Jack of Many Trades

T is for Talismans

Originally posted: 2012-09-28

I don't often think about talismans, charms and the like as a part of my work, but they have been since I was small.

There's an ongoing debate over the value of things in magical practice, whether equipment is a tool or a trap. Since I tend toward minimalism, you might expect me to lean towards "trap" and in some respects you'd be right. It's too easy in modern practice to collect things: wands, blades and staves, chalices and offering dishes, tarot decks and runes, incense and candles to last for years, books in the hundreds or thousands, statues and offerings and... well, you get the idea.

But there's so much value in something that can be set and forgotten, that maybe has the energy of multiple practitioners in it. For example, I have a rune pendant that I bought in a gift shop on a field trip probably twenty years ago. I knew jack shit about runes except that they were magical and this one reminded me of one of my favorite comic book character's logo. Since then, I wore it until the bail snapped off, kept it in a bag on my altar, then had a good friend offer to make it wearable again while I told him about my first "real" encounter with Odin. It has all that energy in it: childhood wonder and wanderlust, my first forays into paganism, learning the runes, that strong friendship and all the care and protection he felt for me...

All of that. In one little piece of pewter.