Talismans 3









alismans, or charms, are given or selected because of the significant they hold for the  giver or selector.



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 "Talismans" from "The Hidden Side of Things" by CW Leadbeater


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.

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. 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.


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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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