You know we are all about the good vibes here at Jungalow, so we are always seeking to learn more about the history and symbolism of the objects that make us feel happy, healthy, protected, and free! When I traveled to Morocco last year, I took the above pic of a beautiful collection of Hamsas (also called “Hand of Fatima” or “Hand of God”) in the souks there. These hand shaped amulets are common in the Middle East and North Africa and have roots in Islam and Judaism. My mom has worn one around her neck my whole life and so I associate the amulet with my own roots, history and the protection that my mother has always provided for me. The hamsa represents different things to different people, but in my family it has always symbolized peace, prosperity and protection. Another common symbol from the same region is the evil eye. It feels like a bit of a misnomer because it is actually thought to ward OFF the evil eye – so some refer to it as the “all seeing eye.” Sometimes you get a twofer – a hamsa with an all seeing eye in the center (those are my favorites)!
In different pockets of the world, different objects and animals are thought to bring prosperity. In Feng Shui, elephants are a symbol for good luck, protection and fortune. I’ve spoken to a handful of Feng Shui practitioners who suggest that the elephant can symbolize different things depending on the direction of the trunk so you may wanna do a little research or follow your intuition when bringing an elephant statue into your home. In different parts of the world animals like frogs and crickets can also be bearers of good vibes. When I lived in Switzerland in my teens I remember being delighted to learn that in Swiss culture the ladybug is good luck, and when I lived in Italy, I noticed a lot of folks had charms of little horns, called the Cornicello, hanging off key chains or purses, and they are meant to protect much like the hamsa. In Chinese tradition, images of frogs were found on the drums used to summon thunder and much need rain. And since rain (or water) sustains all life, and frogs are usually found near water, they can represent prosperity. The Japanese word for frog is “kaeru” which means “return” so travelers may bring a frog amulet with them on their journey with the belief that it will help them have a safe return home.
Other items thought to bring good fortune are cowry shells. In certain African regions, cowries were said to be associated with fertility and good luck.
I believe that it us, humans, who bestow these powers upon objects — and not that the objects themselves hold the power — but I also believe that when you feel that something brings positive energy and protection into your life that it actually can. Know what I mean?
Are there certain objects or symbols that bring good vibes into your life or your home–be it a part of your culture, family history or simply personal (like I have two terracotta figurines from Mali that I feel bring good vibes into my life).
We gathered up some of our favorite items you can use to adorn your home or yourself with good luck feels on our partner site, Chairish. Check them out and let us know what some of your favorite good vibes symbols are!