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

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Encyclopedia of Vedic Astrology: Remedies: Charms and Spells, Chapter IX, Part – 1

Dr. Shanker Adawal

Charms and Spells

India has a vast cultural history and some old practices having become part of our cultural heritage. Those old practices in the form of some of the rituals, were practiced by our ancestors and are still performed by us without knowing their background. We believe that there can be magic and enchantment in every day of our lives if we just know how to look and listen. Sometimes it may be a wish suddenly granted, sometimes a sign which gives us a solution. That is magic happening in nature’s own way. But what about when we want to make it happen? When we long for something desperately or when things go wrong and we spend restless nights in anxiety? Spells and rituals are something one can use to focus his energies to bring to him what he wants. Each spell will call out differently to him. Sometimes he will use roses, sometimes crystals but mostly it is the will of the practitioner.


There are many forms of words and designs by means of which certain occult results are supposed to be achieved, these are usually called spells. Now these spells or practices have been christened as toney-totke or Charms and Talismans. We could say that spells are a word or formula believed to have magic power or a bewitched state, a trance, a compelling attraction, a charm or fascination.

In Indian context we would like to explain the term toney-totke. Toney and totkey are two terms which needs a brief explanation before we go in detail. Totkey are those practices which are done to change the adverse condition in favour of the practitioner. These are very simple and safe. These are done for the benefit of the practitioner and do not harm any one. They are the cannons which were framed by our ancestors for our benefit. For example, in the villages in northern India, before marriage we worship the pot maker’s wheel. While performing any totka there is no need for chanting long mantras or taking help from the priest. These are time tested practices and have their background of success. We can say that these are petty remedies which do not require monetary investment. These are done for peaceful purposes and do not have any malice against any one. Feeding cow in the morning or giving bread to dog or crow is a totka which is not harming anyone which we think is done by most of the Hindus. It is also seen that when Mars is malefic in the natal chart of the native monkeys are fed or when Saturn is malefic labours are given food, all these are totkey which are done for propitiation of the planets.

Tona is used for destructive purpose. These are done opposite to totkes. Some times it is seen that pitchers are found on the crossings in the morning that is tona which is done to save the native but to harm some one. Practises which are undertaken in the graveyard or cremation ground are all part of the tonas.

While a charm may be anything from a worthless piece of fabric to a precious stone or even man, the talisman is more or less an artificial production which may be constructed of metal, stone, or parchment, depending for its efficacy on the binding of or constraining of the elementary powers to aid the behests of the possessor. This is done by preparing them at certain times and by observing many singular form and ceremonies.


Dr. Shanker Adawal
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