Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Travelers Talisman

My recent mood has been quite strange I must say, with a couple deaths lingering and me finding myself in almost several accidents this month; I believe someone is watching me and my art is reflecting a mysterious yet beautiful side of talismans.

There are many guardian amulets, protection symbols and even people to whom you can pray for protection, these symbols surround us and are part of our daily lives. Even in religious teachings, symbols are presented as emblems which represent a deeper level and have a story connected with them. There are all kinds of symbols that speak a secret language, ranging from astrology, magic, greek mythology, and religion. I am a fond believer of talismans or symbols of protection especially during my travels and often carry them on my body or in my belongings.

One concept I believe in is the protection against the evil eye, also known as the Maluka. It is one of the oldest worldwide superstitions dating back even before the Egyptians and Mesopotamian civilizations, to this day it still continues to influence many people around the world. It is believed by the ancients that certain evil or spiteful people could cause sickness and death merely by casting their eye on another person. There are several symbols of protection, for example the lucky Italian horn amulet often worn in Italy to protect against the evil eye, but it has also been linked to Celtic and Druid myths and beliefs. Centuries ago it was believed that when animal horns pointed to the moon goddess they were considered sacred. You will often see this amulet worn on necklaces over the heart. Another symbol is the Hamsa or Hand of Fatima, which depicts an eye centered on an open, five fingered hand, it encourages good luck and helps ward off bad luck.

Now being raised as a catholic I am more drawn to symbolism and saints of this faith. You will often see me wear a crucifix around my neck or if you ever get a chance to come to my house you will see a cross in every room, amongst other holy items such as water fonts and framed art of the Sacred and Immaculate Heart. But I can't be locked up at home all the time, so during my travels I am guided by my first communion rosary that hangs from my rear view mirror; it was given to me by my mother which was passed down from her mother. I also have a small prayer card of Our Lady of the Highway in my glove box. I remember first hearing about this prayer in grade school, it was common practice to read it before going on field trips. However, there is actually a shrine where a statue carved from marble stands, it was a gift to the Cross In The Woods Shrine in 1957;  and she has been a patroness of millions who visit the shrine in Michigan.

Amongst other patrons and messengers of protection is Saint Christopher, who is seen on medallions with his name and scene from the Golden Legend, where it is said he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders in reference to carrying a child during the crossing of a raging river, later the child appeared to him as Christ before he vanished. Saint Christopher is the patron saint of many places including Germany, Barga, Italy, Greece, Lithuania and the Philippines. He holds patronage of things related to travel, floods, for a holy death, mariners, sailors, storms and even a toothache. 

~ Trilogy Talisman Bracelet, featuring a vintage custom bracelet made of pearls and rhinestones, it holds a special medal of Saint Christopher and on the reverse is Jesus, Mary and Joseph. 

Another interesting patron is the Messenger of Gods in Greek mythology, Hermes was a messenger of boundaries beyond the never world, an angel of travelers who guided them to the roads they crossed and was a shifter of dreams and a watcher of the night. He protected all, even the loneliest gunslinger, the harlots and thieves who prayed to him or crossed his path. Hermes even served as an escort of the dead to help them cross into the afterlife or underworld. He is quite interesting and I was lucky enough to come across these brilliant medals a few months back featuring this patron, I decided to create a talisman of my own. A brave protector amongst vintage crystals that reflect against your neck, I call these earrings The Travelers Talisman.

We all come from different times, places and beliefs. We hold certain relics in our lives that mark a security to our hearts, let these strong talismans, amulets, and symbols protect our souls and be a guiding light.

Do you have a special talisman that you carry with you?
We'd love for you to share your story.

1 comment

The Hand Of Fatima Design said...

let me tell you, although both my parents are super secular, my father comes from a shi'a muslim (form of islam that permits icons) faith background, and my mother catholic wanna talk iconography, let's go! lol!
i am like obsessed with iconography, and i know that all the images from my childhood have stayed with me and influenced me artistically...oh yeah, I did name my business "The Hand of Fatima" lol!!!

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