Humans have been superstitious for about as long as we've had the capability of higher thinking. It takes a fair amount of brain power to think you can harness the soul-crushing randomness of life, however futile a feat that may be. Many people have lucky objects that mean a lot to them personally, but throughout different cultures and times there have always been objects almost universally believed to bring good luck.
But how? Why these specific objects? Why in the holy hell did people think everything would work out just fine for them as long as they had a ...
Rabbit feet are popular enough that you can buy them in vending machines, and they even come in a fashionable array of colors, because the severed foot of a dead animal on a keychain should definitely match your outfit.
"Glad my orange right-rear paw goes so well with your purse."
There are a lot of ideas about where the rabbit foot as a talisman originated, but the strongest one in terms of modern rabbit feet is Hoodoo, a spirituality that evolved from African folk magic mixing with Western influence during the slave trade. Like a lot of folk magic, Hoodoo occasionally calls for the use of bones. When practices called for the use of human bones and no one was willing to chop a dude up for his skeleton bits, Hoodoo practitioners would use animal bones as a substitute.
Folklorist Bill Ellis speculates that during a time when America was doing everything in its power to blatantly fuck over black people, many black people may have found courage in the rabbit, which is traditionally a clever character in a lot of African folklore.
White people, in a shocking move that's never happened before or since, appropriated the idea of a rabbit foot as a powerful good-luck charm and began selling them, attaching all sorts of rules to ensure the foot was imbued with evil magic that made them lucky. The "logic" being, if you crammed enough evil into it and carried it with you, evil would ignore you. Like when zombies ignore Rick and the gang on The Walking Dead when they slather themselves in zombie guts.
Wearing human guts is still somehow less horrifying than chopping off a rabbit's foot for luck.
And the more evil, the better. Cutting off the leg while standing on the grave of a particularly evil person on a Friday the 13th is a good start.
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"Lucky" pennies are generally only pennies lying face-up on the ground. But, apparently, there are plenty of people who don't care and pick them all up with reckless abandon.
I understand finding a penny being lucky back when you could pick up enough pennies in a day to go buy yourself a pop or candy buttons or something, but pennies are pretty goddamn useless today. In fact, a bunch of countries have eliminated their penny-equivalents because nobody likes the idiot holding up the checkout line as they fish through their pockets for pennies to make exact change.
A jar of dirty, disgusting, fecal-laced luck.
Despite the fact that all of that makes picking up pennies sound like the unluckiest shit ever, this tradition/superstition dates back to when we thought metal was a gift from the gods. Out of that, all the fun rhymes your great-grandparents invented started showing up: "Find a penny pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck" and "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a penny in your shoe."
The shoe penny is supposed to guarantee prosperity in your marriage. Why anyone would use the most worthless of coins as a good-luck charm is a mystery best explained with a dismissive shoulder shrug.
There doesn't seem to be a completely concrete story about penny luck other than, "It's money, so obviously I'm going to pick it up." However, I did find this website, the Penny Priestess, where a woman answers penny-related questions, posts stories about the Penny God, and seems to know more about pennies than anyone should.