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
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

September/October 2016 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.

Versatile, convenient, and widely available and affordable, the tarot is an excellent tool for many types of magick. While some magickal workings call for an extensive list of herbs, candles, oils, stones, and other ingredients, there are countless spells and charms that can be cast with nothing more than a single deck of tarot cards. Tarot magick... read this article
Exercise: How to Feel Good
Investigating Haunted Bridges
Bodies of the Gods
Yoga Self Care for Parents and Caregivers of Autistic Children
Your Tarot, Your Way

Most recent posts:
Tarot for Spiritual Growth
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Melanie Marquis, author of A Witch's World of Magick, The Witch's Bag of Tricks, Witchy Mama, and the...

Evolving Tarot
One of the main reasons people turn to tarot is because they want answers, clarity, and guidance. Driven by that need, we want to desperately...

7 Ways to Stress Less
This past Sunday, I ran across a Buzzfeed post with 7 ways to help you stress less during the coming week. As a Type-A person who battles...




Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Spell-A-Day Almanac Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Spell-A-Day Almanac
Holidays & Lore, Spells, Rituals & Meditations

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Astrological Calendar
84th Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $18.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2017 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN