Psychic Love Charms and Protective Talismans
Article by Craig Hamilton-Parker.
The most powerful of charms are talismans. A talisman is any physical object that stores and radiates magical energy to create change or provide protection. Sometimes worn as a pendant, they often contain magical symbols or number sequences. The use of talismans appears to date back to early man.
Talismans are objects that embody an innate magical power that is transmitted to the possessor. Talismans are frequently confused with amulets, which passively protect the owner from evil and harm. Usually, the singular function of a talisman is to make powerful transformations possible, but both amulet and talisman are used as protection. In ancient Egypt, the frog protected fertility, the Udjat Eye brought good health, and the scarab beetle symbolized resurrection. Two of the most notable amulets of ancient Egypt are the Eye of Horus and the Ankh. These symbols were believed to protect the wearer from evil.
The Arabs also had their protective amulets and, in particular, wore small sacks containing dust from tombs to protect them from evil. Similarly, the Hebrews wore crescent moons to ward off the evil eye, and attached bells to their garments to ward off evil spirits.
Eye & Phallic Love Talismans
Two of the most common cross-cultural symbols of amulets are the eye and phallic symbols. As eyes are thought to protect against evil spirits, they are found on tombs, walls, utensils, and jewels. Since ancient times, the phallic symbol, represented by horns and hands, has stood for protection against the evil eye. Similarly, the names of God, and magical words and numbers have generally been thought to provide protection, so have been made into amulets. Renaissance versions were accompanied by books of magical instruction called grimoires. Grimoires offered instructions on the making of talismans. Talismans were often inscribed on precious stones or parchment under auspicious astrological signs. They were used for getting rich, winning at gambling, falling in love, safeguarding against sudden death, improving memory, and even making a good speech.
Certain shapes have protective power. For example, the pentagram has been a protective sign against evil powers in the West and in Japan. In Nordic countries, it is found drawn on the doors of barns and storehouses to ward off trolls and invoke protecting powers. Similarly, the Star of David (also known as the shield of David) is an ancient protective symbol that is believed to date as far back as 800600 B.C. The shape occurs today on Icelandic police badges and is echoed in the star found on the badges of some U.S. sheriffs.
One of the most powerful amulets to be worn as a pendant is the Sator-Rotas Square. It was discovered scratched on a wall in the buried city of Pompeii and dates back to the first century AD. Because of the hidden anagram, Pater Noster, the square was originally thought to be of Christian design, but there is strong evidence that it predates Christianity and refers to the ancient God, Mithras. This Persian God is usually depicted with a lion’s head, and wings. Mithras was the defender of light and truth and protector from evil. The Sator-Rotas Square is supposed to protect against sorcery, poisonous air, colic, and pestilence; and keep cow’s milk safe from witchcraft. It was believed that the square had magical properties, and that making it visible would ward off evil spirits. They are available today from many New Age shops and websites.
Talismans and protective power
It is claimed that the Viking runes also bring protective power. A technique is to draw the runes onto the body with blood or, in the case of a fertility charm, to carve the runes on a piece of cheese and then eat it. For personal protection, one of the most used is the symbol ægishjálmr which, literally translated, means “helm of awe” or “helm of terror.” One of these “helms” is claimed to imbue the owner with the power to strike paralysing fear into the heart of an enemy. This runic symbol can be a powerful form of personal protection, and it is sometimes worn as a tattoo.
Many pagans wore figurines of their gods as amulets; similarly, bits of paper containing quotes from holy books are carried in pouches or worn in jewels. The remnant of this custom continues in the Catholic religion where some members still wear scapulars and medals of the saints. For example, Catherine de Medici, queen consort of Henry II of France, wore a medal made from metals melted together during favourable astrological signs and mixed with human and goat’s blood. Although the original was broken at her death, a copy exists in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. On one side of the medal is engraved the god Jupiter, the eagle of Ganymede, and a demon with the head of the Egyptian god Anubis. On the reverse is a Venus figure, believed to be Catherine, flanked by demons. She believed the talisman protected her and gave her clairvoyance and sovereign power.
Charms & Love Charms
When I was a child, I remember being fascinated by the rabbit’s foot that my grandfather kept on his key ring. He had told me it was to bring good luck and keep evil away. The foot of a rabbit is a good luck charm around the world. It had its origin in the fact that young rabbits are born with their eyes open, thus able to “see off” evil from the moment they come into the world. Some mothers believe that brushing their newborn baby with a rabbit’s foot will protect it from lifelong harm. Poachers believe that if they carry a rabbit’s foot in their pocket, they will never be caught.
Many strange superstitions persist in our society, and they come from many different traditions. One of my favourite, from Germany, advises us to wear our pockets inside out to ward off evil. Germans also say that if you are bewitched, you should boil a beef heart and, while it is cooking, keep sticking it with a needle. The witch will have the same pains, and the spell upon you will be broken. Another useful German remedy says that if you put a pair of scissors under your pillow, open with the points towards the head of the bed, no one can harm you or bewitch you. It works, but you may lose an ear in the process! (A recent survey found that Germany is the most superstitious European country, with one in three Germans believing in luck and charms. Britain and America follow close behind.)
White Magic – Protective Charms & Spells
One of the most well-known protective charms is the horseshoe, which brings good luck not only because it is shaped like a C to represent Christ and its curved shape symbolizes the heavens. The shoe is seen as being forged in the sacred fires and made from the sacred metal iron. No doubt, it fascinated early man, seeing a shoe nailed on to protect a horse’s foot yet the animal felt no pain. These good luck charms are said to ward off evil and attract good fortune. The most common ones, and often found on charm bracelets, include crossed fingers, a clover leaf, a shoe, the crescent moon, dice, a dog, wheel, toadstool, and the three monkeys: hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil. The most popular lucky charm of all is the figure of St. Christopher.
Some of America’s most interesting superstitions come from the Irish. For example, St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and is said to have driven the “snakes,” i.e. the devil, from Ireland. We have adopted the shamrock (and in its rare form, the four leaf clover) as a symbol of the “luck of the Irish,” as clover grows plentiful in the green hills of Ireland. This Irish protective and lucky symbolism is now celebrated once a year on St. Patrick’s Day and persists in the form of a famous cereal that includes moons, stars, hearts and clovers.
The Charm of St Jude
During the early 20th century, when many Irish Catholic men became police officers, in New York City. Some believed that carrying a charm of St. Jude, along with their call box key, brought protection while on duty; as St. Jude is considered to be the patron saint of policemen. Similarly, some ballplayers swear by a pair of “lucky socks” to protect them from failure, and hesitate to wash them during an important series for fear that they will lose power.
As addition to European traditions, American culture has many influences from Africa. Returning to the topic of the rabbit foot, in ancient African culture, the carrying of an animal’s foot, or other parts of a swift creature, was supposed to help a person be able to escape or flee with the speed of the animal. Silver was prized as protection. Did you know that keeping a silver dime in your mouth will prevent you from being poisoned? Or that you can’t be hoodooed if you wear a silver dime, particularly if it is worn around each ankle? A dime wrapped in brown paper and worn in the heel of your shoe protects from evil, but it also tends to give you blisters and cause you to limp in circles. A better protective remedy is to sprinkle grave dust, as this keeps witches away; if grave dust is not readily available, keep red pepper in your shoe at all times.
Spells and Superstitions
Research has shown women to be more superstitious than men. Psychologists believe that this is because women generally feel they have less control over their lives, so have a greater need for protection. Being superstitious means believing that outside forces have power over you. Men are more likely to believe they are in charge of their own lives.
Not surprisingly, people get more superstitious when problems come up. That’s why people whose jobs are insecure, like actors, are famously superstitious and can go to great lengths in the use of protective charms. The singer Barry Manilow, for example, insists that no one cross his path from the moment he enters his dressing room to the time he steps on stage. He even has a clause in his contract stipulating this, to make sure everyone respects it. Mick Jagger’s ex-wife Jerry Hall always carries charms and touches wood, and Sophia Loren believes that luck will never desert her as long as she wears something red, even if no one can see it.
Of course, such foolish superstitions are only for other people. You wouldn’t do anything like that, would you? Except, of course, when you get married. At that time, it seems, we go to some very strange extremes to protect ourselves from bad luck.
Casting Love Spells & Love Charms
Give a thought to the brides of the Galla tribe in Ethiopia. For good luck, fertility, and to ward off evil, the bride must, on her wedding day, stiffen her hair with butter and rub her body with civet, which makes it smell like cat urine! The wedding ceremony begins when the bridegroom climbs into the bride’s lap and sits there while a mixture of butter and honey is poured over them. Consider, too, the men of the Macusi Indians in Guiana. To be virile–or perhaps hen-pecked?–enough for marriage they must be sewn up in a hammock full of fire ants.
European superstitions are not quite so messy or painful; but they do have some peculiar nuptial superstitions of their own. Here are some left over from rituals of long ago.
It is unlucky for two sisters to marry two brothers. As there is only so much luck to go round, says superstition lore, someone’s bound to lose out. It is also unlucky for a man to marry someone from his own locality. This belief can be traced back to tribal days, when a man would steal his bride from another tribe. The tradition continues by the carrying of the bride over the groom’s threshold.
Love Charms and Marriage
The phrase “tying the knot” dates back to very ancient times, when the Babylonians would take a thread from the bride and groom’s clothing and then symbolically tie the couple together. Timing of a marriage is important: Although it is unlucky to be married on your birthday, it is very lucky if you and your partner share the same birth date, although you must be a year or two apart. The luckiest month in which to tie the knot is June, named after Juno, the goddess of youth. She was the much loved and faithful wife of the Roman god Jupiter, who was revered as the protector of women. (Another reason for June weddings; in earlier times marriage ceremonies took place at the church doors and it was less likely to rain in June.) Do not think of marrying in May, however, for this woeful month was named after the Roman god Maia, the wife of Vulcan and patroness of the aged. She was definitely not a suitable deity to watch over young lovers.
Many of our superstitions about love and marriage originate from ancient times. For example, the wedding ring not only represents a magic circle of union between two people, but is supposed to protect the bride against evil spirits. The tradition of placing a ring on the third finger comes from the mistaken ancient Greek belief that a vein runs from this finger directly to the heart. The wedding cake, also featured in the wedding ceremony since ancient times, symbolizes fertility and good luck. It is lucky for the bride and groom to cut a cake together, as it symbolizes their plan to live together. The Romans used to crumble a slice of cake over newlyweds to ensure them prosperity, but it was the ancient Chinese who started the custom of giving a slice of cake to wedding guests and those who could not attend. Single girls would sleep with a piece of wedding cake under their pillows to dream of their future husbands. Many still do.
A Bride’s Love Spells & Love Charms
Every bride is still encouraged to wear “something old, something new; something borrowed and something blue.” Superstition says that the “something old” should be her shoes or handkerchief and the “blue” part of her bouquet (a symbol of fertility). The white dress symbolizes innocence and purity to everyone except the Chinese bride. In that culture, white is the colour of mourning and is worn at funerals. To the Chinese, red is the lucky colour, so many of their marriage certificates are printed on red paper. For Europeans, the wearing of red to a wedding is an ill omen, but green is to be avoided at all costs; it is the colour of the fairies and they are liable to come and steal away anyone found wearing it.
It was legal in England until the thirteenth century to carry out “marriage by capture,” a tradition that survives today as the bridegroom leading his best man and ushers to the ceremony. The bridesmaids likewise represent the “guards” entrusted to protect the bride from enemies wanting to carry her off. We can get some helpful tips about capture from the Banyankole tribe of Uganda. Here the groom holds down his bride while her family ties her up with ropes. As she weeps, the bride and groom’s families have a tug of war. The groom’s side is always allowed to win. As the groom whisks his bride away, the bride’s family weeps and wails, calling for her to return. The more convincing the acting, the more successful the wedding.
Modern White Magic Symbolism
The truth is that, although we may say that we are not superstitious, many of our familiar social rituals are full of magical symbolism designed to protect the soul. Returning to a more serious note, it could be argued that when we cease to believe in superstitions they are no longer effective, for they fail to awaken our protective spiritual energies. Nonetheless, a belief in a protective charm may have real benefits if it helps us to establish a confident mental attitude and–as I have argued earlier–creates a “mind field” of positive energy around us. For me the most powerful charms are those that remind me of God, for then I am linked to the highest protective energy of all. And these charms need not necessarily be symbols. The only charms I personally carry are images of those who have attained God consciousness–such as the Christ, the Buddha, or a guru with whom I feel an affinity.