Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by H. Byron Ballard, author of the new Roots, Branches & Spirits.

In the interlocking circles of folk magic, we often talk about luck in ways that the larger culture mostly misses. “Good luck” seems like an old-fashioned and unscientific thing that is the child of superstition and ignorance. But having good luck puts you in the right place at the right time, and merely thinking of yourself as a lucky person can go a long way towards boosting confidence and shifting our personal energy.

Most of us can think of things that seem unlucky, even if we also dismiss it as superstition. Walking under an open ladder, opening an umbrella inside, a black cat crossing our path—that sort of thing. In my family, my grandmother was the keeper of the family witchery, and her pet superstitions are ingrained on my soul. Never put shoes on a table or a hat on the bed. And white cats crossing her path were a concern but black cats were considered lucky.

Four-leaf clover-finding is another one of my unmarketable skills. The first time I visited the festival site at Wisteria, I spent much of my time looking down, then bending over and handing off a special clover to whoever was closest. Every time I revisit that sweet and magical land (it is reclaimed strip-mined acreage in Ohio and the healing energy is palpable), I do my best to keep my eyes on all the beautiful people and trees and not gather so many of those lucky little fellers.

What I have learned, funnily enough, is that the luckiest people I talk to are people who proclaim their good luck. They may have a lucky talisman they carry or they may claim it’s because they are descendants of Irish immigrants. Whatever the reason, these folks walk through the world understanding that the best will come to them and being grateful when it shows up. And if something distinctly “unlucky” happens to them, they tend to see how much worse it could have been and, once again, thank their “lucky stars.”

I challenge you to find your own talisman in the next few days and to proclaim yourself “lucky.” You may find a shiny penny on the sidewalk—see a penny, pick it up. All that day, you’ll have good luck. Or tape that clover I gave you at Wisteria onto a bit of heavy paper and tuck it in your wallet. Lucky. See how your new-found luck affects your attitude and then pass it on.

But avoid that lucky rabbit’s foot—there are much kinder talismans to carry.

Our thanks to Byron for her guest post! For more from H. Byron Ballard, read her article “4 Things We Need for a Happy New Year.”

Written by Anna
Anna is the Senior Consumer & Online Marketing Specialist, responsible for Llewellyn's New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit, the Llewellyn Journal, Llewellyn's monthly email newsletters, and more. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading an absurd number of books; doing crossword puzzles; watching ...