We all need tools to work with. Some of us also need a bit of magic to make the tools work right. Many cultures carry bundles or bags that hold important talismans, each representing a memory, a power, a dedication or prayer.
I’ve carried around my bundle and worn individual pieces for years. But now I wanted to carry them with me, not in a bundle or leather bag, but in a group to wear when I create rituals, when I do soulful work, or when I need to be reminded to stay and not to flee. Difficult situations crop up, and it’s easy to run away from the emotions. Better to stay. Pain is real, but when we sit with pain or fear it often diminishes it. When we flee, our imagination gives our fear fangs and faster speed.
So I gathered my talismans that remind me to sit, be still, to stay with fear and listen. I had them put in one place so I can wear them when I’m in meditation, when I”m with a client who is in a hard place–to remind me of the acronym WAIT–Why Am I Talking? To be still. To stay.
Silence is a powerful force. Life is a verb, and sitting still to stay anchored in the now, without making excuses about the past or project success into the future is hard. I need these pieces:
–A bone hand to remind me that there is a hand on my shoulder in both comfort and weight to keep me still. It is in a mudra–a position of prayer.
–An otter tooth. Otters make tools out of whatever is at hand, and then they play with them. They are inventive and fun-loving, hard workers and loyal. All good to have close at hand. An ancient piece from the fur trade days.
–A silver tab with Hebrew writing–the first words of the bible: “In the beginning.” Every story starts there. Every solution does, too. The bone tab at the bottom contains a figure from a journal page I called “The Letters After Z.”
–A carved piece of mountain mahogany, showing a tree on the shape of a walking stick. When I work with clients, I walk their path with them. It’s hard work, and a walking stick helps keep me still and grounded.
–A small carved river stone, with the figure for moving on it. It represents constant change, as the water running in a river smooths a stone.
–The tooth of a wolf. The wolf is loyal and territorial, can be a predator as well as prey, in a long chain of complicated relationships.
–Another silver tab with a bone carving from The Letters Beyond Z. This silver tab has Chinese writing on it–”stranger.” We gather information best when we are strangers, when we are “others”–part of the group, yet separate. Creativity grows in that space, which is often lonely and must be so.
– A titanium pendulum, bound in gold. For balance and occasional divination or alchemy. I’m not saying “no” to either one.
–A Tohono O’odham (“Desert People,” part of the Pima Nation) hand, cast in silver. It has markings that identified Oks Amachuda–Listening Woman, one of the first female medicine men. It’s good to stand with those who came before us and listened.
It’s a heavy piece, as is the meaning of the talisman. It makes a great sound when I walk. A smooth sound that reminds me of being outside, in the wind, close to running water.