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Home > Books & Reviews > Pagan > Making Talismans Search

Book Review:
Making Talismans: Living Entities of Power

Author: Nick Farrell
Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Llewellyn
Publication date: September 2001
ISBN: 0738700045
Price & More Info: Click Here


According to Nick Farrell, a talisman is an object that stores and radiates magickal energy to create change. His new book, Making Talismans, is a short course in the creation of talismans within the Western Magical Tradition. In his preface, the author tells of his first attempt, when he was seventeen, to make a talisman to attract money using the information in a small pamphlet he found in a secondhand bookstore. After carrying it around for 6 weeks without acquiring any money, he realized that it wasn't working. I suspect that little pamphlet was not nearly as complete as this book.

Making Talismans packs quite a bit of information into a relatively short, well-illustrated book. The book begins with a short explanation of what a talisman is and the magickal theory of how talismans work. The second chapter is a brief history of talismans in the Western Magickal Tradition from their use in ancient Egypt to their use by the Golden Dawn and its successors. The third chapter begins the material on actually making talismans with a discussion of cabbalistic names of power. The fourth chapter is a digression from the ceremonial magick tone of the rest of the volume. It discusses the use of Pagan deities instead of cabbalistic divine names. The next three chapters cover the talismanic use of angels, planets, and colors respectively.

The last three chapters cover the actual creation and consecration of a talisman. The chapter on drawing talismans explains the various shapes that can be used and what to draw on those shapes. Three types of talismans are covered: basic and advanced talismans that draw power from the heavens and geomantic talismans which draw their power from the Earth. The chapter on consecrating talismans details three consecration rituals: a simple ritual using a shamanistic approach, a ceremony for a modern magickal lodge, and a more complex ritual created from Golden Dawn practices. The last chapter explains how to tell if a talisman is actually working and what can be done to correct errors that may prevent one from working.

Making Talismans is a wonderful collection of information on talisman creation collected in a single, easy to read volume. Unfortunately, while this book provides the reader with a lot of raw information, it gives very little instruction on how to turn all of that information into a talisman for a specific purpose. This book really could have benefitted from a chapter of case studies in talisman design showing how one gets from a specific need to a talisman designed to help that need. Raw information is great, but beginners may need more help than Making Talismans provides in actually using that information.

Reviewed by Randall

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