Talismans: A Consumer’s Guide

The contentious amulet.

News today in the Daily Telegraph that a magazine advert for an amulet has been banned by the Advertising Standards Agency, because the firm behind it could not prove that angels will protect those who wear it. However, speaking from the point of view of a ceremonial magician, I believe the judgement of the ASA is missing the point. The advert should have been banned not because of lack of proof of angelic protection, but because it is badly designed from an occult point of view.

It is made by a company called the Circle of Raphael, and is described on its website as “The Talisman of the Seven Angels(sic – it would be too much for the Daily Telegraph to know the difference between a Talisman and an Amulet). It is incredibly small – 16mm diameter (10/16” in Imperial) and made of silver, and apparently retails for £19 ($30). In the description of the piece there is a certain amount of advertising bumph about “blanket of angelic protection … fantastic results …” etc. Then, however, they get to the details. In attempting to explain the symbols (which are actually letters of the Hebrew Alphabet), they say

Outer Circle contains divine holy words in the form of the eternal name of the Creator as communicated to Moses on Mount Horeb.

Unfortunately there is a little spelling mistake – it says “Eheieh Ashah Eheieh” when it should be “Eheieh Asher Eheieh” – “I Am Who I Am.” In Hebrew the letters Resh and Heh are similar enough for the mistake to be easily made, but it begs the question – do these people really know the Qabalah? And why would they want to charge good money for something with an obvious flaw? The blurb goes on:

The Inner Circle contains the individual Cabbalistic sacred names of each of the seven angels, and inscribed in the very centre the divine life changing word of life itself.

It then proceeds to list the seven planetary Archangels, with fairly traditional attributions (Tzaphqiel is misspelt as Zaphael, but this is a minor quibble). However, when we turn to the picture of the Talisman, the full names of all the Angels are conspicuously absent – there is instead a ring of just seven Hebrew letters surrounding a central eighth. However – trying to give the manufacturers the benefit of the doubt – perhaps they intended just to put the initials of the seven angels? After all, the thing is only 16mm across. Unfortunately though they fail in this as well. Had they been intending this, they should have put:

Planet Saturn Jupiter Mars Sol Venus Mercury Luna
Angel Tzaphqiel
Chamael Michael Haniel Raphael Gabriel
Hebrew Letter Tzaddi Tzaddi Cheth Mem Heh Resh Gimel

What we have instead however is Shin, Peh (sophith), Resh, Heh, Heh, Beth, and Peh (sophith) again. One of the Hehs might actually be a badly done Cheth (but equally it looks just as much like a Tau), but even so we are talking about a three out of seven rate of accuracy.

The presence of the letter Kaph in the centre attempts to defy my powers of reasoning as to why it should be the “Divine Life Changing word of Life” (sic). To give the makers of the talisman even more benefit of the doubt I suppose they might want to attract Jovial influences on the wearer through Kaph’s association with that planet. If however I were asked what the tautologistic Word should be, I would have thought it would be the Tetragrammaton itself, or possibly Ameth (Truth), or even just Chai, which simply means “Life,” which I have seen used in traditional Jewish jewellery designs.

So to summarise: Advertising Standards Agency! When faced with someone selling occult items in the future, come to me, and I will tell you if they are up to standard or not. I undertake to ensure that only people who know their Qabalah will pass my rigorous quality standards! 😉

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  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Talismans: A Consumer’s Guide « Sol Ascendans – The Website of Alex Sumner -- Topsy.com

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