Whether you call it a talisman, charm bag, gris-gris, or mojo bag, the general purpose is the same. It’s a collection of enchanted objects, all chosen to produce a specific effect over a longer period of time, and it works by proximity. A charm bag is a way of carrying your magic with you and enhancing it with regular contact. The Magical Art of Crafting Charm Bags by Elhoim Leafar is a well-written handbook on the subject for new and seasoned witches alike.
I’ve never met a witch who didn’t love making these things for themselves and others upon request. They are physical and tactile, and they hold things that witches are naturally drawn toward anyway. Part of the joy in this particular form of magic is selecting the herbs, stones, and resins that correspond to the spell’s purpose, and Leafar provides a wealth of information on the properties of each.
The first part of the book opens with explanations of how to cast a circle and how to set up your altar. It also provides some general information on the pentagram, enchanted objects, and incense. The second part of the book dives into the tradition of using charm bags, how to craft them, and the magical correspondences of various herbs, stones, and oils.
The last part of the book includes a formulary for specific purposes, like success, love, health, psychic ability, and so forth. It’s like peeking into Leafar’s grimoire. It’s great for novices, because everything you need to do is spelled out. You can start making charm bags right away if you wish. What I liked most about the book, however, is that it encourages creativity. All of the correspondences in the book provide an excellent foundation for creating your own unique talismans. Altogether, this is a handy reference that belongs on every witch’s bookshelf.