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  • Writer's pictureNykos

The Difference between Talismans, Charms, and Amulets

Talismans, amulets, and charms are often confused. Learn the differences between the magical items and how to use them in spellwork.


Traditionally, charms were sung like spells or incantations. Over time, they have become associated with physical items of luck or magical potency. Charms are now most commonly thought of as bringers of luck. Four-leaf clovers, rabbit paws, and lucky pennies are examples of such well known charms.

However, charms can actually be used to attract or manifest items or qualities or to repel. When used to attract, charms are called talismans. When used to repel, charms are called amulets.

  • traditionally sung or spoken

  • common charms include luck charms such as four-leaf clovers

  • amulets and talismans are types of charms


Amulets are charms that are used to repel or let go of unwanted habits, energies, spirits, or people. These physical charms can be made of almost anything, but common materials include natural items such as stones or bones. Amulets can be worn by an individual or set in a specific location for protection. One very old type of amulet is the Witch's Ladder. This powerful charm uses knots to bind and repel.

  • used for protection, warding off evil, and banishing

  • can be made from almost anything but often made of natural materials

  • good for repelling unwanted things and energies


Talismans and amulets are both types of physical charms. The difference is that amulets are meant to repel while talismans are used to increase or supply certain powers, energies, or desired traits.

Like amulets, talismans can be constructed from nearly anything but are commonly made from items associated with the properties they are meant to enhance. For instance, a talisman made from a tiger's eye stone might be used to summon courage.

Talismans can also be made by inscribing certain incantations, symbols, or sigils onto other objects. Runes are common examples of such talismans. If you want to create your own talismans, check out these posts on how to make Seashell Runes, a Tiger's Eye Talisman for Courage, and an Avocado Seed Sigil.

  • used to manifest or amplify certain powers and energies

  • like amulets, these are often made from natural materials

  • good for attracting and enhancing desired traits

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