The word "talisman" is from the Greek root telio, meaning "to consecrate." A talisman is a man-made object endowed with magical power, often used for purposes of protection. A rosary, St. Christopher medal, or crudifux are all, in effect, talismans.
The most potent of magic is that done for a specific purpose by the person most concerned. Therefore, the normal, store-bought crucifix or St. Christophers medal are too general and nonpersonal to be as effective as they might be. However, as talismans they would certainly be more powerful if constucted from scratch and could be made even more potent by a ritual consecration, as the name implies.
Pierre de Bresche, in Traite des Talismans (1671), said: "A talisman is nothing else than a seal, figure, character, or image of celestial omen, planet, or constellation; impressed, engraved, or sculptured upon a sympathetic stone or upon a metal corresponding to the planet, by a workman whose mind is settled and fixed upon his work and the end of his work without being distracted or dissipated in other unrelated thoughts; on the day and at the hour of the planet; in a fortunate place; during fair, calm, weather and when the planet is in the best aspect that may be in the heavens, the more strongly to attract the influences proper to an effect depending upon the power of the same and on the virtues of its influence"
De Bresche makes an important point when he says ".....by a workman whose mind is settled and fixed upon his work and the end of his work....." In other words, in making a talisman, the maker must concentrate on the engraving or drawing he is doing and must also concentrate on the "end" or purpose for which the talisman is being made, to the absolute exclusion of all else.
A talisman can be of any shape and of virtually any material. Many are constructed on parchment or paper. Others are engraved into metal, the metal specifically chosen (as de Bresche mentioned, above) according to the talisman's purpose. For example, silver is the metal of the Moon, so silver would be used to make a talisman for the purposes connected with the Moon: dreams, theft, or merchandise. To go a step further, it should be made on a Monday---the Moon day---and also made in the hour of the Moon, which would be the first hour of the daylight or the nighttime hours.
The metals associated with the days of the week and their properties are as follows:
Sunday---Sun---Gold: fortune, hope, money.
Monday---Moon---Silver: dreams, merchandise, theft.
Tuesday---Mars---Iron: enemies, matrimony, prison, war.
Wednesday---Mercury--- Mercury/Aluminum: debt, fear, loss.
Thursday---Jupiter---Tin: clothing, desires, honor, riches.
Friday---Venus---Copper: friendship, love, strangers.
Saturday---Saturn---Lead: building, doctrine, life, protection.
According to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a talisman is "a magical figure charged with the Force which it is intended to represent." It is so charged by inscription and consecration. the inscription can, as mentioned, be written or engraved. For inscription written on paper or parchment, the ink is often handmade and the pen is sprinkled with salted water and held in the smoke of burning incense.
What is put on the talisman is the most important part of the ritual. It can be a word or words, or it can be a sigil or traditional design. Many medieval talismans show geometric designs in combination with magical symbols. Following the doctrine that the more energy you put into the making of the talisman, the more powerful it will be, any writing is usually done in one of the magical alphabets, which require a great deal of concentration to use. The sigils can be constructed from such things as magical squares, again giving greater power to their meanings. Great care has to be exercised when constructing magic squares. When drawn on parchment, the squares should be marked in black ink with the numbers or letters in red ink. All should be drawn with the parchment set up so that the maker's shadow does not fall on the parchment. The red lines should not touch the black anywhere. As with all magic items, it should be appropriately consecrated before use.
The first step in making a talisman is to determine precisely how it will be used. Will it be for protection, to bring love, for healing, to gain power, or for some other purpose? Once the need has been determined, that need must then be reduced to a single sentence. From there, the Witch or magician can decide which of the planets and the days of the week would be the most appropriate for that purpose. For example, Tuesday is appropriate for matrimony, while Friday is appropriate for love. Thursday is good for desires. Which of the three would be best suited for the talisman? Will it be affecting a new love, the desire for love, or a state of marriage that already exists?
Once the proper sigil has been determined and applied to the talisman, and it has been personalized for the one who will use it, the object must be consecrated before it can be used. So long as it is worn, it will continue to work and to attract the required forces from the universe.
posted by Artemisia
The word "talisman" comes from the Arabic and means "to make magical marks." An amulet can be a found object, a common item, or one bought in a store. A talisman, on the other hand, is inscribed with pictures, words, letters, or mystical signs and is crafted for a specific function. When properly designed, talismans are believed to bring love, treasures, and health, and can allow one to communicate with the dead. Talismans must be crafted following a specific ritual based on the intended use, and the recipient's astrological sign, religion, or other qualities are often taken into consideration.
Talismans are intended to remain mysterious. While amulets often feature recognized symbols to bring protection or luck, talismans have inscriptions meant to be secret or specific only to the individuals wearing them. Talismans must be crafted at a proper time and in a proper way to be effective; injury is believed to result from carelessness in the making or wearing of talismans.
Talismans are often used by members of secret societies. Kabbalists, for example, combined a complicated system of knowledge that utilized elements of numerology and astrology to create magic squares that protect against sorcery. Magic squares feature letters that spell out the name of God or numbers arranged in rows and columns that produce an equal sum when added in various sequences.
The magic triangle, another talisman, is based on the belief that systematic reductions of an inscription, line by line, create power that can ward off evil spirits and heal maladies. The mystical word "Abracadabra," for example, was used in medieval Europe as a chant to reduce fever. Each time the word was spoken in the chant, a letter was dropped. As the chant reduced, the fever was dispelled. Such talismans were especially popular during the Great Plague that swept through London during the mid-1660s.
A talisman of vodun, called gris-gris, is a small cloth bag filled with items from herbs to cloth to animal parts, created in a ritualistic practice and intended to bring money, love, or good health to the wearer.
by Claudia Zaslavsky
How can we help our students to develop those important skills with numbers and computation, without boring them with drillnkill worksheets? One answer is magic squares. The construction and analysis of magic squares provides practice in mental arithmetic, operations with numbers, geometry, and measurement, and encourages logical reasoning and creativity, all in a game-like setting. Each student can proceed at his or her own pace. Best of all, the students correct their own work; finding errors is part of the process.
Magic squares are popular in many cultures. The Chinese may have invented them. According to their legend, the emperor and his court were sailing down the River Lo about 4,000 years ago. Suddenly a turtle appeared out of the water. On the turtles back was a design with nine numbers, expressed in combinations of dots. Each number, from 1 to 9, appeared exactly once. They called this design of numbers the Lo Shu, or river map.
The number 15 is the magic sum for this magic square
From the Tribal Empowerment forum
found and posted by Artemisia