A talisman is an object that possesses magical or supernatural powers and transmits the powers to the owner. Talismans are different from Amulets, which are objects that passively protect wearers from evil and harm. Talismans usually perform a single function and make powerful transformations possible. The magic wand of a sorcerer or Fairy, the magical lamp or bottle of Djinn lore, King Arthur’s sword Excalibur, seven-league boots, and Hermes’ helmet of invisibility are all talismans. Talismans draw to their owners luck, success, wealth, love, magical abilities, and cures for illnesses. They also can be used in spell casting.
Any object can become a talisman. It may derive its powers from nature, such as a holed stone, or be imbued with power by acts of Angels, spirits, or gods. Talismans can be made in Magic. Demons and other spirits can be bound to a talisman, such as by the Blood and semen of a sorcerer or magician. The magician controls the spirits via the talisman. When the talisman is no longer needed, it should be burned. It is dangerous for a talisman to fall into the wrong hands.
Magical handbooks (see Grimoires) give instructions for making talismans at auspicious astrological times. Talismans for a specific purpose can be created and drawn or engraved on metal or paper. They are consecrated in a ritual. Most Western talismans are based upon the principle of correspondences found in the Kabbalah, which holds that everything in Creation is connected. For example, the planets all have correspondences to aspects of daily life. Thus, a talisman inscribed with the symbol of a planet can be empowered to influence that sphere of life.
- Hall, Manly P. Paracelsus: His Mystical and Medical Philosophy. Los Angeles: Philosophic Research Society, 1964.
- Kraig, Donald Michael. Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts. 2nd ed. Paul: Llewellyn, 2004.
The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 2009 by Visionary Living, Inc.