An amulet, similar to a talisman (Arabic:tilasim), is any object intended to bring good luck or protection to its owner. Potential amulets include gems, especially engraved gems, statues, coins, drawings, pendants, rings, plants and animals; even words said in certain occasions—for example: vade retro satana—(Latin, "go back, Satan"), to repel evil or bad luck. The word "amulet" comes from the Latin amuletum; earliest extant use in Pliny's Natural History, meaning "an object that protects a person from trouble".
In antiquity and the Middle Ages, most Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Orient believed in the protective and healing power of amulets or blessed objects. Talismans used by these peoples can be broken down into three main categories: talismans carried or worn on the body, talismans hung upon or above the bed of an infirm person, and medicinal talismans. This third category can be further divided into external and internal talismans. For example, an external amulet can be placed in a bath. The power of the amulet would be understood to be transmitted to the water, and thus to the bather. With internal amulets, inscriptions would be written or inscribed onto food, which was then boiled. The resulting broth, was believed to transfer the healing qualities engraved on the food into the person who consumes it.
A little-known but well-worn amulet in the Jewish tradition is the kimiyah or "angel text". This consists of names of angels or Torah passages written on parchment squares by rabbinical scribes. The parchment is then placed in an ornate silver case or leather pouch and worn someplace on the body.
The amulet is particularly prevalent in ancient Roman society, being the inheritor of the ancient Greek tradition, and inextricably linked to Roman Religion and Magic (see Magic in the Greco-Roman World). Amulets are usually outside of the normal sphere of religious experience though associations between certain gemstones and gods has been suggested, for example, Jupiter is represented on milky chalcedony, Sol on heliotrope, Mars on red jasper, Ceres on green jasper and Bacchus on amethyst. Amulets are worn to imbue the wearer with the associated powers of the gods rather than for any reasons of piety. The intrinsic power of the amulet is also evident from others bearing inscriptions, such as VTEREFELIX (UTERE FELIX) or "good luck to the user." Amulet boxes could also be used, such as the example from part of the Thetford treasure, Norfolk, UK, where a gold box intended for suspension around the neck was found to contain sulphur for its apotropaic qualities. Bulla or phallic amulets could be given to young children for similar reasons—protection from the Evil Eye. Other icons used for this purpose in Ancient Rome include dogs, ravens, an eye pierced with an arrow, a hand with an open palm or dwarfs with large phalluses, women with large breasts to promote fertility.
As far as Amulets Talismans and Magic Charms go, it must be said that in the Modern Age, there is only one country which is known around the world for its immense quantity of incredibly varied ranges of Sacred Amulets, purportedly endowed with the power to perform miracles. These Essentially Buddhist amulets are made by Bhikkhus (Buddhist Monks), Brahman Masters and Ruesi Sages (Yogis), who practice renunciation in various levels and develop their psychic powers in meditation. These Masters will bless the amulets in various manners, according to each particular 'Dtamra' (Lineage Method). Using JHanic Powers along with Kasina elemental porjection they endow the amulets with the powers of Kong Grapan Chadtri (Invincibility against sharp or projectile weapons), Metta (Charm and attraction) and other magical spells to protect the wearers from all ills. There are literally hundreds and hndreds of thousands (if not millions) of different amulets in Thailand, which range from thousands of years old to this very year. Ancient and Modern amulets enjoy the same or more popularity than they did 2000 years ago, and devotees and believers from all around the world wear, revere and collect Thai Buddhist and Animist amulets with almost as much fervor as the Thais. For those who have never heard of the Thai Amulet, perhaps it may come as a surprise to know that almost every person in Thailand has at least one amulet in their possession, and most people wear them around their necks, as rings, armbands, on the dashboard of the car or bus, at home and almost anywhere you could imagine except forbidden places like toilets and bathrooms. Some other forms of Buddhism also have a deep and ancient talismanic tradition. In the earliest days of Buddhism, just after the Buddha's death circa 485 BC, amulets bearing the symbols of Buddhism were common. Symbols such as conch shells, the footprints of the Buddha, and others were commonly worn. After about the 2nd century BC, Greeks began carving actual images of the Buddha. These were hungrily acquired by native Buddhists in India, and the tradition spread. In addition to protection against supernatural powers, amulets are also used for protection against other people. For example, soldiers and those involved in other dangerous activities may use talismans to increase their luck. Carlist soldiers wore a medal of the Sacred Heart of Jesus with the inscription ¡Detente bala! ("Stop, bullet!"). Amulets can serve as focal points in fiction works, such as the story Grimpow by Spanish author Rafael Ábalos.