It was actually books that started to make those pockets of freedom, which I hadn't otherwise experienced. I do see them as talismans, as sacred objects. I see them as something that will protect me, I suppose, that will save me from things that I feel are threatening. I still think that; it doesn't change. It doesn't change, having money, being successful. So from the very first, if I was hurt in some way, then I would take a book -- which was very difficult for me to buy when I was little -- and I would go up into the hills, and that is how I would assuage my hurt.
Burlic screamed. He threw back his head and roared a single furious word into the night: 'Waeccan.' The name erupted from him in a savage wail that rasped at his throat, over and over until he could shout no more. His howls echoed along the valley. In the village, the other hunters heard and exchanged glances, shook their heads and said nothing. The women clutched their talismans, told the children to go inside. They had tried to help, but there was nothing they could do for Burlic now.
These are illusions of popular history which successful religion must promote: Evil men never prosper; only the brave deserve the fair; honesty is the best policy; actions speak louder than words; virtue always triumpths; a good deed is its own rewards; any bad human can be reformed; religious talismans protect one from demon possession; only females understand the ancient mysteries; the rich are doomed to unhappiness
All art that is not mere storytelling, or mere portraiture, is symbolic, and has the purpose of those symbolic talismans which medieval magicians made with complex colours and forms, and bade their patients ponder over daily, and guard with holy secrecy; for it entangles, in complex colours and forms, a part of the Divine Essence.
William Butler Yeats
To return to the general analysis of the Rosicrucian outlook. Magic was a dominating factor, working as a mathematics-mechanics in the lower world, as celestial mathematics in the celestial world, and as angelic conjuration in the supercelestial world. One cannot leave out the angels in this world view, however much it may have been advancing towards the scientific revolution. The religious outlook is bound up with the idea that penetration has been made into higher angelic spheres in which all religions were seen as one; and it is the angels who are believed to illuminate man's intellectual activities. In the earlier Renaissance, the magi had been careful to use only the forms of magic operating in the elemental or celestial spheres, using talismans and various rituals to draw down favourable influences from the stars. The magic of a bold operator like Dee, aims beyond the stars, aims at doing the supercelestial mathematical magic, the angel-conjuring magic. Dee firmly believed that he had gained contact with good angels from whom he learned advancement in knowledge. This sense of close contact with angels or spiritual beings is the hallmark of the Rosicrucian. It is this which infuses his technology, however practical and successful and entirely rational in its new understanding of mathematical techniques, with an unearthly air, and makes him suspect as possibly in contact, not with angels, but with devils.
Frances A. Yates