Should I use an Incantation or Charm?

Guest Post by Elizabeth J. Kolodziej

Hello everyone! My name is Elizabeth J. Kolodziej and I am the author of The Last Witch Series. With writing about the paranormal I find myself doing much research on the topic of witches, vampires, werewolves and more. One problem I run into every now and again is the decision of whether my witch, Faith, should use an incantation, charm, casting, energy, talisman and so on and so forth. Due to that I got the amazing idea of doing a blog post on the subject since most books don’t necessarily explain the differences.

In my research through out the years of witchcraft I have come to believe that certain definitions of an object or word may vary from country to country along with certain objects or terms becoming interchangeable. Because of this I find researching the subject of witchcraft to be similar to any religion. In the end it is how u perceive the explanation of any instrument used. For example some religions will only go by the Old Testament while others believe the New Testament to be correct. However, magic is old, much older than religion its self in my humble opinion. When u study something that is so old definitions will become changed and opinions on what this means will differ from country to country, religion to religion and even person to person. However the basic of the mechanics are always present. Therefore I give you my ideas and definitions from what I have learned. It is ok to disagree with me or say I’m totally wrong. Differences in perception and ideas are what make the people in this work so unique. With that said, let’s move on to the heart of this article.

First I wanted to talk about incantations. An incantation is a form of a spell, used by creating words. Normally, incantations are done during rituals. For example, you would take a long piece of rope made of natural fibers to create a circle. Some witches (not to be confused with the religion of Wicca) will light candles on an alter (or witches table) first and then recite the incantation. This can be used to cast a spell on a person or object, however in my book I use it as a way to cast a spell on someone. Having a piece of that persons hair or something precious to them will help.

Then there are charms. I have to explain that the meaning and use of charm was the most difficult to find. I actually asked several people, read different books and searched online to find many different opinions on whether a charm can be interchangeable with amulets and talisman. Rev. Vickie Carey, D.D.,Ph.D. from Springs Haven Spiritual Center answered my question by stating: “Today charm and amulet are often interchangeable. But Initially, they were separate things.” This goes to my point in the beginning, over time objects and meanings change.

However, many references agree and say that a charm is a necklace or ring used for good luck. Can we say oye vey? Then I went to Rev. Amy Blackthorn from and she stated that, “Amulets are physical representations of charm or spell work. A charm is an act of magic, however it is not relating to the physical object representing the magical act.” So amulets are physical while charms are words? Sound reasoning.

In the beginning I never thought it would be so hard to get a direct and correct answer about this subject and yet it is! However, there is an upside to this! Unbelievable, I know right? I am a fiction writer; I can take all of this information and do what I like with it. This type of information is inspiring to say the least and this is why I tell all writers to research (hands on if possible).

I bet you either forgot or asking, what about the talisman? Not to be confused with a charm. A charm being a necklace or ring for luck while a talisman is an object (sometimes made by hand) that is infused with an incantation or pure energy with an intent purpose. For example, wanting to attract love or gain money. Now normally, there is a symbol or something inscribed on this object to help it project what its intended use is for. Thankfully this was agreed upon by everyone I read thus far.

Casting spells takes a lot of practice and researching. You must know what type of moon you should do it under, the correct herbs, stones etc to use. However, in most fictional books casting spells for charms are normally done whenever that witch needs one. Again, the beauty of being a fiction writer!

As you can see, most authors have to think over exactly what they want their witch to do. It’s not always as simple as it appears to be. This is why books can take long periods of time to come depending on the amount of research an author wants to do. Personally, I don’t like to rely strictly on the Internet since I don’t always know the source. However, I have many books on the subject that I have collected over the years in the hopes I get it correct in my own books. Of course, you have to let an author use a little fiction with everything. The core elements of the spell will be there but you have to allow for everyone different twists and turns.

I hope you found this blog post entertaining! If you would like to read more about the information I have found on the paranormal please go to my blog and look through my posts (especially the older ones). 

And remember, what else does a fiction writer do but make up bullshit? But, all bull shit is started with a grain of truth. ::wink::

A year after Vampyre Kisses came out Elizabeth J. Kolodziej makes her way back into the author scene with the second book for the The Last Witch Series, Werewolf Descent. Currently, Kolodziej (pronounced KO-LA-G), is working on many different short stories for anthology books. Along with the third book for The Last Witch Series being under way. Kolodziej continues to travel and study the folklore of vampires, werewolves and witches in the hopes of expanding her knowledge and her stories.


Posted on February 9, 2012, in Fantasy, Teen, Young Adult. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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