It was customary all throughout history to engrave a permanent image into something hard and difficult to destroy, like stone. Certain images came to be known as inspiring or magickal, and were kept, carried, or worn as talismans. In the thirteenth century a book was published (called The Book of Wings) that listed the appropriate symbols to be engraved in stone for different purposes. These are included here as examples, and please note that colors, patterns, and gemstone properties can be combined to give desired symbolism to a talisman or charm.

Some additions were made to this list in the fourteenth century, here are notable changes:

  • Any gemstone bearing a man with a goat's head helps the owner find favor with other men and all animals.
  • A man with a scythe engraved on any material brings strength and courage.
  • Any gemstone with a sun and a moon engraved on it helps to keep virginity.
  • Any material bearing a man holding a palm branch in his right hand promotes positive rulings and good opinions from powerful people.
  • A dog or stag on jasper helps the owner cure others with mental health problems.
It should be noted that all of these symbols retain their meanings whether engraved or simply placed semi-permanently in any medium, like being pressed into wax or sewn into cloth. Choose a color of wax or material that resembles the correct color if a gemstone or mineral is not available, and use that to make a charm.

This list was borrowed and expanded from page 11 of Patricia Telesco's The Magick of Folk Wisdom, © 1995.

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