An amulet, good luck charm, talisman, or protection amulet comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and materials. These objects of protection, prosperity and good luck often depict a god or other deity.
Sometimes these talismans are fashioned to contain a sacred symbol like an ankh, swastika (not to be confused with the Nazi version), cross, stupa or other symbol typically of religious or spiritual significance.
At other times, the makers of these items adorn them with saints, monks, priests, nuns and the like on them. They are also often blessed or consecrated by a priestess, monk, shaman or other holy man or woman in order to sort of "activate" or "set in motion" its protective or other properties.
The types of materials that good luck charms are made of aren't always restricted to the rock, metal or plant categories. In many societies, including modern day western culture, protection talismans are often times made of animal parts or products. Probably the most common place and prominent example of this in western culture is the "Lucky Rabbits Foot."
Is a rabbit's foot lucky?
Well, I don't know! Maybe you should be the judge. The only thing that I can really say to that question, is that I've never been personally blessed or granted any good luck, fortune or prosperity from a rabbits foot, at least not the "store bought" versions. And too, it seems to me that since the rabbit no longer has the foot, how lucky could it possibly be? J
I'm not trying to be negative here. I'm really joking overall. I haven't had a rabbit's foot since I was a child so I really can't answer this question. Anyway, moving on...
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As previously stated, amulets can be made from a number of different things. Some are made of coral and shells, while others are fashioned out of animal bones, claws, teeth etc. As a rule, wearers of a talisman made from various animal parts believe that they will somehow inherit some of the qualities or characteristics of that animal.
Plants, animals, metals, and rocks and minerals aren't the only items used to induce or bring about good luck and fortune. In some Asian countries, Japan and China come to mind; crickets are believed to bring luck and good fortune to those who keep them. The crickets are kept in a cage or box to attract prosperity and luck.
Other popular talismans or amulets include:
- Garlic - drives away vampires
- Four Leaf Clover - brings good luck
- Horseshoes - good luck
- Elephants - good luck and fortune
- Catholic Medals:
- Sacred Heart of Jesus -
- Immaculate Medal -
- St. Christopher Medal - patron saint of travelers. Offers protection from accidents and other calamities during travel.
How Are Protection Amulets Worn or Used?
Probably the most common way to use a good luck charm is to wear it around your neck. These charms or talismans are often made of semi-precious stones including but not limited to:
They're also frequently fashioned into a locket-like box (i.e. Tibetan Gau) that can contain prayers, mantras, herbs, etc.