Since ancient times, a rabbit’s foot has been considered lucky. As early as 7th century BC, the rabbit was considered a talismanic symbol in Celtic Europe and if Africa. Their foot was treated as the “handy” means to benefit from the rabbit’s luck. But in order to understand why this belief became rampant, it is important to look into the religions at the time.
Many of the people who believe that the rabbit foot was lucky base their conviction on the religion called animalism. This religion believed that spirits lived in plants, animals, rocks, and water. They believed that spirits once inhabited all objects that had once lived and each had its own power. Animalism religious practices were practiced in Europe, Africa, in North America, and South America.
These traditions did not stop even with the onset of prominent religions such as Christianity and Islam. Even the strongly Catholic region of Ireland during the Middle Ages held on to their superstitious beliefs. As Christianity spread throughout Europe though, the old Celtic beliefs were linked to hell. Rabbits were believed to have protective capabilities necessary for residing underground. Because of this, the rabbit’s foot was used as protection against evil spirits. Today, it is still being used.
Meanwhile, other ancient civilizations also associated the rabbit’s foot with some types of luck. For example, the Chinese considers it as a sign of prosperity. In some culture, the rabbit’s foot is also known to improve reproduction because rabbits are popular for its proclivity. Women from numerous cultures carry the rabbit’s foot to enhance their sexuality and get pregnant. In general, sexuality was associated with fertility, fertile crops, abundance, and good weather.
Tracing the exact origin of this superstitious belief can be difficult. Rabbit’s foot is considered lucky by some gamblers. Avid travelers carry them because they believe it will ensure safety while some actors believe that it will give them good reviews. Even hunters carry rabbit’s foot when they go hunting. In all these cases, rabbit’s foot is used for luck in various situations where the result is unsure.
Certain traditions don’t just take any rabbit’s foot. They choose specifically the cross-eyed rabbits that live near cemeteries or graveyards. Meanwhile, some only shoot the rabbit during full moon with a silver bullet. In addition, only the left hind of the rabbit is considered lucky by many civilizations.