Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

May/June 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Amulet

This article was written by John Michael Greer on April 01, 2005
posted under Amulet

A magical device for general protection and good fortune. An amulet differs from a talisman in that talismans are made and ritually consecrated for specific tightly focused purposes, while amulets are more general, and are often not formally consecrated at all.

The use of amulets goes back far into prehistoric times, and the oldest known civilizations are rich in amulet lore. The ancient Egyptians fashioned amulets of gold, precious and semiprecious stones, as well as less expensive materials. The ankh, the hieroglyph for "life," was among the most common Egyptian amulets, but there were many others, including the Udjat or Eye of Horus and the scarab beetle, a symbol of the sun. The ancient cultures of Mesopotamia had a rich amulet lore of their own, as did ancient Greece and Rome. In the Greek world, the ephesia grammata or "Ephesian letters" were among the most important ingredients in amulets.

The great monotheistic faiths of the Piscean AgeJudaism, Christianity, and Islam—brought their own traditions to bear on the lore and use of amulets. Texts from various sacred scriptures came to play a large part in amulets; in Christianity, which did not forbid the use of sacred images, pictures, or statues of the Trinity or the saints had a similar role. To this day many conservative Catholics keep a plastic statue of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, or a patron saint in their cars to ward off auto accidents.

In modern ceremonial magic, amulets are somewhat neglected in favor of talismans and other, more focused magical devices. The modern Pagan scene, on the other hand, has made much more use of amulets, with the silver pentagram as the most common amulet. Amulets from other magical traditions, especially mojo bags from hoodoo, are also much used in the Pagan scene in North America.

When I ask people about their dreams, many times they will recount experiences of crazy landscapes where anything can happen (and probably will). But more often than not, what I hear about is the regularly recurring, repetitive dream that has haunted the dreamer their entire life; I hear over and over again from people that they "always dream of... read this article
5 Ways to Heal with the Wheel of the Year
5 Simple and Instant Creativity Boosts
Reading Tarot Cards: Divining Our Life Path
Ghost-Hunting at the Old Charleston Jail
Visualization for People Who Have Trouble Visualizing

Most recent posts:
The Soul Needs Time
Nancy Antenucci’s book Psychic Tarot is filled with great ways to enhance your connection to the cards and to spirit. It is also filled with...

The Art of Changing
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Tiffany Lazic, author of the new The Great Work: Self-Knowledge and Healing Through the Wheel of the...

Using Imagery for Manifestation
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Melissa Harris, author of the new 99 Keys to a Creative Life. I hope this writing finds you in a...




Where You End Where You End
By: Anna Pellicioli
Price: $9.99 US,  $11.50 CAN
Bite the Biscuit Bite the Biscuit
By: Linda O. Johnston
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Come to Harm Come to Harm
A Novel

By: Catriona McPherson
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Llewellyn's Complete Dictionary of Dreams Llewellyn's Complete Dictionary of Dreams
Over 1,000 Dream Symbols and Their Universal Meanings

By: Michael Lennox
Price: $24.99 US,  $28.95 CAN
The Final Reveille The Final Reveille
By: Amanda Flower
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN