Meaning of Animals
As Good Luck Symbols
If none of the good luck symbols I've provided on my other pages appeal to you, perhaps this page on lucky animals might strike a chord.
Certain animals have lucky connotations in various cultures. Most attributions of luck originate from our ancestors observing animals in the wild. Resourcefulness, cleverness, the ability to escape harm...all of these would answer the question "what makes an animal lucky?"
Of course, humans are natural-born story tellers, and animals as good luck symbols often gain their reputations from oral traditions.
This page offers a few lucky animal signs that might get your mojo moving in happier, luckier channels.
It's a Chinese good luck symbol. In China, the bat symbolizes long, happy life. The word for bat in China is "fu" which is a homonym of "good luck." The Chinese will wear bat amulets or pendants as a protection against poor luck, and a sign to welcome joy and good fortune into their lives. I've seen greeting cards from China with two bats. The sender of the card is wishing wellness, health and wealth to the recipient. See more Chinese symbols here. You can also see more on bat symbolism here.
Perhaps because it could feed an entire village, the bear was considered extremely lucky by small North American Native Indian tribes, ancient Siberian clans, and ancient migrants around Alaska. The bear was thought to have supernatural powers because of its miraculous ability to sustain itself (and its large mass, plus give birth) during the long winter months by hibernating. In Scandinavian lore, the bear is an incarnation of the god Odin. See more about bear symbolism here. You can also view thoughts about the Native North American Indian bear here. I've written more thoughts on my Bear Tattoo Symbolism page too.
The Egyptian scarab specifically represents luck in the form of solar power. The sun was a big deal to ancient Egyptians, with the ability to yield bumper crops, or bear down so brightly as to blight growth entirely. Scarabs utilize the power of the sun by rolling up their eggs in mud or dung. The hot sun bakes the little mud balls - essentially incubating their eggs. Pretty resourceful way to hatch babies. And so, not only is the scarab lucky because of its own ingenuity, it's also symbolic of rebirthing into a new dawn of life. See also insect totems.
We see loads of engravings, jewelry and adornments of bulls in Greek, Egyptian, East Indian and Celtic cultures. The bull is among good luck symbols because it embodies attributes of virility, strength and good health. To the ancient mind, the bull was a provider (of power or sustenance). The Greeks recognized the bull as good luck in matters of love and fertility. By wearing the bull as a pendant or brooch, the Greeks harnessed the libido of the bull, and believed they would be blessed with large families as well as successful agricultural endeavors. You might also like my page on cow symbolism here.
On a warm, calm night cricket song is lulling, and augers a sense of comfort and companionship. The Chinese recognized this kind of harmony in the cricket and considered it a good luck symbol along with many other cultures. Its luck comes into play in matters of protection. Crickets are as good as guard dogs. When company comes, cricket song stops - thus alerting attention to potential intruders. Cricket amulets are found in ancient cultures of Europe and the middle east as good luck symbols, protective icons and also representations of rebirth (presumably from the crickets metamorphosis process). You might also be interested in my page on the grasshopper here.
Known for its endurance, grace, and long life, the deer is another Chinese symbol for luck and longevity. The word for deer in Chinese is lu a homonym of the word income. Consequently, the the deer represents a prosperous, long life. In Chinese art the deer is depicted with court officials; it is said that this signifies a wish for fame, recognition and a long, successful career. Find more symbolic deer meanings here.
In the Rigveda, a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns, the elephant is described as the only animal who has a hand. I like that because it talks to me about giving and receiving, and might be an initial answer for why the elephant is a symbol of good luck, fortune and wealth to India. Another reason is that elephants were owned by only the wealthiest families of India. It was a status symbol. I suppose it would equate to a materialistic impression of a Bugatti Veyron - an insanely expensive, exclusive car only elitists own. Note: If you're going to wear the elephant as an emblem for luck in business, superstition merits the trunk of your elephant be worn upright .
In many ancient cultures, the frog is associated with rain. Why is that good luck? Because successful agriculture depends on rain to make crops grow. And so, the frog is among the list of good luck symbols. It's also a lucky symbol in matters of fertility, transformation and travel. Have you ever wondered why certain fasteners on Chinese influenced jackets are called frogs? It's because these fasteners were replaced with what was originally embroidered frogs on clothing to represent good luck and success. I've written more on the lucky frog here.
The gold fish brings good luck in the form of tranquility, wisdom and long life. It is one among the eight sacred symbols of the Buddha where they represent fertility, abundance and harmony with the flow of life. Ancient Greeks believed goldfish enhanced good luck in marriage and relationships. In ancient Egypt goldfish were kept in the house as a lucky omen for the family and helped cheer up domestic situations. See my page on the symbolism of fish here. The goldfish is a member of the carp family, so you might also be interested in my page about the symbolic meaning of koi here.
If you consider the horse has contributed to the civilization of ancient man, then the horse is a natural among the list of good luck symbols. Many a battle has been won with the aid of a horse. Many a kingdom built by the power of the horse too. It's no wonder countless cultures deem it lucky. The horse is also symbol of power, will, beauty and industry. I've written more about the symbolism of the horse here.
Because they are primarily nocturnal, many of our ancestors felt the lizard was good luck in protection from the unseen things in life. This also makes the lizard a lucky symbol for vision (both physical and psychic). Lizards are extremely cautious too, and when our forefathers/mothers saw a lizard scurrying by, it was a sign they might want to scurry along too because lizards were likely escaping predators (like snakes). I've written some thoughts about lizards in dreams here.
Doesn't seem a likely animal for good luck symbols, does it. Nevertheless, the Chinese and Irish both craft lucky charms from the images of pigs. Chinese lore indicates a pig brings good luck for businesses. As far as lucky pigs in Ireland, we can look to Celtic legend in which Manannan had a nifty herd of regenerating pigs. The herd never diminished, and there is a legend they even healed themselves too. This might be why an Irish icon of a pig isn't lucky unless it's missing a bit (like an ear or a leg) - perhaps harkening back to Manannan's self-generating pig herd. I've written more about the pig on my blog post here
I'm not even going to touch the rabbit's foot thing. However, rabbits are lucky. They're considered extremely auspicious in matters of childbirth and fertility. Ever wondered about the Easter bunny? It's a throwback from fertility rites in which Eostre, a hare-headed goddess derived from ancient Saxon people would hail the blessed beginning of spring. If you'd just endured months of barren winter (maybe even facing starvation) the sign of the rabbit (and the coming of spring) was lucky indeed. Our stargazing ancestors recognized faint silhouettes of hares hopping around in the moon, and I have written a page about lunar symbolism here. Find out more about symbolic rabbit meanings here.
I'm going to get derision about this one, I just know it. I realize not everybody is a fan of spiders (I happen to love them), but you can't deny spiders are good luck symbols to many cultures. In fact, spiders are attributed to saving the life of Christ as an infant. Apparently, the Holy Family needed a hideout to elude Herod. They hid in a cave, and spiders wove a thick web at the entrance of the cave making it appear abandoned (and icky) so Herod avoided looking for the Christ child in the cave altogether. Superstition insists it's unlucky to kill a spider. A friend of mine (yes, Bucky) says "if you want to live another day, let a spider go her way." And (you guessed it) I've written a page about the symbolism of the spider here.
I hope you have enjoyed this page on good luck symbols by way of animals as much as I enjoyed writing it. Be sure to check out the links at the end of this page for other animal meanings, good luck symbols and more. Thanks for reading!
Photo Credit: Special thanks to David J. Crotty for the use of his rabbit picture at the top of this page.
An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings
Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.
This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."
Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)
As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!