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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Horseshoe

DEFINITIONS

Horseshoe: A “U”-shaped object, traditionally made of iron, attached to the hooves of horses to prevent the hooves from wearing away due to the added weight of carrying people and things. The horseshoe has been a symbol of good luck for centuries. Originally a representation of the Goddess and Her genitalia, Pagans would hang them over doors with the open end pointed down so that the blessings of the Goddess would pour upon them. Later, Christians attributed the good luck to the actions of Saint Dunstan, a blacksmith who became the Archbishop of Canterbury in 959 c.e. According to legend, he was able to nail a horseshoe to the Devil’s hoof. Only after the Devil promised not to enter a place where a horseshoe was over the door did Dunstan free him. (This is a curious myth. Why did Dunstan free him at all?) It was at this time that the direction of the horseshoe began to change so that the open end was pointing up. This reversed the Pagan method of display and, it was said, prevented the luck from running out at the bottom.


ARTICLES

Review of Legend: The Arthurian Tarot
Summary: If you are a collector, either of fine artwork or of Tarot decks, this is an excellent addition. If you are fascinated by the Arthurian myths but don’t know too much about them, this deck, combined with the book included in the set, ...
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Norse Gods & Goddesses
Partial List of the Norse Gods, Goddesses & Other Supernatural Beings Their Lore, Powers & Influence The Names of the deities are in the old Norse language while the Rune names are in German. (Note: Many of the correspondences given in ...
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True health is more than a lack of disease or pain. Emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being all contribute to our overall experience of good health and positive satisfaction with ourselves and life. The new and evolving paradigm of health includes empowered self-awareness and active participation in our everyday, health-related choices. We are... read this article
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