An amulet is any material or object believed to have supernatural or magical powers of protection against ghosts, evil spirits, witchcraft, the Evil Eye, illness, misfortune, calamities, and any kind of disaster. Amulets have been used universally since ancient times. The term “amulet” comes from the old Latin amoletum, which means “means of defense.”
Most amulets are worn or carried on the person. Other amulets are placed in a house, building or ship, or among one’s possessions. Still other amulets are painted on houses, buildings and ships.
Virtually any object can be an amulet. Personal items commonly include pieces of jewellery, semiprecious and precious stones, and common stones that have odd but natural shapes such as those with holes in them. Religious objects are amulets.
The supernatural power of an amulet is believed to occur naturally, bestowed by nature or the gods. In occult lore, amulets also can be fashioned and imbued with supernatural power through magical ritual. See Charms against Ghosts.