The cimaruta, or cima di ruta, is an unusual and beautiful amulet, pertaining to Italian witch lore.

A fine example of the cimaruta is reproduced as an illustration in this book.

The name of this amulet means ‘a sprig of rue’.

The herb rue (Rut a graveolens) is sometimes called Herb of Grace ; and rue and vervain are supposed to be the two plants most pleasing to the goddess Diana, the queen of Italian witches.

The cimaruta must be made of silver, because that is Diana’s metal.

As well as the representation of the sprig of rue, it also contains the five-petalled flower of vervain, the waning moon to banish evil, the key which is the attribute of Hecate, and a fish, which is a phallic symbol.

Fairly common in the nineteenth century, the cimaruta is not so well known in modern Italy.

At least, the writer has shown this example of it to Italians, and they did not know what it was ; though perhaps they did not care to identify it, on account of its association with witchcraft, ‘La Vecchio Religione’, or the ‘Old Religion’.

The purpose of the cimaruta is to show oneself a votary of the witch goddess, by wearing her favourite herbs; and in general, to bring good luck and ward off evil.

It also protects against the much-dreaded malocchio, or power of the Evil Eye, a matter which is seldom discussed, but still strongly believed in.


The Cross, is one of the oldest amulets in the world, predating Christianity by many centuries.

In the commonest form of a cross, all four arms are of equal length, rather than in a T-shape. Crosses have been associated with sun deities and the heavens.

In ancient times, crosses may have represented divine protection and prosperity.

Crosses also are represented by the Y-shaped Tree of Life, the world-axis placed in the center of the universe, the bridge between the earth and the cosmos, the physical and the spiritual.

In Christianity, the cross transcends the status of amulet to become symbolic of the religion, as well as the suffering of Christ’s crucifixion.

The Cross still retains aspects of an amulet, protecting against the forces of evil.

Even before the crucifixion of Christ, the cross was a weapon against the dark forces.

According to legend, when Lucifer declared war upon God in an attempt to usurp his power, his army scattered God’s angels twice.

God sent to his angels a Cross of Light on which were inscribed the names of the Trinity.

Upon seeing this cross, Lucifer’s forces lost strength and were driven into hell.

Early Christians made the sign of the cross for divine protection and as a means of identification to each other.

In the fourth century, Christ’s wooden cross was allegedly found in excavations in Jerusalem by Empress Helena, mother of Constantine One.

It is said that Helena found three buried crosses at the site of the crucifixion but did not know which belonged to Christ.

She tested all three with the corpse of a man.

Two crosses had no effect upon the body, but the third caused it to come to life.

Helena sent part of the cross to Constantine, who sent a portion to Rome, where it is still preserved in the Vatican.

The rest of the cross Helena reburied. Bits of the cross that were fashioned into amulets became highly prized.

As the Church grew in power, so did its symbol, the cross.

According to belief, nothing unholy can stand up to its presence.

The cross, and the sign of the cross, will help exorcise demons and devils , ward off incubi and succubi, prevent bewitchment of man and beast, protect crops from being blasted by witches, and force vampires to flee.

During the Inquisition, inquisitors wore crosses or made the sign of the cross while in the presence of accused witches, in order to ward off any evil spells they might cast.

People crossed themselves routinely, before the smallest task, just in case an evil presence was near.


The Egyptian symbol of life, regeneration, the universe and immortality, the ankh, which means “life” and “hand mirror,” is a tau, or looped cross.

Witches and Pagans wear it as an amulet against negativity and as a talisman for good fortune and benevolent forces.

It also represents the union of the male principle (the staff) and the female principle (the closed-loop).

Egyptian art shows the ankh being carried as a scepter in the right hand of deities and being applied to the nostrils of the dead in order to bring them back to life.

Ankh amulets were made of faience, semiprecious and precious stones, wax, metal, and wood.

Tutankhamen had a hand mirror in the shape of an ankh.

Egyptians who converted to Christianity from the first century on used both the ankh and the Christian cross as their signs.

The History of Amulets

Amulets are Objects imbued with magical properties that protect against bad luck, illness and evil.

Amulets are universal and are answers to age old needs, such as, to be healthy, to be virile and fertile, to be powerful and successful, to have good fortune and so on.

To ancient humans, these needs were controlled by the invisible forces of good and evil, prayers, sacrifices and offerings induced the good spirits to grant blessings; amulets prevented the evil spirits from taking them away.

Early amulets were natural objects whose unusual shapes or colors attracted attention.

The magical properties of such objects were presumed to be inherent.

As civilization advanced, amulets became more diverse.

They were fashioned into animal shapes, symbols, rings, seals and plaques, and were imbued with magical power with inscriptions or spells.

The term amulet comes from either the Latin word amuletum or the Old Latin term amoletum, which stands for  “means of defense.”

The Roman naturalist, Pliny, defined three basic types of amulets.

These are, those offering protection against trouble and adversity, those providing a medical or prophylactic treatment, and substances used in medicine.

Within these three general categories are many subdivisions, for no one amulet is broadly multipurpose.

Amulets with inscriptions are also called charms.

An amulet typically is worn on the body—usually hung around the neck—but some amulets guard tombs, homes and buildings.

The ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Arabs and Hebrews placed great importance in amulets.

The Egyptians used them everywhere.

The frog protected fertility, ankhs were linked to everlasting life and generation, the udjat, or eye of Horus, was for good health, comfort and protection against evil, the scarab beetle was for resurrection after death and protection against evil magic.

Some Egyptian amulets are huge.

A stone beetle mounted on a pedestal at Karnak (now at the British Museum) measures five feet long by three feet wide, and weighs more than two tons.

The Assyrians and Babylonians used cylinder seals that were embedded with semiprecious and precious stones, each stone having its own unique magical powers.

Various animal shapes served as amulets, for example, the ram for virility, and the bull for virility and strength.

The Arabs gathered dust from tombs and carried it in little sacks as protection against evil.

They also wore pieces of paper on which were written prayers, spells, magical names or the highly powerful attributes of God, such as “the compassionate” and “the forgiver.”

Hebrews wore crescent moons to ward off the evil eye and attached bells to their clothing to ward off evil spirits.

The natives of the west coast of Africa carry amulets which Western explorers named fetishes.

A fetish consists of a pouch or box of “medicine” such as plants, fruits or vegetables, animal hair, paws, dung or livers, snakeheads, spittle, and urine.

Natives believe that the fetish also contains a god or spirit who will help the wearer of the fetish obtain his or her desire.

Two amuletic symbols that are nearly universal throughout history are eyes and phallic symbols.

Eyes protect against evil spirits and are found on many tombs and walls, and on utensils and jewelry.

The phallic symbol, as represented by horns and hands, protects against the evil eye.

The names of God and gods, and magical words and numbers, have provided amuletic protection since antiquity.

These were particularly popular from the Renaissance to the early 19th century, when the grimoires, books of magical instruction, were written.

In magic, using the name of a deity tap into divine power.

In the Old Testament, the Hebrews gave the personal name of God as a four-letter word called the tetragrammaton, transliterated as yhwh and pronounced “Yahweh.”

This name appeared in different spellings on many amulets and talismans to help magicians conjure demons and protect them from attack by the spirits.

Some magical words and numbers are arranged in patterns of squares.

One of the best known of these is the “Sator Square”.

Although numerous attempts have been made to translate the Sator square into something that makes sense, it remains nonsensical.

It was inscribed on walls and vessels as early as ancient Rome and was considered an amulet against sorcery, poisonous air, colic and pestilence, and for protecting cow’s milk from witchcraft.

Holy books such as the Koran, Torah, and Bible are considered to have protective powers.

Bits of parchment with scripture quotes, carried in leather pouches or silver boxes, are amulets in various religions.

Ancient pagans wore figurines of their gods as amulets.

This custom was absorbed into the Catholic Church.

In Witchcraft, the most powerful amulet is the silver pentacle, the symbol of the Craft.

Silver has amuletic properties and is used in jewelry along with various crystals and gems.

The sign of the pentacle, called a pentagram, is traced in the air in rituals done to protect sacred sites, homes and other places.

Other amulets are made from herbs and various ingredients, which can be placed in a charm bag.


An amulet is an object that has been left in its virgin state and has been psychically charged with a specific purpose in mind.

Amulets are passive in their abilities to communicate energy patterns.

Only when their barriers have been crossed do they react or retaliate.

For example, the horseshoe that hangs over the door will only bring good luck to those who pass beneath it.

Almost any symbolic object—special stones, shells, wood carvings, statues—can be turned into an amulet.

To charge an object as an amulet, hold it in your hand, think about what the object represents, and visualize the object becoming a symbol of that concept as you force your intention into it.

Amulets Descriptions


The ankh symbol stands for, everlasting life and regeneration.

The ankh amulet works best when, made from wood, metal, or faience.

The ankh helps its wearer live life to the fullest degree and is sometimes used for success, as well as for protection.


The cross is the primordial sign for the union of opposites: spirit and matter, positive and negative, male and female, sacred and secular.

The cross is the conjunction of all planes in existence. It is worn for protection.

Eye or Udjat (the Eye of Horus)

Whether facing left or right, the eye is a form of protection and good health.

Because of its association with Ra (the high god of Egypt), the udjat was considered to be a potent amulet that would bring strength, vigor, and soundness to its wearer.


The feather is a symbol of truth, transcendent knowledge, and power.

It represents the wind, the heavens, and the soul’s journey to other realms.

The feather is considered to be a good omen and brings good fortune, and luck in games of skill.

Hecate Wheel

The symbol of the goddess of the crossroads, and emblem of the eternity of Witchcraft.

It can be used for protection or to help invoke the goddess herself.

The symbol is usually imprinted on a small round disk of silver, wood, or ceramic, and is worn on a cord around the neck or carried in a pouch.


The key is considered to be a universal symbol of life, knowledge, initiation, wisdom, and freedom.

The key brings opportunity, offers choice, and signifies new beginnings.

A gold key brings good luck, prosperity, and opportunity, and is good for business.

The silver key helps one retain knowledge, imparts wisdom, and frees the spirit.


The symbol of the spirit in control of the forces of nature or the elements of ordinary life.

This is usually made of silver, gold, pewter or copper, and is worn around the neck for protection from negative vibrations.

(This can be consecrated into a talisman, or just worn as a protective amulet).


This is a replica of the Egyptian dung beetle.

It is usually made from stone or clay.

The beetle (scarabaeus sacer) was the symbol of the sun god Khepera, a self-created and self-sustaining force.

The scarab represents life, regeneration, and renewal—divine providence.

To wear the scarab brings health and strength.

It also provides powerful protection against all harm.


The unicorn is a lunar emblem of chastity, purity, and divine justice.

To own or wear a Unicorn brings security and protection.

The root of the Unicorn is a symbol of love and used to bind the affections of another.


Chinese cosmic symbol.

The yin-yang symbol has become very popular with the New Age movement because it represents the universe and all its possibilities.

It is the embodiment and unification of all opposites—the feminine (yin) and masculine (yang) principles.

When worn as an amulet it serves as protection and a means to bring one into alignment with the cosmos.

All-Purpose Healing Amulet

Items Needed.

Garlic. Eucalyptus. Cinnamon. Sage.


Lay the pouch on a hard surface and smooth out all the wrinkles.

Using the red cloth paint or marker, draw the following “healing symbol” on the pouch.

When the paint is dry, fill the pouch with the herbs.

Hold the pouch and visualize good health.

Carry the pouch with you during the day, and at night place it under your pillow.

Use the pouch until the affliction goes away.