What Are Amulets And Why Are They Important?
They come by many names – amulets, talismans, charms, and agimats/anting-antings, to name a few – these apotropaic objects are as varied as the cultures that bear and honor them.
Many indigenous and ancient cultures have their own version of these sacred objects, which are often worn against the skin, and used to ward off evil spirits and protect those that wear them.
They are blessed through sacred ritual to give extraordinary powers and protection to warriors, healers, and shamans.
In Filipino culture, these are called agimats or anting-antings, which are blessed with ritual and oracion, and were given to warriors before going into battle, in order to protect them from arrows, spears, swords, and illness. Part of this mythology goes that you can find a special agimat by harvesting the heart/blossom of the banana tree at midnight to obtain the magical mutya, another form of agimat, to access their special powers.
Unfortunately, in the heart of New York, and in other metropolitan areas, our jungle is concrete, and we must find our agimats in other ways!
However, due to the vilification of the Sacred Feminine in some cultures (since magic, intuition, and the mysterious yin female energies are identified with amulets), they have sometimes been given a bad name, and have been linked to malicious intent, curses, and the like.
Of course, magic, creating, ritual, and manifesting are all about intent, and that applies to talismans, as well. The key here is to focus on a positive one. Because I’m all about the Light, I’m focusing the energy of this post into the numerous positive outcomes amulets can create!
There are many different types of amulets:
Wearable amulets: These are most common form, perhaps because of their ease of use, and variety. They can range from religious objects for those of a certain faith, sacred objects for those who are spiritual, pendants with old inscriptions, prayers, and/or symbols, alchemical designs, may incorporate protective Gods/Goddesses, and include special stones and crystals, or parts of animals. They can be worn as pendants, bracelets, earrings, or belts. Basically, anything that you can wear on your body, and have been treated with ritual towards protection and assistance towards a certain goal. When I was younger, I had a wonderful amulet that was made for me. It was a tiny vial, containing certain stones, roots, and special oils. Nowadays, you’ll typically find me wearing certain blessed stones and shells for specific purposes, as well as a pendant of scalar energy that is incredibly healing on the cellular level.
Verbal amulets: These include oracion, prayers, chants, incantations, and any verbal invocations. These kinds of amulets are not physical. Here, we are invoking Gods/Goddesses, ancestors, and whomever/whatever we find sacred to assist us, protect us, or help us. Because many of us invoke this power through our own words, I’m so hellbent on promoting verbalizations that call in light vs. darkness (you can read more about the power of our words in a previous post I wrote).
Internal amulets: Definitely one of the more old-school ways to have an amulet! This is when you ingest the amulet itself, so you carry it inside you, always. Another version is by implantation under the skin. I wouldn’t recommend this version of amulet in contemporary times. Because despite me owning my woo, I am also rather pragmatic, and can see how this can go all kinds of wrong on a physical level. That said, that’s certainly a way to ensure that it’ll always be with you!
Inscribed amulets: This form of amulet is written on a flat surface. Back in the day it would sometimes be written on slats of bamboo, a shirt, handkerchief, or other natural surface, like metal or wood. It can even be inscribed on skin. I chose to receive this version of an amulet about 20 years ago. It’s placed on my back in the form of a tattoo, and holds much meaning, since I’d researched the symbolism, which includes ancient script and mythology of my bloodline, as well as a description of myself given to me by my mother (amulets often get stronger with time, and when passed down).
Although in many common traditions, amulets were reserved for the warriors, healers, and shamans, many of us now have access to receiving, creating, and wearing them, regardless of our background.
So, what makes a charm “charmed”?
There are two main things that can make an object sacred:
- Intent: This is when you give the object meaning and sacredness by infusing it with your desired intention. Because thoughts and words are powerful, simply focusing on the object, while holding it in your hand, particularly with a focused intent, can be enough to charge the object. Often this intention is amplified and set by creating ritual around it.
- Ritual: Ritual, for the purpose of creating a talisman, incorporates many elements. I will explore ritual at greater depth in a later post. But, for now, here are some of the basics:
- Firstly, sacred space is created – through blessing the space with sacred smoke like white sage, intention that this special area for the ritual will be blessed and protected, and/or sprinkling water infused with crystal or essential oil essences, among other methods. It is also common to have offerings at the altar, through food, drink, flowers, and other offerings. For some, pictures of ancestors, or objects given to us by ancestors, are placed on the altar, as well.
- Next, there is an invocation and/or prayer to call in God/dess, Source, The One, Ancestors, Spirit Guides, Angels, or whomever/whatever you connect with in Light. Oftentimes, the elements are called in, as well. So, including elements, of fire, earth, air, and water are helpful to have, and establish, during this part of the ceremony.
- Then the blessing is set for the object with intention. Imagine the object you hold in your hand is infused with pure light for the positive intention and goal you want to create. For some people, there is a certain sequence to this, that may include additional sacred objects, and/or prayers/incantations to draw down energy. For others, as long as certain elements are included –creating sacred space, invoking Light, their own special kind of blessing, and closure to the ritual – the ritual has been completed.
- Closing the ritual is the typical final step, which includes thanking those you’ve invoked to help you in the ritual. One way I like to close up shop during ritual is saying to those of Light I’ve invited to the charging ritual, “Leave is you must, stay if you will.”
- Although this is not a vital step, my personal final step is grounding by enjoying a healthy meal. Since, during ritual, you raise energy, and when you close it, you’re grounding it back down. This is especially important for those of us who may often have our head in the clouds, and could use the grounding energy!
Any time you cultivate your personal energy, such as through a meditative or energy practice, like Reiki, or something similar, you are able to more easily charge your object(s) through the simple act of intention. However, you get more impact and full talisman power through a ritual, in whichever way resonates the most to you!
You can create one for various purposes: from finding love, protection from those who may not wish you well, to helping you find a better job or a better place to live, the possibilities to create Light in your life are endless.
And, hopefully with these tips, you’ll feel more confident in the knowledge of how to manifest that which you seek for your Highest Good, using amulets.
What kinds of amulets have you used that you’ve found most helpful?
And, what are your favorite elements of ritual that fill your heart?
Please let me know in the comments, below!
With pure light blessings,
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