Charms, Amulets and Talismans

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A lot of people use these terms interchangeably, but they do mean different things.  A talisman is a crafted object that is made to actively attract specific favorable influences and bring good fortune.  An amulet wards off bad luck or evil, so is considered a “passive” protective object.  (The way I remember which is which without getting them mixed up, is that amulet sounds a little like armor, which is also a protective object.)  The word charm is used to describe both of these, and also sometimes used to mean a spoken spell.  The most common form of charm found today are those pewter pendants found in occult shops.  But in the old days, it was more common for people to use natural objects as charms and keep them in a pocket, a shoe, or tied to clothing.
Here are a few of the many examples of  Ozark amulets:
~carry cedar chips to ward off evil and disease
~hang dill, nettle, or ivy in your house to ward off evil
~protect children from malignant magic with a necklace of cut up dried burdock roots
The most common form of  Ozark talismans is love charms.  There are a lot of them- too many of them to list them all, but one example is the peach pit charm carved with initials or symbols, filled with specially-made pink soap and worn on a necklace or garter.

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One response »

  1. I always think of amulet as something that is potion related or root magick related, like the examples you have…. and charm as something that is bewitched (ha, how often do we get to use that term!). I love the blog!

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