Life is an unsolved riddle only to the degree that you haven’t yet realized yourself to be the answer.
The use of written language and symbolism in magick? It’s basically a form of sympathetic magick, using the words and symbols as a likeness of the thing they wish to attract or influence. This is why written names are thought to have power. By writing a name you are taking hold of a part of the thing named.
So it doesn’t just affect our minds but the objects it touches? The resonance goes both ways, yes. Interestingly enough, words taken literally can only attract, they only call, yet words and symbols are routinely used to repel or remove unwanted presences or influences. Strange, no?
Connections are ubiquitous. It’s possible in the process of formulating ideas, by making a talisman say, the creator isn’t just drawing symbols and writing words, they are weaving connections. Connections in their minds and hearts, and by virtue of the human connection, in the world itself.
Depicting the opposite of something can repel it? Well, just as you have the law of sympathy, the reverse of that is antipathy. Fire does not welcome water, so invoking some facet of fire could in theory repel watery influences.
Now the reason certain phrases came to have such lasting power in the practice of magick, is they reflected behavior in the world that was observed to be consistently true. If they discovered that calling flies did not actually repel disease, they would abandon that talisman.
Today we simply sue the doctors. Yes. A very grim form of talisman, the subpoena.
Abracadabra. Hocus pocus. Harem scarem. Some of these words are in fact contractions of complex phrases. Hocus pocus is a perversion of the phrase hoc est corpus, which is Latin for this is the body. So the phrases aren’t perhaps as simply silly as they sound.
In western culture though, the majority of talismans that were preserved relate to the concept of divine sovereignty. Very little of the original work, keeping faith with nature, survived the spread of empire across Europe. Most of the talisman we know as the dollar bill stems from this, the idea of the divine right of kings, and the mandate for humanity to subdue the earth. These talismans carried a great deal of force and lead to a great deal of bloodshed.
Interesting, divine right… That was the idea as they understood it. It’s what kept feudalism going so long in Europe. They believed peace and prosperity were only possible if the earth mirrored the order they believed to exist in heaven, to the point that despite kings losing their absolute power, the United States still considered appointing a king. So the idea isn’t really all that old even. I wager the oldest families still preserve talismans that feed spiritually back into that concept. They rule by money rather than military might, but have you ever looked carefully at the family crests, and what not, that are still going around? These days even company logos. They are all talismans. The Nike swoosh still carries the command to just do it.
Corporate family crests. Yes, and people obey.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.