Italian Cimaruta Witch Charm, 19th Century AD

A silver amulet in the form of a sprig of rue with three branches further subdividing to two stalks on each; at the end of each stalk is a symbol comprising: a hand making the mano fico sign, and hand holding a dagger, a snake, the crescent moon with face, a heart, key, rose and cockerel; with three lobed suspension ring. 15 grams, 70mm (2 ¾")

The cimaruta is a very old charm rooted in the lore of Roman polytheism. Like many of the lasting ancient symbols and beliefs the cimaruta design eventually took on symbolic elements of Catholicism. One example of a Christian addition to the design is the appearance of “the sacred heart” of Jesus. The word cimaruta literally means ‘a sprig of rue’, a herb that is highly featured in Italian magic and lore.The branch of the rue is divided into three stems symbolizing the triformis goddess Diana. Rue is one of the sacred herbs of this goddess. Various charms appear on the rue design and each one bears its own meaning. The primary symbols are the moon, serpent, and key. These represent the goddess in her triple form as Hecate (the key), Diana (the moon) and Proserpina (the serpent).  This ancient grouping of the goddess appears in the ancient writings of such figures as Lucan. Ovid and Horace also feature the goddess Diana in their writings related to witchcraft. These amulets were mostly produced from the late 18th century up to the present day in Naples, South Italy, where belief in the Evil Eye has remained strong.

Folklore and witchcraft in the north of France: Part 1



There are things from your childhood you can never forget, and my first introduction to witchcraft is one of them: 

My family had been invited for lunch to a place that was ten minutes away from the sea. It used to be a small farm and the owner had a lamb so I spent my time outside playing with her, and that’s how I found some rocks that had a hole in their center. When the owner of the place noticed, he explained to me that farmers and shepherds used to hang them to their walls to protect themselves from a witch’s curse. These rocks are called Cayeux Cornus in Picard dialect, which translates to “horned stones” which usually just means “flint” but that can also represent the good eye:

This custom is very specific to the region of Santerre, Picardy, and Mr. Lefebvre-Marchand, from the Antiquarian society of Picardy, wrote down a testimony he heard near the town of Chaulnes: he explained that to ward off the evil eye, you had to find a rock with a hole that looked like an eye without looking for it on purpose, and to hang it to the walls of your house or stables. That rocks were so powerful that they could protect the household against all kinds of curses, however, if a witch happened to trespass and close the good eye with a smaller stone, the effects of the talisman would vanish and the witch could do anything to you. 

Though it is now rare to see such talismans hanging on houses walls, it is still possible to find those powerful rocks in some farms, just like I did as a kid!

Charms & Talismans (II)

For Luck

  • Butterfly charms - They are considered to be omens of luck. The gentle fluttering of a butterfly is good fortune. It is a symbol of freedom and perfection in nature. Just as a butterfly is not born, but is metamorphosised into a perfectly symmetrical creature, one’s ill fate can be transformed into good fortune. Butterflies have been associated with wandering, free souls in many different cultures.
  • Acorn - It is said to be an emblem of luck, and is believed to give the gift of youth to the wearer.
  • Astrological talismans - These type of talismans are usually very effective when prescribed according to the specifics of one’s horoscope. It corresponds to a favourably or unfavourably placed planet in the horoscope of the concerned person, and can be acquired to either strengthen or reduce that planet’s effects
  • Feathers - An ancient charm for luck and represents the journey of the soul to the other realm.
  • Keys - Three keys worn together symbolise the unlocking to the doors of health, wealth, and love.
  • Lucky coins - Bring luck to the bearer.

For Protection

  • Corno (horn) - An Italian amulet of ancient origin. It is a gently twisted horn-shaped amulet worn to bring protection against the evil eye, specifically against being cuckolded.
  • Cord charms - Intended to decay, they are put around a child’s wrist or neck, and by the time they wear off, the child is said to be old enough to withstand the “eye”.
  • Rabbit foot - The left hind foot of a rabbit is considered lucky, and the bearer has to rub it to activate the luck. In some sources, it is also said to be good for protection magic, in addition to bringing good fortune.
  • Mano Cornuto - “mano” meaning “hand” and “cornuto” meaning “horn”, the charm represents a hand gesture in which the index and little fingers are extended while the middle and ring fingers are curled into the palm. The reference is to the horned head of an animal. It is used for magical protection against the evil eye. 
  • Abracadabra - Created in biblical times for the benefit and well-being of all humankind by the elite holy men known to history as the Magiits proven ability to compel negative situations to diminish and vanish is legendary.

Crystals & Stones (Various)

For travelling:

  • Carbuncle and chalcedony - Protects sailors from drowning.
  • Quartz - Protects from extreme weather.
  • Banded agate - Protects from surging waves of the ocean.
  • Jet - Provides major protection to the wearer for travelling by river or sea.
  • Amethyst - Can be used as a general protection for travellers.

For courage

  • Aquamarine - Banishes fear.
  • Bloodstone - Provides courage.
  • Carnelian - Provides courage, as well as protection.
  • Agate - Dispels fear.
  • Black tourmaline - A very protective stone which is also excellent for dispelling fears.
  • Blue quartz - Releases fear.

For health:

  • Amazonite - For general health.
  • Green aventurine - Beneficial for blood and circulatory system.
  • Emerald - A very good general healer.
  • Fuschite - Helps mental and physical problems.

Guardian eye.

I finished him and he hangs beautifully on my wall. I love the way it moves when a breeze moves through my room.

He looks on and protects me. Filled with herbs and seeds, sewn with magically charged thread and specific intent, finally life breathed into the cloth and hung in a place of honor.

Hemp string, cloth, embroidery thread, obsidian, and a creosote branch (smells like rain )


Roman Glass Evil Eye Beads, 1st-3rd Century AD or Earlier

Imagery of the Evil Eye was first recorded by the Mesopotamians approximately 5,000 years ago in cuneiform on clay tablets. Some scholars believe that it may actually have originated as early as the Upper Paleolithic Age. Evil Eye iconography has been found in Jewish, Christian and Muslim cultures as well as Buddhist and Hindu societies; however, each culture ascribes a similar meaning to it. The evil eye is believed to be a curse cast by a malevolent glare that is typically directed at a person who is unsuspecting and unaware. Many cultures believe that the evil eye can bring about misfortune, injury, or bad luck. For this reason, talismans and beads like these traditionally have been created to protect the wearer against the evil eye given their powerful apotropaic properties against the evil eye.