In this article, we shall explore amulets, talismans, and charms used by the Christian Pennsylvania Dutch for well over 2 centuries. The Pennsylvania Dutch first travelled from Germany to Penn’s Colony later known as Pennsylvania) in the 1600’s.These Germans travelled from “the old world” (Europe) to escape the religious persecution there to “the new world” (America). Members of this German sect founded the borough of Germantown in northwest Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania in 1683.
These Germans settled on land which they had bought from William Penn. Germantown had Mennonites and Quakers. A second wave of German Mennonites from Switzerland arrived in Germantown during the early 1700’s. Such German speaking immigrants continued to come to Pennsylvania until about 1815 to 1820, during the closure of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. A large number of Amish people, an ethnic group of the Pennsylvania Dutch, arrived in Pennsylvanian Lancaster County in the 1720’s and 1730’s. Germantown became incorporated into the city of Philadelphia in 1854. Descendants of the Pennsylvania Dutch are live in Northampton, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Bucks, York, and other counties of Pennsylvania.
The term for these immigrants, “Pennsylvania Dutch” is actually incorrect, even though it commonly continues in use today. These people did not come from Holland, which is better known today as “The Netherlands”, which is really what the term “Dutch” refers to. Correct terms would be “Pennsylvania Germans” for the Germans, or or “Pennsylvania Deutsch” with “Deutsch” being German for Germans “Deutsch” was later corrupted to mean “Dutch”.
Descendants of the Pennsylvania Germans also live in Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, and even in Canada. We will now examine some beliefs of prayers, that are to be written down on heavy ink on thick paper( so they will physically last a long time before having to be written down on new paper all over again) and carried about a person believed to be an amulet.
To be safe from all enemies, to be carried about the person:
“I.m I. K.I.B.I.O.a.x.v.ss.Ss. vas, I.P/O.unay Lit. Dom. mper vobism
Against Danger and Death to be Carried About the Person
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he will call me from the grave, etc.
Against Evil Spirits and All Manner of Witchcraft.”
You must write all the above on a white piece of paper and carry it about you. The characters or letters above signify: God bless me here in time and there in eternity.”
Write the following on small pieces of paper, to be placed over every gate and door on the premises:
These initials was a variant or misspelling of the Roman INRI or JNRJ an acronym of Jesus Nazareth, King(Rex) of the Jews.
To be written down on paper or on the wall inside a house:
JRNRJ (Jesus King of Nazareth King of the Jews).
To Bless A Home And For Protection Against Witchcraft.
Written down inside:
A Direction for a Gypsy Sentence, to be Carried About the Person As A Protection Under All Circumstances:
“Like unto the prophet Jonas, as a type of Christ who was guarded for three days and three nights in the belly of a whale, thus shall the Almighty God, as a Father, guard and protect me from all evil. J.J.J.”
A Charm, for Protection to be Carried About the Person.
“Ananiah, Azariah, and Misael, blessed be the Lord , for He has redeemed us from hell, and has saved us from death, and He has redeemed us out of the fiery furnace, and has preserved us even in the midst of the fire; in the same manner may it please Him the Lord that there be no fire.”
A Charm for General Blessings to be Worn By the Person.
“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace.”
( The Book of Numbers 6:24-36 )
To Prevent Witches from Bewitching Cattle, to be Written and Placed in the Staple, and Against Bad Men and Evil Spirits Which Nightly Torment Old and Young People, to be Written and Placed on the Bedstead:
‘Trotter Head, I (your name) forbid thee my house and premises; I forbid thee my horse and cow-stable, I forbid thee my bedstead; that thou mayest not breathe upon me; breathe into some other house, until thou hast ascended every hill, until thou hast counted every fence-post, and until thou has crossed every water. And thus a dear day may come again into my house, in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
A variation of the above amulet is simply leaving out your name being written down.
This charm will certainly protect and free all persons and animals from witchcraft.
A Catholic Prayer Talisman, using adhesive tape, used since at least the early 1900’s
The above is written on slips of paper and then taped on the wall above the entrance to the home. The four corners contain the numbers of the current year (the blessing is renewed every year), the letters MCBTD stand for “May Christ Bless This Dwelling”, and the name of Christ three times : “Jesus”, “Jesus”, “Jesus”, a common theme in Pennsylvania Germanic ” Pow Wows”. ( The term “Pow Wows” refers to the alleged “magical” prayer rituals of the Native North American Indians, although Pennsylvania “Dutch” so called magical practices are not connected with the Native American Indians, and are separate.) Normally the above charm for the house blessing is put up at the beginning of every new year.
Protection Against Enemies.
The 91st Psalm was copied from the King James Version of the Bible, and then worn by the person.
There were also pictorial talismans made, such as a triangle with a number 3 and the phrases “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit Bless me” inscribed in ink on paper and worn. Another example of a pictorial amulet would be a circle with the words “Alpha” and “Omega“(Beginning and End) and a sign of the cross with “JJJ ” and “Protect me“. There were also various Biblical verses, especially from the New Testament Bible, written down in ink on paper.
Besides commonly written on paper, there were amulets, talismans, and charms that were inscribed on metal, wood, and bone in rare cases; such hard materials lasts a very, very great deal longer than paper.
Paper so-called amulets, talismans, and charms were often carried on a wallet or a special area in a purse or in a little silk bag with a big long strap that was worn around the neck.
Note: Modern science puts absolutely no faith in alleged amulets, talismans, and charms. Modern science rejects all the supernatural claims regarding amulets, talismans, and charms.
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