The Ancestral Power of Amulets, Talismans, and Mascots: Folk Magic in Witchcraft and Religion (Paperback)
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An illustrated exploration of the origins and history of amulets, lucky charms, talismans, and mascots
• Looks at the age-old spiritual principles, folklore, and esoteric traditions behind the creation of magical objects as well as the use of numbers, colors, sigils, geometric emblems, knots, crosses, pentagrams, and other symbols
• Explores hundreds of artifacts, such as hagstones, Norse directional amulets, car hood mascots, objects made from bones and teeth, those connected with plants and animals, charms associated with gambling, and religious relics
• Includes photos of artifacts from the author’s extensive collection
Offering an illustrated exploration of the origins and history of amulets, lucky charms, talismans, and mascots, including photos of unique and original artifacts from his extensive collection, Nigel Pennick examines these objects from a magical perspective, from ancient Egypt to the present. He looks at the age-old spiritual principles, folklore, and esoteric traditions behind their creation as well as the use of numbers, colors, sigils, geometric emblems, knots, crosses, pentagrams, and other symbols.
Pennick explores magical charms and objects manufactured from bones, teeth, claws, and horns and those that include symbols of the human body. He also discusses religious relics as well as the combining of charms to make more powerful objects, from the bind runes of the Norse and the crowns of ancient Egypt to the Mojo hand and the medicine pouch.
Revealing the lasting power of amulets, talismans, charms, and mascots, Pennick shows that these objects and symbols have retained their magic across the centuries.
About the Author
Nigel Pennick is an authority on ancient belief systems, traditions, runes, and geomancy and has traveled and lectured extensively in Europe and the United States. He is the author and illustrator of more than 50 books, including The Pagan Book of Days. The founder of the Institute of Geomantic Research and the Library of the European Tradition, he lives near Cambridge, England.
“This is a very well-researched and well-written book, presenting great information through many photos of artifacts with annotations to help decode the meaning of the signs, numbers, and symbols used in witchcraft practices and esoteric traditions in general. It certainly is an inspirational work, and it sparks your interest in other topics. This book gives what is surely the most authoritative account of symbolism and practices in witchcraft available.”
— Natasha Helvin, author of Slavic Witchcraft
“Written by one of the great wisdom keepers of British lore, this book is the most wonderful treasury of amulets, protective emblems, and the folklore by which people have kept themselves safe against plagues, envy, and evils of many kinds. Very highly recommended as an authentic sourcebook of protective wisdom.”
— Caitlín Matthews, coauthor of The Lost Book of the Grail
“The wise words of Nigel Pennick are amplified by the feast for the eyes in the images cataloging the ability of human beings to imbue power into objects as well as the innate ‘manna’ contained in certain shapes, words, and symbols. I am grateful for Nigel’s valuable insights in this historical, multicultural, spiritual archive of fetishes and how they empower individuals in the face of authoritarian oppressive decrees. If you thought you knew everything about sigils, seals, talismans, and symbols, get ready to expand--thanks to Nigel’s masterful scholarly work contained within these pages.”
— Maja D’Aoust, author of Familiars in Witchcraft
“This substantial compendium, documenting amulets and talismans’ myriad manifestations, is pure Pennick and sans pareil. It is not only based upon a lifetime of learning but also the author’s own artistic craftsmanship and keen-eyed collecting, as evidenced by the wealth of accompanying images. The result is a gem-studded wizard’s chest of living folklore, overflowing with contents that cannot fail to fascinate and enchant.”
— Michael Moynihan, Ph.D., coauthor of Lords of Chaos
“The breadth and depth of Pennick’s knowledge of folklore and magic never fails to deliver, and his latest work is no exception. Reaching across multiple cultures and spanning time from ancient history into the modern era, this book covers all aspects of the magic that deals with created objects and symbols of all varieties. The creation of amulets, talismans, and charms is the meeting of the numinous and the practical, embodying the desire and vision of the maker into a manifested creation, and this book covers all aspects of this most practical form of magic. Accompanied by numerous illustrations, this would be a welcome addition to any collection.”
— Alice Karlsdóttir, author of Norse Goddess Magic
“This book will inspire the reader to create sacred and magical objects, using media such as knotwork, ropes, bells, feathers, roots, bones, stones, and herbs. Numbers, colors, glyphs, and signs are offered as suggestions to add potency to these creations. Artists, magicians, witches, and Druids who seek to create physical objects of power and protection will find herein a treasure trove of historically grounded practices.”
— Ellen Evert Hopman, author of The Sacred Herbs of Samhain
“What we have in Pennick is a modern-day cunning man. He is not only an authority in the field of folk magic but an active magical practitioner who is in tune with the energies and rhythms of landscape, symbol, and the timeless rituals and traditions that have helped to bolster man’s connection to a universe that is alive. Ancestral Power of Amulets, Talismans, and Mascots is a boon to students of folklore and practitioners alike.”
— Johnny Decker Miller, author of Dark Magic
"Nicely illustrated throughout, The Ancestral Power of Amulets, Talismans, and Mascots: Folk Magic in Witchcraft and Religion is an amazingly informative compendium and must be considered an essential, core addition to personal, professional, community, college and university library Metaphysical Studies collections in general, and Rune Divination, Witchcraft, Ancestral Religion, and Folk Magic supplemental studies curriculum lists in particular."
— Midwest Book Review,
“The Ancestral Power of Amulets, Talismans, and Mascots opened my eyes to all the ways people of different cultures and eras created and utilized amulets, charms, and mascots. As always, religion played a heavy hand in their evolution, but so has community tradition. Pennick has an impressive personal collection of these items and thankfully shared much of it as photos in the book. So many wonderful photos and illustrations! I’m not going to say that The Ancestral Power of Amulets, Talismans, and Mascots by Nigel Pennick is for everyone, but if you ever found yourself curious about some of the symbols you see people wearing or adorning their homes with, this is absolutely the perfect book for you."
— The Magical Buffet
"Nigel Pennick is described by Caitlín Matthews, “one of the great wisdom keepers of British lore”. A description with which I would agree; the depth of his knowledge is astounding and his books are peerless in the way they present authentic explorations of this particular field, making compelling and very accessible reading."
— June Kent, Indie Shaman magazine