Talisman and Amulets - Worn by the Living and the Dead
Talisman and Amulets are one of the oldest forms of magic and were worn or carried by both rich and poor ancient Egyptians. Talisman and Amulets played an important role in the design of ancient Egyptian jewelry and examples can be seen on items can be seen on rings, pendants and necklaces. But in ancient Egypt Talisman and Amulets were not just viewed as a piece of jewelry to adorn the living they were also used to adorn the dead.
Talisman and Amulets
Each of the Talisman and Amulets in ancient Egypt had a specific meaning and symbolic significance. The potency of amulets and talismans was recognised in the religious ceremonies and rituals especially those relating to funerary and mortuary rites. In ancient Egypt Talisman and Amulets were than just 'lucky charms'. They were both were believed to have supernatural, magical powers of protection and used to avert danger and to dispel evil and because of their important similarities the words 'Talisman' and 'Amulet' are interchangeable.
Definition: A Talisman or an amulet can be described as a religious object consisting of a stone or other small item, often inscribed or carved with magical inscriptions, magic signs, magic symbols, formula or sacred text.
|There are two types of talisman and amulets - those that have inscriptions and those that do not|
|A Talisman or an amulet could be carried or worn|
Talisman or amulet jewelry would collected throughout life of an ancient Egyptian and then buried with the deceased for protection in the Underworld (Duat) and the Afterlife.
Talisman or amulet jewelry was occasionally fashioned in the image of a deity such as the dwarf god Bes
|The word 'talisman' is derived from the Greek word "telesma" which means "to initiate into the mysteries". The word 'amulet' is derived from the Greek word "apotropaios" meaning to avert or remove.|
Ancient Egyptian Magic - The Magical Powers of the Talisman and Amulets
Each talisman and amulet had a specific magical meaning and religious significance ascribed to it. The talisman or amulet was ascribed with magical powers when ancient Egyptian priests performed religious ceremonies and magical rituals that were focused on the objects and said sacred prayers over them. These actions would attribute the talisman or amulet with protective powers and other attributes such as the magical power of healing and magic to ward off evil. In early Egyptian history only the pharaoh and royal family would have close access to the priests. Blue colored stones, such as turquoise and lapis lazuli, were symbols of royalty. As time passed high ranking courtiers and officials acquired the status to also employ the priest to pass the magic on to their amulets and talismans.
Ancient Egyptian Magic - Inscriptions on the Talisman and Amulets
Clearly the ordinary ancient Egyptians did not have easy access to priests, so to compensate for this they wore jewelry that had magical words, inscriptions or prayers cut into them. Occasionally the amulet of talisman was made in the image of a deity, such as the dwarf god Bes. Others possessed the attributes that were related to a specific god or goddess. The eye was generally associated with with Horus or the Knot of Isis that was usually made with a stone of jasper.
Talisman and Amulets made from Faience
Faience was a glass-like material, first made in predynastic Egypt, and used to make coloured beads and small inlays in Ancient Egyptian jewellery. In ancient Egypt faience was known as tjehnet a word related to those for the properties of "shining," or "dazzling". Faience was thought to glisten with a light that was symbolic of life, rebirth and immortality. The ancient Egyptians used faience not only to make jewelry, amulets and talismans but also to make fabulous vessels, furniture, ritual equipment, tiles, ankhs, scepters and figurines. The glass faience was easier to work with than the harder gemstones and ancient Egyptian artisans became so adept at crafting glass bead versions of precious and semi-precious stones that it was difficult to distinguish authentic emeralds, pearls and tigers-eye from faience.
Types of Ancient Egyptian Talisman and Amulets
There were many different types of Talisman and Amulets in ancient Egypt, each having a special meaning, attribute and purpose. The most famous are probably the ankh, the scarab and the eye. Other types of ancient Egyptian Talisman and Amulets were the Menat, the feather of Ma'at the single plume and double plumes, the nefer, the cartouche, the angles of Thoth, the aper, the heart, the sa, the ladder, the steps, the frog, the fish, the vulture and the lotus. Pictures and images of all of these talisman and amulets are shown in this article.
Ancient Egyptian Magic - Talisman and Amulets
The Magical Stones used to create ancient Egyptian jewelry, talismans and amulets included emeralds, feldspar, peridots, gypsum crystals, carnelians, amethysts, chalcedony, malachite, jasper, lapis lazuli, tiger's eye, turquoise and faience glass stones. The magical stones used in the talismans and amulets were believed to harness different magical powers and the protection of various Egyptian gods and goddesses.
Names and Pictures of Egyptian Talisman and Amulets
The Talisman and Amulets shown in the following picture include the Ankh, the Menat, the single and double plumes, the Nefer, Bes, the Angles of Thoth and the Cartouche, or Name Amulet.
Names and Pictures of Egyptian Talisman and Amulets
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