The Difference Between Amulets and Talismans

An amulet and talisman can attract and emit energy based upon their duties at hand and that each is almost one in the same depending upon their intended use or purpose. A talisman is a type of amulet (or charm) usually engraved or inscribed with words, symbols, images, or characters (e.g., Runic Alphabet incantation) in order to attract or ascribe occult or magickal influences and is often used to carryout a specified intent or action. It is human-made. A talisman is often activated (empowered) by performing some kind of physical motion by the user, such as, waving, touching (rubbing), or even kissing it. The same can almost be said about an amulet, in general, but the difference between the two is that an amulet is natural (e.g., a four-leaf clover, a gem or stone, an animal’s claw, foot, or feather), can only be adopted, and is more of an ornamental charm usually wore around one’s neck.

The amulet, usually, has been blessed in some manner to rid, ward-off (divert), and/or protect the wearer or bearer from negative forces or energies of his or her physical body. An amulet tends to have a specified timeframe attached to it for its use whereas a talisman’s shelf-life might be or often is indefinite. Sacred masks are a type of talisman which can be used in ritual or spellwork over and over. In practice, I tend to use talismans more so during spellcasting and ritual work because I have made them from scratch so to speak and these ritual object contain my energies. Further, an amulet which has been engraved, consecrated, or altered in some way for spiritual and/or ritual purposes is known as a “Talismanic Amulet”. taweez

From a world religious perspective, all religions have used talismans and amulets for purposes specific to their traditions and needs, including the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) as well as the Afrikan-centric religions and spiritual paths of Vodou (Vodun, Voodoo), Hoodoo (Diasporic Afrikan-American Spirituality or Spiritualism), Santeria, Ifa Santeria, Kemeticism (Ancient Egyptian Religion), and the religio-spiritual paths of Wicca (the religion) and Witchcraft (the practice), Asatru, Druidry, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Jainism, Shinto, Taoism, Sikhism, etc. Talismans and amulets have played major roles throughout history even for kings, queens, emperors, papacies, or dictators.

Amulets and talismans can be made out of almost any type of material (including cloth, paper or parchment) as well as be of any kind of object, such as, an energized or “magickally” infused rock, stone, mineral, crystal, geode, gem, wood (e.g., rowan), metal (e.g., hematite, lodestone), herbs, poppet (it can represent both or have an amulet or talisman attached to or sewn into it), trick (Hoodoo Root, Hand, Toby, Mojo, or Conjure) bag, sachet, charm bag, or even a liquid concoction or oil that a charm might contain or be filled with. Natural or organic materials are always best to use because these contain their own variety of natural energies for you to work with. Amulets and talismans can be used for many positive (healing and good health, love, divination, averting danger, necromancy, ill-will and hexing, employment, legal situations, attracting money, and prosperity) and negative (revenge, hexing, and general ill-will) purposes. Both can be wore or carried on the person as well as planted in (buried) and around one’s own or someone else’s property.

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