Lucky Symbols: The Axe

Historical Background

Of all the lucky symbols from cultures throughout history, there is perhaps none more surprising than the axe. Symbol of blacksmiths and several gods, in some societies in the past it has become a good luck charm, or a symbol of protection or power. Here is a summary of how some past and modern societies viewed the axe as a symbol of good luck.

Prehistoric People

We can only speculate on its meaning as we have no written texts, but during the Neolithic, we see many graves with symbolic axes places in graves with the deceased. Aside from its obvious functional use, some of these examples were never used in life, perhaps even made for the grave burial. It is likely to have been considered a powerful symbol with great meaning.

Chinese Culture

There are several uses in China but its major concept as a good luck charm is that the word for axe in Chinese is the same word for happiness. In cultures that believe in the power of positive thinking or in the law of attraction (as in neo-paganism and in 20th Century New Age thinking) believes that happiness can cause good luck and good fortune. This may have been inspired by Chinese culture.


Buddhism is a global religion that started in the east. Many people in China, Japan and elsewhere in the region are Buddhists so it is no great surprise that the axe has symbolic meaning in Buddhism. Here, it is symbolic of the power of the axe in the destruction of evil. Good luck makes people happy and the axe banishes evil entities that could bring you bad luck.

Ancient Greece

Though not a direct symbol for good luck per se, from ancient Crete and later, Classical Greece, the double-headed axe was an important symbol of divinity, particularly for goddesses. People wore these symbols for many reasons. When we keep in mind that many sacrifices and traditions were in aid of petitioning the gods for favour and good fortune, it has become, in a way, a good luck symbol in more modern times.

Use in Gambling?

As a gambling talisman, the axe is a lot less popular that the other symbols such as the lucky penny, four-leaf clover and so on. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its advocates. As it is popular in the Far East, you may find visiting casinos in China, Japan or Singapore the symbol is far more common than it would be in Las Vegas or Monte Carlo where other western symbols might be more popular. The axe is a timeless symbol for many cultures, and one of the most important developments in our early history so it’s no wonder it has symbolic power too.