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Horseshoe for Luck – Is it Up or Down? [Explained]

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Written by: Tina Caro

Horseshoes for luck are great ways to attract luck and protect yourself, but does it has to be up or down? Let’s see how this ancient symbol can be a great amulet for our homes and for our lives.


The orientation of a horseshoe, whether up or down, is subject to superstition and cultural beliefs.

Hanging it with the open end facing up is believed to collect and hold luck while offering protection.

In contrast, hanging it with the open end facing down is thought to allow luck to flow freely and attract positive energy.

The choice of orientation is a personal matter, and individuals often follow what aligns with their cultural background and intentions for luck and protection.

What is a horseshoe?

The horseshoe began to become a lucky charm when our ancestors realized that its U or oval shape resembled that of the crescent moon. Already in early civilizations, stars and satellites like the Sun or Moon were considered lucky and were thought to make women fertile. This is how the idea spread that horseshoes brought happiness. Horseshoes are the oldest lucky charm in history.

The effects attributed to them range from luck to the dissipation of doubts and even conflicts. Horseshoes are nothing more than pieces of metal, mainly used on horses to reduce the wear of their hooves, whose particularity lies in their U-shape.

CultureHorseshoe Symbolism
Western CultureIn Western culture, the horseshoe is commonly seen as a symbol of good luck and protection.
Chinese CultureIn Chinese culture, the horseshoe is not typically associated with luck but rather with wealth.
Irish CultureIn Irish folklore, the horseshoe is considered a protective talisman that wards off evil spirits.
Table 1: Cultural Beliefs

How do you position a horseshoe to attract luck?

The horseshoe brings different effects depending on the position in which it is placed. Directed downwards, it will bring protection; if it is directed upwards, it will bring luck.

When do I need to put the horseshoe down?

You can put the horseshoe down when you need to protect yourself from something or someone. Basically, if you feel you are under negative attacks, or if someone in your life seems to be a negative influence over you and your life, a horseshoe facing down would be helpful.

You can place it on your door or inside your home, even if the traditional knowledge says the horseshoe should be right there on the front door of your house. Some people even wear horseshoe necklaces and similar jewelry.

Also read:
How to Charge a Talisman for Protection? [Different Methods]
Most Powerful Wiccan Protection Amulets [The A-Z Guide]

When do I need to put the horseshoe up?

You need to put the horseshoe up if you would like it to attract positive energy, wealth, and luck. Let’s suppose you are undergoing a very hard time; maybe you are setting up a project, or maybe it’s time for you to dare for more but you don’t know if you are under a lucky star.

The horseshoe in the upright position is perfect for that because it gathers all the energy and the influences from the universe to grant you what you need in your life!

Horseshoes in western civilization were introduced by the ancient Greeks. Since then, horseshoes have been considered a lucky charm.

But in the tenth century, through the figure of Saint-Dunstan, horseshoes were hung on doors to protect houses.

Also read:
Why is Four Leaf Clover Lucky? [Symbolism Behind It Explained]
How to Find a Good Luck Charm? [The Most Powerful Ones]

Did You Know?

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Personal Interpretations

InterpretationPersonal Beliefs
Energy and IntentionSome individuals believe that the direction of the horseshoe does not matter as much as the energy and intention they put into it.
Individual LuckLuck can be subjective and personal, and some people may have different experiences with horseshoe symbolism.
Cultural InfluencesCultural background and beliefs can shape one’s interpretation of the horseshoe symbol.

The legend of Saint-Dunstan

Dunstan was a blacksmith who, thanks to his faith, became archbishop of Canterbury. But why have horseshoes and not another object made by this blacksmith become so famous? Legend has it that one day the archbishop received a visit from a man who implored him to make horseshoes. These horseshoes were for his feet.

It was then that Dunstan realized that the man was the devil. Saint Dunstan cleverly agreed to satisfy Satan’s request, without telling him that he knew who he was.


But he told him that the only way to put these horseshoes on him was by tying him to the wall. Satan, surprised, accepted. It is at this moment that penance began. Saint Dunstan started nailing the horseshoes in the most painful way possible, so the devil asked for his clemency.

Saint Dunstan and the Devil.

Saint Dunstan took advantage of the devil’s request for mercy to ask him for something in return. So, he asked him not to enter the houses of people who had a horseshoe hanging on the door. Satan, wounded, accepted.

This story quickly spread among the Catholic community. Word of mouth has changed history over time, but the idea of protection, and even luck, has survived.

History of the horseshoe as a lucky charm for non-Christians

As we have already said, the horseshoe was already used as a lucky charm well before the tenth century. As for non-Christians, horseshoes have started to be used to attract luck thanks to the Greeks.

It seems that the Greeks believed that metal was a material that frightened evil. This could be due to the fact that it was used in combat; it was the favorite material for making invincible weapons. Furthermore, its crescent shape reminded people of the moon, inviting them to reflect on the fertility and good luck that it brought according to ancient civilizations.

To all this, we must add the magic number: 7. Coincidentally, 7 nails are needed to nail the horseshoe to a horse’s hooves.

Finally, horseshoes were used as objects to protect people from the magic of witches in the Middle Ages. Indeed, popular wisdom believed that witches rode a broom because they were afraid of horses. Therefore, in Russia, blacksmiths were considered men of white magic. These would have had the power to scare witches.

This legend was so widespread that blacksmiths even began to celebrate weddings and use irons as a symbol of union. Furthermore, anvils have become the only places where rings could be forged, because they received part of the “magic” then transferred to other objects.

The legend of horseshoes is long, ancient, and sometimes confusing; what is certain is that many civilizations, for one reason or another, have considered this object as a lucky charm. What is interesting to note is the same symbolism is found in various peoples, sometimes very distant from each other.

A little horseshoe ritual

If you need your horseshoe to be a magnet for good luck, you can perform this easy little ritual.

Before you hang it on your front door, on a night of the new moon, light up a green candle and meditate on your goal.

Visualize yourself getting the luck you need in your life, feel blessed, and feel how beautiful is to feel lucky and completely satisfied. Then write on a sheet of paper these words:

“May this be my lucky charm
May this guide my lucky star
Be with me and attract the above
I want luck I want to have more”

Place the horseshoe for luck with the points facing up, and then burn the sheet of paper with the flame of the green candle. When the paper is completely gone say, “So be it”.

Leave the horseshoe on your front door and don’t remove it for any reason.

Let the candle burn out or blow it out and save it to perform the ritual on the next new moon, without moving the horseshoe from its position but only performing the ritual with the meditation, the candle, and the sheet of paper.

Horseshoes for luck are incredible to bring some ancient beliefs and old magic into your life with very little effort! Will you give it a try?

Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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