Amulets: Sacred Charms of Power and Protection

Excerpts & Samples

By Sheila Paine

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Sheila Paine

Sheila Paine
Sheila Paine is an expert on tribal societies and textiles and is the author of Embroidered Textiles: Traditional Patterns from Five Continents and the trilogy The Afghan Amulet: Travels from the Hindu Kush to Razgrad, The Golden Horde: Travels from the Himalaya to Karpathos, Amulets and T More...



The first comprehensive illustrated study of the use of amulets around the world and throughout history

• Explores not only the substances and symbolism from which amulets derive, but also the people and objects they protect

• Explains the differences between and the purposes of amulets, talismans, charms, and fetishes

All over the world and throughout history amulets have offered protection against negative forces, whether witchcraft, the evil eye, enemies, sickness, or accidents. Intricately beautiful or starkly simple, they come in an astonishing variety of guises: from stones, shells, and seeds, through animal tails, teeth, and claws, to beads, mirrors, needles, and bells.

With over 400 lavish color photographs, this book explores amulets from every angle, including their symbolism and the diverse material used to craft them as well as the people and objects they protect. Sheila Paine traveled all over the world--from Afghanistan, Russia, and Albania, to Cameroon, Tunisia, and Mexico--to research the form, properties, and use of amulets, whether for health and safety or as channels for spiritual or magical powers. Worn as necklaces, sewn to clothing, painted on buildings, or hung in vehicles, amulets guard babies and brides; warriors, hunters, and travelers; livestock, crops, and homes through magical, not physical, means. Malign spirits and hobgoblins at crossroads have been feared since ancient times, but modern dangers--car crashes, new diseases, even cell phones--have ensured an abiding faith in the magical protection that amulets afford us that is still widely evident today.
". . . an in-depth focus which reveals the past, present, and future of amulets in all their symbolism and power."
The Midwest Book Review

"In this opulent book filled with full color pictures of headresses and houses, textiles and jewelry, Sheila Paine takes an anthropological and historical look at the symbolism and materials of these charms, fetishes and talismans."
Vision Magazine, Jan 2005

"A beautiful book for the art afficionado or charm enthusiast."
Vision Magazine, Jan 2005

“Amulets’ mystical appeal gives them a place among the world’s religions--and in our everyday lives.”
Jennifer Derryberry Mann, Spirituality and Health, August 2005

"The amount of information collected in this book is nothing short of astounding, making this the ultimate ference book."
Lauren L. Laflamme, The Beltane Papers, Issue 36, Oct 2005

"This book should be included in every Pagan's library."
Karolina Blaha-Black, New Witch, Apr 2006

". . . each photo brings the vibrancy and color of the culture of amulets: teeth, feathers, beads and mirrors."
Vision Magazine, Jan 2005