Horseshoes on door
It seems that in many parts of the world, even with all our diverse cultures and beliefs, the act of hanging a protective charm on our doors to bring luck or keep evil spirits out of our homes is widely practiced.
Possibly the most famous of these charms is the horseshoe. Believed to repel witches from entering your house, as well as to bring good luck to all who pass, the horseshoe must be hung above your front door and may either be nailed facing up or down. This belief originated from 16th century English folklore and horseshoes continues to greet visitors to homes around the world.
2. The Ba Gua mirror
Ba Gua mirror above door
The Ba Gua mirror, which originated in China, is a popular symbol in Feng shui. By placing one above the entrance to your main door, you are welcoming harmony and creating good fortune for all those that enter.
Aside from welcoming harmony into your house and creating good fortune, the Ba Gua mirror is also a charm to counteract negative Qi of a spiritual nature, such as evil entities - so they may not enter your home.
Palaspas held by people waiting for it to be blessed
In the Philippines, there is the Palaspas, a bunch of decorative palm fronds sold during Palm Sunday, which marks the start of the Holy week. These are blessed by the Catholic priest and hung over the door. They are believed to be a talisman to ward off evil.
4. Wind chimes
Wind chimes are believed to scare away the bad spirits. Plus, they sound lovely!
Modern wind chimes have their origins in Indian wind bells, which were later introduced to China, where they were eventually used to protect homes. Japanese glass wind bells known as Fūrin are thought to bring good luck too.
According to Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), the mezuzah denies evil and destructive agents access to the house, and those who put up a mezuzah are protected all the time.
A mezuzah is a piece of parchment containing Hebrew verses and a prayer, and this is rolled up, housed into a beautiful case and affixed diagonally unto the doorpost.
The nazar, also known as the evil-eye stone, is a Greek/Turkish amulet used for warding off the "evil-eye", known in Mediterranean cultures as "Mal de ojo".
Usually made of colored glass, the nazar will protect your home from bad luck.
In some Celtic beliefs, a cross made from the branches of the rowan tree and bound with red thread was used as a protective charm above the doors of houses. As stated in the old rhyme: "Rowan tree, red thread, holds the witches all in dread."
Looking at a lot of ofuda
Protecting the family from disease is the power of the ofuda, a talisman which originated from Japan and the Shinto belief. This is typically decorated paper, wood, cloth or metal which is attached to the door.
Arrowheads over your front door are believed to prevent burglars from getting into your home.
For those looking for love, a wishbone nailed over your front door during New Year's Day will bring a new lover into your life, but you'll have to chant “Lover, come hither!” three times first!
11. Cinnamon sticks
A more everyday object such as cinnamon sticks tied over the door will also protect your home. Long ago, this was used by Egyptians to make an area holy, and by the Chinese to purify temples.
12. Bamboo flutes
Shakuhachi bamboo flutes
Another Feng Shui belief to secure your house from any bad vibes is to hang a bamboo flute - mouthpiece up - over the front door. The flutes are also a symbol of strength and support.
The Mahakala is regarded in Tibetian Buddhism as the protector of the Dharma. Represented in many different forms, the Mahakala can have one face with one, two or six arms, or have eight faces with 16 arms. He is the defender of law and is thus placed at the entrance door of Buddhist shrines.
14. Rosemary wreath
A wreath made of fresh rosemary tied with a green thread will also protect your home. As an added protection, insert these flowers: snapdragons, cyclamen, garlic flowers, marigolds, carnations or roses in intervals of three, seven or nine. Hang it on your door and even enjoy the fragrance!
15. 6 Emperors' Coin Ruler
Want to boast of your wealth? Hang a 6 Emperors' Coin Ruler above your front door to symbolize success in your business or home.
A Hamsa, or the Hand of Fatima, is a palm shaped amulet with an eye symbol in the middle.
In Arabic and Berber culture, the hamsa is believed to ward off the evil eye.
The hamsa may be hung on your door or wall, and mostly nowadays it has become a popular charm for your necklace.
17. Door Gods
Now... the door gods! This is a Chinese decorative cloth placed on each side of an entrance to a temple, home or business that is believed to keep evil spirits from entering. They always come in pairs and should be placed facing each other. The door gods are actually portraits of two generals, Qin Shubao and Yuchi Jingde, who lived during the time of Emperor Tang Taizong.
The Emperor honoured the two generals, Qin Shubao and Yuchi Jingde, by placing their images on his front door. These ever-vigilant generals are also thought to attract good luck and fend off evil spirits.
And then there is the garlic. This may well be the most common protection hung on doors in many different parts of the world, for protection against a mythical creature known in even the most remote locations on the planet: the vampire. Garlic repels vampires; everybody knows that!
Garlic on door
Since the mighty garlic is found anywhere at any time, it is by far the easiest charm you can find. So hang some now on your front door, unless of course... you prefer to let the vamps in!