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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Making Talismans

Blessed be everyone.
I found this article a few days ago, actually, and I saved it in my favorites so that when I found the time I could share it with you all. I was searching the internet for some talismans and I came across this article that I found to be rather helpful and informative. I am posting it now for you all to read and I hope that you will enjoy reading it as much as I did.


From "Making Talismans: Living Entities of Power" by Nick Farrell
Posted by: DailyOM

Talismans and How They Work

A talisman, amulet, or charm is any physical object that stores and radiates a magical energy to create change. A metallic disk, stone, wand, sword, pen, paper, or television remote control can be a talisman provided that it is dedicated toward a "magical purpose. The definition of magic, however, has successfully eluded occultists for centuries.

Aleister Crowley, a Golden Dawn adept, devised the most widely accepted definition of magic. He argued that magic is "the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will, but this is too wide a definition to be of much use. Crowley, himself, admitted that this definition implies that any willed act is magical. While turning on a light switch may be perceived as magical to someone who has not seen electricity, most would not define it as a magical act.

Another definition of magic, touted by more than one magical school of which I have been a member, is "the art of causing meaningful coincidences at will." This is equally unsatisfactory, though, since magical work does not always create coincidences that can be seen on the material plane.

While it is not entirely satisfactory either, my definition of magic is " the art and science of becoming a co-creator with a Supreme God. This is not to say that we can be co-equal with the Most High, but rather that we merge into Divinity and its purpose. Occultism teaches that everyone has unlimited potential. We stop becoming successful only when we forget that we are part of an infinite creator. This divine creator aspect of us is like a divine secret self; Jung called it the Higher Self. As this self is realized, we become more in tune with the Divine and have access to more of its powers.

Occult techniques bring us to a gradual realization of our immortal nature over a period of incarnations. In the early stages of occult training, we develop enough belief in its concepts to effect changes in our material surroundings.
Using my definition, a talisman, amulet, or charm is a material object that stores and transmits a fusion of the magician's will and universal powers to create something new.

How Talismans Work

To know how talismans, amulets, and charms work, it is important to know how things in the universe are created.

Like a physicist, an occultist defines the universe as being made up of energy vibrating at different frequencies. Occultists, however, say this energy is intelligent and is the material part of a single divine being. They go further to say that this energy extends to higher frequencies than have been identified by physicists.

Occultists define four frequencies or levels that exist within different dimensions of the same space (figure 1). These are sometimes called the four worlds of the Cabbalah. These worlds interact and affect each other. An event that happens on one level of creation will affect all the others. A form of Jewish mysticism called Cabbalah named these levels Atziluth, the world of deity; Briah, the world of creation; Yetzirah, the world of formation; and Assiah, the world of matter.

The highest frequency is the creative intelligence of the universe or a Supreme God. This is where all ideas in the universe are born.

These divine ideas filter down to the next level where they become an impulse toward a particular direction. At this level, the ancients noted that parts of God divided into specializations. For example, one specialization would bea creator and another a destroyer. The ancients named these divine specializations archangels. If God's idea were to create dogs, then the archangel would map out the details of what would make up a dog and its evolutionary destiny.

The work of the archangels filters down to the next level. Here the divine plan is drawn in greater detail. The ancients noted that different parts of the archangel would specialize again into what they called angels. There was one angel for each part of the creation. Using the last example, there would be an angel responsible for creating each dog's teeth, another for its hair, and another for working out each animal's time of death.

Once this work has been carried out, the image of the dog is strong enough to manifest on the material plane. Here the images are formed, under the angel's instructions, out of beings called elementals. These creatures are partly built of spirit, but resonate to different types of matter and effectively build the image on the material level.

There are four types of elementals, which are described in terms of the type of matter they resemble. The lowest level of elementals are the earth elementals, or gnomes, which represent solids. Higher up are the water elementals, or undines, which represent liquids. The next highest are the air elementals, or sylphs, which represent gases. The highest level of elementals are the fire elementals, or salamanders, which represent radiant energy.

A talisman is like the foot of a ladder through the four worlds. It contacts the divine idea and the correct archangel, angel, and elemental builders. It continuously pours power into all four levels until the desired result takes place.

Making its physical design resonate to the forces that it is trying to contact makes the loading of the talisman easier. The talisman should be a color and shape that corresponds to the force that you wish to attract. It should have occult signs and divine names of power that occultists agree are the earthly representations of the four worlds, and it should be made at a time when those powers are the strongest.

We will be looking at talisman designs in chapter 3. The technique we will use will utilize the colors, angels, and names of power used in a Cabbalistic glyph called the Tree of Life. This glyph, which is the basis of Jewish esoteric tradition, has influenced countless Jewish and Christian talisman makers for centuries, especially those in magical orders like the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn.

Claiming Your Power to Build a Talisman

It is possible to build powerful magical objects because we exist simultaneously on all four levels and can become consciously aware of each of them. Like a deity, we can formulate a creation and then work with the archangels, angels, and elementals to build it on Earth. With this power, we theoretically create whatever situation we want. We do this instinctively every day.

If we have this power, then why do we experience so much suffering? Surely we would create environments that are happy and prosperous.

The problem is that the creative process is forged by the unconscious beliefs of each of us. Most of us unconsciously believe that our lives will remain the same or get worse. We worry about bad things happening to us, and our moments of happiness are spoiled with the fear that everything will be taken away.

Psychological fears and phobias built by environmental conditioning add more bogus beliefs to the miix so that most of us use our magical powers to build a hell on Earth rather than creating a happy environment.

Occultists are in the process of reclaiming the use of their creative powers. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. The psychological blocks to our success are not always embedded in one lifetime, but in many incarnations. Even after all our personal blocks are resolved, there are the complexes shared by all humans, however spiritually developed we may be.

It is hard to be successful in magic without first removing our psychic blocks; however, success in magic often removes these blocks. Nothing succeeds like success. Magicians who have used talismans to improve their environment are more likely to believe that such techniques will improve their future.

What is the way out of the catch-22? The ancients used ritual magic to bypass that which stands in the way of success.

How Ritual Works

Ceremonial magic is a drama in which a magician plays the main character. His stage is set in a candle-lit room, with thick, sweet-smelling incense, and usually an altar; but the magician's mind is far away.

The magician is imagining that his ritual is taking place in a mystical temple in sun-scorched Egypt or on top of a sacred mountain. In his mind's eye, he calls to beings that exist in other worlds and imagines that they arrive.

As the magician loses himself in the drama of the ritual, something strange happens. The illusion becomes real. The magician feels like the gods and angels that he called feel are really there. Energy can be seen crisscrossing the room, which is charged with a strange atmosphere.

The ritual magician can enter an altered state of consciousness. He becomes aware of the next world, and, in his mind, operates upon it. He has effectively laid a new reality over this one. It is a reality where he talks to gods and goddesses because he is like a god or goddess. Because this altered reality flows down the worlds, an observer with no psychic ability often sees things that are not on the material level.

Because these worlds are built of thought, the language the magician uses are symbols and images. The ritual act of drawing a pentagram in the air has a reality in realms of thought. Symbolic systems have the power to take the magician to even higher states of consciousness.

There is a further advantage. Once the magician is walking in the realms of the angels, he can cooperate with them to change patterns of creation. It is easier to make changes in the worlds above this one. They are made out of thought and can be controlled by thought. Immediately after they have been placed in the worlds above, the changes flow downward until they have a material reality.

These are the acts of a high-level magician, but even a novice can obtain staggering effects from the most basic ritual without hitting deep altered states.

This happens for two reasons. The first reason is because of the great occult maxim " As above, so below, and as below, so above." This statement (which was written in an early Hermetic treatise called the "Emerald Tablet" ) implies that everything that happens on Earth also happens on the other frequencies or levels of creation and vice versa; so a simple ritual actually does stir the angelic levels.

Simple rituals also work because they can unlock potential from us that is so subliminal that we never knew we had it.

One talisman consecration ritual only requires a colored candle to be plungeed into a bowl of water as a simple ritual phrase is spoken. Having tested a talisman consecrated by this ritual, I discovered that it is as effective a talisman as those made by more elaborate means.

The reason that this ritual works so well is that it focuses the magician's concentration on the task at hand. This focus sets up a vortex on all planes of manifestation, drawing astral beings toward the magician's goal.

Some of the simpler talisman systems work because the angelic contacts, whose job it is to empower it, have agreed to let it work that way. Countless magicians and Wiccans have used this ritual and each success has added to its power. When you use this ritual, it is like you have been given a key that bypasses the need for a large amount of technical knowledge.

This ritual's weak point, however, is its simplicity. Many people find that they cannot work with such rituals because they don't believe anything that simple will work. This attitude prevents the ritual from achieving its goal.

That which is built from thought can be destroyed by another contradictory thought. It is useless to spend hours performing a ritual to earn yourself money if at the end of it you say things like " This will never work, nothing good ever happens to me." You have to suspend disbelief and believe you will get the result you want until long after the ritual has ended. Only after you have gotten your result, or realized that the ritual has not worked, should you analyze it too closely.

This is one of the reasons why occult orders insist on secrecy and keep silent about their ritual activities. If you tell someone that you have performed a ritual, then you are dependent on them not to have negative thoughts about its success and accidentally destroy your results. Since this cannot be guaranteed, it is always better to keep quiet about it.

Later in this book, we will examine different types of talisman consecration rituals.

Reasons to Build Talismans

Theoretically, it is possible to make a talisman for any magical purpose, certainly those that have survived the passage of time do not give any indication that their tasks were limited. Talismans have been created for esoteric reasons like spiritual development, to help the soul transverse the afterlife, and more mundane tasks like helping someone sing properly.

Many of these tasks could be performed equally well by an act of ritual magic; however, there are some advantages for creating a talisman, even for an established ritual magician.

A ritual targets those three levels above the material with a single mental image and aims for an eventual physical result as the wish percolates downward. A ritual is generally a one-shot technique that either works or fails. A talisman, however, draws magical power all the way down the levels and connects it to the earth plane extremely effectively. A talisman keeps the doors to these levels open over a long period of time and organically draws the right circumstances to it, while repelling negative suggestions. To achieve the same effect, a magician would have to do many rituals regularly.

Another advantage of making a talisman is that while a ritual is usually performed in a secret place, a talisman can be carried to the scene where it is most needed. If a traveler wants protection, by carrying the talisman with him, it can work directly with the minds of those who might attack him.

One magician, who was having trouble with his boss, made a tallisman so that his boss would leave him alone. He taped the talisman underneath the lid of his boss' desk. Every working day, his boss was exposed to the energy radiating from the talisman, and he did leave the magician alone.

Talismans have also been made for writers to help the creative energies flow into their work. A friend of mine who is a writer has a talisman beside his computer that he touches whenever he experiences "writer's block."

The tactile nature of talismans is one of the key reasons that they are so popular. You can make talismans for friends, who are then constantly reminded of the work you have done for him or her. When they touch the talisman, they unconsciously cooperate with the energies that it represents. People who are sick will feel reassured knowing that a healing talisman is under their pillow, slowing enabling the changes in their bodies to make them well again.

On a more cynical level, a talisman provides some material proof that a ritual has been performed. Historically, a layperson would not want to hand over large amounts of cash to a magician or priest to perform a ritual unless some material result was seen.

A less technological culture would allow people to see their shaman go into a trance and dance about while possessed by the spirits; however, secrecy of magicians and witches prevents people from entering their circles or lodges to see the work that they have commissioned being carried out. For some reason, people who walk away with a charm or a piece of paper with Cabbalistic signs written on it feel that they have gotten something for their money.

The purpose of a talisman is often something general, like healing, wealth, influence, or protection. This has led some to say that a talisman should be for a general purpose, while a ritual is for something specific, but this is not always the case; at times, the aim of a talisman is specifically identified.

I tend to make talismans for the following reasons:

When power needs to be brought to bear on the situation over time and there are a large number of factors that will need to be brought into line before the desired physical result manifests.

When nonmagical people ask for my help and may not believe that anything will happen unless they have something tangible to hold.

When exposure to the talisman's energies is a key component in getting the desired result. For example, theenergy of a healing talisman often works on the patient at a cellular level and thus needs to be in close proximity to him or her.

When placement of power in a different location will help bring about the desired result. One occult order in New Zealand buried a talisman in the ground next to the road just before an intersection that was a local accident black spot. Every time a driver approached the intersection, the talisman would cause him or her to take extra care. Following the order's action, there was some reduction in accidents at that intersection, although the talisman had no effect on drunken drivers. Planetary Influences

We will be looking at several different types of talismans in this book, but we will mostly use the energies of the seven main "planets" of the ancients, the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. It seems odd that, in a developing science like occultism, we seem reluctant to embrace energies of the recently discovered planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The truth is, though, that the energies from theseseven bodies can be used to get everything talisman makers could want.

Dion Fortune, a magician and writer who set up her own magic order in the late 1920s, once described the planets as the physical bodies of beings of extremely complex energies. These planetary beings orbit the aura of the Sun, which is the higher self of the solar system. Together they make a huge physical body of a living being that we call the solar system. Like the energy centers described in the magical systems of India and China, the planets are vortexes of energy for this solar system's body.

Each center has a special function; for example, Venus provides the love force and the energies of creativity.

These vortexes bombard the other centers with their unique energies, creating and effecting change upon them. Fortune said that it is these fields of energy that have enabled Earth to develop and evolve life. It was this rare condition that enabled the Divine to send a life wave of divine sparks to incarnate and evolve among this matter, and it was these divine sparks that became human.

Whether or not you accept this rationalization, it shows how important the planets are considered to be by the working occultist. A planetary talisman aims to form a vortex to capture more of the planetary energy than is normal. It then takes this energy and directs it toward your heart's desire.

A magician wishing to make a talisman would decide which planetary energy would match the talisman's purpose and would then build one that would attract that particular force.

Each planet is listed below with its attributions. To figure out which planet you should use, think about what you specifically want your talisman to do. If you want to find the right sort of house, you would use a Saturn talisman. If you want protection from a bully, you would use a Mars talisman.


Fate, time, the past, limits and boundaries, form, structures including houses, old age, serious, ambition, bones, knees, skeleton, shins, ankles and circulation, rheumatism, arthritis, envy, suffering, fear, guilt, toxins, repressed aspects of the self, death, vermin and lice, politicians, scientists, architects, teachers, mines, mountains, and wastelands.


Lawmaking, opportunity, growth, progress, evolution, money, banks, rulers, royalty, faith, hope, charity, redemption, freedom, spiritual wisdom and development, hypocrisy, hips, thighs, feet, lawyers, priests, counselors, actors, open spaces, public _laces, and panoramic views.


Wars, anger, action, sexual desire, physical energy, quarrels, courts, justice, courage, protection, transformation, revenge, destruction, surgery, the head, genitals, excretory system, rashes, red spots, migraine, predators, soldiers, surgeons, athletes, furnaces, foundries, and metal work.


Love, eroticism, desire, pleasure, inspiration, joy, partnerships, peace, laughter, friendship, creativity, the arts, beauty, evaluation, promiscuity, overindulgence, lewdness, gentle animals, the throat and neck, kidneys, lower back, diplomacy, artists, fashions, bedrooms, and gardens.


Communication, movement, messages, computers, the media, language, trade, theft, magic, skill, learning, intellect, psychology as a science, science, rationality, cunning and mischievous animals like monkeys, the digestive system, arms and hands, merchants, clerks, accountants, scholars, universities, examinations, shops, schools, airports, and train and bus stations.


The unconscious, habits, instinct, sea, rhythm, the astral realm, mysteries, women (particularly their health), mothers, childbirth, psychism, menstruation, mental health, the stomach, breasts, warts, sterility, obsessions, delusions, insanity, cleaners, brewers, midwives, sailors, and harbors.

The Sun

Leadership, general health, healing, organization, arrogance, display, drama, fathers, power, individualization, the heart, the back, the lungs, kings, directors, managers, actors, palaces, and theaters.

Most magicians make healing talismans using the Sun, as this aligns well with Raphael the angelic healer; however, each planet rules a certain part of the body, and many complaints are caused by pathology of that particular planetary energy. A talisman of an appropriate planet provides a correct template of the energy with which the body can heal itself, it also uses the healing function of other lesser known angels.

1. A talisman is the generic term. An amulet is a talisman that is specifically designed to protect the wearer. A charm is the "spell" that empowers the talisman; however, over the years it has also come to denote a talismanic object that is usually worn on a necklace or bracelet.

2. Aleister Crowley's book Magic in Theory and Practice dedicates thirteen pages of the Introduction to his definition of magic. See Aleister Crowley, Magic in Theory and Practice (New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1976) xii-xxiii.

3. Much of this process takes place after the incarnation process. There are great adepts, or Bodhisattvas (in the Buddhist tradition), who are carrying on their evolution, progressively becoming more godlike, after incarnation.

4. Although I am using the terms of the Jewish and Christian hierarchies, many religions carry a fourfold hierarchical structure. In ancient Egypt, there was the creator god Atum; major gods like Isis, Osirus, and Horus; and lesser gods like the domestic god Bes.

5. There are some rituals that are repeated over a long period of time to achieve this effect. However, they tend to be significant workings that work on a large scale, like the development of humanity, rather than the more personal functions that talismans perform.

6. It is a magical rule that you don't intervene in someone else's life unless he or she asks you to do so.

7. See Dion Fortune, Cosmic Doctrine (Wellingborough: Aquarian, 1988) chapters 6-9.

© Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.

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