Some of us will recall a TV commercial for a heavily sugared breakfast cereal named Lucky Charms, declared to be ‘indescribably delicious’. Well, their consumption, no doubt, has been beneficial over time to the dentists whose clients have overindulged in such candied cereals when younger.
The more general concept of lucky charms, also known as talismans, has been widespread for ages. I can remember as a youth having a yellow rabbit’s foot. For many years they were quite a popular, inexpensive trinket to carry around. (If they were real, perhaps the afflicted rabbits lived in abodes for damaged fauna, along with frogs in wheelchairs.)
In an article on the subject in the April edition of Toastmaster magazine, talismans are divided into two foundation types: rituals and objects.
Illustrating the first of these, there’s the story of one member of a Toastmasters club in India, who gazes into her own reflection in a mirror for confidence in speaking; she “calls her deep gaze routine her talisman – a ritual to empowerment”. For many others, relaxation and breathing exercises done intently can also serve the purpose.
Object types stem from the concept of being “items believed to protect against evil forces”; they can also focus on the purpose of being lucky charms.
In Eurasian countries, the Evil Eye Amulet not only looks to ward off harmful effects of exposure to an Evil Eye, but also to bring happiness. In Native American lore, there are dreamcatchers. Individuals, of course, can and do produce their own material versions of talismans. A Distinguished Toastmaster in the U.S. created a personal logo involving the heart, which she believes inspires confidence and connecting; she has turned this into a side business of logo-adorned jewelry (which she wears herself at important events) and t-shirts.
While it would seem almost anything could become a talisman, it is uncertain how auspicious some charms or rituals may be…
- Painting red spots around one’s eyes does not ensure immunity if arrested for drunk and disorderly behaviour
- Squeezing soft toilet tissue for relaxation is unlikely to be encouraged in a public wash room
- When preparing an effective amulet, if crystals aren’t available, one can try energy-efficient LED bulbs
- Ice cubes with subliminal messages may cause drinkers to float some unintended proposals
- A lucky hat is worn most successfully by someone who brims with confidence
- Carrying a favourite medallion will be less effective when dealing with a magnetic personality
- Wearing a lucky tie is more impressive when combined with wearing socks
- A chain holding extracted wisdom teeth can help provide inspiration to compose biting satire
Remember, a lucky break isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be!