Many of us have an article of clothing – or many – that we consider lucky. Many women have a lucky dress, many men don a particular pair of boxers during their favorite sporting event. But can our clothes actually act as talismans?
What is a Talisman?
The word “talisman” is derived from the Greek word telesma, which is said to mean sacred or consecrated object, religious rite or initiation. A talisman is typically thought of as an item, a piece of inscribed jewelry or a charm, that brings good luck to its wearer and has magical properties. More specifically, a talisman is an object utilized to bring a certain effect or benefit to the person who owns it. Many talismans are thought to be astrologically significant, and the most well-known talisman is the six-pointed star, typically denoted as the Star of David.
Talismans have historically been typically made from metal, stone or sometimes from animals – such as a rabbit’s foot or the claw of leopard. However, this does not seem to mean that items such as clothing cannot be used as talismans. A baseball player for the Oakland A’s in the 70s and 80s, Vida Blue, donned a baseball cap that was significant to him so often that it became worn down. When blue was threatened with suspension if he didn’t procure a new cap, he reluctantly did and burned his old cap in a ceremonial ritual.
Clothing as Talismans
The Picatrix is work on astrological magic composed in Andalusia around 1000 A.D. Originally written in Arabic, certain excerpts from the book highlight the practitioners’ use of clothing as talismanic items enriched with meaning and energy. To honor and work with certain planets, specific items of clothing were donned. When working with Saturn, an astrological magician was to wear black. When dealing with Jupiter, yellow and white clothing were worn as well as crystal rings. Mars required crimson apparel and working with the Moon necessitated dressing like a young man and wearing good-smelling perfumes.
To further demonstrate the powerful energy that clothing can hold, if even just psychologically, Bruce Hood, psychology professor, highlighted this very fact. At a science fair, Hood asked members of the audience to briefly wear a seemingly innocuous blue jacket. But, before the volunteers actually tried the jacket on, Hood told them that it had been previously owned and worn by a serial killer. Most of the participants declined to go further with the experiment due to an inherent feeling that the jacket was apotropaic or cursed. Of course, the jacket had not belonged to a serial killer, and Hood explained that he was merely conveying the power of perception and belief that exists regarding everyday, mundane situations or items.
While clothing may not typically be thought of as the go-to medium for talismanic work, it appears that the effect that an article of clothing may have is derived primarily from the power that the owner or user infuses it with.
How to Use Your Clothing as Talismans
Now that you know more about talismans and using clothing as such, it’s time to look at the steps that will help you make the most of your favorite outfit.
1. Choose Your Item of Clothing
This may be something that had brought you luck in the past or an item that has sentimental value. It doesn’t matter what piece of clothing it is, as long as it means something to you and is something that you truly believe can harness and attract the energies you desire.
2. Set Your Intentions
Sit down in a peaceful, quiet space and meditate on the effect you’d like this talisman to have. Would you like it to instill confidence? Or perhaps increase your intuition? Maybe you’d prefer that it washes you in a sense of calm and relaxation. This part is entirely up to you, and it must be carried out with concentration and faith. Spend a week to one month infusing this item with the energies you seek; spend time imagining the scenarios you’d like to enact in this outfit or daydream about the people you’d like it to attract. Whenever you have the time and the positive energy to do so, envision your talisman becoming more powerful and infused with the characteristics you’ve chosen.
3. Avoid Infusing Negative Energy
During the time that you spend infusing your talisman with the desired energies, avoid being near your article in times of duress or negativity. Until you’ve fully programmed your talisman, it has the ability to absorb negative as well as positive energies. If you find yourself in a bad mood or feeling unfaithful, keep your talisman far away from you. Once you’ve fully amplified your item, it will be strong enough to override negativity.
4. Engage the Elements
Air, Water, Fire and Earth are the elements and they are crucial facets of astrology and magic of all kinds. Many rituals must be secured by one or many of the elements. Creating your talisman is an extremely personal process, and your choice of how to crystallize the full strength of your talisman through the elements is no different. You may choose to give your article of clothing a river bath or bury it overnight in the healing soil. You might let it drape in the sunlight for a day, taking in the powerful breeze. The important part is to imbue the strength of nature into your enchanted item.
5. Cleanse & Refresh
Like crystals and amulets of any kinds, your talisman must be rejuvenated with its energy from time to time. If you feel the energy from your talisman waning, if you feel that it is not as efficient as it once was, it is time to reinfuse it with energy. Excluding Step 1, repeat the process to fully reengage your talisman’s potential. Use your inner voice to guide you during the practice and continue to utilize nature – a full moon is an excellent time to recharge your item.
It is certainly possible to use clothing items as talismans and can be very effective depending on your dedication to the process and faith in it. This can also be a fun way to get more use out of everyday items and even outfits you’ve been saving for special occasions. Every day can be a special occasion when you’re wrapped in magic of your own creation.
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