The Charmers’ Psalter

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By Gemma Gary

The Psalms, mysterious in their origins and possibly far pre-dating their appearance within Judeo-Christian Scripture, have a long history of magical use. We encounter the Psalms within the rites and talismanic magic of the grimoires, and their prolific employment within Charming, Cunning and folk-magical tradition. Herein the methods of their use are varied and incorporate magical acts of utterance, inscription, bottling, burning, sprinkling, pouring and burial in conjunction with various substances and materials. Serving a vast array of needs, principally for healing, protection and the averting of evil, but also long employed within acts of cursing, the Psalms are an established feature of traditional operative magic yet also an indicium of engaging with the world of spirit, the divine and the unseen: “Whilst the traditional magical uses of the Psalms may appear to be almost entirely for the serving of material needs and desires, rather than for purposes of spiritual advancement, they are possessed of great beauty, and in one’s recourse to them in times of distress and great difficulty there is to be attained a moment of contemplative comfort, and an acknowledgement of the immanence of the divine presence; turned to for spiritual strength and assistance.” (From the Introduction and Manner of Use) The Charmers’ Psalter is born from a personal working collection of magical Psalms and other verbal charms, here presented in a convenient ‘pocket book’ format so that it may always be on hand to the contemporary Charmer for reference should need of it arise.