Amulet refers to any object that is believed to have the power to ward off evil and protect its owner or wearer from injury, harm or danger. The word is often used interchangeably with ‘Talisman‘. However, the ‘talisman’ is specifically a good luck charm that is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity, though it may offer protection too.
The term ‘amulet’ is derived from the Latin ‘amuletum’ that means an object that guards a person against trouble. An amulet can take any form including gems, engraved gems, coins, rings, pendants, statues, drawings, plants, animals and even incantations or magical spells. It may be worn or otherwise carried on the body, hung upon the bed or used externally like placing it in the bath.
Amulets have been a part of the traditions and folklore of nearly all societies and cultures through the ages. In the ancient Roman society, they were linked with religion as well as magic. In fact, several gemstones have been connected with particular gods and supposed to have their associated powers.
Since the ancient times, Christians, Jews as well as Muslims have believed in using the blessed objects or amulets for their intrinsic healing and protective powers. All of them have depended on their holy books for protection in troubled times. The Jewish tradition emphasizes using textual amulets. The crucifix; medals such as the Saint Benedict medal; blessed salt; holy water; and scapular associated with specific archangels or saints have been some of the popular amulets used by the Catholic Christians as a defense against evil.
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