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"Amulets and Talismans"
byline: Rachel Madorsky

During healing sessions, Katrina began to see symbols and pictures. In the beginning, I did not pay attention. But the recurrence of visions attracted my interest. Looking through books, I learned about similar symbols. The visions came to Katrina either from her past lives or from the Cosmic Mind. The received information could no longer be ignored. At the same time, a jeweler came to me for treatment. I couldn't believe this was just coincidence. The jeweler used Katrina's drawings to make amulets and talismans. 

The symbol of a triangle, which had come in curious form to Katrina, was made into a necklace and earrings. The triangle is one of the most ancient symbols known to mankind and has been used in amulets and talismans around the world. The adornment protected the wearer from dark forces and evil eyes. Look at those who wear an overabundance of jewelry. These people carry amulets and subconsciously are trying to protect themselves from powerful environmental influences. These adornments keep the attention away from their owner.

The type of amulet or talisman used depends on how developed the society or culture is. Many think amulets and talismans are the same, but they are different. Amulets protect their owners from misfortune, enemies, malicious wizards and evil eyes. Talismans bring good luck, love, happiness, health, authority and riches by attracting aid from the forces of Quasimir or the invisible world to the owner. Usually talismans are carried on the body or are hung in certain places.

Some types of amulets have been known for thousands of years, such as the Ankh, Seal of Solomon, Star of David, Cross, Swastika, Scarab, Horseshoe, and Palm, to name a few.
In ancient Egypt, amulets were used both for the living and for the dead. Amulets with the name of one or many gods and consecrated by a sorcerer or priest were considered the strongest ones.

Archeologists found in Egypt more than 300 different types of amulets. Amulets for the heart were shaped in the form of a scarab. The scarab not only protected, it also gave new life to a body when certain words were carved into it. It is also one of the most popular amulets today. Another amulet is the Eye of Horus, the Egyptian god of light, used to protect against danger and safeguard good health. The ankh is the amulet of life. 

During the Roman Empire, Emperor Caracalla forbad amulets with his image under threat of punishment. 

The gold or silver plate covered with tiny snakes or half moons and ancient writings served as amulets for the Jews. Soldiers carried them on their wrists during war. One of the most important amulets of the Jews is the Torah. Excerpts from the Torah enclosed in cases are kept at entrance doors or carried as adornments to deflect the devil's games and to protect from evil. Amulets in the form of letters served the ancient Jews, who believed God created the world by the letters of their alphabet and language. Each letter of the alphabet bears a certain amount of energy and miracle force. The name of God consists of four letters, but Jews are not allowed to speak it aloud as it carries both creative and destructive forces and affords protection from the devil. The eighth letter of Hebrew alphabet is Chi - the symbol of life and it is very popular among Hebrews, other nationalities, and different cultures, as well. 

In the Middle Ages, amulets got a second life in connection with epidemics, wars and political cataclysms. Dried frogs carried in silk bags were worn around the neck to prevent epileptic attacks. At that time, epileptics were thought to be possessed by malicious spirits. Wearing an amulet expelled the malicious spirits from the body or protected others from attack.
Written amulets, usually associated with the cabbalistic tradition of letters or words on a leather parchment, are carried in a metal or leather case. 

In China, priests sell small metal plates with engraving or a leather piece with writing to protect man from illnesses or accidents.

Arabs use either talismans of Hebrew or Gnostic origin. In Arabian legends, magic properties are attributed to rings or seals of Solomon.

One frequently used talisman is an image of an inverted palm. The hand extended forward is considered a symbol of divine force and the authority of the Almighty. The amulet in the form of a hand saves his owner from an evil eye and should be worn around the neck or attached to something. Called the "Hand of Fatima" by Arabs, it is the most popular amulet in the Near East. In Jewish culture, it is called "Chamsa," which means five in Arabic. It protects against the five forces of nature: water, fire, wind, lightening and earthquake. 

In the Middle Ages, Slavs used plants, medicinal herbs, animal parts or fish bodies as amulets. Bunches of sage were hung at door entrances. Other bunches were shaped into brooms to sweep malicious spirits from premises. Witches, healers, or medicine men passed their books on herbs only to their descendents.

The star is a long-time symbol of hope. Though the Seal of Solomon (pentagram) and Star of David (hectogram) were widely used by Jews in amulets, they were also popular with Egyptians, Assyrians and Babylonians. The symbols of stars could be found in ruins in India, China, Peru and Mexico as well.

With an edge upward, the star resembles man with open hands and with legs astride. It symbolizes the surrender of man to the Almighty and reflects the eternal spirit overseeing the four elements: air, fire, water and earth. Pentagrams are frequently used in amulets together with the lunar or half moon. In ancient Jewish culture, the Star of David or Seal of Solomon symbolized the union of fire and water, man and woman, or body and soul. To the Egyptians, it symbolized fertilization. The six-pointed star united the power of all the planets, bringing success to all.

The eight-pointed star, Eschatar, is the symbol of hope, spiritual inspiration and protection. Every possible kind of star has been used in amulets.

The cross is probably the most ancient amulet. However, it was not originally a symbol of Christian origin. During the age of Samaria and Assyria, the first known crosses were symmetric, frequently made within a circle. The circle designated Earth and the four branches signified the four seasons of the year. This type of cross, used by the pagans long before Christ, symbolized a deity and creative forces. Later the cross was associated with protecting the wearer with well being and a long life. Columbus found the symbol of a cross in America. The Indians called it the "cross of the wind."

In the beginning of our era, four forms of the cross-Greek, Tauay or the cross of the Old Testament, cross of Saint Andrew, and Latin or Christian - were used in amulets. In the 4th century during the rule of Constantine the Great, his mother Helen converted to Christianity while visiting Palestine. She announced she had found the "true cross;" the cross on which Jesus was crucified. Having received from Helen a part of the cross, Constantine sent it to the Pope in the Vatican. At the same time, he ordered the replacement of the eagle on all Roman soldiers' shields to the Latin or Christian cross, thus raising the stature of Christianity to the state religion of the Roman Empire. 

There is one more ancient amulet with a sad past. It is the swastika. Its name comes from India, which means "happy, successful." Early Christians used the swastika on crypts to protect the dead. In China, it was known as "thunder scroll" and brought long life, good luck and well being. The swastika frequently appeared on pedestals of Buddha statues. Knowing Nordic mythology, Hitler chose the swastika as a symbol of the Nazi party and the Arian race. Because of its recent history, the swastika is no longer popular as an amulet.

Talisman comes from the Arabian word "talisma" that means "magic letter." Talismans usually appear on medals, rings or pieces of parchment on which special marks and text have been drawn. The power of the magician or sorcerer serves as a link between the owner of the talisman and the invisible forces to strengthen the magical properties of the talisman, connecting its form, color and smell. Many European magic schools recommend that the wearer craft his own talisman so he learns about planetary symbols and natural forces.
Many talismans use pentacles (pentagrams) or seals. Pentacle in Latin means "small figure." Pentacles frequently use five- or six-pointed stars. Seals usually name one of the spiritual forces.

The majority of ancient talismans used Hebrew (the language of ancient Jews) or Latin. Some symbols are so ancient that their importance and meaning have been lost in layers of centuries. 

With frequent handling, metal becomes charged with biopower information of the bearer. Quite often parents give children jewelry from dead relatives without understanding its biopower. If the source of the talisman is unknown or if the giver is gravely ill or has died, the talisman should be washed in salt water to remove any stored information.

Amulets and talismans can be produced from any imaginable material. Dare to create one for yourself. Bring a talisman into your life to embark on a new and probably mystical adventure. By studying ancient wisdom, you become wiser. If you believe in their magic force, ancient amulets can help you. 

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