What Does the Horseshoe Symbol Mean?

horseshoe symbol
Horseshoes were utilized to protect horses' hooves as they continued their everyday business. With time, the symbol gained significant meanings and soon became a symbol of luck. The horseshoe has been a huge part of culture since Roman times. The superstitions date back to when the blacksmiths faced the devil, and the symbol was the moon goddess. Horseshoes are considered to be lucky and have magical powers.

What Are the Origins of the Horseshoe Symbol?

The Horseshoe symbol was believed to be a lucky charm since the Western cowboys were similar to the leprechauns and the four-leaf clover.

Saint Dunstan and the Horseshoe

Several people believe that the origin of the horseshoe symbol is traced back to the ancient legend of Saint Dunstan. He was a statesman, archbishop, reformer, and abbot in England during the 10th century.

The story of Saint Dunstan and the Devil is popular and dates back to the period between (924AD-988AD). The devil appeared in front of Saint Dunstan while working as a blacksmith. He camouflaged as a pretty woman and visited him several times to tempt him. The purpose of the devil was to take him out of the forge. However, the Saint identified the devil.

The next visit of the devil was as an exhausted traveler who asked for a horseshoe. However, he recognized the devil again. The devil was fierce, and he asked the Saint to re-shoe his horse on the third attempt. The Saint saw through the devil and nailed the horseshoe to the feet of the devil.

The devil cried in pain and pleaded with saint Dunstan to remove it. He agreed to pull out only if the devil promised never to enter a place where the door had a horseshoe nailed to it.

Spiritual Meaning of the Horseshoe

Since then, people believed that the lucky horseshoe symbol could keep evil spirits away and bring home good fortune. After the incident, Saint Dunstan became the Archbishop of Canterbury and was an important historical figure. During the middle ages, some people believed that the witches were afraid of horses as they used to wear iron horseshoes.

horseshoe symbol
Horseshoes have held significance since Saint Dunstan in the 10th century.

What is the Horseshoe Symbol Used For?

The horseshoe symbol is believed to signify good luck. Whether to hang it upside-down or upright depends on its purpose. Here are some of the uses of the horseshoe symbol.

  • Provides Protection: With its religious background, and the iron material, the horseshoe symbol is said to protect against demons, witches, and evil spirits. People hang them on a door or wall to keep the devils away.
  • Flows Good Luck: When people hang the horseshoe heel side down, anyone who walks underneath will receive good luck.
  • Attracts Good Charms: If the horseshoe is placed like the shape of ‘U,’ it is said to act as a container that stores all the good luck that rains down from above for the one who placed it.
  • Horseshoe and the Moon: The horseshoe symbol does not symbolize its literal meaning. The Chaldeans of Ancient Europe believed that the horseshoe was considered a good luck charm because of the horseshoe’s crescent shape, which resembles the moon.

One of the interesting parts about horseshoe symbols is that they only work for those who find them. If you borrow, buy, or steal a horseshoe, it may not work as well for those who found it. And the horseshoe works like a charm when someone gifts it to you as a good luck symbol.

What Does the Horseshoe Symbol on a Map Mean?

The horseshoe symbol on maps indicates where horse riding activities are possible. It is a common explorer map symbol.

What Does the Upside-down Horseshoe Symbol Mean?

According to the history of the good luck symbol, the sign has been hung in both ways. However, people believe that the upside-down horseshoe symbol holds a good luck charm. During some belief in the heels down, the ‘n’ shape horseshoe symbol will bring great luck to the people below it.

No matter which side the symbol is hung in the two cases, horseshoes have been recognized as a good luck sign. It’s believed that only the original owner of the symbol will receive luck.

Is it Lucky to Find a Horseshoe?

A horseshoe is a lucky charm for people who find it. Long ago, Western Europeans believed that iron had magical powers. The folklore of the time told several stories of fairies and mystical creatures.

Since the horseshoes are made of iron, they keep evil spirits away. The story of Saint Dustan and the Devil also made people believe that the horseshoe is a lucky charm that protects against evil eyes. However, the charm works best for the one who finds it.

horseshoe symbol
Horseshoes are functional and also serve as a common symbol for good luck.

What Magical Properties are Horseshoes Believed to Have?

The horseshoe is the representation of protection and luck. It’s a lucky charm that deters evil and disaster by combining religion, protection, and luck. Early Christians and Greeks are considered the source of horseshoe beliefs. Iron was thought to keep away bad luck and evil.

The horseshoe crescent shape symbolizes good fortune. Iron can resist fire and be used to make horseshoes. Horseshoes were considered magical. Seven is considered a lucky number, which is why seven nails were used to hang the horseshoe.

What Does ⊃ Mean in Math?

The symbol means is a proper subset of. It’s used in defining a good collection of mathematical objects. A set is a collection of mathematical numbers used to resemble all elements in set A is present in set B. Set A ⊃ Set B.

Looking to learn more about common symbols? Be sure to check out this article on common symbols for loyalty.


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

Recent Posts