Offering an illustrated exploration of the origins and history of amulets, lucky charms, talismans, and mascots, including photos of unique and original artifacts from his extensive collection, Nigel Pennick examines these objects from a magical perspective, from ancient Egypt to the present. He looks at the age-old spiritual principles, folklore, and esoteric traditions behind their creation as well as the use of numbers, colors, sigils, geometric emblems, knots, crosses, pentagrams, and other symbols. He explores the magic of objects from the mineral world, such as crystals, hagstones, graveyard dust, Norse directional amulets, car hood mascots, horseshoes, and the magic properties of various metals.
He examines the spiritual significance of glass and looks at amulets and talismans connected with plants, including four-leaf clovers and mistletoe, and with animals and birds, such as the rabbit's foot and black cats. Pennick explores magical charms and objects manufactured from bones, teeth, claws, and horns and those that include symbols of the human body, such as objects with eyes, hands, and hearts. He looks at charms associated with gambling and the power of military mascots. He also discusses religious relics as well as the combining of charms to make more powerful objects, from the bind runes of the Norse and the crowns of ancient Egypt to the Mojo hand and the medicine pouch.