The horseshoe, a four-leaf clover and a rabbit's foot. They all signify good luck. But various cultures have different beliefs about what makes them lucky. Is a horseshoe nailed in a doorway with its prongs upward lucky? Or with its prongs downward lucky? What if it's found or owned? Does it matter if there are nails in it? The luck of the horseshoe is deeply-rooted in the pagan tradition. But what does make a horseshoe lucky?
Determine if the horseshoe belongs to you or if you found it. According to popular beliefs and customs, a horseshoe found by chance bears more luck and has enhanced power compared to a horseshoe that belongs to you.
Count the nails in the horseshoe. As a general rule, it is believed that the degree of luck increases with the number of nails that remain in the horseshoe. The more nails, the more luck.
Note the positioning of the horseshoe. If the horseshoe is hung with its prongs pointing upward, it is believed to be a protector against bad luck or evil intruders. The prongs' upward positioning also indicates that luck cannot spill out. There are several traditions that say the horseshoe placed with the prongs pointing downward helps the luck spill into a home or dwelling. However, many customs conclude that misfortune comes to those residents of such a home bearing a downward pointing horseshoe.
Check for the type of metal the horseshoe is made of. Celtic customs say that an iron horseshoe repels unwanted, otherworldly guests, thus bringing good luck.
Touch it. Ancient customs from all over the world concur that a horseshoe hung in a location where it can be touched bring luck to those making contact with it.