ring In Magic, jewelry that possesses supernatural powers. Magical rings are made according to specific procedures and are engraved with magical Symbols and nameS.
A magic ring can be a Talisman that confers special or supernatural powers on the wearer, such as invisibility, wisdom, and strength. King SOLOMON of the Israelites, the builder of the temple of Jerusalem, reputedly had a magical ring given to him by the archangel Michael that gave him power to command all DEMONS. The ring had a precious stone with a SEAL and the mystical word Schemhamphorasch engraved upon it. Different stories tell about the powers of the ring. According to one version, whenever Solomon looked at the ring, he saw whatever he desired to know on Earth or in heaven. One day he took it off prior to bathing, and it was stolen by a fury and thrown into the sea. After 40 days, Solomon found the ring in the belly of a fish that was served to him at a meal.
A talisman ring also can have the purpose of healing; they were used for that purpose as early as the first century C.E. Rings made of copper and zinc were worn to cure gout and rheumatism. In the Middle Ages, “cramp rings” blessed by a monarch were believed to have the power to relieve pain. Cramp rings also were used in love Charms, such as the following from the 16th century:
Take two cramp rings of gold or silver and lay them both in a swallow’s nest that buildeth in the summer. Let them lie there 9 days, then take them and deliver the one to thy love and keep the other thyself.
Paracelsus had a talismanic ring made of antimony that he wore when he diagnosed patients. The ring was inscribed with sacred symbols. When he observed certain conditions in a patient, he placed the ring on their finger. He said the ring drew poisons out of the body.
Like the circle, a ring symbolizes protection. A magic ring can function as an AMULET to protect the wearer against disease, illness, bad luck, Bewitchment, and evil spirits. Engraved magical rings supplanted amulet charms written on parchment, which were perishable.
Divination with Rings
Ring divination was popular among the early Romans. GOLD or SILVER rings were made at certain planetary auspices and were empowered with Incantations. For divination, the rings were moved about on a tripod (see Tools) in conjunction with incantations.
A type of ring Prophecy involves taking a bowl, a vase, or a cylinder and inscribing the inside lip with the letters of the alphabet. Tie a consecrated ring on a thread, and use it like a PENDULUM. Hold the string in the right hand and a sprig of verbena in the left. Hang the ring into the cylinder. Ask a question. The ring will swing and strike the letters, spelling out an answer.
Making Magic Rings
According to lore, a magician’s ring should be made of copper or lead and have the TETRAGRAMMATON engraved upon it. Grimoires have Rituals for making magic rings. According to one formula, wait until any star ascends in the horoscope with a fortunate aspect or conjunction of the Moon, and take a stone and herb associated with that star and make a ring of the metal that corresponds to the star. Put the herb or root under the stone in the ring, and inscribe the ring with the effect, image, name, and character of the talisman. Suffume properly by exposing the ring to certain rising PERFUMES.
A 16th-century formula for a magic ring for receiving an ORACLE calls for lead, the metal of Saturn:
Write or engrave thereon ye name of ye angell Cassiel, then fumigate it. Then being so prepared, put it on thy finger as thou art entering into thy bed and speak no word to any person, but meditate thereon. If thou wilt complete the ring, truly, ye shall put a piece of ye roote of some especial herb governed by Saturn and put it under ye stone of a signet, as for example a little root of dragon or dragon-wort, or of black hellebore or hemp, upon which put some little onyx stone or sapphire, or lapis lazuli, but onyx is best, but let it first be made and engraved, and make ye mold to cast it, and all finished in due time with name of ye angel of Saturn.
Another formula for making a magic ring said to:
. . . cast a ring of pure gold and engrave on it the name of an angel and the character of ye Sun. Then being made, fumigate it with masticke, red storax, benjamin and musk, or new sweet wine and rose water, all mixed with saffron. Forget not to first put a piece of root or yellow flower of marygold or some bay leaf, especially of angelica or root of bay tree. Then place either a carbuncle, hiacinth, chrysolite, or ye stone etites [sic] which is found in ye eagle’s nest, over it.
Further Reading: Hall, Manly P. Paracelsus: His Mystical and Medical Philosophy. Los Angeles: The Philosophic Research Society, 1964. Leland, Charles Godfrey. Etruscan Magic and Occult Remedies. New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1963. Thompson, C. J. S. The Mysteries and Secrets of Magic. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1993.