A seven-year-old girl, told that the tunnels in a cone-shaped shell capture air, believes it can capture the nasty words some girls have been saying about her. She instructs the shell to do so. The words don't hurt her as much. When she feels better, she takes the shell out of her pocket and crushes it to crush the words.
When she gets older, she'll acquire "lucky" pens, leaves, shells, clothing, and coins. (She retains a fondness for 1974 coins, and stockpiles them.) She'll learn that faith makes the charm work, and that the charm is merely a reminder of her faith and her objective. When she puts the thought into it, it works.
The proper name for these magickal objects is talismen. I really have made them since I was five, usually from common objects. This is how Vodoun practitioners and the old Witches did it. But talimanic magick is part of every religion. The Christian cross is meant to protect its wearer from temptation, the Muslims have devised imaginative talismen such as the Hand of Fatima, and the Jews wear a Star of David as an icon of cultural pride. Among conservative Christians, True Love Waits rings and cards are sho'nuff meant as talismen to ensure teenage sexual purity!
Whatever your religion, meditate on your goals as you make the talismen, and consecrate them to the Divine for your goal when you are finished. THIS is more important than anything else--better to forget it one day or omit a step than lose faith or sight of your goal. Remember that movie Dumbo and the black crow feather that allowed that baby elephant to fly? It concentrated his power, and he could use it, even after he lost the feather. In most cases, the results should last longer than the talismen.
Don't buy talismen "precharged!" Never, never, NEVER! It is YOU who "charges" and blesses your talisman, or someone who has earned your trust. A stranger may have negative or counterproductive intent; more likely, it's just a crank. These precharged talismen bring energy you don't need. It's your energy that you mean to focus.
Don't let people see the talisman unless it is very mundane in appearance. 'Cause sometimes, these draw attention worn openly. You know how when you wear a new outfit and someone you respect laughs at it, it looks less attractive? So it is with talismen--they become less powerful if others call them, and you, silly or superstitious. Even mild curiosity drains energy.
And the last don't--don't take all these verbatim all the time. I'm big into color correspondences, but mine are from European Witchcraft augmented by my own experience. You are not me; obvious, but true. Another color may have more meaning to you than the one I suggested--SUBSTITUTE THAT COLOR! I share these talismen as examples, not gospel. Of course, if the talisman makes perfect sense for you as I wrote it, use it as is!
This online Talismanic Book of Shadows is by no means complete. I have more in my mind and Book of Shadows (A Witch's personal spell-and-ritual book, for non-Pagans.) If there's a concept I've neglected, a talisman you'd like to include, a request, stories, book recommendations (I'm always learning!) or other feedback, mail me! Blessed be!
FINALLY, THE TALISMEN!
This is the thing I am asked for most, and so I would like to devote an entire subsection of Talismania! to protection talismen. There are only a few, but I know more...
Quit laughing, will you? Think about it: a bra is common, comes in many colors if you would like to correspond its color to its function, and is generally hidden. It also goes over a woman's heart. This is where I got the idea...
If you can afford it, buy a new satin or cotton OPAQUE bra. (I simply don't regard lace as a good symbol of security.) Black for secrecy and justice, or white for purity, or red for aggressiveness, or pink for peace...if you absolutely need to use an older one, wash it thoroughly first to release the energies it's already absorbed. Charge the bra to protect you from the influences of whoever/whatever seeks to hurt you, and consecrate it to the Divine. Then wear it. When you take it off, rinse it in salt water to release the harmful energies it absorbed--kind of a psychic prewash.
Or you could just use a bulletproof bra! I kid you not, those are available! (And good thisworldly protection against tangible threats, too.)
Silver Teaspoon or Measuring Spoon
I got this from Robin Skelton's The Practice of Witchcraft Today. Find a small metal teaspoon or measuring spoon, silver in color. (Silver is the color of the God/dess, who is said to control the moon.) PLEASE DON'T USE PLASTIC! A very small measuring spoon usually has a hole in the handle and can be worn once you loop a lariat or chain through it. If the spoon doesn't have a hole in the handle or is too large to be worn intact, you may have to cut the spoon-head off the handle and drill a hole in it. Wear it under your shirt so people don't ask what you're doing wearing that thing!
Consecrate it and charge it to protect you against those who would hurt you. The concave surface serves to reflect and collect hostile energy against you and send it back to those who sent it!
The Aforementioned Shell
Take a conical-shaped shell with lots of crenellations (tunnels). Do NOT wear it--drilling a hole in it, I found, makes it less effective. Carry it in your pocket or purse. Ask it to collect all negative thoughts and energy against you. When you feel more secure, SMASH it, tell the Divine that you release the harmful energy that was sent to you, and get rid of the shell-dust.
A convertible! Take a small magnifying glass and rub it with lavender oil, lavender being the herb for psychic ability (and also pretty-smelling!) Wrap it in the sheerest fabric you can find, chiffon or lace. White is just easy to see through, lavender is for mental ability, black would be no good here. This talisman is meant to help you see into the heart of a person or situation you don't understand--visualize that person or situation as you make this talisman. Carry it where that person or situation will be confronted: for example, if you want to know why your boss is acting the way she is, take it to work.
To understand what a troublesome dream is trying to tell you, stick it under your pillow before you go to sleep.
Dream Control Sachet
Sheer fabric, white or lavender, about a 3 or 4 inch square. Fill it with green tea leaves (green tea promotes understanding and insight), chamomile or lavender (for calming) and/or violet leaves and petals. Sleep with it under your pillow.
Stop Gossip/Keep A Secret
Do people have nothing better to do than chit-chit-chatter about each other? Well, no. Some linguists theorize that language evolved in order for us to gossip, and nothing's more entertaining than our sister and fellow human beings. But gossip can hurt, and sometimes a secret must be kept.
So. To ensure the ability of others to keep silent about you, place a three-by-three inch (approximately) black velvet square wrong-side up and spoon a teaspoon of poppy seeds, which the old Hungarians considered the herb of secrecy, in the center. Pick it up, form it into a pouch, and tie it tightly with white or silver ribbon for purity of thoughts. As you do this, visualize the people you wish to silence and what you want them to be quiet about.
If it's YOUR ability to keep a secret you doubt, visualize what you mean to keep secret. Spoon the seeds onto the pretty fuzzy side of the velvet. Yes, the pouch will be wrong-side-out, but since nobody's looking, who cares? Black is the color of shadow and secrecy; velvet is opaque. So I direct the can't-see-through velvet based on whoever needs to be quieted. In doing this, you are shielding. Recently, when I made a "keep a secret" pouch, I applied my usual lipstick to the edges of the wrong side of the velvet, for "my lips are sealed" symbolism. Good idea, but the lipstick smeared and attracted dirt in my purse! I don't suggest that...:-)
General Good Luck, or Gris-gris
This was immortalized in VC Andrews' Ruby--gris-gris dimes! The money connotes a willingness to take risks for luck. Consider that this is a Vodoun charm, and the homeland of Vodoun, Haiti, is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Ginen, the Vodoun afterlife, is supposed to be inside the Earth--in Vodoun, this is a good thing. And our ancestors--Voudouisant(e)s LOVE their ancestors--are buried underground.
So, drill a hole in a dime or two and put it at your feet, which contact our ancestors' Earth. As a Witch, I also regard the Earth as sacred. One good place for the dimes is on your shoelaces--it looks cool! Another is on an ankle bracelet.
Why dimes? Pennies are chintzy, and Voudouisant(e)s aren't stupid enough to use quarters. Luck comes from calculated risks!
Pen or Pencil Talisman for Students
Some instructors require pens for their tests; some pencils. You know which. If their test requires both, use both.
One way to make this charm come off is to use the writing implements you've used in class and for homework. They've soaked in the knowledge and energy you have, and this talisman is to help you recall what you've learned.
But maybe you really need a fresh start! (Y'all know who you are!) So, buy new ones that strike your fancy. Here are some good color correspondences: yellow for learning and alertness (isn't it cool that that's a traditional color for pencils?), blue for calm and stability, purple for mental energy, creativity, and ambition, orange for energy and success. I aced an Advanced Placement English test with a purple-barreled pen. For the business courses I take to enhance my earning ability, I like green for money draw. I've found some pens with hundred-dollar-bill designs on the barrels and pencils made of recycled currency.
When you've found your pen and pencil, consecrate it to the Divine. (I like to pray to Athena, the Greek Goddess of knowledge. Pray to Whomever helps you.) Charge it to help you remember and use your knowledge during the test. Do this in a calm moment, NOT right before the test! I also like using my "charged" pens and pencils as bookmarks in my textbooks, for they soak up knowledge.
Then use it to take the test! But kids, do please remember that your studious little faces also need to go into those textbooks! Okay, now my ass is covered...;-)
The Same, for Writers
Let me suggest all the same color correspondences for this one as for the test talisman, but add red for aggressive energy and lavender for creativity and intuition. My favorite for this sort of thing is lavender. Consecrate this instrument to the Divine and ask it to help you recover your creativity and inspiration.
My partners kiss my talismanic pens, because they're used to my "superstitious" ways and because they inspire me. But some people, while inspiring, aren't so accomodating. Get the one who inspires you to contact the pen somehow--letting them borrow it will do the trick!
If a certain writer inspires you, keep the pen in the pages of their book. I like to use Molly Ivins' Nothin' But Good Times Ahead when I'm writing politically. Both the human contact and the book methods give you positive, inspirational energy when you pick up the pen to write.
If you compose by pen, use it! If you use a computer, keep this pen in hand's reach. Carry it to events you'd like to cover or to writer's classes. The pen will know--'cause you do!
Believe me, more are coming! Send requests!
You could always go back to my index or my other site.