Talismans and How They Work A talisman, amulet, or charm is any physical object that stores and radiates a magical energy to create change. A metallic disk, stone, wand, sword, pen, paper, or television remote control can be a talisman provided that it is dedicated toward a "magical purpose. The definition of magic, however, has successfully eluded occultists for centuries. Aleister Crowley, a Golden Dawn adept, devised the most widely accepted definition of magic. He argued that magic is "the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will, but this is too wide a definition to be of much use. Crowley, himself, admitted that this definition implies that any willed act is magical. While turning on a light switch may be perceived as magical to someone who has not seen electricity, most would not define it as a magical act. Another definition of magic, touted by more than one magical school of which I have been a member, is "the art of causing meaningful coincidences at will." This is equally unsatisfactory, though, since magical work does not always create coincidences that can be seen on the material plane.
While it is not entirely satisfactory either, my definition of magic is " the art and science of becoming a co-creator with a Supreme God. This is not to say that we can be co-equal with the Most High, but rather that we merge into Divinity and its purpose. Occultism teaches that everyone has unlimited potential. We stop becoming successful only when we forget that we are part of an infinite creator. This divine creator aspect of us is like a divine secret self; Jung called it the Higher Self. As this self is realized, we become more in tune with the Divine and have access to more of its powers. Occult techniques bring us to a gradual realization of our immortal nature over a period of incarnations. In the early stages of occult training, we develop enough belief in its concepts to effect changes in our material surroundings. Using my definition, a talisman, amulet, or charm is a material object that stores and transmits a fusion of the magician's will and universal powers to create something new. How Talismans Work To know how talismans, amulets, and charms work, it is important to know how things in the universe are created. Like a physicist, an occultist defines the universe as being made up of energy vibrating at different frequencies. Occultists, however, say this energy is intelligent and is the material part of a single divine being. They go further to say that this energy extends to higher frequencies than have been identified by physicists. Occultists define four frequencies or levels that exist within different dimensions of the same space (figure 1). These are sometimes called the four worlds of the Cabbalah. These worlds interact and affect each other. An event that happens on one level of creation will affect all the others. A form of Jewish mysticism called Cabbalah named these levels Atziluth, the world of deity; Briah, the world of creation; Yetzirah, the world of formation; and Assiah, the world of matter. The highest frequency is the creative intelligence of the universe or a Supreme God. This is where all ideas in the universe are born. These divine ideas filter down to the next level where they become an impulse toward a particular direction. At this level, the ancients noted that parts of God divided into specializations. For example, one specialization would bea creator and another a destroyer. The ancients named these divine specializations archangels. If God's idea were to create dogs, then the archangel would map out the details of what would make up a dog and its evolutionary destiny. The work of the archangels filters down to the next level. Here the divine plan is drawn in greater detail. The ancients noted that different parts of the archangel would specialize again into what they called angels. There was one angel for each part of the creation. Using the last example, there would be an angel responsible for creating each dog's teeth, another for its hair, and another for working out each animal's time of death. Once this work has been carried out, the image of the dog is strong enough to manifest on the material plane. Here the images are formed, under the angel's instructions, out of beings called elementals. These creatures are partly built of spirit, but resonate to different types of matter and effectively build the image on the material level. There are four types of elementals, which are described in terms of the type of matter they resemble. The lowest level of elementals are the earth elementals, or gnomes, which represent solids. Higher up are the water elementals, or undines, which represent liquids. The next highest are the air elementals, or sylphs, which represent gases. The highest level of elementals are the fire elementals, or salamanders, which represent radiant energy.
A talisman is like the foot of a ladder through the four worlds. It contacts the divine idea and the correct archangel, angel, and elemental builders. It continuously pours power into all four levels until the desired result takes place. Making its physical design resonate to the forces that it is trying to contact makes the loading of the talisman easier. The talisman should be a color and shape that corresponds to the force that you wish to attract. It should have occult signs and divine names of power that occultists agree are the earthly representations of the four worlds, and it should be made at a time when those powers are the strongest.