A charm is defined as: Something that brings good luck when combined with a gesture or a chant. It can also cure or prevent illnesses or afflictions, ward off evil or harm and secure good fortune. Amulets are charms derived from natural objects. Talismans are generally stones or gems believed to have special powers. Part of how these items work is our belief in them. I think when we make a practice of using them or carrying them, our energy in a way "charges" these objects and makes them more powerful. Unfortunately some of us become dependent on such items and become fearful if we loose or forget to carry them, and in that way they become as problematic as they should have been helpful. Much better in my opinion is to empower our own choice of charms, which can easily be replaced with no undue alarm if the original item suffers a mishap.
Aside from protective totems given to us by loved ones, such as a St. Christopher's medal (known for protecting travelers), charms or lucky objects are quite easy to collect or find in nature and they become significant by establishing rituals (a few words or motions associated with the specific item when using it). From my research and experience it seems that good luck charms are much more powerful if they originally were living material and are personally sought out and then empowered with the charmed beliefs. Some easy to find natural or always available "charms" and their utilizations are listed below for your enjoyment and possible use.
These are placed near windows or hung from window shade pulls to bring luck to a house. This custom originates from the Vikings and Druids because of the strength of the oak tree and its capacity to attract lightening.
These are attributed as having the power to bring luck, long life, and knowledge. They are also used to treat warts in folklore. Twisting the apple stem or peeling the apple in one strip is used to determine the initial of a unknown future spouse. Effective also is following the old adage, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" and eating them regularly.
This attracts sympathy and positive attention when carried while courting. It is also carried or displayed in the home to bring luck and ward off bad spells.
These are supposed to contain the essence of life and have the power to repel ghosts. They can be worn or eaten for luck. Remember Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer" dabbing bits of his blood on a bean and burying the bean to get rid of his warts?
Carry one in your pocket for luck or curing a headache or backache or relieving chest pains.
When you don't have a charm with you, crossing your fingers averts bad luck. This custom dates back to early Christians who were forced to worship in secret and who wished to represent the Christian cross.
Besides the well known "he loves me, he loves me not" business, the gypsies say a girl can recover an absent lover by sleeping with daisy roots under her pillow.
Four Leaf Clovers
Everyone knows about this good luck emblem. It is particularly powerful if you find it yourself. Beware because 5 leaf clovers (also a possible find) are a very bad omen so don't pick them! The four leaves represent, fame, wealth, good health and a faithful lover. There isn't much anyone else could want in life!
Besides protection from vampires(?) this is an effective charm against illness. It is actually one of nature's antibiotics which may explain this widespread belief. It is also reported to give one courage if it is carried on your person.
Knocking on Wood
Touching wood acknowledges deity or the fates and secures favour. It is customary to be careful about assumptions about or taking for granted good things that come your way, but if such words slip out and you touch wood you attract the attention of good spirits rather than meddlesome demons. Best is to knock three times, three being a number that is considered powerful.
These have been considered sacred objects for centuries. They generally signify a safe return from a voyage. Obviously this list could go on forever! It is apparent that one can utilize whatever s/he determines to be a lucky charm in any fashion that is comfortable for him/her and suits their purposes!
The page was created September 3, 2002.