Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What are Talismans?

I haven't been present much: for a fortnight or so, the software at the site wouldn't let me post (other bloggers managed, so what was going on I don't know!) and I've been incredibly busy ever since just before service seems to have been resumed.

I take part in a number of internet communities pertinent to my interests, and one of my interests - by no means the only one - is Tarot. In the last few days, I was interested to read a dialogue between Liz Hazel, creator of the charming little Whispering Tarot, and Benjamin Assisi along these lines:-

That talismanic magic is by its nature astrological magic. That magic is the art of changing reality in accordince with Will. And astrological talismans are the oldest form of magic.

Let's look at those ideas.

1) Talismanic magic is astrological magic. I don't necessarily agree. Sure, I'm a pig's snout of an astrologer and it's been decades since I did any in-depth astrological-based magical work, but I do fairly regularly do talismanic work. A talisman is any fairly portable object that has been charged with magic to a particular purpose. A shaman's touchstone is a talisman. A Wiccan's Athame is a talisman. A faether I pick up, charge, and place in the Air quarter of my Circle is a talisman. A piece of jewellery charged with intent is a talisman - none more so than a gift of jewellery intended to win the heart of someone who isn't sure of you.

Even the tattoo I recently had of one of my power animals - Wombat - is a talisman, once that I can never put down and lose, one that will never be stolen from me except in the case of an upper-arm amputation, in which case I'd probably demand that they return that patch of skin to me and allow me to cure it!

None of these things have to be astrological in nature or use.

2) Magic is the art of changing reality in accordance with Will. A working-definition of magic that I have been using for decades is that Magic is the art and science of changing the way coincidence happens such that it goes your way so frequently that it is statistically impossible. Weather that should have happened yesterday that is now happening today, I'm looking squarely at you! (Okay, so I've never been good at timing).

and 3) Astrological talismans are the oldest form of Magic. I think talismans and talismanic magic are far older than astrology. I think they go back to the dawn of animal consciousness. When you foster an orphaned macropod, perhaps a wallaby, and but it into a warm knitted bag, the wallaby knows perfectly well that the bag is not its mother's pouch, but it it a talisman of the safety and nurturing that the macropod would have found in nature in its mother's pouch - and some foster-carers deliberately charge it magically to be so. When you see a pet, perhaps a cat, taking a liking to a particular corner or soft toy, that is primitive talismanic magic. When they then lose interest in it and fixate on something else, it has served its magical purpose for them, whether that is a purpose of reassurance, healing or something else, and they are now looking for a different energy and a different magical outcome in another place or object, another talisman.

Wedding-rings are the ultimate and most widespread of human talismans, although the majority of people who give them don't know how to charge them properly and the majority of people who receive and wear tham don't realise it.

Talismans are everywhere, and only a minority of them are at all astrological in nature.

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