There are dozens of myths, legends and charms among the various cultures around the world. The lucky rabbit’s foot is just one of these. But to get to the earliest roots of the rabbit’s foot we have to go back more than a thousand years – to a couple of different places.
History shows that the rabbit was a symbol of luck in Africa, in North America and in Europe, especially among the Celts. It seems that some people not only used images of rabbits for good luck but also began to use parts of the rabbit that could be carried with them. The foot became one of the most popular good luck pieces over the centuries.
Many of the religions around the world were based on honoring images of various things, but also honoring real animals, plants and other natural formations. People believed that these things, living and non-living, contained spirits that could provide power to the person practicing the religion. Even when major religions became widespread and developed their own images and beliefs, individuals held onto many of the traditional myths and superstitions.
Rabbits were thought to have a special power that allowed them to live in the ground. Apparently this power was associated with certain legendary figures and with fairies in some countries. Keeping images of, or parts of, rabbits was thought to give people some of this power and protect them from danger and evil.
In some countries, the rabbit had a slightly different power. Some populations felt the rabbit was a sure sign of good fortune. A person keeping a rabbit or even a rabbit’s foot was thought to be a candidate for good health, wealth and happiness in the future. In a few countries people believed that the rabbit’s foot would help with sexual energy and fertility.
In the last 100 years or so, the rabbit’s foot has come to be a symbol of general good luck. Some people carry a rabbit’s foot for good luck in their everyday lives, not focusing a particular area like crops, weather, evil etc. The rabbit’s foot is even thought to be a good luck charm for people who travel around the globe or hunt wild animals, especially large game. The reason for this is shrouded in mystery and may only be explained by the individuals themselves.
However, others see the rabbit’s foot as a way to wealth. Gamblers often have lucky symbols, coins, clothes and so on. People sometimes insist that a particular foot from a certain rabbit is the only way to ensure good luck. A hind foot from a rabbit found in a cemetery is thought to be the most powerful symbol.
People sometimes associate other symbolic items with the rabbit’s foot. A few myths and legends say that a rabbit found on a particular date or a rabbit killed with a silver bullet is sure to bring good luck. A few may still carry a rabbit’s foot, though the tradition has become less popular over the years.