Iron and fire were considered extremely powerful. The blacksmith who created such a prodigious item was also considered to be very auspicious and was well respected. It was told it was the power and the magic of the horseshoe that ensured the horse never felt any discomfort. Naturally they wanted this power for themselves. Some said it was the iron that made the horseshoe auspicious.
An old superstition said that if you found an old horseshoe or a piece of old iron you should instantly spit on it, then throw it over your left shoulder making a wish at the same time. You needed to keep your wish a secret in order for it to come true in due time. It is claimed it resembles the crescent moon and the magical powers go as far back as Ancient Egypt.
This is only a theory and those who do not agree argue that if that is the case why was the horseshoe never pictured sideways? Speaking of hanging the horseshoe sideways; this has been the case in some Christian communities.
They have created their own symbolism. Some say the horseshoe represents the heavens and also the roof of the home. It represents both the spiritual and material needs of humans.
Many believe the origin of the lucky horseshoe can be traced back to an old legend about Saint Dunstan. Saint Dunstan is the patron saint of blacksmiths, goldsmiths, jewelers, locksmiths, musicians and the blind.click
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He was a reformer, statesman, abbot, and archbishop of the tenth century in England. The feast day of Saint Dunstan is May 19 th. There are several very old legends about Saint Dunstan and the Devil.
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Most stories tell the tale of how Saint Dunstan constantly was tempted to do wrong by the Devil disguised as a beautiful woman. Saint Dunstan was a brilliant blacksmith. One story refers to his exceptional talent as a blacksmith. The Devil was hard at work trying to win Saint Dunstan over. Saint Dunstan pretended to agree on taking on this task.
The devil stood close by to make sure Saint Dunstan was true to his word.
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The devil screamed as the pain was horrific. The Devil in extreme agony begged Saint Dunstan to remove the horseshoe. The Devil agreed instantly. When migrating Celtic tribes began invading the lands around BC, the fairies hid in forests and camouflaged themselves by wearing green much like today's leprechauns.
The new settlers told stories about the mysterious, magical "little people" living in the woods, who were also referred to as elves and goblins. The goblins were accused of causing many misfortunes among the settlers, from casting spells to prevent cows from giving milk and chickens from laying eggs to causing infertility in couples. Legends also told of babies kidnapped by the fairies.
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It was believed that the primitive goblins feared the metal weapons of their enemies, and were therefore afraid of iron. To ward off goblins and evil spirits from their homes, the people hung iron horseshoes over their front doors. Dossey states in his book, "Holiday Folklore, Phobias, and Fun.
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