29 Apr 2012

Charmed!

I am going to see Amanda after a long time today. She has been trotting across the globe and I've been dying to know what she would have gathered. I see her before she reaches me, waving her arms high in the air, trying to catch my attention. I am grinning when something else catches my eye. Amanda is not a stylish person technically, but she looks extra-ordinarily beautiful today. Of course, she always has been - I mean she could look sexy in a sack too.
Image Source: visualphotos.com
But today - that beautiful thing which caught my eye, is making her glow. It is around Amanda's neck. On a long silver chain, dangling almost above her naval,  is a luminous sphere. I know I am staring but I cannot help it. The sphere seems to be made of a number of concentric circles, the outermost being Indigo Blue, the next ring being whiter and the next being sky blue. At least, this is how it appears to me from this distance. In the center of the sphere, there is a tear drop like pattern which seems to pull me inside and kinda looks like an eye-ball. *Shudder*.


Before I can continue with the creepy-staring, Amanda is already crushing me in a tight bear hug. 
"Wassup Grace? I've so much new info for you, you are gonna flip totally! I've missed you so much!
She hugs me again while I recover from the onslaught of affection and return the hug congenially. I love Amanda. At 32, she is as lively as a 20 year old chic. I look up, lest I give her an impression that I've suddenly developed an interest in her rack and say,
"I've missed you too Mandy! Oh, but forgive me, I noticed your pendant. What is this anyway?
gently touch the crystal sphere, erm, pendant and feel a thrill. Up-close, it looks much more like a flat disk.
Image Source: flickrhivemind.net
"Oh this? You won't believe it, the way I laid my hands on this one here. I got it for $100. It's called 'Nazar' It's kinda like a Talisman you know." She tells me. That crystal piece had cost her a bomb, I suppose she did not realize it.
"Interesting. So what's it actually called? Nazar sounds like a Hindu term." I recall from my researches.
"It's actually a Turkish term. Nazar Boncuğu is the way they say it. Nazar being the 'sight or seeing' in Arabic, also meaning the Evil Eye and Boncuğu means 'Amulet' ". She explained.
"Why do you need it? Getting stank-eyed lately?" I ask generally. Talismans have a serious belief system backing them up. And getting an original was no joke.
"Oh Grace, such questions are for you to figure out. I'm just matching this with the others crystal jewellery collection that I've. Come, let's have coffee!" She hooks her left arm into mine and we walk towards the cozy cafe' right before us.
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Amanda's Nazar made me think of the stuff people keep with themselves to feel "protected" or "lucky". I mean, look around: clovers, number 7, horse shoe, so many things. So I thought I'll list down a few things people use as Talismans or Amulets. Now, first, Talismans are something which you keep with yourself, on your body, you carry it with you - say like, a coin. In India a lot of people carry flowers from Temples or Dargahs that they visit, considering it to be a physical representation of their God's blessings. Similarly, I've also seen a lot of people carry a mantra like Hanuman Chalisa. That is also a Talisman. This word comes from Arabic word "Tilism" which as far as I know, means illusory magic. However, Sources on the net (Wikipedia) suggest that Talisman is basically includes inanimate objects made animate by magical spells. 

Amulets, on the other hand, are something which you wear. Like a Taveez. Or when you wear a Talisman, it becomes an amulet. So here are some fascinating charms which the world carries with itself to feel lucky.

Insects: Yes, Believe it or not - Scarabs, Ladybugs,  Crickets and Dragon Flies have been considered as lucky charms, especially in Asia. Scarabs were mostly considered lucky in Ancient Egypt.

Image Source: art.com
Here you can see a Blue Scarab, essentially made from Lapiz Lazuli (A stone known to enhance creativity and intuition - as all blue stones are expected to do).

Dream Catchers: The Native Americans originally came up with the idea of dream catchers. "Asabikeshiinh" or "spider" is the term, the Natives assign to this Talisman. It was initially made by tying sinews in a web formation to a hoop made of willow. Then beads and feathers were added to it according to spiritual beliefs. The spider is an inspiration for, the spider web catches everything that tries to pass through it. The New Age has changed the traditional method and now, wool and other colourful feathers and beads are attached to it. Dream catchers are meant to keep nightmares away. They were meant for children and were supposed to dry up and fall off when the children moved to the age of wonderment. 
Image Source: favim.com
Horse-shoes: This website gives fascinating information on how horse-shoes are considered to be lucky in North American lifestyle. Horse-shoes look like a crescent moon, which is believed to be sacred by the Pagans. In some beliefs, the direction of the horse-shoe matters, in others, it doesn't. Where the horseshoe is placed facing upward, it is believed that the horseshoe must point up or the luck runs out. If it is facing downward, the luck can pour onto you. Usually, on barns and stables, the horseshoe points downwards so that no witch will pass under it. In England and Ireland the horseshoe is seen as mere collector of luck from above. In Italy, when a horseshoe is nailed by the side of the door, it is important is that the horseshoe was actually used - worn and discarded by a horse - that it was found in the road or in a field, not purchased and that the person who enters the door can touch it.
Image Source: http://www.luckymojo.com/horseshoe.html
Rudraksha: Known to be originated from the tears of Rudra (An incarnation of Mahadeva). It is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the name Rudra ("Shiva") and Aksha ("Eyes"). Rudraksha is said to deflect any ill luck directed towards the wearer of the same. Also, it brings into fruition results equivalent to 1000 tapasyas. In India, many people are seen wearing it mostly out of belief and worship of Shiva. Rudraksha is essentially the seed or fruit from the Rudraksha trees, mostly found in the area from the Gangetic plains in foothills of the Himalayas to South-East Asia, Indonesia, New Guinea to Australia, Guam, and Hawaii. 

Image Source: rudrabandu.com
Iron RingsThe Indianized version of horse shoe aka Ghode ki naal, has been worn for many eons to please the Saturn God - Shani and to counter the ill-effects of Shani in one's natal chart (birth chart). Most Saturday born folks wear this ring and therefore, one of the many commonly worn amulets.

Image Source: kalsden.com
Gemstones: Don't we all know of these? Gemstones directly channel the energies by serving as a medium, into our bodies, which thereby, affect the way we act, hence altering or changing the outcomes. Since old old times, gemstones have been considered as powerful, feared, cherished and decorated. One of the most common, yet most effective forms of amulets or talismans. Some powerful gemstones I know of, are Onyx, Turquoise, Lapiz Lazuli and Diamonds. There are so many others - Sapphire, Topaz, Amethyst, Cat's Eye, Ruby, Emerald, Pearl - all of them beautiful, precious and powerful.

Image Source: indiachild.com
Crocodile/Wild Boar tooth
Image Source: razorbackoutfitters.com

My brother used to wear something like this in silver. That tooth always intrigued me. It's  meant to keep disease and ill luck at bay. A Boar tooth. 

Image Source: thewildlifeco.com.au
Same is the purpose of a croc tooth, well once you get that tooth, alive, surely you will be considered lucky now, won't you?

So these are just a few amulets or talismans I could list. There were a million others like Clovers, Venetian Masks, Feng Shui and other such similar items. What do you think? What do you all keep with you to protect yourselves or for luck? Let me know. Love, Grace

PS: Meet my alter ego - Grace. :D I'd be using her name quite often. Till then my lovely people, be safe in the cocoon of magic and nature. You are all loved. Blessed Be!