Unity in Sharing Art: Amulets and Talismans

Sharing Art – A Courageous Act

 

A Tibetan Protective Talisman

A Tibetan Protection Talisman made out of a stone and wrapped with silk thread.

Sharing art is a act of trust. It is an act of bravery. Because our creations are tender, innocent newborns, they need protection and nurturing care. Thus, it is anxiety-producing to place our creations in the spotlight for other eyes to see. Yet by sharing our creations in a safe supportive place, we form a reassuring community. There is unity in sharing art.

Revealing our amulets and talismans to others demonstrates the value we place on the creative act. By sharing art, we are not only bearing witness to our own expressive process but also encouraging and supporting others to do the same.

Visual art is a language that fosters healing, friendship, and a deeper understanding of who we are as human beings. Coming together as a group to explore our inner landscapes with open vulnerability is a courageous act. Together, we ride the same wave, using creativity as a catalyst for change within and all around us.

 

Getting Started: Creating Amulets and Talismans

If you missed June’s  blog post on amulets and talismans, you might want to take a peek, as it will give you the background you need to begin creating your own amulets and talismans. The elements that make up amulets and talismans are as diverse as the people who create them. To get started, simply take a walk around your neighborhood and pick things up. Begin a nature-and-found-object collection.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Free Associations – Using Words

After you have gathered your materials and created your amulet, make a list of what you used. Then, very quickly, write the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of that object. The examples shared at the end of this post will give you an idea of how this is done. Remember: there is no wrong or right way to do this. What I am giving you is a starting point; you can leap off from there.

After you have your list of words, link them together in a sentence, a poem, or simply just a thought. Using additional words is totally fine! You will be amazed at what you come up with. Try not to think too much about it — just keep your pencil or pen moving.

 

Beautiful origami papers are transformed into visual prayer

Beautiful origami papers are transformed into visual prayers

Prayer Paper

When making amulets and talismans, sharing a written thought or intention is a lovely way to broaden the purpose of our creations. Scrap papers can be used, but I am very fond of Origami papers. This is a good site that references several different companies you can order from.

You will enjoy having some special supplies on hand for making your talismans unique.

 

 

 

Milagros

Milagros - a blessing, a surprise, a wonderv

Milagros – a blessing, a surprise, a wonder

If you are not familiar with the word, milagros are small, metal, religious “good luck” charms. During my frequent trips to Oaxaca, Mexico over the past ten years, I’ve collected these small charms to use within my artwork and give to my students. The word milagro means “small miracle or blessing.” These charms come in many shapes and sizes, depicting a wide range of subjects. From arms, legs, hearts, lungs, and all other body parts, to praying people, to farm animals to houses and cars — virtually every possible image is represented.

I have seen them nailed or pinned to crosses or wooden statues of various saints and their clothing; hung with little red ribbons or threads from altars and shrines; carried for protection and good luck. They range in size from less than half an inch to several inches in length. They are as unique as the cultures that produce them. 

They are a beautiful thing to add to your amulet-making supplies and can be ordered on Etsy.

 

 

Amulets: Your Inner Wisdom

Your amulet is a visual manifestation of something that is being offered to you – a thought, a prayer, a new way of looking at things, a realization, a letting go. Place your amulet where you can see it every single day so that you can be reminded of its guidance. I have a kitchen altar where I place things. It could be your breakfast table, your nightstand, your dresser or chest of drawers

If you fall in love with this practice, like most do, you will soon have quite a collection of these small, magical sculptures. After you live with your amulet for a while and digest its wisdom, consider gifting it to someone else or have a gathering bowl to house them in. Sharing art with others allows your creation to radiate its energy long past the first moment you made it. How you do this is up to you; let your imagination be your guide!

 

My Kitchen Altar is a constantly changing place for all things that inspire me -

My kitchen altar is a constantly-changing place for all things that inspire me – tea bag tags; bones from the chicken I cooked for dinner (I’m especially fond of vertebrae and wishbones); sand (from a recent trip to Morocco); wine corks; fragments of bird eggs – I love that blue of robins’ eggs; shells; feathers; and photos of family. Usually, there is also an amulet or two…

Sharing Art: Readers’ Amulets and Talismans

Sharing our creations is a uniquely cathartic experience. It’s like popping a cork off a bottle of champagne — the energy sealed inside it radiates outward. This act of sharing art connects us to each-other. As we exchange insights, our creative energy manifests into a powerfully healing, empowering dialogue.

Go Forth and Create.

Snap a photo and share it with me by emailing ([email protected])

Remember to include your thoughts on what you created.

Here is what we have so far:

Thank you for Creating Brave® and sharing your creations and insights.

amulet of love and support

Sharing art with the world feels liberating. I enjoyed the process and look forward to making more amulets with my friends and family.

Feather – I found this in my garden, reminds me of freedom
I wrapped the feather in a small piece of prayer paper on which wrote one of my favorite quotes.
Cedar and ivy = Everlasting, evergreen
Blue-green beads = floating in the ocean
My Everlasting Wish
To always remember the freedom I feel when floating in the ocean, supported and lovingly cared for.
“Fly without wings; Dream with open eyes; See in darkness.” ― Dejan Stojanovic

 

Sharing art

My Amulet Gatherings:
Black stone = smooth edges
Fabric scrap = my Mom
Chinese coin = Good luck
Mica = Earth
Red eyelash yarn = delightful
Dried plant = reaching upwards
What I Learned:                                                            Mother earth, delightful in her urging to always reach upward and believe in the luck that follows all things good.
Blessing abound in the smallest of things.

Sharing me Amulet composed of Bird Nest - home Acorn Cap = protection Blue = expansive sky Spiral shell = possibilities Flower petals = beauty Feather = spirit

What I found:
Bird nest = home
Acorn Cap = protection
Blue = expansive sky
Spiral shell = possibilities
Flower petals = beauty
Butterfly wing = unlimited
Feather = spirit                                                                       What I Learned:
Unlimited Possibilities
My spirit, my protective home, as expansive as the sky, filled with beauty and unlimited possibilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing my Blessing Amulet widens my circle if influence.

What I Found:
Parrot feathers = exotic
Lavender blossoms = Calm
Gold leaf paper = cherished
Milagros = blessings
Wire = strength
What I learned:
I am calm, filled with cherished, exotic blessings that give me strength.

 

Sharing what I have found through creaeting the amulet was healing.

What I Found:
Sea urchin = fragile boundaries
Turtle shell = home
Silk thread = strong
What I Learned:
My fragile boundaries need to become strong so I can begin to find my soul’s home.

 

 

Sharing with you a closer look of my Kitchen Altar. Here is a closer look into my altar. That' s my son-in-laws hand stacking stones while we were in Montana hiking in Glacier National Park. See the heart shaped rock? Nestled behind it is a wooden heart that has lots of milagros nailed to it. These are found throughout Mexico and each one has a different "personality."

Sharing with you a closer look into my altar. That’ s my son-in-laws’ hand-stacking stones collected while we were in Montana, hiking in Glacier National Park. See the heart-shaped rock? Nestled behind it is a wooden heart that has lots of milagros nailed to it. These are found throughout Mexico, and each one has a different “personality.”

Here is a close up of my chicken vertebra amulet. Vertebra = backbone = taking a stand = speaking your truth = Don't chicken out...Stand your ground. Pretty funny is it not, but in a rather profound way.

Here is a close-up of my chicken vertebra amulet.
Vertebra = Backbone = Taking a stand = Speaking your truth = Don’t chicken out = Stand your ground. Pretty funny is it not? But in a rather profound way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the connections between inanimate objects and those people or events that are most important to us. Some of those connections are apparent, while others are revealed in time. I don’t wear or even own much jewelry. I’ve never been that interested. However after I read your article about amulets and talismans, I realized there is more to my few favorite pieces than I realized. Almost every day I wear a small charm that my sister gave me which to her looked like and represented a life preserver. She gave my sister who was her bone marrow donor a gold one, I got the silver for being the backup donor. The reminder of our bond is a comfort to me. Almost forty years ago my Dad brought me a gift from Hawaii. It is a handmade beaded necklace featuring a beautiful round piece of abalone. It has always been my go to dress-up necklace even though it’s not fancy or bejeweled. Inspired by your “Carol talisman” I researched the healing properties of abalone. It’s no wonder I feel a connection to it…I found out it has calming and soothing properties as well as healing for arthritis and heart issues -and an even more meaningful connection with my Dad.

I love the connections between inanimate objects and those people or events that are most important to us. Some of those connections are apparent, while others are revealed in time.
I don’t wear or even own much jewelry. I’ve never been that interested. However, after I read your article about amulets and talismans, I realized there is more to my few favorite pieces than I realized. Almost every day, I wear a small charm that my sister gave me, which to her looked like and represented a life preserver. She gave our other sister, who was her bone marrow donor, a gold one; I got the silver for being the backup donor. The reminder of our bond is a comfort to me.
Almost forty years ago, my dad brought me a gift from Hawaii. It is a handmade beaded necklace featuring a beautiful round piece of abalone. It has always been my go-to dress-up necklace, even though it’s not fancy or bejeweled. Inspired by your “Carol talisman,” I researched the healing properties of abalone. It’s no wonder I feel a connection to it – I found out it has calming and soothing properties as well as healing for arthritis and heart issues – and an even more meaningful connection with my dad.

 

Sharing art - fetish bundle

Divine Healer

“I will follow the sturdy rock arrow in its dynamic gesture forward, carrying with me
on this journey the comforts 
of tea, wise words, and faith in a Divine Healer.”

I am not sharing my associations but here is what I used. I loved this process and where it led me.

1) Rock – can’t remember the name of this type of rock. Love the looks of it though!
2) 3 small quartz beads from a bracelet that a friend brought back to me when she went to Brazil to visit John of God.
3) a stack of teabag tags with quotes about nature on them, wrapped with white silk ribbon. The teabag tags are from Traditional Medicinal teas.
4) all wrapped together with copper wire.

 

Amulets and Talismans

Each of these began with a prayer of thanks for my beautiful life, sturdy husband, and loving kids. I wrote these thanks on the various slips of paper and then created the bundles.    LWK

Amulets and Talismans as Gifts

Amulets and talismans make perfect gifts –  a birthday wish, an anniversary, a graduation, a promotion, a new baby, the loss of a loved one… Create one with a specific person or occasion in mind. Write your thoughts on a beautiful piece of paper and roll it into a scroll. Consider placing it within the amulet. Then nestle your creation into a box and wrap it up.  I guarantee your present will be cherished for years to come.

Consider leaving some of your thoughts about these fetish bundles, amulets and talismans.

Do you have a favorite?  Which one spoke to you and why?

5 Comments

  1. Agata on December 5, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    “Memory is both the curse of grief and the eventual talisman against it; what at first seems unbearable becomes the succor that can outlast pain.”
    -Gail Caldwell

    • Heidi Darr-Hope on December 12, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      Thank you Agata for sharing the powerful quote! Creativity is a soothing balm that has the power to transform.

  2. Lynn on December 9, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    This is such a lovely process. Now that I am reminded of it I will create more!

  3. Donna McGreevy on November 7, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you for the reminder/refresher of one of my favorite and most meaningful activities that you have taught us, Heidi! My mind is now whirling with the possibilities ahead. I will send pictures- soon.

Leave a Comment