Thursday, April 23, 2015

Do Rabbit’s Feet Really Bring Good Luck?


Interesting question so let’s start at the beginning to answer it correctly. The ancient Chinese believed the human foot was important because they saw every organ in the human body had a pathway or a “meridian’ to the foot. Consequently people today who practice alternative medicine still believe our feet provide access to all of our body’s internal organs – think acupuncture. 

Scientist believe there are approximately 7000 nerve endings in every human’s foot - so many nerve endings in fact that main stream doctors sometimes recommend patients walk barefoot whenever possible when on grass or in sand to help stimulate the nervous system and generate better health throughout the body.

Now with all that said are rabbit’s feet really lucky? As the owner of a large Rabbit Ranch we see thousands of rabbit feet each year and to tell you the truth I am not sure if they bring good luck or not. In fact, most “expert’s" I know can’t agree if they do. 

For many the luck of a rabbit's foot is just an old superstition. The reality however is the rabbit's foot is the most common good-luck charm around the world. A distant second is the shamrock (4 leaf clover) followed by soft piece of bark from a eucalyptus tree in third place.

Now the origin of the rabbit's foot providing good luck goes back to 6 BC; though there is no connection between the luck a rabbit’s foot with any scriptural references many European Christians associate the rabbit’s foot with Eastre the goddess of fertility (the goddess today that many associate with Easter). 

True believers say you only get the benefits of good luck if you carry a rabbit’s foot in your right front pocket. Others say it must be kept secure in the glove box of your car while you travel and still others say it should be tucked away in a purse or handbag not hanging from a key chain.

Someday try this fun experiment – it’s easy. The next time you watch an awards program on TV like the Oscars - the Emmy’s, the Golden Globe Awards, the Grammy Awards etc. quietly count the number of actors, actresses, directors, producers, songwriters, artists etc. who are holding a rabbit's foot in their hand.  Pay attention to see how they gently rub their rabbi's foot as the nominations are called out. 

It’s amazing how many people who held a rabbit’s foot actually won awards: Earl Flynn, Meryl Streep, Henry Fonda, Loretta Young, William Holden, Betty Davis, Burt Lancaster, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, Robert De Niro, Gina Davis, Al Pacino, Kate Winslow, Michael Douglas, Ben Affleck, Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, Kathryn Hepburn, Tom Hanks, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg just a few you might want to consider? Did they deserve their awards? You bet! Did the rabbit’s foot help? I really don’t know.

Now if you are not in to watching award shows here’s another exercise you can try. Observe the number of NFL and college coaches who hold rabbit’s feet during title games or super bowl events; or watch the coaches and managers in the NBA or MLB as well as NASCAR pit crews and PGA caddies.

Personally, I was amazed to learn Michele Obama clutched a rabbit’s foot during both of President Obama’s Presidential debates. Was it a just a coincidence? It could be! I just don’t know.

Also look at old hand painted portraits of Christopher Columbus, Admiral Byrd, Captain Cook and even Captain Morgan (that’s right the Caribbean pirate who after he retired from high seas began to distill spiced rum.) Look closely at their belts, sashes and boots - see the small rabbit’s foot dangling? Did they carry or wear them for luck?  I don't know.

All I can say is people around the world think rabbit’s feet are lucky. You have to decide for yourself.

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