Talismans



from The Hidden Side of Things by C.W. Leadbeater

In a general way, therefore, the occultist avoids all jewelry, and he certainly never wears it for the sake of show. At the same time the fact that a precious stone will retain magnetism so perfectly for so long a time, and will store so much power in such a small compass, makes it a convenient object when a talisman is required for any purpose. For a talisman is not, as is often supposed, a mere relic of mediaeval superstition; it may be a definite and very effective agent in daily life. It is some small object, strongly charged with magnetism for a particular purpose by someone who knows how to do it, and when properly made it continues to radiate this magnetism with unimpaired strength for many years. The purposes to which such things can be applied are almost infinite in number.


For example, many a student at the beginning of his career is much troubled by impure thoughts. Naturally he sets himself to struggle against them, and maintains a constant watch against their advance; but nevertheless thought-forms of an objectionable nature are numerous and insidious, and sometimes one of them contrives to obtain a lodgment in his mind and causes him much trouble before be can finally shake it off. He may perhaps have been in the habit of yielding himself to such thoughts in the past without realising the evil of it, and if that is so, his thought has acquired a momentum in that direction which is not easy to overcome. A talisman, strongly charged with the powerful magnetism of thoughts of purity, may be an invaluable help to him in his efforts.

The talisman, on the other hand, has been intentionally charged for a definite purpose by some one who knows how to think; and this is a matter in which definite training makes so much difference that the lightest thought of a man who has learnt how to think is far more powerful than a whole day's desultory musings on the part of an ordinary man. So, when the two streams of thought come into contact, there is not the slightest doubt as to which will vanquish the other. If we can suppose that the wearer of the amulet forgot his good resolutions, and actually wished for a time for the impure thought, no doubt he could attract it in spite of the talisman, but he would be conscious all the time of great discomfort arising from the discord between the two sets of vibrations.

In most cases the man who is really trying to do better falls only because he is taken off his guard. The impure thought creeps in insidiously and has seized upon him before he is aware of it, and then he quickly reaches the condition in which for the moment he does not even wish to resist. The value of the talisman is that it gives him time to recollect himself. The disharmony between its undulations and those of the wandering thought, cannot but attract the man' s attention, and thus while he wears it he cannot be taken unawares, so that if he falls he falls deliberately. BarnesandNoble.com Logo - 125x125

Again, some people suffer much from apparently causeless fear. Often they are quite unable to give any reason for their feelings; but at certain times, and especially when alone at night, they are liable to be attacked by extreme nervousness, which may gradually increase to positive terror. There may be various explanations for this. Perhaps the commonest is the presence of some hostile astral entity who is persecuting the victim-- sometimes in the hope of obtaining through him some sensations which he desires, sometimes in the endeavour to obtain control over him and obsess him, sometimes for sheer mischief and impish love of demonstrating his power over a human being. Here again is a case in which the mediaeval remedy has a distinct practical value. Naturally, the talisman against impurity would not avail in this case, for quite a different sort of motion is required. What is wanted in this case is a centre strongly charged with vibrations expressive of courage and self-reliance-- or, if the wearer is of the devotional type, with thoughts of the protective power of his special deity.


For an amulet has a double action. Not only does it operate directly by means of the waves which it radiates, as we have just described in the case of impurity, but also the knowledge of its presence usually awakens the faith and courage of the wearer. In the case of a talisman against fear, such as we are now considering, the two lines of action will be clearly marked. Courage expresses itself in the mental and astral bodies by the strength and steadiness of their striations, and by the calm, steadfast shining of the colours indicating the various higher qualities. When fear overpowers a person all these colours are dimmed and overwhelmed by a livid grey mist, and the striations are lost in a quivering mass of palpitating jelly; the man has for the time quite lost the power of guiding and controlling his vehicles.

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The vibrations of strength and courage steadily radiating from the talisman are quite unaffected by the feelings of the wearer, and when the first tremblings of fear begin to manifest themselves they find a difficulty in their way. If unopposed, they would steadily increase, each augmenting and strengthening the other until their power became irresistible. What the talisman does is to prevent them from reaching this condition of irresistible velocity. It deals with them at the commencement, while they are still weak. The resistance which it opposes to them is precisely the same in kind as that which a gyroscope opposes to any effort to turn it aside from its line. It is so determinedly set in motion in one direction that it will sooner fly to pieces than allow itself to be turned into any other. Suddenly to bring such a power as this into conflict with unreasoning panic would probably result in the complete shattering of the astral body concerned; but if the gyroscopic force of the talisman is already working before the alarm is felt, its determined persistence along its own lines checks the first beginnings of fear, and so makes it impossible for the person ever to reach the later stages of panic terror.

That is its direct operation; but it works also indirectly upon the mind of the wearer. When he feels the first beginnings of fear stirring within him he probably recollects the amulet and clutches at it, and then there arises within him the feeling: "Why should I fear so long as I have with me this strong centre of magnetism?" And so, instead of yielding to the vibrations and allowing them to lengthen themselves until they become unmanageable, he calls up the reserve strength of his own will and asserts himself as master of his vehicles, which is in truth all that is necessary.

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There is a third possibility in connection with a talisman, which is in some cases even more powerful than the other two. The object, whatever it may be, has been strongly magnetised by some individual, by the hypothesis a person of power and development, and therefore also probably highly sensitive. That being so, the talisman is a link with its creator, and through it his attention may be attracted. Under ordinary conditions its connection with its originator is of the slightest, but when the wearer is in desperate circumstances he sometimes actually calls upon the maker, much in the way in which the mediaeval devotee when in difficulties invoked the assistance of his patron saint; and that call will unquestionably reach the maker of the amulet and evoke a response from him.

If he is still living in the physical world, he may or may not be conscious of the appeal in his physical brain; but in any case his ego will be conscious, and will respond by reinforcing the vibration of the talisman by a strong wave of his own more powerful thought, bearing with it strength and comfort.

Many ignorant men would scoff at such an idea as relic of mediaeval superstition, yet it is an actual scientific fact which has been demonstrated on hundreds of occasions. So far as its direct action goes, a talisman will work only in the direction in which it is made to work; but its indirect action on the faith of the possessor may sometimes take unexpected forms. I remember once making a charm for a certain noble lady, in order to protect her against spasms of extreme nervousness and even positive fear which occasionally swept over her when alone at night. She told me afterwards that this amulet had been of the greatest assistance to her in an emergency which I certainly did not contemplate when I made it.

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It appears that on a certain occasion she was driving an exceptionally spirited horse (I believe that her husband made it a sort of boast that he never used horses which anybody else could drive) in a dog-cart, through a forest. The horse took fright at something or other, got the bit between its teeth and dashed madly off the road, and started at a wild gallop among the tree trunks. The groom on the back seat was so certain that they were all destined to immediate death that he threw himself off as best he could, and was sorely injured by the fall; but the lady declares that her thought at once flew to the charm which she was then wearing, and she says that she knew absolutely that she could not be killed while, as she expresses it, under its protection. This utter certainty kept her perfectly cool and collected, and she steered that dog-cart through the forest with consummate skill.

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She declares that on the whole she was certainly in the air more often than on the ground as the wheels bounded over roots and crashed through the bushes. But nevertheless she held on bravely until the horse became tired, and she was able to regain control of it. She thanked me enthusiastically for saving her life by means of the charm; but the truth is that it was not the direct action of the talisman, but the strength of her faith in it, which enabled her to gain so splendid a victory. That was undoubtedly the main factor; there may have been a certain amount of direct action also, because the stilling effect of the strong vibration of the talisman would catch any dawning feeling of fear and calm it, though I had prepared it to deal rather with first symptoms gradually arising than with so sudden an emergency as that.

There are various articles which are to a large extent natural amulets. All precious stones may be said to belong to this category, for each has a distinct influence which can be utilised in two ways. First, the influence necessarily attracts to it elemental essence of a certain kind, and also all such thoughts and desires as naturally express themselves through that essence; and secondly, the fact that it has these natural peculiarities makes it a fit vehicle for magnetism which is intended to work along the same line as those thoughts or emotions. Suppose, for example, it is desired to drive away impure thought. Impure thought means usually a complex set of vibrations, but set on the whole in a certain definite key. In order to resist them a stone should be chosen whose natural undulations are inharmonious with that key, so that they may offer to the impure impulses the greatest possible obstacle. If it is intended to make a talisman against those impure thoughts, a stone which naturally offers resistance to them is the vehicle which can most easily be loaded with the opposing influence.

The vibrations of the particles of the stone are on the physical level, while those of the emotions are on the astral level, several octaves higher; but a stone, the particles of which move naturally on the physical plane in a key which is identical at this level with the key of purity on higher levels, will itself, even without magnetisation, operate as a check upon impure thought or feeling by virtue of its overtones; and furthermore, it can be readily charged at astral or mental levels with the undulations of pure thought or feeling which are set in the same key.

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There are instances of decided magnetism of this kind in the vegetable kingdom also. A good example of this is the rudraksha berry, of which necklaces are so frequently made in India. The oscillations connected with it, especially in its small and undeveloped state, render it specially suitable for magnetisation where sustained holy thought or meditation is required, and where all disturbing influences are to be kept away. The beads made from the tulsi plant are another example, although the influence which they give is of a somewhat different character. An interesting set of natural talismans are those objects which produce strong scents. It has already been mentioned that incense produces a strong effect along these lines, the gums of which it is composed being specially chosen because the radiations which they give forth are favourable to spiritual and devotional thought, and do not harmonise with any form of disturbance or worry. It is possible so to combine ingredients as to make an incense which will have the opposite effect; this was sometimes done by the mediaeval witches, and is done to-day in Luciferian ceremonies. On the whole, it is generally desirable to avoid coarse and heavy scents, such as that of musk or of sachet powder, as many of them are closely in tune with sensual feelings of various kinds.

An object not intentionally charged for that purpose may sometimes have the force of a talisman. A present received from some loved one, if it be of a nature that can be worn or carried about by the recipient, constantly serves to him as a reminder of the donor, and often so far gives the sense of the donor' s presence as to prevent him from doing things that he would not do if that donor were looking on. I have heard of more than one case in which a man, wearing a ring or a chain given to him by his mother, was thereby saved from committing some questionable act, or indulging in some improper pleasure, because, just as he was about to yield to the temptation, his glance fell upon the object, and that brought to him so strongly the thought of his mother and of what she would feel if she could see him, that he at once abandoned his project. A letter carried about in the pocket has been known to serve the same purpose, for a man feels: "How can I do this thing with her very letter in my pocket-- how can I take that into surroundings where I should be ashamed that she should see me?" I remember one case in which such a struggle ended in the man tearing up the letter and throwing it away in order that he might be able to indulge himself; but usually the opposite result is produced.

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