Maybe it’s just the smell of Spring in the air, or the time spent with family during the Spring holidays, but we’ve been thinking about the idea of “fortune” this week.
We use the word “fortune” the way we use the word “luck”—we have both good and bad “fortune” and “luck”.
From fortune-tellers and fortune-cookies, human beings have always been obsessed with this idea of “fortune”. In this sense, “fortune” is used in the context divining the future. In our more suggestible moments, we look to a Magic 8-Ball, or read the patterns of swirled coffee-grounds and tea-leaves, cards, creases in the palms of the hand, cowrie shells, and a thousand other “methods” for telling us what will happen next. And hoping for the best.
We may also use the word to mean a large sum of money– “I spent a fortune on that dress”. Using the word “fortune” to mean material wealth suggests that we got rich by being lucky.
We may in fact plan, strategize, invest, scrimp, save and work very hard to collect our cash and goods. But they can vanish in the wink of an eye, i.e., a bad divorce-settlement, or worse. The latter half of this is definitely “bad fortune”.
As modern people, we want to feel that we control our destiny. Do we? Our persistent interest in fortune and luck suggests that there is a cosmic wild-card which may be played at any time. Our fortunes may reverse in a heartbeat, in spite of all our planning, fretting, bitten fingernails and sleepless nights.
In fact, the popular game-show, “Wheel of Fortune”, finds its roots in ancient Rome: Fortuna was an especially fickle goddess, who became associated with a revolving wheel, because no one’s fortune, or luck, is always constant.
Like the classic Sinatra song goes, ” you’re ridin’ high in April, shot down in May. That’s life!”
It’s human nature to want to protect our wealth, our health, our well-being, and to protect our loved ones in the same way. Some of our most popular designs literally feature the word “protection”. Others protect the wearer symbolically, with the Shield of David (Mogen David), the hamsa, the eye. If you’re feeling really lucky, wear them all!