An amulet is a material object on which a charm has been written, or over which a charm or spell has been cast. It is carried or worn in the belief that it will protect from evil, or bring good luck. It is used frequently as a shield against evil spirits or black magic, as well as protection from disease, adversity, or danger. Amulets are worn, for instance, by women during childbirth, individuals in dangerous occupations, the superstitious (including any actors, gamblers, and Gypsies), and by some who have been magically healed.
Amulets are common throughout the world, worn by the civilized and uncivilized alike, and are of an infinite variety. The heathen wears a human finger bone or tiger's tooth, while his white cousin in the city carries a rabbit's foot, or a charm on his watch chain. Amulets are found in the form of birthstones, beads, garlic (worn to protect against the evil eye, vampires, etc.), copper bracelets, Egyptian scarabs, St. Christopher's medals, four-leaf clovers, letters of protection (carried by soldiers, for example), human hair, rings, lucky coins, the cone from a hemlock tree (a fertility charm), lucky charm bracelets (which are worn today by girls who are many times unaware of their magical associations), and countless other objects.
A charm basically means a chant or incantation recited in order to produce some good or bad effect magically (the term charm means to sing). An object may be charmed in this manner, or the charm may be written down. Such charms when worn or carried are amulets. The distinction between a recited charm and the amulet is generally overlooked and consequently the amulet itself which has been charmed is usually called a charm.
A spell may be spoken or written and involves the use of magical incantations, rituals, and symbols. The magician, charmer, or sorcerer casts a spell in order to curse, injure, harass, and bind (hence the term spellbound), or to bring to pass what he desires. Both humans and animals (as well as anything else from crops to marriage) may be charmed or have a spell cast over them in order to cure, harm, or protect, or to cause some other desired effect.
The secrets of magical charming and casting spells were revealed by Satan himself to his devotees and passed down through the ages. Satan has established his own complicated rituals for charming and casting spells, and the forces of darkness are obliged to act on behalf of the sorcerer (or anyone else) if he observes the proper formulae.
Spells and charms are cast, and amulets worn, for any reason desired: to give strength, to kill an enemy, to protect from evil, to assure success in love, or to give victory in battle. Charms and spells are used to cure diseases in humans or animals, to shield against demons, or to cause a business to prosper, and so on.
Perhaps two of the most common spell or charm works having magical import and which are familiar to everyone are: Abracadabra and Hocus-pocus. The term abracadabra is an ancient word believed to have magical power to ward off evil spirits, disease, or other adversity. The first recorded mention of the term occurs in a written remedy for the cure of disease, believed dating from the second to the fourth centuries A.D. The term was to be written on a paper in a certain manner, then folded and worn as a amulet for 9 days, after which it was to be thrown backward before sunrise into a stream flowing east, thus curing the disease. The term hocus-pocus is generally used by magicians during sleight-of-hand tricks, or in conjuring and incantations. It is believed to be a corruption of the Latin hoc est corpus (this is the body), a phrase used by a Catholic priest in the ritual of the Mass when the bread is erroneously believed to become mystically transformed into Christ's body.