"A talisman is nothing else than the seal, figure, character, or image of a celestial omen, planet, or constellation; impressed, engraved, or sculptured upon a sympathetic stone or upon a metal corresponding to the planet; by a workman whose mind is settled and fixed upon his work and the end of his work without being distracted or dissipated in other unrelated thoughts; on the day and at the hour of the planet; in a fortunate place; during fair, calm weather, and when the planet is in the best aspect that may be in the heavens, the more strongly to attract the influences proper to an effect depending upon the power of the same and on the virtues of its influences."
Pierre de Bresche, in Traite' des Talismans, 1671
Talismans are created to attract or channel a certain energy, so have a single-pointed purpose and intent. They can be made out of parchment, metals, skin, paper, oils, wood, water--in fact, anything. But every substance has its own level of efficacy in holding the energy. Metals hold it well, and may last for ages. In contrast, the force bestowed upon water does not last long. Overcharging a talisman with forces that conflict may result in a cursed object.
The Power of Talismans
Talismans derive their power from:
1) The material from which it is made
The material used as a base for talisman vibrates at a certain frequency and attracts certain energy.
2) The magickal design
Magickal designs on talismans may be composed of sigils, seals, kameas (magic squares), symbols glyphs, prayer verses, sacred characters and images. The designs are like living astral 4D structures that attract the appropriate energy.
Symbols and images speak to the imaginative, subconscious, and magickal aspect of ourselves, so act as a constant reminders and supporters of the intent of the bearer.
3) The embodied energy/force
In the consecration rite, the magician attunes and invokes the appropriate energy and channels/condenses it into the talisman.
4) The innate, unconscious psycho-spiritual powers of the bearer--awaken through suggestion
Belief is a strong influential principle. Beliefs are one of the causal factors shaping our reality. What we believe in has a tendency to occur in our lives. Suggestions strengthen beliefs, and these gradually become an attitude.
To protect Oxleas, London Dragon buried talismans in the wood. We each spent a lunar month preparing our talisman in our own way. They were then buried together during a ritual.Talismans can be useful for Court judgements - Give charged talismans to people who are due to appear in court for environmental action. Make Dragon Rune talismans for campaigners to wear or carry.
A sigil is the magical signature of our intent. Sigils can be traced in air, carved on candles, drawn on paper and burned etc. Austin Osman Spare developed a fascinating method of sigilization: Formulate your intent in a simple sentence. Let's start with Spare's own example from his Book of Pleasure: 'THIS MY WISH TO OBTAIN THE STRENGTH OF A TIGER'. Jan Fries recommends distilling this down to: 'TIGER STRENGTH'.
This sentence must be written down in capitals. Next, all the letters which appear more than once are deleted:
So, The following letters remain: TIGERSNH. The sigil is created from these letters.
If you have letters that look similar from different angles (for example, M as a reversed W, or, seen from the side, as an E), you can combine them into one. The sigil should be as simple as possible with the various letters recognisable (even with some difficulty).
You should try to make it to the best you can. The finished sigil is then drawn it on parchment, on paper, in the sand, or even on a wall.
Implanting it into the psyche
It is crucial that the sigil is internalised in a trance of sorts - a state of ecstatic euphoria (using drugs, dance, sex etc.), or in a state of physical fatigue. The important thing is that it should 'click'. Optionally, repeat the intent rhythmically and monotonously like a mantra, becoming faster and faster while staring at the sigil. The symbol should then be destroyed and deleted from the conscious mind. Spare's basic idea is that the sigil, together with its meaning, is be planted into the unconscious. Afterwards, the consciousness has to forget it so that the unconscious can obey its encoded direction without hindrance.
Some suggest that it's useful to keep the sigil on you, but this will depend upon the individual, and everybody should find his/her own way. Nevertheless, it is of prime importance not to bring back the meaning and aim of the sigil into consciousness at any time.