Difference Between Amulets and Talismans

Charms are worn or possessed by people in response to magical beliefs. Charms are usually of two types: Auspicious and Apotropaic. Auspicious charms are meant to bring good luck to the person possessing them. A typical example of this is a talisman. Apotropaic charms are charms that are supposed to avert evil. A typical example of apotropaic charm is an amulet.

Amulets vs Talismans

The main difference between amulet and talisman is that amulet is an apotropaic charm while the talisman is an auspicious charm. Amulets and talismans are magical objects or charms that are meant to ward off evil energy or to ensure spiritual powers. People have believed in these magic charms since human civilization was established and continue to believe in magic charms.

Amulets vs Talismans

Amulets are magic charms that have the power to keep evil spirits and negative energy away. They are also used to keep illness away. Some of the objects used as amulets are garlic, metals, lucky coins, coal, crucifixes, and horseshoes. People wear amulets to ensure their protection against evil energy.

Talismans are believed to be somewhat the opposite of amulet. Talismans are supposed to give power as in positive energy to the person wearing it. Some of the examples of talismans are Aladdin’s magic lamp, magic rod, and Excalibur (King Arthur’s sword). They are generally made up of gemstones and crystals. These magic charms are worn by people to empower them and make them confident.

Comparison Table Between Amulets and Talismans

Parameters of ComparisonAmuletsTalismans
EtymologyDerived from the Latin word ‘amuletum.’Derived from the Greek word ‘telesma,’ which means consecration ceremony.
PurposeAmulets are meant to keep the negative and evil energy away.Talismans are meant to empower and provide strength.
CategoryApotropaic charmAuspicious charm
FormNatural formsIt can be natural or human-made.
ExamplesHerbs, stones, coal, horseshoes, garlic, or other magical objects.Swords, knives, pendants, rings, or bracelets.

 What are Amulets?

The word amulet is derived from the Latin word ‘amulētum,’ which means an object that offers protection. The amulets are magical objects that protect people from evil spirits and negative energy. People also use amulets to protect them from specific things, including severe disease or illness. People believe that the amulet has some kind of magical power that protects the person possessing the charm.

The amulet is of different types, which includes herbs, stone, garlic, coal, horseshoes, plant or animal parts, coins, or any other metals. Amulets also include various signs and symbols. Amulets can be of the general type or can be personalized or changed according to the person going to use them.

It is often used in the form of jewelry so that it stays within the person every time and the chances of losing it becomes negligible. Amulets are natural objects and do not harm anyone. They improve the quality of life of a person having it as they satisfy the natural desired of the individual. Some of the popular amulets include “o-fuda,” which is a special type of calligraphy, “hamsa” also called “Hand of Fatima,” Seal of Solomon, also known as Star of David or hexagram.

What are Talismans?

The word talisman is derived from the Greek word ‘telesma,’ which means complete and religious rite. It was supposed as an ornament initially used by the Byzantines in times of war. They would put the talisman on the city walls to ward off the enemies. Talismans are magical objects supposed to give strength and power to the person possessing them. People also believe that it provides some kind of magical abilities to the person having it.

Talismans are natural amplifiers. They boost up the energy and empower the people leading them to make the right choices. Talisman is usually in a single piece, made up of gemstone or any other crystals. Talisman is a magical charm that can be customized or changed according to the person.

Buying a magical charm for any other person shows the manifestation of love and friendship, and it is believed that such an act will change the receiver’s luck for sure as it has the willpower of the person buying it or making it for you. The talisman can be personalized according to the requirement. Some of them are supposed to bring joy and happiness, some of them bring health, some bring good quality of life, and so on.

Traditional magic schools say that the person should create their own talisman, and while in the process of creation of a talisman, they should know about planetary forces and elemental symbols. One of the popular talismans still in usage is the swastika which ranges back to the stone age.

Main Differences Between Amulets and Talismans

  1. Amulets are charms that are meant to ward off negative energy and evil spirits, while talismans are charms meant to give power and strength to the person wearing them.
  2. Amulets can be anything such as stones, herbs, plant parts, a bag of sand, blue beads, garlic, etc. Talismans are usually in a single piece, like a piece of jewelry or bracelets made up of gemstones and crystals.
  3. Amulets are worn to provide defense and protection against evil energy, while talismans are worn to amplify the natural instincts and empower the person possessing them.
  4. Amulets come in natural forms, while talismans can be natural or man-made objects.
  5. Amulets are apotropaic charms, i.e., they ward off evil energy, while talismans are auspicious charms, i.e., they bring good luck.
Difference Between Amulets and Talismans


An amulet and a talisman both are natural charms meant for the person wearing or possessing them. It can be any natural object or man-made and can also be personalized as required by the individual. They are used according to the need of the individual.

When a person intends protection against evil spirits and negative energy, they use an amulet, but when they want to gain confidence and yearn for the power, they prefer using a talisman. People use charms to benefit themselves and in order to satisfy their magical beliefs. These charms can range from a few dollars to a million dollars.


  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=wYd-HKmn8jUC&oi=fnd&pg=PR13&dq=amulets+and+talismans&ots=UWtJsweEI3&sig=NHWuH7f4oMf48QUhO35UDbjGdJc&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=amulets%20and%20talismans&f=false
  2. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=7F8oDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT5&dq=amulets+and+talismans+difference&ots=cg3keal5Dv&sig=dSEEJZWmZdF7eI1QZMSi6XpZBsQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=amulets%20and%20talismans%20difference&f=false
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