Semar is Java’s deity of guidance and protection. This celestial spirit is of Javanese origin, tracing back to pre-Hindu times in Indonesia. The local god plays a dominant role in traditional Indonesian shadow play (wayang), as the elder brother of Bhatara Guru (Īśvara, an avatar of Śiva). In the classical wayang stories Semar is the leader of the Punakawan, a group of clowns. Hence he is the eldest and wisest of the five theatrical Punokawan brothers.
Mystical items resembling Semar, including kerises and tombak spears, are considered sacred by the Javanese. Indeed, consecrated images of this local deity are believed to yield special powers regarding luck, fate and fortune. Moreover, Semar amulets and talismans can be used either by Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, as well as Kejawen and Kebatinan followers. This means that people from all faiths and religions can benefit from using this type of amulet.
The so-called ‘Mesem’ variant of Semar represents the spirit’s manifestation of love and attraction. Mèsêm (from ‘èsêm’) in Old Javanese (Kawi language) means ‘to smile (at/on/upon)’. In this context it means that fortune smiles on someone (i.e., the owner of the amulet). This can be good fortune in the sense of wealth, but it can also manifest in the form of success in regard to social status.
This authentic Indonesian talisman is made from sacred brass, and has been empowered by a genuine dukun, through uttering the Semar Mesem mantra repeatedly. Due to its small dimensions, the amulet can be kept in one’s pocket, bag or wallet. However, it is also possible to place the magical object on one’s altar at home, or in the workplace, if preferred.
Before using the amulet, it is recommended to chant the aforementioned prayer (i.e. ‘Aji Semar Mesem‘) to invoke the spirit of Semar: