A talisman is any object, sacred or profane, with or without appropriate symbols, which had been charged or consecrated by appropriate means and made to serve a specific end.
The word "talisman" is said to come from the Arabic words talis ma which means "magick writing." However, there is no proof of this. It may come from the Turkish meaning "one who is learned in divinity;
a priest." Likewise, the word "amulet" is believed to be of Arabic origin, but again there is no proof. No one knows exactly where either word came from.
Today, Talismans are used to draw things toward you. Their purposes include obtaining money, luck, health or love. Amulets are used to keep things away. They protect from evil or bad luck, and help keep one from ill health. In this course, "talisman" with a lower case first letter will refer generically to both Talismans and Amulets. Talisman with a capital first letter will refer to an object used to draw something to you. Amulet with a capitalized first letter will refer to an object used specifically to keep something away.
For thousands of years, writing was a magickal art. It was held in secret by the privileged classes and magicians. It was believed that certain symbols had magick power in and of themselves. This tradition has been carried even into modern movies where Count Dracula cringes in fear from the very sight of a cross. Thus, symbols placed upon a rock or piece of parchment were, of themselves, considered to be powerful. This is what I call the "animistic" theory of how talismans work.
Today, many magicians do not believe in this theory. Rather, they take what I call the "energetics" theory of how talismans work. They believe that the charging of the talisman is the important part; putting magickal energy into the object chosen to be a talisman. The time taken to carefully put the proper symbols on the object is a good way to create and send energy. Mix this with the energy raised and directed during a ritual to charge the talisman, and it is no wonder that this technique of magick is powerful.
Do not doubt that talismans, if properly made and charged, are powerful. Here are three instances of which I am personally aware.
1. "M" had been divorced and was looking for a new mate for her life. She followed the instructions in this course. Within days a man came into her life who fit virtually all of her desired characteristics in a man. They dated for a while and were married.
2. "N" was taking my course in the Southern California area. In the class after the one on talismans she told me she would have to drop the class. When I asked why, she replied that she had been trying to sell her mobile home for six months without luck. She tried making a talisman to help her sell her house. The house sold in a few days and she had to prepare to move.
3. "Q" was studying at a major university while he was also taking my class. He asked how the talismans could help him to study and learn for a test he would be having in two weeks. I gave him advice on what type of talisman to make. Later, however, I had to give more help. He had made a talisman to gain knowledge and information, but he had charged it improperly and too soon. He found that his head was filled with data which had nothing to do with the test he was going to take. I gave him some more help and he did very well on the test
As discussed in the previous section of this lesson, practitioners of the art of Low Magick were closer in spirit to nature than most of their High Magick practicing counterparts. Notice that I used the past tense in the previous sentence. Today, many Low Magicians live in large cities and know little of nature's majesty. Many who call themselves "Witches" or "Pagans" are nothing more than people practicing a simplistic form of High Magick. However, this in itself should be considered a small miracle as most people who consider themselves to be High Magicians do not practice any type of magick! This means that if you practice Magick as described in these lessons you will truly be a unique, a real practitioner of Art Magick.
Looking back at the Pagans of an earlier time, we see that most if not all were in harmony and close communication with nature. They easily saw that all things on this planet were composed of four categories. Everything had degrees of hotness or coldness. Copying the early High Magicians and Alchemists, they called this the element 'Tire." Things could also be more or less solid (Earth), had varying degrees of fluidity (Water) and various degrees of compactness or expansiveness (Air).
We have already discussed these four elements. In fact, you should by now not only be in harmony with these elements, but you should also have some degree of success in being able to control them. Although the main focus in this course is High Magick or Ceremonial Magick, being able to work with the elements is a basis for all forms of Magick. To a real magician, terms such as High Magick, Low Magick, Art Magick, etc., are terms used only to help others understand what you are doing and to enable you to better communicate. To a real magician the important question is not whether it is High or Low, but did it work or not?
With this in mind, I want to discuss another disagreement that magicians have with another set of people. These people have their minds open to new ideas... as long as those ideas fall into their belief patterns. No, I am not talking about religious fanatics. I'm talking about scientists. As stated before, many scientists tend to scoff at this "simple" four-fold division of matter. Modern science points to its own periodic table of the elements and says "we can prove the existence of about 100 elements." This, according to the modern scientist, makes the old four element theory obsolete superstition. Nonsense!
The four element (really five element) theory does not define element the same way modern science does. The four elements define the properties of matter, not its chemical makeup. Gold is an element in the modern scientific sense. In the four-element theory (or perhaps four-quality theory would be a better phrase), gold has relative amounts of Fire, Air, Earth and Water. Therefore, both the ancient four-element theory and the modern scientific theory of the elements can co-exist with no problem so long as you understand that the word "element" has a different meaning for scientists and for magicians. I feel that it is important to understand these differences, which is why I have re-presented this material at this time.
You have probably heard of a person obtaining the lock of another person's hair to use as a basis for casting a "spell" upon the person from whom the lock of hair was taken. The hair does not merely represent the person from whom it was taken, but is actually said to be "in sympathy" with that person. Here the word "sympathy" has the earlier, somewhat archaic meaning of "being closely related" and not the modern meaning of "feeling sorry for someone" or "having similar feeling or emotions as another person." That is the reason that this type of spellcasting is frequently called "Sympathetic Magick."
Other things could be used to represent and be in sympathy with another person. A picture, a piece of clothing, parings from the person's finger or toenails, a drawing or a doll could all be used to relate to the person. Expanding on this, we can find that there are many things which could correspond to a person. It is in this way that lists of correspondences can be set up, as was the list of Kabalistic Correspondences given in an earlier lesson.
The four elements have correspondences, too. Here is a list of some possible correspondences.
AIR: A feather, incense, the colors blue or gold.
FIRE: A piece of coal, a match, the color red or reddish-orange.
WATER: A pebble found near or in water, a shell, the colors blue, black or green.
Notice that in the above short list there is duplication in the use of colors corresponding to the elements. This is not a mistake. Rather, it allows you to choose which system of color correspondences you wish to use.
Just as in the above list certain objects correspond to one of the four elements, so, too, can the elements relate to a variety of ideas as is shown below.
AIR: Schooling, memory, intellectualism, teaching, tests, divination, communications, travel, writing, organizing and organizations, groups of all kinds, theorizing, drug addiction.
EARTH: Money, jobs, promotions, business, investments, material objects, fertility, agriculture, health foods, ecology, conservation, stock market, antiques, old age, museums, buildings, construction, progress, the home, the physical world, daily necessities such as food and clothing.
FIRE: Success, sex, banishing some illnesses, military, conflicts, protection, courts, law, police and sheriff's agencies, contests, competitions, private detectives, dowsing, treasure hunting, gambling, athletics, strength, good health, war, terrorism, and on a more personal level anything related to the Freudian "id," the lower emotions of absurd desire and lust (that is, too much desire or lust), anger, violent emotions. Also things having speed.
WATER: Higher forms of love and the deeper emotions such as compassion, faith, loyalty and devotion. Also friendship, partnerships, unions of any kind, affection, contract negotiation, beauty, rest, recuperation, meditation, spirituality, healing wounds, restoring growth, childbirth and children, the home, receptivity, family, swimming, diving, fishing, ancestors, medicine, hospitals, compassion, doctors and nursing, clairvoyance.
Notice that a few of the listings above seem duplicated, appearing in more than one of the four elemental categories. As an example, the home is listed under Earth and Water. Again, this is not an error. Here it allows you to more closely define the terms. Under the element Earth, the home refers to a structure, the building wherein you live. Under the element of Water, the home refers to the qualities of home life: love, stability, support, etc.
You could probably add many other ideas to this list as a result of your working with the elements over the last few months. This is highly advisable. What you might do is start a small book with precise definitions of what the elements represent to you. Use the above list as a starting point and expand upon it. And no, the above list is not written in stone as immutable law in some dank cave in the Himalayas. So, if you want to remove something from the above list or place it under another element, make sure you're right... then go ahead. With the above information you now have a system for the making of talismans.
Do you need help with a test? Make a talisman of Air. Do you need more love? Make a talisman of Water. Is there too much anger and violent emotions in your family life? Make an Amulet of Fire. If you need more money, a talisman of Earth should do the trick.
Now that you know on which element to base the talisman you wish to construct, the next question is "What is the first step for constructing a Low Magick talisman?" Whether you are doing Low Magick, High Magick or any other Magick, if you are doing something to affect yourself or someone else on this plane, that is, if you are doing Grey Magick, ALWAYS begin by doing a divination! I cannot stress this sufficiently.
One law which everything in our world must live by is the law most commonly called Karma, the law of cause and effect. Every action you take has its own consequences which will come upon you whether you are prepared for those consequences or not. Practitioners of Low Magick tend to go one step further than the "as you sow, so shall ye reap" idea of Karma. They say that whatever you do will be returned to you threefold. This threefold law states that if you do something good you will be rewarded with a similar amount of good three times over. However, do something negative and you will be "rewarded" with three times as much bad coming your way. And Karma is carried over from one life to the next. Suicide or death does not expiate Karma.
Let's say you want to leave the country, but need a great deal of money to do so. You make a talisman to get the money. Shortly after you learn that your parents have been in an accident and died, leaving you a large inheritance. You have done Grey Magick and helped yourself on the physical plane by getting the money. But your talisman may have been responsible for the deaths of your parents, so your magick was definitely of the blackest kind.
Karma is amoral, meaning it has no morality. It is perfectly and totally just. There are no exceptions to the law of Karma any more than there are exceptions to the law of gravity. If you do Black Magick, whether or not you originally intended it to be Black, you will pay for it sooner or later. I am therefore urging you never to do Black Magick. I do so not on any moral grounds (although I am ethically against Black Magick), but for self-protection.
In the above case, the talismanist had no way of knowing whether or not the Grey Magick would become Black. What should have been done first, therefore, was a divination to see whether or not it would be a good idea to do the talisman, and what the outcome would be. By doing this you can protect yourself from accidentally doing Black Magick and having to suffer the consequences.
Before doing any Grey Magick always do a divination!
The next step in making a Low magick talisman is to find an appropriate object to use for the talisman. Given just before the above correspondences for the four elements are different objects which can be used for the making of talismans associated with the elements. However, any object may be used. A rock painted red can represent Fire. A necklace or ring can also be used.
Put a coin in your refrigerator for an hour. Take it out with your left hand. Now put it in your right hand. You will find, of course, that the coin has gotten warmer than it was when you removed it from the refrigerator. The coin has been infused with energy in the form of heat. Likewise, virtually anything in this world has been infused with various types and quantities of psychic energies. Perhaps you have gone on a vacation and been in an utterly magnificent hotel room. Yet that room may have felt "cold" and uncomfortable compared to your far less luxurious home. This is because your psychic energies have not infused the room as they have your home. This is why, even if your home is a "dump," crawling with bugs, it still can feel like your home. You would have to live in a place for days, weeks or even months before that new house or apartment becomes your home.
Even small objects pick up psychic charges from their environment. Therefore, before using any object as a talisman, it must first be purified, cleansed of any known or unknown charge of psychic energy.
This is easy to do. Hold the object to be used as a talisman under running water. For this purpose you can use water coming out of a sink faucet or a garden hose, or, more traditionally, a stream. Hold it there for about three minutes while you visualize all energies within the object flowing out of it with the water. Do not use the waves of the ocean for this purpose as the waves keep coming back and would return to the object you have chosen the energies you wished to cleanse.
If the object will not last well under flowing water, bury it in the ground for at least a half hour, preferably overnight. Our Mother Earth has a natural ability to "ground" out energies which are unwanted. We now have an object, painted an appropriate color, if you so desire, which has been purified and is ready to be charged.
The ancient Pagans were too busy working in the day to do magick during the sunlit hours. Holidays might be celebrated during the day, but Grey Magick was not usually done on festivals. Thus it has become traditional to do Low Magick at night. The best sites to do Low Magick are:
First—Outside, with a clear view of the Moon.
Second—Outside, without a view of the Moon.
Third—Inside, with a view of the Moon.
Fourth—Inside, without a view of the Moon.
The Moon, representing the Goddess aspect of divinity, was also seen to be a key force in magick of all kinds. The phases of the Moon were guides as to what your magick could do. During the waxing Moon, the period from first sight of the New Moon to the Full Moon, magick should be done to draw things toward you. Therefore, Talismans should be made during the period of the growing Moon. The strength of the Moon will be at its height at the moment of the Full Moon. Amulets should be made from the day after the Full Moon until the Moon is no longer visible. This phase is known as the waning Moon and reaches its strength during the dark of the Moon, that is, when the Moon is not visible.
If someone is ill and you wish to make a Talisman to aid the person, you can make a Talisman for health during the waxing of the Moon. If the Moon is waning you can make an Amulet to cause disease to leave. Determine the phase of the Moon and plan whether to make a Talisman or an Amulet accordingly.
If you are not familiar with astronomy or astrology, you may wonder how to quickly determine the phase of the Moon. Even if you do not have an astrological calendar which clearly tells you the phase of the Moon* (although you should probably obtain one of these useful tools), there is an easy source for this information: your daily newspaper. Usually near either the weather section or near the sport fishing section you will find some rather silly looking drawings of the "Man in the Moon." These will tell the dates of the full, new and quarter moons. With this information it becomes easy to determine the phase of the Moon.
Most Pagans, both past and present, do not like the morals and ideals of others foisted upon them. As a sign of their independence and freedom, many practitioners of Low Magick prefer to work "sky-clad," that is, wearing only the sky: nude. While this does cut down on clothing bills and cleaning expenses, it can also cause a problem for those who wish to work outside in their backyard, due to prying neighbors. If you cannot work sky-clad, or would feel strange or inhibited working without clothes, then by all means do wear your special magickal clothes or robe.
Set up a small altar. You can use a table, chair, tree stump or flat rock. But orient it so that when behind it you will be facing north, not east. On the altar have the object you wish to use as a talisman, plus candles of the appropriate colors and incense if you like. You are now ready to begin the ritual which will charge the talisman and make it a powerful magickal tool.
Before going on, did you remember to do a divination first? If not, do so now. Remember to word the question of your divination in the form of "What will be the outcome of my making a(n) Talisman/ Amulet for the purpose of_?"
The following ritual is far more mental than verbal. In fact, in this ritual there is little to say, but many things to do.
STEP ONE. First, you should purify yourself and your area. Visualize a brilliant white (some say violet) light coming from the ends of the universe, going through the top of your head and down through your feet into the Earth. As it does so, realize that this pure light is taking with it all problems and impurities which may have been within you and on your mind either consciously or unconsciously. Next, visualize a bright white light forming a ring about your now purified self, at chest height, Now see in your mind's eye the expansion of this light of pure white brilliance so that it forms a circle around
* See Llewellyn's Astrological Calendar or Llewellyn's Daily Planetary Guide.
you three, five, seven or nine feet in diameter. The size depends upon the space available to you. Finally, this circle should expand above and below so that you are surrounded above, below, behind and to the front with the white light. You should be in the center of a brilliant sphere of white light.
If you prefer more ritualism, you may mix the work in the above paragaph with the following. If ritualism is not that important to you, you may ignore the following four paragraphs.
You will need a stick of incense and a small bowl of salt and another small bowl of water. Light the incense and hold it in front of you. Remember, you should be facing north. Say, Behold! This is the union of Fire and Air! Next put three pinches of salt into the water, or use the tip of your magickal blade to pick up and pour three "measures" of salt into the water. Hold up the mixture and say, Behold! This is the union of Water and Earth!
Now move to the north side of the circle with the stick of incense. Hold the incense in front of you and say, I purify the North with Fire and Air. Walk (clockwise) to the East, hold out the incense and say, I purify the East with Fire and Air. Continue in a similar manner at the South and West. Complete the circle by returning to the North. Now go back to your altar, replace the incense and pick up the mixed water and salt.
Go to the North portion of the circle. Dip your fingers in the salt and water solution and sprinkle it toward the North three times, saying, I purify the North with Water and Earth. Continue sprinkling as you move to the East. Stop here, sprinkle three times as .you say, I purify the East with Water and Earth. Continue in a like manner to the South and West. Complete the circle by returning briefly to the North, then return to the altar.
Now repeat this entire censing and sprinkling process, except instead of using the word "purify," use the word "sanctify." Hence, I Sanctify the North with Fire and Air, etc.
Again, you may mix the two methods of purifying yourself and the area or use either the mental or ritual procedures. You do not have to use both.
As an aside, some self-professed "Pagans" who abhor anything which hints at ritual magick or Kabalism, clear their area with the LBRP! While there is nothing wrong with this practice, it is certainly not part of any ancient Wiccan system. Those who practice magick should be open to all possibilities. People who use Kabalistic methods while decrying Kabalism should seek out the motive for their hypocrisy.
STEP TWO After purifying and clearing your circle, the next step is to "Grab the Moon." Here what you must do is take the essence of the magickal nature of the Moon (the Goddess aspect of Divinity) into your hands and place that nature into the talisman. At the same time you must charge the nature of the Moon with the purpose of the talisman. To Grab the Moon we use the gesture known as "The Triangle of Manifestation" which was described earlier in this course. To refresh your memory, this action is made by holding both hands flat with the thumbs extended at sixty degrees from the fingers. Place the tips of the thumbs together and tips of the first fingers of each hand together. This will form a triangle with the thumbs as the base line and the first fingers forming the sides. See the figure below:
Now hold up this Triangle of Manifestation so that you can see the Moon surrounded by the Triangle. If you are in a place where you cannot see the Moon, visualize it within the Triangle. In a short time there will seem to be two moons. The reed (or visualized) Moon will have a second moon next to it. It will appear slightly to the side or "out of phase" with the original Moon. This second moon is the essence of the Moon's magickal power. It is possible that you may not be able to see this second moon, but knowing that it is there will suffice.
STEP THREE. Now you must do two things at once. While concentrating on that second moon, slowly bring your hands down toward the object you are using for the talisman. Try to keep the second moon's image within the Triangle (or know that it is there) and, in your mind, repeat over and over mentally a single word or short phrase which best represents the purpose of the talisman. As an example, the word "health" could be used to represent "I wish to get over ¿lis cold and regain my health." Limit any phrase to no more than four words.
As you do these things, bring your hands over, then down around the talisman. The goal is to surround the talisman with the Triangle formed by your hands. The energy of the Moon, impregnated by your will for the purpose of the talisman, is now joining with the object!
In a few seconds you should experience a new sensation. Some people describe it as a sudden lightness in the hands. Others describe it as a rush of energy or a snapping sensation in the hands. Everyone experiences this sensation somewhat differently, so I can't give an exact description. However, as soon as you experience the change, clap your hands or snap your fingers as you separate your hands and say, It is done!
What has happened here is that the energies of the Moon, mixed with your Will, have moved into the object, empowering your talisman. It is now charged and operative.
STEP FOUR. To finish the ritual, in your own words thank the powers of the universe who have aided you in this ritual and bid them depart to "their homes and habitations."
When you have achieved the goal of the talisman, the object needs to be discharged of any remaining energy. This can be done by holding it under water or burying it as before. It can then be reused as a talisman for another purpose. If possible, destroy the object by burning it to ash and getting rid of the ash in the air (by throwing it) or into water. Or, just put it into running water or bury it where it will not be found.
You may charge several talismans for the same purpose at one time. However it is not a good idea to try to energize several talismans for different purposes at the same time or even during the same ritual. Focus on one thing at a time.
When using a talisman it is a good idea to keep it on you or near you. If you are making the talisman for someone else, tell him or her to keep the talisman on or near their body. Of course, you should ask the person's permission before making the talisman or giving it to him or her. Do not, however, tell the person the intricacies of the ritual and of the construction of the talisman. Tell the person to whom you give the talisman to destroy the object or return it to you once the talisman has achieved its purpose.
The subconscious mind does not think in negatives. Don't make a talisman to "stop smoking." Rather, make one to be "free of smoking."
You may wish to put a time limit on your talisman. In your charging have it planned to achieve its goal in one week or one month or by a certain date. Even if you do not achieve the goal by that date, be sure to purify or destroy the talisman at that time. Then wait two more weeks to see if a result is forthcoming. If not, analyze what you might have done wrong and start over. Chemicals, under the same conditions, always react with each other in the same way. If they do not, the mistake was made by the experimenter. Likewise, magick always works. If not, you have made some error. It is interesting to note that while scientists will readily accept the statement regarding chemicals, they will attempt to refute the similar statement regarding magick. In this case, logic is on our side, not theirs.
Once you have charged your talisman, don't think about it. Your subconscious plays an important part in the magickal process. Constantly bringing the aspect of the mind which connects us to the astral plane down to the physical world will lower the effectiveness of your magickal work. Go back and re-read the section on Creative Visualization.
Be confident that your talisman is charged and will be effective. If you wish, you may recharge a talisman once a month without purifying the object if you are charging it for the exact same purpose and goal.
A Charged Guardian
A small or large statue or objet d'art makes a wonderful protective Amulet (technically called a "Guardian") for a house or apartment. It should be recharged at least once every six months, although monthly would be better. Keep it by the front door. If you have several entryways into your home, use several small statues (or even colorful rocks) overlooking each entry.
Was this article helpful?
Might is another crucial thing for personal growing. It's your ability to consciously and by choice produce the world around you. When your might is un-forceful, you can't effectively fulfill your needs and wants, and you get to be a victim of your surroundings. When your might is secure, you successfully cultivate a life of your own selecting, and your surroundings reflects it. This book will provide insight to might.