Elections are vital for talisman making
Elections are vital for talisman making

Elections are vital for talisman making

One of the sillier things that crossed my desk was a question from someone who had bought a love talisman from someone made when Venus was retrograde. They had been assured by the talisman maker that it made no difference. The person wanted to know if they had wasted their money, and I am afraid they had.

Making pretty talismans while ignoring astrological elections is by-passing the lore of talisman-making for commercial expediency. The only way you can be sure of getting a talisman that has been adequately made is by either knowing that the talisman maker is an experienced magician who does not try to cheat by ignoring astrological elections. The better way is to create and consecrate it yourself.

Why is this important?

One of the common mistakes that beginners make is that they believe that magic is all about the equipment. So they see an object like a talisman and assume that the power is in the physical making and the pretty symbols upon it. But a talisman is a symbolic body that attaches a spirit to the physical world. The spirit is attached to the talisman using a ritual that initiates the talisman’s physical matter to the spirit that will ensoul it. The talisman has symbols and designs that allow it to align with the other reality levels. These symbols include the material that is made from (metals, or stones, bits of trees connected to the planets etc.) . Understanding these symbols takes research and a need to study and meditate on them to squeeze every ounce of meaning from them. If you are copying them from a book without doing some work on understanding the nature of the talsiman’s symbol, you do not know how the thing works. You have just created a physical object.


These present a physical body appropriate for the spirit. But like any human physical body, the moment of the talisman’s birth is vital.

The moment a human is born, their astrology defines their personality and their fate to a certain degree. The ascendant, for example, shows how they will act in the world, the sun will show their true inner self or Higher Genuis, the moon their unconscious self etc. If there is something wrong with a person’s chart they will find it difficult to manifest that planetary power properly. Generally, people have different destinies and things to fulfil in life. A person who will be a great writer is not going to need an astrological configuration that would make another a mathematics genius.

But this does not just apply to people; it applies to magical objects. So if you are making a planetary talisman, it has to be “born” on a day and hour in which the planet it represents is positively expressed. There is no point if you make a mars talisman with an ascendant in Libra. The amulet will create mars force, but it will be indecisive and seek a diplomatic solution to conflict. If you wanted a diplomacy talisman, you would build it when Venus is in Libra. For this reason, it is essential that if you buy a talisman from a website you need to know exactly what time the physical body was created to know how it will manifest in your life.


When a planet is retrograde, it appears to be going backwards in the night’s sky. Astrologers say that the planet’s power becomes internal during these moments and finds difficulty in expressing itself. This can result in negative expressions of the planetary force. Therefore, you should not make a Talisman during a retrograde unless you want a talisman that conveys negative aspects of the planet. For example, if you want to create a fear talisman to scare a bully (who you do not want to punch you) making a mars talisman when mars is retrograde is a good idea. But such talismans are specific and rare. Most people want general wealth, romance, or abundance talismans. A retrograde configuration would create financial reduction, loss of love, and general badness.

But… but it worked

Whatever they say, those who make talismans rarely make an effort to charge them. If they are stupid enough to make them without considering astrological elections, then there is no reason why their talisman should work. That is not to say that they don’t have a psychosomatic effect on those who buy them. Sometimes, people are so desperate by the time that they spend money on a talisman. They will see anything positive as proof that the talisman or ritual worked, sometimes with tragic consequences. For example, one person insisted that a talisman had healed them only six months later to need to have the infected body part removed. Even after this, they insisted that the person who made the talisman knew what they were doing and continued to give them positive reviews on Etsy. Another situation included a career success talisman that was attributed to a person keeping their job during a wave of redundancies. Before the talisman was made, there was no proof that the person was sure to lose their job, it was just a fear they had. Besides, a well-made talisman would have created a better job for them and not kept them in a role which was so unstable. Not only was there no proof that the talisman helped it might have made matters worse. A work talisman made during a mercury retrograde could lock a person into a bad job.

Read more

If you want to read more about the use of astrology in magic have a look at The Power of Asteria.


  1. Dear Nick Farell, How about the methods described in your book that I love and own Making Talismans? The processes there are purely Golden Dawnish, Shamanic not taking into consideration Astrological timing or am I mistaken? Could you please elaborate on the difference between a Golden Dawn talisman that doesn’t take into consideration astrological timing vs a Picatrix talisman? Love your work thanks.

    1. I wrote Making Talismans some 25 years ago… when I wrote it the Picatrix was still in Latin and Agrippa was hard to find and there was much we didn’t know. These days there is no excuse. Making Talismans is also a basic practical guide for beginners. That said I did include the use of planetary hours and days of the week which was radical for the time and went some way to fixing the problem I described in the article. The GD Z docs initiate the talisman using the Neophyte ritual at the time I thought that process made astrology elections less necessary. After I finished training in the GD (and had done a few hundred initiations) and started working more practically I started to notice that planetary hours were not enough as some of them were borked in aways I could not work out. Making Talismans used a scrying technique to test the power of the talisman and I could not always account for low readings on ritual consecrations which were powerful.
      I think the new edition of Making Talismans says to draw up a birth chart for a time the talisman is consecrated to see how it will manifest. (It is also helpful to set the correct time of the ritual) . Generally, I start with the correct planetary day and hour and if that does not work for the planet I try something else (but the chart takes precedence) The Picatrix favours ascendents, I would say that is true but the sun is more important. The Picatrix also requires exotic ingredients which I think need to be looked at symbolically (you cant get leopard brains even at Sainsbury’s)

    1. Each magical thing done improves the connection to the planet and the creation of a living being. Correct symbols on the talisman is the creation of the material body, election creates the right birth, the rest of the ritual is focused on ensouling the object with the spirit. If you look at the Golden Dawn’s neophyte ceremony the hexagram is a symbolic shorthand for the candidate’s higher genius.

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