Charm

A charm is in magic, a spell or object made for a specific magical purpose. A spoken charm is a “little prayer,” usually composed in verse. For example, the following charm is for mending lovers’ quarrels and would be spoken in a ritual invoking an angel or spirit for assistance:

Love has no room
For spats and fights
Heal these wounds
At once tonight

Many charms in folklore blend pagan and Christian elements. The following charm that protects against marsh fever has pagan Norse origins that were Christianized. The charm calls for three horseshoes to be nailed to one’s bedpost. The charm is recited while the work is done. The Holy Crok refers both to the hammer of the thunder god Thor and to the crucifix of Christianity; Wod is Wotan, the chief of gods; and Lok is Loki, the trickster god.

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
Nail the Devil to this post.
Thrice I smite with Holy Crok,
With this mell I thrice do knock,
One for God, and one for Wod, and one for Lok.

Charms also are magical objects, such as poppets, good luck pieces, amulets, and so forth.

Further Reading:

  • Ashley, Leonard R. N. The Amazing World of Superstition, Prophecy, Luck, Magic & Witchcraft. New York: Bell Publishing Company, 1988.
  • Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. Angel Magic for Love and Romance. Lakewood, Minn.: Galde Press, 2005.

From: The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.