|A Sator square talisman.|
ultimately from the Greek word teleo which means "to consecrate."
Amulets and talismans are often considered interchangeable despite their differences. An amulet is an object with natural magical properties, whereas a talisman must be charged with magical powers by a
creator; it is this act of consecration or “charging" that gives the talisman its alleged magical powers. The talisman is always made for a definite reason whilst an amulet can be used for generic purposes such as averting evil or attracting good luck.
According to The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a magical order active in the United Kingdom during the late-19th and early-20th centuries, a talisman is:
“a magical figure charged with the force which it is intended to represent. In the construction of a talisman, care should be taken to make it, as far as possible, so to represent the universal forces that it should be in exact harmony with those you wish to attract, and the more exact the symbolism, the easier it is to attract the force."
It is generally agreed that a talisman should be created by the person who plans to use it. They also recommend that the person making the talisman must be familiar with all the symbolisms connected to all the different planetary and elemental forces. In several medieval talismans, geomantic signs and symbols were used in relation with different planets. These symbolisms, which are frequently incorporated into geomantic divination, also have alchemical implications. Other magical associations, such as colors, scents, symbolism, patterns, and Qabalistic figures, can also be integrated in the creation of a talisman. However, they should be in synchronization with the elemental or planetary force selected to represent the talisman. It is also feasible to augment a personal touch to the talisman through adding a verse, inscription, or pattern.
The Sator square talisman shown above was popularly used during Ancient Rome to protect against house fires.