The Magical & Mystical

Halloween 2023

The Magical & Mystical

An amulet is any object believed to be endowed with magical or special powers that can help to repel and protect from negative or nefarious forces. For all of human history, people have relied on these earthly treasures to keep them safe – when so much of life felt beyond human control, anxiety was channeled into these tiny “shields” that danger could not bypass. In ancient times most amulets were made of primitive materials like shell, stone, or animal bones. As time went on people felt defensive “vibrations” coming from all sorts of materials around them, from representations of animals to costly precious stones, talismans have been worn, put under pillows, and even ground up and ingested throughout history by those seeking to make an unpredictable world feel more safe and secure. Each year, on our favorite mystical holiday, we take a deep dive into some of the oldest jewelry, charms, and fetishes with a rich history of protective powers.
A sacred shell, abalone is thought to heal the soul, relieve stress, and increase feelings of relaxation.
A gemstone worn throughout the centuries as a symbol of purity and spirituality, an amulet of protection against evil, and as a talisman of success and wealth, the amethyst is today thought to be grounding, to alleviate stress and headaches, and to help those suffering from bad dreams and night terrors.
Aquamarine is said to magnify whatever occult powers the wearer possesses. It can also counteract the lure of dark spirits and demons and at one time was thought to be an antidote to poisoning. Derived from the Roman word “aqua,” meaning water, and “mare,” meaning sea, the ancient legend goes that these shimmery aqua stones wash ashore from the treasure of mermaids and can protect sailors and travelers from the perils of the sea.
Water caltrop nuts are native to East Asia and are known as "bat nuts" because of their resemblance to the winged wonders of the night. Also known as "devil's pod" and "horn nut", the pods are thought to ward off negativity and attract positive energy.

The Ancient Greeks thought blue topaz a stone that brought strength and it was believed during the middle ages that this bright blue gem could undo magic spells and sorcery. Most now associated blue topaz with calm, inner peace, and emotional stability.


carnelian agate
Used by the ancient Egyptians to ward off evil spirits, carnelian has a long history of spiritually protective powers attributed to it. Not only is it said to guard one against injury caused by falling walls or buildings, various peoples have used it to forestall the devil, block nefarious attempts to read their mind, and as protection from spells.

The happy stone – citrine is said to dispel negative energy and bring happiness and positivity into the life of the those who wear it.

During the Victorian period red coral was given to children to protect them from becoming a changeling, a fairy child swapped and left in the place of a human child. For this reason you’ll often see antique Victorian rattles with red coral incorporated. Still thought to have protective powers, coral is said to guard against demonic powers, curses, the destructive forces of the Evil Eye and to ward off visitations by succubus or incubus demons. To be effective, the coral should be worn directly against the body so that it can capture and destroy any sorcery before it reaches the wearer of the amulet.

The Ancient Romans were said to wear diamonds on the left side of the body to guard against night demons, and the stone is today still thought to impart restful hours of nightmare-free sleep to its wearers. In the middle ages diamonds were used as amulets against demons, cowardice, plague, pestilence and sorcery. According to medieval lore, if you hold a diamond in your left hand while reciting a prayer you’ll be safe from enemies, all manner of wild and venomous beasts, and from going mad.

Fish are ancient symbols of good luck, wealth, and abundance. In China, fish, specifically the koi, are a symbol of longevity since that fish grows very old, and a symbol of unity and fidelity, because they often swim in pairs. Fish charms were given as wedding gifts to represent a perfect union and as a good omen for fertility because of the fish's ability to reproduce rapidly and in large volumes.


A popular amulet of the middle ages, Garnets can be placed beneath the pillow to guard against evil spirits in the night. These stones were used for general protection against malevolent spiritual forces, to guide the wearer through darkness, and even to stop bleeding and protect from poison.



Howlite has often been used as a bedside companion for children afraid of the dark. Though this could be explained as just another form of safety blanket, there are many who say that Howlite provides protection against unwanted ghosts and phantoms that roam the house in the night.



Wear on the body, place on a bedside table, or ornament the house with jade to harness this deep green stone’s energy. For centuries jade has been used as a talisman of good luck, to dispel negative energy, and to bring about increased self awareness. Also thought to bring calm to chaos, jade can be placed on a desk or in places associated with higher stress because some say stroking the stone can help to soothe frayed nerves and bring about more peaceful respiration and cardiac rhythms.




From the Greek word malakos, meaning soft, malachite is said to be a stone that opens the heart, clears negative energy, and protects one from the evil eye and other detrimental and draining forces.



Mano Figa is literally translated in Italian as fig hand and in some cultures the gesture is seen as obscene and representing the female genitalia. In Italian culture the figa is used as a magically protective element to ward off the evil eye and bad luck of all kinds.




Mother of pearl is not only beautiful and calming to the senses, but is said to protect one from negative influences and bad, wearying energy. A single pearl can grant their wearer extraordinary foresight, protecting them from imminent dangers, and is also an amulet that will guard against the dangers of the Evil Eye.




A traditional symbol of good luck, mushrooms have long been given to family and friends at the turn of the year as a symbol of good luck in the coming year. They also represent strong relationships and resilience. What from the outside appears to be one tiny fungi is actually an integral part of an extensive and complex underground ecosystem, a large network connecting each tiny piece to another. The system as a whole brings nourishment and support to every living thing in the forest from beneath its mossy floor.



A smooth, glass-like volcanic rock, obsidian has been a tool of healing for thousands of years and is said to counter fear, anxiety, and anger, and to clear negative energy from the psyche.



Onyx is a great stone to wear when investigating paranormal activity because it protects from harmful spirits and can prevent a spirit from draining your psychic energy. It is said to shield one against psychic attack by absorbing and transmuting negative energy, making it a particularly potent protection against black magic.



Throughout most of history, the opal has been regarded as the luckiest and most magical of all the gems because it embodies all of the colors in the visible spectrum. In ancient Rome, the gem symbolized love and hope. Arabic legends say it falls from the heavens in flashes of lightning. The ancient Greeks believed opals were the tears of Zeus and would impart them with the gift of prophecy and protect them from disease. During the middle ages opals were thought to have the power to preserve the life and color of blond hair. In Europe, the monarchs wore opals in crowns and necklaces as symbols of hope, purity, and truth and the stone was thought to ward off evil and nightmares, to protect the eyesight, and to aid in the recollection of past lives.


An operculum is a sort of door that covers the opening of a marine gastropod shell when the animal is retracted, thus sealing it off from danger and protecting it from predators. The Victorians used these small shells that resemble cat eyes as talismans to protect against the evil eye, a supernatural malevolent glare that can be cast on the unsuspecting, causing misfortune, injury, and even death.



The ancient Chinese believed pearls to be magical and that they could offer protection from fire and dragons. Some believe that the glistening pearl can grant a wearer extraordinary foresight, protecting them from imminent dangers.




Rose quartz can range in color from pale pink to deep blushing pink and owes its rosy hue to the presence of manganese, iron and titanium within the stone. One of the most popular crystals in healing, rose quartz is often referred to as the “heart stone,” extolled for its power to attract love and intimacy, as well as its capacity to ease heartbreak and heal emotional wounds. It is thought to facilitate connection, encourage compassion and tenderness, and enhance sensuality. It has been used as a token of love for centuries.



A symbol of powerful emotions and ardent passions, rubies are said to increase sexual energy and are associated with love and commitment. Legend has it that rubies also have magical powers of protection but only when worn by their rightful owner. Donned by royalty as a talisman against evil, the rich red stone was said to be a gem of prophecy – it would grow darker when danger was imminent and return to its original color when the peril had passed.



Sapphires have long been purported to protect the wearer from misfortune, fraud, enemies, violence, the Evil Eye, and psychic attacks. According to Buddhist tradition, sapphires also have special powers to induce trances. 



Scarab amulets were commonly used to protect the deceased in the afterlife. “Heart Scarabs” with inscriptions from the Book of the Dead were placed on the chest of the mummy and were supposed to prevent the heart from revealing any offenses against the gods during the final judgement. For the living, a scarab amulet provided the wearer with protection and confidence in the certain knowledge of reincarnation. This belief sprang from the Egyptians understanding of the ways of the scarab or dung-beetle – a large insect that after laying its eggs in a ball of dung, rolls the ball before it wherever it goes. When the young beetles hatch they appear, seemingly miraculously, from the dung. For the ancient Egyptians, this behavior came to represent the actions of the sun god Khepri who was thought to push the sun through the sky. The beetle’s life cycle then came to symbolize spontaneous creation, rebirth, and resurrection – like the soul rising from the dead.



For centuries shells have played an important role in burial ceremonies around the world. One theory goes that the shell, being from the seashore, is not fully of the land and is also not fully of the sea, an idea that corresponds to what many believe death is – that the deceased person is no longer fully of the world, but is also not fully gone. And much as the beautiful shell persists after the animal inside is gone, many believe some form of spirit may persist after the earthly form has perished.



The ancients associated silver with the moon because of the shimmering luminosity that both gave off. Not great believers in coincidence, they felt that silver was a tangible manifestation of the moon and was thus imbued with some of the same mystical, healing, and protective elements. Ancient cultures believed silver to repel demons and keep evil spirits at bay and stored their holy water in silver vessels. Early alchemists thought that silver could cure disease and heal wounds and relied on this magical metal for primitive medical practice and rituals. Over time gleaming silver became associated with enlightenment and unlocking life’s mysteries.



Prized by many cultures throughout the millennia, topaz has been used in a myriad of healing and protective ways including as a treatment for madness, for restful, nightmare free sleep, and to protect the wearer from poisoning by losing its color when in the presence of a fatal venom.



For centuries snakes have been regarded as symbols of protection and guardianship because when threatened, they tend to stand their ground and fight rather than retreat. Many ancient sites have used symbols of snakes at their entryways as symbolic defenders and having a snake talisman is a potent reminder of strength and courage in the face of fear and adversity. Snakes are also ancient symbols of immortality, renewal, and rebirth because of their own rejuvenation through the shedding of the outer layer of skin.



One of the oldest amulets known to humankind, turquoise is said to release negativity to free the mind for other, more productive pursuits.






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