In feng shui, we work with the flow of qi, or energy, in a home to create a supportive environment for the home’s inhabitants. Sometimes, this involves placing auspicious symbols near the front door of a home to invite good fortune.
While horseshoes are not necessarily a traditional feng shui symbol, they are a symbol of good luck in other cultures. And yes, it is absolutely possible to use items from different cultures in conjunction with feng shui to improve the energy of your home. This is especially true if the symbol is part of your background and resonates with you.
Horseshoes and the Five Elements
Horseshoes are objects that are made of metal, which is one of the five elements that feng shui practitioners work with. In feng shui, metal symbolizes communication, joy, beauty, and precision. If you would like to invite any of these metal element qualities into your home and life, it could be beneficial to incorporate the metal element in the decor of your home’s entrance. This could look like painting your door white or adding plants with white flowers, since white represents metal. It could also look like placing a metal item on or near your front door, like a metal door knocker, planter, or horseshoe.
Additionally, each of the five elements supports and feeds another, and the metal element supports water. Water is connected to wisdom, intuition, fluidity, and social connections. It can also represent cash flow. Adding the metal element can be a way to increase these things in your life, so a metal horseshoe may also be helpful if you want to work on strengthening your social network, your connection to your intuition, or your relationship to prosperity and wealth.
Why Are Horseshoes Good Luck?
The relationship between horseshoes and good luck has a few possible origins. It may be because they are made of iron, which in western Europe was believed to have the power to ward off evil forces. Placing an item made from iron above the door, then, could help discourage fairies or witches with bad intentions from entering a home. In addition, horseshoes have seven holes, which is considered a lucky number in some cultures.
There is also an Irish legend about Saint Dunstan, a blacksmith who nailed a hot horseshoe to one of the devil’s hooves, causing so much pain to the devil that afterwards he would never enter a home with a horseshoe hung above the door.
The Front Door and Feng Shui
In feng shui, the front door is the main way that qi, or energy, enters your home. A front door that is thoughtfully designed and well cared for can help invite positive qi and opportunities for the people living in a home. It’s important to create a strong foundation for your home’s entryway by making sure the area is clean, inviting, uncluttered, and fully functional. Clean your front door often, and fix any issues like creaky hinges or wobbly doorknobs as they arise. It’s also beneficial for the front door to be able to open fully, so if you have any items behind the door that are preventing this, it’s best to remove them.
Once you’ve gotten the more mundane aspects of your front door taken care of, you can start to incorporate other elements that are meaningful to you. In feng shui, we frequently use talismans to create change for the homeowner. Often, the significance of these talismans comes from folklore and has been passed down for many generations. If the horseshoe resonates with you as a symbol, or if it is significant in your culture or where you currently live, it can be a positive and meaningful feng shui adjustment in your home. If a horseshoe doesn’t resonate with you, choose another symbol that represents good luck, prosperity, or protection to you.
How to Hang a Horseshoe for Good Luck
There is some disagreement about the luckiest way to hang a horseshoe above a door. Some people say that the open end should point up, in order to collect good luck in its curve. Others believe that the open end should point down, to allow good luck to fall onto the people entering the home. It’s often hung outside the front door on the exterior of a home, but some people choose to hang it inside the entryway instead. Because there are many different options, trust your intuition and go with what feels correct to you.