The etymological evolution of the word talisman is quite curious since its origin comes from the Greek word teleo, then the Arabic culture adopted the term tilasm in its language, which soon arrived in the French language and finally in Spanish. Anyway, a talisman is an object (usually a precious or semi-precious stone) that has some power. In other words, the talisman is a blessed object, something with a special gift.
The power that a talisman supposedly has is its energy or its ability to attract good fortune.
In this sense, we tend to humanize everything around us (we attribute human characteristics to animals, just as we do to some objects).
From a psychological point of view, human beings have the inclination to think about certain issues that have the quality of attracting good things, in the same way, there are objects or actions that are related to bad luck (for example, a broken mirror, spilling salt , the number 13). It is worth remembering that there is also an inclination to think of certain people who attract bad luck (the so-called killjoys or the cold feet).
Clearly there is no rational explanation to justify the power of a talisman or the negative influence of certain objects or people. The only reason that justifies this idea is superstition, an intellectual attitude typical of magical thinking in other periods of history, although today there are people who believe in the influence of talismans.
The idea of talisman in today’s world
It is unusual for a stone to have a special power, but if a person defends this idea for having a clear inclination towards esoterism and the paranormal world, it is possible. From a strictly scientific point of view it is impossible to offer a valid argument to demonstrate the gift of a talisman.
Today the talisman is employed as a mania, a kind of pseudo-belief or superstition in which an object is linked with good fortune. Superstitious people may decide to carry an object in their pocket because they feel protected or simply because the first time they took this object something positive happened.
The mental mechanism that explains the functioning of a talisman is very present in our culture and everyday life, as well as in everyday language. On certain occasions, various expressions are heard such as “it is the talisman player of the team” or “every time I travel I take my talisman bracelet”. These examples highlight a circumstance: magical thinking is not unique to the past, but irrational aspects are still very much present in today’s culture.