First of all, what is a talisman or power object? It can be a power necklace, amulet, a sacred flute, a medicine bundle or a healing drum. It can be a healer’s tool to use in helping others. I can be a protection or a portal to clearing energies.
A power object is where the metaphysical meets the physical, where it is bound, met, married, sealed or kissed together in a form that allows for the metaphysical to be rooted in the solid. It emanates the energies drawn forth upon its making and the intentions of its maker. Depending upon how it is made and how it is treated, it can have a limited lifespan or it can have a life of it’s own, taking on rhythms of sleep and waking states.
There are two ways to make a talisman. One is to play the role of the magician where you are like a cook, gathering the right ingredients, mixing them with elemental energies in the time with the seasons or moon or sun cycle and being very, very careful to hone one’s intentions clearly, fueling such item with emotion or other such source. This is how most beginners work and the results can be perfectly fine as long as the cook can keep a good focus and put disclaimers on your work such as “I invoke this amulet with ____ intention for the good of all and according to free will.”
The other way is to do it in partnership with the helping spirits. Co-creation. In this case, the initiation of the entire endeavor is often a calling, the forming of it is more like sculpting, being a process of listening, revealing what is already there. It is a specific vibration being asked to be brought forth into the physical so that it can manifest it’s signature here This way is more advanced because you have to have some skill in communicating with the spirits and most importantly, you have to know who your spirit helpers are. Having tried and true, benevolent spirit guides allows us to really open and trust. This level of trust invokes deep intention from ourselves and with that, more fuel.
Let me talk about spirit guides for a minute here. Power animals, totems, guides, spiritual teachers have our best interest in mind. Their total purpose in their relationship with us is to help us be better, more healthy, more loving people. They don’t have moods, don’t play tricks, they don’t get sick or busy or lost and don’t throw our lives into chaos. You can choose guides like that, but really, there’s no point. Isn’t life hard enough already? Even if you are aligned with a Goddess of the dark mysteries like Hecate or Kali, you can choose to only work with the benevolent aspect of that goddess.
Ok, back to co-creation. The entire purpose of being on the spiritual path is love and love works better when we do things in partnership. One helping another, two in tandem, sparking the creative together. The spirits actually get really excited and put way more oomph into something if you are doing it for someone else than if you are doing it just for yourself. They love that love stuff. The spirit guides can help us hone our true intention ,too. It is not simple as pie to invoke a true intention into an item without help. With our wonderfully messy human emotions and fears and pride and hopes, it can take a tremendous amount of mental discipline to infuse an amulet with purely creative and loving intentions without a shadow of a doubt. When we allow our benevolent guides to enter into this making, we can trust that they will fill our sacred creation with pure love and intention – for it ‘our’ sacred creation, not yours or mine. This sacred item is shared with spirit. After it is made, it contains mystery, continues to teach us and changes and deepens as we grow with it, as we tend to it well.
Let’s dive in.
The first thing to do is to spend a lot of time mulling on the what’s and why’s of making the sacred creation. Are you making this item because you want to bring healing and love into the world, are you working for protection, for help in a clear mind, closer connection to your helping spirits? Or is this sacred item being made for your helping spirits as an offering to them?
As in all things metaphysical, we stay within the bounds of free will and privacy. That means stay away from healing for people, human or otherwise with out permission and avoid scrying into other people’s lives. Sometimes we think we know what is best for someone but ultimately, we really don’t. It would be awful someone did a healing for someone else and averted them from a disaster that was about to change their entire life for the better. If you are making a spiritual gift for someone and you want it to be a surprise, go ahead and make it. They have the choice to receive the gift or not. There is more on that at the end of this article.
If your true intention is to gain more spiritual power the rest of this article might not make any sense to you. When we are yearning for power, we are really yearning for healing. True personal power just emanates when we have found our way to wholeness. Power from other sources (helping spirits, elements) is to be used for healing for self and others. Focusing on love creates more love.
So, here we are, mulling on intention. Driving around, picking up the kids, mulling, mulling in the back of our minds. Is this for my own healing? Is it for clarity? For a new drum? What is the drum for? Intention is everything in any kind of manifestation magic. It is what guides all the decisions around materials, shape and song. This is why you need to have intention as figured out as you can before beginning. It doesn’t have to be complete; the stuff you can’t figure out, Spirit will help you with along the way.
By the way, this intention-setting is exactly the same that a designer goes through before making a TV ad, except that person is manifesting energies of need and desire so you open your wallet instead of manifesting energies of love and healing.
In this conversation, you want to also feel around to discover ‘who’ is asking for this talisman to be made. Is it your guide for personal healing? Are the ancient trees asking you to bring their energies into the world? Are you crafting a salve for medicinal purposes or a healing amulet for a friend? If you know who or what wants to come through, then you can direct your questions that way when you are working. You can send your love and appreciation that way, too.
Next, think about materials. What carries the energies that need to be embodied? Are they gleaned or made in a way that has minimal impact on mother earth? Do you support the industries that made it? Do you require the skill to make this item or do you need to hire someone to make part or all of it? Does that person carry energy that you like? You don’t have to include the craftsperson in your process but you do want to be fond of what is coming from their heart. When I make sacred items, I will have most of my materials gathered and then do a sort of ‘whatever I have in the house will fit in’ game. If you are working with crystals, ask the crystal what its nature is and whether it wants to take part in this venture. Crystal are beings and some crystals already have a set energy signature. It isn’t going to be an effective component if it’s job doesn’t harmonize with our intention.
We are in relationship with mother earth and every manifestation of her, rock, bone, clothe, song. We are not guardians, tenders, rulers or rapers. We are as of the earth as any of these things and beings. We are in sync, in balance, in relationships. We are in love.
Clear the materials in the many, many ways there are to clear materials: water, fire, earth, salt, sage, moonlight…once again, it’s all about intention. There are hundreds of book on how to do this so I won’t spend time here laying those ways out. But don’t use a recipe from a book unless it is perfect. Ask your helping spirit to help you figure out what seems right. You might want to find out if any animals involved had a good death and ask what you can do for them if they didn’t. Think of the people who made the parts, whose lives touched them. Realize the vast resources already in play just to create the materials and get them to your town. Take the time to be in a space where you are profoundly in tune with this and how this yet-to-be-made sacred creation already is a gift from many parts of the earth. Awesome!!
Create a sacred space to work in. Once again, there are many books on how to do this and be sure and do what is meaningful to you. Be mindful of what sort of music or media is on when you are working because all of this energy is going into your item. Well, not all of it but anything intense that happens, around you or inside of you.
Begin! Have fun! This is the dance between you, your hands, your heart and spirit. Listen, smile, cry, ask, learn. Stop working when you get tired or your concentration wanes. You want to be enthused and not lose perspective. But at the same time know that sometimes, work is just work and you cannot have precision focus all the time. If you wish to have a consistent flow of intention, make up a song or a mantra that supports your intentions and sing.
Be easy on yourself and keep listening. For example, I was working on a talisman once and I started thinking about how cool it was, how all my friends were going to be so impressed when they saw it. Then I immediately felt terrible because the last thing I want embedded in my medicine tools is pride. I thought I ruined it. I started beating up on myself. But then I felt a pulse come from the item I was working on. It was love. It was self-forgiveness – and I found that the element of self-forgiveness was being sewn into the power item as well as everything else. A gift from the heart of the item itself, which had already begun to bloom even though I was far from finished with the physical making of it.
Awwwww. This is the co-creation part.
The stopping for breaks is awesome. Once enough work has been done to warrant a break, the dream has been awakened and is more alive within us. It keeps growing even when we are not working on the physical item, so lingering questions get answered before we go back to work. The breaks also allow time for Spirit to work on the talisman without us. It is a beautiful process.
Sometimes we fall into trance and let Spirit take over our mind and body, doing much of the work for us. Don’t be afraid to cut away entire sections that you thought would be just right but no longer seem to have a purpose. Every single part of the sacred creation must have a purpose or it does not belong there. Often we have a knowing that something should be there and that the purpose will reveal itself to us at a later date.
This is a process, not a feat or a project to finish and cross off the ‘to do’ list. So relax. Make some good tea. It will be done when it is time to be done. Get excited. Be a kid about it. Listen. Feel the elements of color, form, line. If you find yourself going through a cathartic experience, keep working. All that pain coming up is held in love and your partnership with spirit is the true element in play.
When the sacred creation is finished, physically, spend some time meditating with it or journeying (this is a shamanic method) to find out it’s nature. Ask it to teach you about it’s medicine, how it is to be used. Ask it how it wants to be blessed. If the item really feels alive, ask it how it wants to be tended. Some items like cedar smudge where others like sage. Some want to sleep for periods of time and some like to be talked to. You will find out. Some want to be wrapped in a clothe and kept hidden when it is not being used. It’s all about relationship.
When this creation is spiritually fully blessed and birthed, find out from it how public it wants or need to be. Some items are entirely private. Though it is wonderful to share and rejoice with friends about these wonders, never boast. Boasting will diminish your relationship with it and hence, it’s effectiveness.
If you made it for a friend, when you present it to them, share everything about it, each part and what it means, all the energies running through it and what it told you about how it wants to be cared for. Tell your friend they have free will to accept or reject this gift and once you have given it, you have to let go of it. Let go of its meaning and purpose as well, for the gift may totally transform in the hands of the receiver into something else. Someone made me a gift once that turned out to have a very different purpose than what she had heard it was for. Who knows, maybe as I grow with it, it will include what she intended. It is very possible. These things are mysterious.
Allowing mystery is allowing growth, giving respect to the spirits and … is totally fun.
With deep gratitude and joy, be glad that you are having yet another experience into the deep learning about this ever-changing, ever-mysterious thing we call love.