For the Students of Hindu Vedic Astrology by Dr. A. Shanker

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Charms Talismans and Spells: Classification of Charms, Part - 2


Dr. Shanker Adawal

Magical Charms

Magical charms have the natural power of a charm greatly enhanced by the human will consciously directed for this purpose. The knowledge of the various rates of vibration and the law of correspondence with the ability to apply it makes of that man a practical magician, hence the name of magical charm. Any gem or metal whose natural virtue has been strengthened by such a man will have great power either for good or evil.

Talismanic jewellery, talismans and written spells are closely related to the magical charms. Though related there is a difference between charms and talismans and the talismanic jewellery would appear to bridge this. We have mentioned that the forces behind nature are intelligent, and when we add that they have many grades and classes from comparatively significant lives to the super mundane orders and that these are at the back of real talismanic magic it will be seen that the forces worked with are not to be scoffed at.

Obsessed Charm

There is another form of charm to which we will give the name of obsessed charm, as this depends for its power on some entity, often a human disembodied one attaching itself to the object forms the charm. Such are most of the skulls and those things to which the haunting of houses are placed. Weapons which have been used for crime are some times obsessed by the spirit of the doer of the crime, and perhaps this is the reason why most of these weapons are destroyed. The mummy-case mentioned in another part of this work would also come this heading.

Numbered and Geometrical Charms

The engraved gems, magical squares, phylacteries and those charms depending for their efficacy on traced signs are included in this class. It is believed that the magical properties of numbers and of geometrical forms are relied upon by the true magicians or one who practices this science knows that they are expressive of certain active principles in nature and he therefore uses them to bring these principles into operation.

Individual Charm

These charms are for the benefit of one person only, and may be one which has been found or bought because of some impression or presentiment that it would bring good luck. It could be in the shape of some herb, gem, coin or any other thing.

Family charm

The family class is a large one and consists of those handed down from father to son or by one member of the family to another and such as appear to affect the whole family. It could be in a shape of some amulet, jewellery or gem etc.

Tribal charms

Tribal includes various religions, organizations and bodies and though this is not as large as the family class yet it will not difficult to give some example. We have the various religious sects with their relics: the Muslims with their black stone of Mecca; the jewels with their cabalistic designs of Masons; the gems of the Gnostics, the sapphire mascot of the Jews; the totems of the many tribes of North American Indians; Om of Hindus.

The tribal charm has other attributes besides bringing good luck to the people. It has also a binding and strengthening influence and is used for holding the tribe or body together in fraternal bonds, so that it will not be a great stretch of imagination to class the colours and standards of various regimens under this heading.

National Charms

For the same reason as we claimed the standards and colours as tribal charms, so under the national charm we will include all the national flags used to inspire the many nations with patriotism and the soldiers with courage. The best example of the national charm for the Indians is the is tshe tri-colour which inspirers every Indian to do some thing for his mother land. Likewise coronation stone as English national charm, Ark for the Jews, Mukden for Chinese etc. are the charms considered by the respective nation.


A short inscription on paper, skin, bark, metal or cloth is the most widespread form of charm known in India which is also known as Talisman. The writer of these charms often goes through a special course of instructions to prepare him for work. Among these are those which will enable the wearer to discover treasure, to win the of favour of a woman or man, to discover a runaway wife, to deliver a house or person from evil spirits and even those to bring friction between husband and wife or to compass the death of an enemy, progeny, education, business etc.

Shanker Adawal

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