5 Steps to Creating A Talisman (To Transform Superstition To Magic)
Understanding how magical thinking works is a powerful ally in the use of psychological strength to our advantage.
Magical thinking and superstition may appear ridiculous. They’re things that attract the ignorant and the impressionable. Paradoxically, the irrational actually influences our brains more than many would like to believe.
Psychology professor, Bruce Hood demonstrated the effectiveness of superstition during a talk at a science fair. Hood challenged the audience to try on a blue jacket in exchange for ten pounds sterling. Several volunteers agreed to the proposal, but before they could try the jacket on, Hood told them that the garment had belonged to serial killer, Fred West. With this knowledge, most of the volunteers simply refused. They were faced with an apotropaic act, an instinctive rejection of the “ominous,” and a discomfort that is the basis of superstition. This occurs even in the most rational people (at a science fair). Interestingly, the experiment ended when Hood informed the volunteers that jacket really didn’t belong to any serial killer, showing that our minds powerfully determine our attitudes towards everyday objects.
In addition to the “sentimental value” of the objects we’ve inherited from our parents, grandparents, or those that were present at historical moments, objects also typically carry a lot of psychic energy. These don’t need to be explained scientifically to recognize their importance. Think, for example, of the relics of Catholicism and crucifixes.
Using these same principles, it’s possible to create amulets and talismans to suit our own needs, beliefs and skepticisms, and to use common objects as allies during times of great stress.
Talismans (from the Arab tilasim, or Greek, telesma meaning “initiation”) are physical objects, of mineral, vegetable or animal origin and traditionally used for the bearing of a charged intent. For example, quartz or precious stones are associated with astrological signs, rabbits’ feet and four-leaf clovers for good luck, similar to pentagrams, rosaries or amulets. Below are some tips for loading positive energy into an amulet or talisman of your own.
1. Select the physical base
One may choose a stone that fits one’s astrological sign, or any stone that already bears a special meaning. It doesn’t matter if it’s a costly object or a trinket, so long as one may connect with its presence, weight, smell, touch, with a specific intention, (e.g.; dice are recommended as amulets for gamblers).
2. Transmit positive intentions
Take a few minutes each day for a week to meditate or pray using this physical base. If you believe in a god, angel, saint, protector or spirit, imagine that their energy envelops this physical base, whatever it might be. The message being sent to the unconscious is that the physical base, or amulet, is connected with the invisible through this intention. In other words, the object is the physical representation of an intention, desire or positive emotion (luck, health, love, etc.).
One can think of amulets as electric batteries, like the one in your cell phone. These are charged and drained periodically. At first, it’s necessary to have the amulet close to you during happy moments, and to turn away from it when feeling sad. Imagining that the amulet serves to “absorb” your intentions will help to reinforce this.
4. Consecration to the elements
Depending on the type of material chosen, many schools of magic will advise that it be “sealed” through one of the four elements; earth, water, air or fire. Go with your intuitions rather than by any particular ritual, as the chosen element will only sanctify the covenant between you and your amulet (immediately, as with a baptism, a water seal).
An amulet or talisman will serve to remind you of something important or can be used in stressful situations, as well as when you need more luck. As mentioned, amulets or talisman are energy batteries, so their effectiveness will drop noticeably over time. In such cases one should return to step 2 and recharge. One can also take advantage of events such as rain, eclipses or dawn to recharge some stones or talisman to power, but again, let intuition guide you.
Lastly remember the anecdote about Niels Bohr, the scientist and Nobel prize winner, who hung a horseshoe outside his cabin in the mountains. When some visiting colleagues from the scientific community noticed it, they asked if he was superstitious and really believed in “such things.” To this, Bohr replied that no, since he was a man of science he didn’t, “but I’ve heard that such things work even if you don’t believe in them.”
*Image: Chelm261 / Creative Commons
When ancient rituals became religion
The emergence of religions irreversibly changed the history of humanity. It’s therefore essential to ask when and how did ancient peoples’ rituals become organized systems of thought, each with their
Seven ancient maps of the Americas
A map is not the territory. —Alfred Korzybski Maps are never merely maps. They’re human projections, metaphors in which we find both the geographical and the imaginary. The cases of ghost islands
An artist crochets a perfect skeleton and internal organs
Shanell Papp is a skilled textile and crochet artist. She spent four long months crocheting a life-size skeleton in wool. She then filled it in with the organs of the human body in an act as patient
A musical tribute to maps
A sequence of sounds, rhythms, melodies and silences: music is a most primitive art, the most essential, and the most powerful of all languages. Its capacity is not limited to the (hardly trivial)
The enchantment of 17th-century optics
The sense of sight is perhaps one the imagination’s most prolific masters. That is why humankind has been fascinated and bewitched by optics and their possibilities for centuries. Like the heart, the
Would you found your own micro-nation? These eccentric examples show how easy it can be
Founding a country is, in some ways, a simple task. It is enough to manifest its existence and the motives for creating a new political entity. At least that is what has been demonstrated by the
Wondrous crossings: the galaxy caves of New Zealand
Often, the most extraordinary phenomena are “jealous of themselves” ––and they happen where the human eye cannot enjoy them. However, they can be discovered, and when we do find them we experience a
Think you have strange reading habits? Wait until you've seen how Mcluhan reads
We often forget or neglect to think about the infinite circumstances that are condensed in the acts that we consider habitual. Using a fork to eat, for example, or walking down the street and being
The sky is calling us, a love letter to the cosmos (video)
We once dreamt of open sails and Open seas We once dreamt of new frontiers and New lands Are we still a brave people? We must not forget that the very stars we see nowadays are the same stars and
The sister you always wanted (but made into a crystal chandelier)
Lucas Maassen always wanted to have a sister. And after 36 years he finally procured one, except, as strange as it may sound, in the shape of a chandelier. Maassen, a Dutch designer, asked the