Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Jewish/Hindu/Islamic Equivalent of a Cross?

My research-fu is failing me. In Christianity very often crosses are ritually blessed objects that give magical protection. For purposes of fantasy story I'm making the assumption that this works (in part, because I like the image of the vampire shrinking from the cross), but that it often works for other religions too if they have a tradition of such objects. So while a believer will say, "God protected me" it is a little unclear if there is a god protecting wielders of a cross from vampires or if it is just the ritual. Since even atheists can wield a cross and the Soviets (in my stories) successfully created 'blessed' hammer and sickle pin to protect good Marxists from vampires. And they worked, though the Christians always claim that they had crosses hidden inside, were demonically created, and/or did not work as effectively (don't ask them about the logical contradictions).

My problem is that I know the Jews are a lot more about the Torah being their holy thing, but do they have any ritually blessed metallic objects that might operate similarly to the cross? And Hindus and Muslims as well if you happen to have cultural/religious knowledge? I don't want to leave them completely unprotected, but I don't want to play any more silly buggers with real world beliefs than I already am by adding real magic to history.

FYI in creating my system I decided that the best materials for such blessed objects are silver and copper, though bronze and brass can work as well depending upon the particular circumstances and the particular ingredients. Less commonly large blocks of aluminum will work sometimes and completely pure gold or very low carat gold both work. So, ironically, the rich man with a 22k cross won't be protected while someone with a cheap < 12 karat cross will be. Though this would not have been common knowledge outside certain academic circles before the 1920s.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Metallurgy and blessed objects -- I love it; that is so random!

And I think the Jewish religion in particular has a whole subculture devoted to blessed objects and the like if you hunt around for that. Hindu and Islam I don't know enough to say, but I do know Judaism has its mystical beliefs in that area. Search under Kabbalah? I could be wrong, but is probably worth hunting anyway. Good luck!