think if it comes it comes. Be open to it, put yourself out there when you do like someone. Move on when it is not reciprocated.
Like Dean Martin says “there’s somebody for everybody”
What are your superstition for good luck/money?
What do you do to bring good luck or money
Suzi Q answers:
Some say there is no such thing as LUCK! That may or may not be true. I suggest you read some of the articles on this site. Maybe start with something about Bad Luck so if any are true you can at least try to avoid bad luck. That’s one way to attack the problem. Start with this Luck page
Ways to have good luck?10 points?
I need good luck for many reasons, but mostly because i really like this guy and i want him to ask me out, tests and lots of other stuff. Only give good luck ideas and NO superstitions that are like seeing 2 blackbrid because if you see 1 it is bad luck.
Suzi Q answers:
Aside from some of the articles on this site, check out some luck and karma quotes. It can give you some ideas of what others, including successful people, think about getting luck. Here are some good luck quotes.
Pre-exam superstitions? Can you name me things that are good and bad luck?
I’m not a very supersititous person but I’m hoping that by doing some things like praying in Japanese etc will make me feel more confident entering the oral exam.
So what have you heard of that is supposed to be good luck? (or bad luck but preferably good)
for more chance of 10 points please tell me where you heard it from 🙂
– Of course not – It doesn’t matter how hard I revise, I always seem to feel prepared to fail when I go into exams. This is a really important and special exam to me and I just hope by doing this I’ll feel more prepared than ever.
Suzi Q answers:
Here are some things that might help:
Every morning until the exam, wake up, look in the mirror, and make an affirmation “I am confident and capable of passing this exam” (or something like that). Repeat it several times througout the day.
Day of exam– take a few minutes for meditation– or “creative visualization”– relax yourself, then envision yourself taking the exam, being cool and confident, and getting back a passing grade.
Wear orange, or bring an orange pen– orange effects our brains in a way to stimulate cognitive abilities. It will “keep your brain awake” so to speak.
If you can, smell some rosemary before going. Either burn rosemary incense or just take a couple of whiffs from a jar of rosemary on the spice rack. It does the same thing as the color orange does.
Curious about this superstition, is it good luck or bad luck to drop and shatter a piece of glass?
Even if it was by accident?
I just dropped a glass coaster on the kitchen floor and it chipped at two corners. It’s got a few cracks in between the edges and it’s broken at a corner.
I was just wondering if it’s good luck or bad luck?
Is it a good omen or a bad omen?
I feel like an idiot for doing such a stupid, careless thing and I hate having a broken glass coaster.
Yes I know I can buy new anytime, it’s just I feel like a real clumsy idiot for doing this and not sure if it’s good luck or bad luck, a good omen or a bad omen.
Suzi Q answers:
I am not sure, but i think it is bad
i am not even sure if it is any type of luck
i am not superstitious, though.
Most things have a reason for being good or bad luck. For example, if you walk under a latter, it is kind of obvious that someone can drop something on you, fall on you, or the ladder can collapse.
Mirrors used to be very expensive, and would cost a lot to replace if broken.
Salt was expensive too, but i am not sure what throwing it over your shoulder, esp. Your left one, does. Maybe a clumsy person made that up so they wouldn’t always have bad luck. Or maybe it was to scatter the evidence.
I think cats, especially black ones were supposed to be smart and walked away from danger, which is why walking with a black cat is good luck and walking away from one is bad
or it could be that cats have better senses, and can find food.
Anyway, don’t worry about it. If you have the money, then the superstition is pointless.
Is it bad luck to say “good luck” in poker?
I want to get my husband a card guard for his birthday and I can have one side engraved. I don’t know all the superstitions in poker so I was wondering if its bad luck if I put “good luck” on it. I know he thinks its bad luck if we get into a fight right before he goes to play, and he does tell me to wish him luck but I just wanted to make sure.
Suzi Q answers:
There is no industry wide superstition against the phrase “good luck” in the poker world. That is more of a live performance superstition thing. It’s bad luck to say “good luck” to someone before they perform in front of a live audience, which is why they usually say “break a leg”.
If you would normally say “good luck” to your husband before he plays poker, then it’s perfectly acceptable to engrave it on his card protector.
Good luck this this!
What is the date that you should keep your Christmas decorations up for good luck?
I heard, as a superstition, that you should keep your Christmas decorations up until a certain date, and no longer until a certain date so you will have good luck for the next year. Does anybody know the dates?
Suzi Q answers:
I never take mine down before Epiphany (6th January), otherwise known as Twelfth Day. Christmas is not over until then.
In fact, in olden times it used to be customary to keep them up until February.
tell me one thing you think is bad luck and one thing that is good luck in your opinion?
i find myself watching for superstitions alot, what about you? tell me the ones you follow or believe in!
Suzi Q answers:
Here in the Philippines, superstitious thinking is ingrained in our culture. Some of them includes:
1. When your right hand itches – you’ll be lucky with money
2. If a spoon or fork falls from the table, expect company for dinner
3. If the sampaguita blooms in the morning, you’ll be lucky in love
1. Taking a bath on Holy Fridays
2. If a glass shatters, expect bad news
3. When dogs howl, they are seeing spirits of the dead
But you know what? Sometimes, it’s more peacable to think that someone Up There has a grand design, and these little superstitions we have are nothing compared to what He has in store for us.
In which parts of the world is it considered good luck to step on dog poop?
I know one of them is Hawaii because I grew up there and it was a popular superstition. A guy I know from Italy says it is a belief there too. But where else?
Oh, btw, it’s only good luck if you step on it by accident… well you’ve got to be desperate for good luck
if you’re going to step on it on purpose!! 🙂
Suzi Q answers:
And if a dove poop hits you it´s good luck too.
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* exerpts From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia