The four-leaf clover, or shamrock, is thought of as a good luck charm in part because of its rarity in nature. It is estimated that the chances of finding a four-leaf clover are one in 10,000. The origin of the superstition dates back as far as the biblical story of Adam and Eve. It is believed that when Eve was cast out of the Garden of Eden, she took a four-leaf clover with her to remind her of the lushness of paradise. Since then, it has become a symbol of good luck and good fortune.
According to Irish beliefs, the superstition stems from Druid priests who used the shamrock for healing the sick, in worship rituals and to ward off evil. Prior to this, St. Patrick had found the three-leaf clover to be an extraordinary plant. In ancient Egypt, when a couple got married it was traditional to give them a four-leaf clover which was a blessing of their union and a representation of their undying love for one another.
Some of the beliefs surrounding the power of the four-leaf clover include the following:
1. Each of the four leaves on this lucky charm has a specific meaning — faith, hope, love and luck.
2. Both children and adults would hang the four-leaf clover at home to ward off evil, witchcraft and bad omens.
3. A person who finds a four-leaf clover will meet a future lover on that same day. Some people even go so far as to put the four-leaf clover in their shoe.
4. Anyone who possesses a four-leaf clover will have good fortune in any ventures they attempt.
5. The four-leaf clover is a charm that protects against evil.
6. Anyone wearing a four-leaf clover will be able to see fairies.
7. One belief states that you will only have good luck if the four-leaf clover is kept out of sight and never passed to someone else. Another one states that if you give the four-leaf clover to someone else, your luck will double.
So, always be on the lookout for a four-leaf clover because you can never have enough good luck!
To find out about other superstitions, visit the Superstition Room.