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IX. TALISMANS








Source: Light of Egypt


Words are the symbols of ideas, and bear the same correspondence
to the physical brain as matter does to spirit, a medium of
expression, and are subject to continual change in their
application and meaning, in exact proportion to the changing
mental and moral condition of the people. As the planet, as well
as man, is continually progressing, so must there be a higher and
nobler conception of ideas. Hence, words or expressions must
change, to convey the progressive spirit, that is constantly
taking place. Therefore, it is always interesting, as well as
valuable, for the Occult student to go to the root of each word
connected with his philosophy, in order to learn the real sense
in which the word was used by the ancients, from whom his mystic
lore has descended. The true meaning, as well as the words
themselves, have become as mystical as the lore itself. Hence,
each student must commence as a beginner in any foreign language,
which he does not at present understand. In following this method
of procedure he will, at least, escape the dense and interminable
confusion of modern opinions upon subjects of which the writers
thereof, are partially or wholly ignorant.

No better illustration of this can be afforded than by the word
"Talisman," derived from the Greek verb "teleo," which means,
primarily, to accomplish, or bring into effect. But, in its real,
and therefore higher, sense, it means to dedicate, consecrate,
and initiate into the arcana of the temple mysteries. But, in the
present day it means a piece of imposture, connected with some
magical hocus pocus of the ignorant and superstitious mind, a
vulgar charm, that is supposed to bring the owner thereof some
material benefit, irrespective of his mental, magnetic, and moral
condition, "and," says the learned Webster, after describing his
idea of such things, "they consist of three sorts, astronomical,
magical and mixed." But in what sense the "astronomical" differed
from the "magical" we are not informed, nor is any light thrown
upon the peculiar nature of that class designated as "mixed." In
fact, the lexicographer so mixes up his definitions that, we are
unable to distinguish anything in particular, but his own
individual ignorance.

So it has become, in every branch of learning. Words and their
meanings have become so mixed in their use and application, that,
the world is full of discords and misunderstandings, which lead
into dissensions and contention, among all schools of thought,
sects, and isms; and lastly, though not the least serious, it has
reached into the close relations of the human family.

All writers and speakers, as well as the readers and listeners,
should acquaint themselves with the derivation and meaning of
words.

The fact stands very clearly defined that, Talismans are confused
in the minds of the present generation with magical charms, which
depend for their effects, upon the power of the idea or thought,
which the formulating magician impresses upon the substance of
which they are composed. If the magical artist be expert, and
endowed with an exceedingly potent will, his charm may become
very powerful, when worn by the person for whom it was prepared.
But, if this one grand essential be lacking, no amount of
cabalistical figures and sacred names will have any effect,
because, there can be no potency in symbols apart from the ideas
and mental force they are capable of arousing in the mind of the
maker. Solomon's Seal is no more powerful, when drawn upon virgin
parchment, with a weak will, or in a mechanical state of mind,
than a child's innocent scribbling upon its slate. But, if the
artist realizes the mysteries symbolized by the interlacing
triangles, and can place his soul en rapport with the invisible
elements they outwardly represent; then, powerful effects are
often produced.

I am sorry to say that, the knowledge of charms is not confined
to the creation of beneficial talismans. Its perversion has led
to the diabolical practices of the Voodo and Black Magician,
whose work is wholly, either for gain or revenge. Nothing, but
the most extreme selfishness lies beneath such immoral practices,
but, as there must be a light to reflect a shadow, so a charm
must follow a talisman. Magical charms, then, are simply natural
objects, possessing but little active virtue in themselves, but,
owing to the mediumistic nature of their substances, are endowed
with artificial powers, of temporary duration, by virtue of the
idea and thought impressed upon them, through the mental magic of
the maker; and in this sense, a charm must be clearly
distinguished from "teleo," the Talisman. The very names suggest
their difference, and, above all other men, students in Occultism
should strive to become thoroughly educated in the true sense of
the term, MEN OF LETTERS, by virtue of (as Ruskin calls it) "the
kingship of words." "Charm" is derived from the Latin "carmen," a
song that fascinates, and means to control by incantation, to
subdue; while Teleo concerns the secret powers and wisdom of
consecration and initiation. It is because of modern misuse of
antique terms that, we have considered this somewhat lengthy
explanation necessary, in order to clear away the accumulated
debris of the ages, from the true foundation of our present
study.

A Talisman is a natural object, containing the elemental forces
of its own degree of life, in a state of intense activity, and
capable of responding to the corresponding quality of life,
OUTSIDE OF ITSELF, that emanates from the same spiritual state,
either by sympathetic vibration or antagonistic currents, the
nature, power, quality, and degree of life, which the various
natural objects represent, being a part of the temple curriculum
of initiation. Hence, the name, by which the latent power of
these natural objects became known, was in strict harmony with
the facts involved.

In order to prevent any possible misconception upon the subject,
let us briefly restate the definition in a different way: A
Talisman is the exact antipodes of a charm. This latter is the
artful and temporary result of man's mental power; the former,
the natural production of universal Nature, and as permanent and
enduring as the substance of which it is composed, DURING THE
PRESENT CYCLE. And yet in some sense, it may be quite correct to
say that, a Talisman ACTS LIKE A CHARM, and vice versa, that
charms ACT LIKE A TALISMAN, providing that, the real vital
difference between them, is maintained in the statement.

Now that we have our subject clearly defined, let us carefully
examine HOW AND IN WHAT SENSE a given natural object becomes
Talismanic, for it must appear self-evident to all that, one and
the same substance cannot constitute a Talisman for everyone, and
for everything. They must naturally differ, as widely in their
nature and quality, as mankind differ in physical, mental, moral,
ethical, and temperamental, development. And, yet, though, man
may so differ from his fellow man; the ignorant Esquimau, killing
seals in his kayak, may belong to the same spiritual quality of
life as the Harvard professor, who obtains his subsistence by
daily discourse upon the sublime harmony of the infinitely small
with the infinitely great, throughout the manifested universe of
matter, and wherever we find this KINSHIP of the spirit, we shall
find the same identical Talisman acting alike upon each, whenever
they shall come en rapport with it. Mental, moral, and physical
development, never alter the real nature of the internal man.
Culture only brings to the surface, into active use, the latent
possibilities lying concealed within the human soul. It only
allows him to exercise his functions upon different planes, and
with different effect.

Every natural department of Nature corresponds to some peculiar
specific quality and degree of life. These have been divided, for
the sake of convenience, into four primary groups; and each group
again subdivided into three, corresponding to the four cardinal,
four succedent, and four cadent houses, of the astrological
chart; therefore, the twelve signs of the Zodiac; these
constituting the Cycle of Necessity within physical conditions,
wherein, the ever-measuring or decreeing tidal flow of life from
solar radiation throughout the year, represents the twelve groups
of humanity, of lower animated Nature, of vegetation, and
crystallized gems. Every human being is ushered into the world
under the direct influx of one or more of these celestial
divisions, and by virtue of the sign occupying the horizon at the
moment of birth, absorbs such influx, and becomes endowed with a
specific polarity, by virtue of which, lie ever afterward, during
such expression within physical conditions, inspires with every
breath, that specific life quality from the atmosphere,
corresponding to the same degree of the universal spirit.
Consequently, that gem, or those gems, representing and
corresponding to HIS HOUSE OF LIFE, become to him, a Talisman,
because of their relationship--their spiritual affinity. These
are all given in the second part of Vol. I. THE METALS never
become Talismanic, because of their comparatively negative degree
of life, and for this reason also, they make the most powerful
charms. Certain combinations of metals, and in proper
proportions, increase the potency and magnetic influence of a
charm; and here, too, the laws of antipathy and affinity come
into practical use.

A true expert will know his metals, or metal, and his client,
before commencing his magical work.

Those persons who derive most virtue from a Talisman are those
who belong to the most sensitive, or interior state, within such
degree of life, and who are dominated by one sign only. Thus, if
we find one sign occupying the whole of the House of Life, or
practically so, as when the first face of a sign ascends, we may
be sure, other things not interfering, that such a native will
receive great benefit from wearing its Talismanic gem. If a
person of good intellectual powers and sensitive spirituality, be
born when the lord of the ascendant occupies the RISING SIGN, as,
for instance, Mars in Aries, or Sun in Leo, we may be sure that,
the Talismanic gem, in their case, will be exceedingly powerful,
because, all the Astro-physical conditions are then most
favorable for the expression of natural forces, and, if worn
upon, or near that part of the body which the sign rules, the
power and influence is more powerful and beneficial.

In wearing them, take them to you as a part of yourself, a part
of your higher self, a thing to be heeded, listened to and
obeyed. They will usually make their presence most pronounced
when something arises to disturb the harmonious vibrations that
naturally and quietly go on between the person and the
interstellar spaces above. They are like the sensor and motor
nerves--they never make their presence known, except, when danger
encroaches.

Having explained in what sense gems become talismanic, we have
now to disclose the modus operandi--THE HOW.

The gems contain the life quality of their own astral nature.
Man, as a higher expression, only, of the same universal biune
life, contains the same. Like two electric currents, MAN, THE
POSITIVE POLE (comparatively), attracts unto himself THE MINERAL
LIFE OF THE GEM, which thus, becomes the negative pole. A
complete circuit is formed and maintained, as long as they remain
in contact. Gems belonging to a different quality of life, not
being en rapport with his astral state, have no good effect,
because, no current flows between them. Thus, the Talisman acts
in unison with the psychic, or soul-principle, of man, aiding the
organism to sustain health, stimulating the mental perceptions,
and spiritual intuition, and affording in a remarkable manner,
many premonitions of coming danger, when the individual is
sufficiently sensitive to perceive them. And now, per contra, as
there are gems that act in sympathy with man, there must be, and
in fact are, gems that act upon contrary principles; i.e.,
antagonistic, and these belong to purely antagonistic elements,
as Air to Earth and Fire to Water, unless the native be born
under BOTH forces, as Mars in Cancer rising, or the latter part
of one sign and nearly the whole of another of an opposite
nature, occupying the ascendant. Such natives are pure neutrals,
and such might wear the gems that belong to the most powerful
planet of the horoscope, or that triplicity holding the most
planets; then, they are usually combined, the planet and the
triplicity.

There are, of course, innumerable substances, more or less,
capable of talismanic virtue to particular individuals. But those
gems, and similar ones, that are given in "The Light of Egypt,"
Vol. I, are the most powerful. To these may be added the opal,
under Scorpio; the garnet, under Aries; and the turquoise, under
Cancer, when Saturn is therein; and the aquamarine, under Pisces;
and among the temporary talismans of vegetation we may add that,
the young shoots, bearing the flower and seed vessels, are the
portions of chief virtue, and the young shoots of trees. These
are often used in locating mines, wells, oils, etc., that lie
hidden beneath the surface of the earth, and in the hands of a
negative, sensitive person, seldom fail to reward the searcher
with success. These should always be gathered when their ruling
correspondences are rising, or, BETTER STILL, CULMINATING UPON
THE MERIDIAN. These will be explained in the chapter on The Magic
Wand.

We have now reached the limits of our present study, and have
only to state that all gems, like the human organism, are in one
of three conditions: alive and conscious, asleep and UNCONSCIOUS,
or dead and powerless. These conditions can only be discovered,
in stones, by the trained lucid or the instructed neophyte.
Stones that are sleeping require to be awakened. This, also, can
only be done by the trained student or Adept. Those that are
dead, are USELESS as Talismans, no matter how beautiful they
appear as ornaments.

Gems and stones are also sexed, and those who wear them would
receive the best effect if they should wear those of opposite
sex, although either is powerfully potent in their influence upon
the individual. How very ignorant the children of men are, of the
subtle, silent, yet obedient servants, that everywhere, surround
them. Here, again, that Divine spark, which lies embedded within
the crystallized forces of Nature, is exerting its subtle,
spiritual influence, in making man's very selfishness, and love
of ornament and show, a means, to bring forth these silent
monitors, knowing ere long that, their true power and potency
will be known, and consciously utilized by him, as potent factors
in his soul's evolvement and physical development.

The twelve representative gems within the cold stratas of matter,
stand as the material representatives of their stellar
counterparts in the sky, and constitute the beautiful,
glittering, but crystallized, Zodiac of man's physical anatomy.





Next: X. CEREMONIAL MAGIC

Previous: VIII. ALCHEMYPART II



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