Thursday, July 15, 2010


Amulets, talismans and charms from one of my earlier totems.

Seth has invited bloggers to re-post a favourite post from their own blogs. I have chosen my Amulet post for no special reason but that I love the photographs. To see the favourites posted by other bloggers go to The Altered Page here and follow the links.

Amulets, talismans and charms. Those three words conjure up all manner of images in my head. From snakeskin pouches holding ancient Ethiopian prayer scrolls to Bamana hunters tunics festooned with tiny leather parcels; Christian Crusifixes to the Hand of Fatima; rabbit foot charms to the saint christopher medals so many of us have worn at some stage in our lives; then there are the old favourites such as charm bracelets and the silver charms found in christmas puddings.

Details from totems I have carved. The central figure is the Healing Goddess

There's some overlap in the meaning of the three words...amulet, charm and talisman. Shiela Paine in her book Amulets says.... "An amulet is a device, the purpose of which is to protect, but by magical and not physical means."

"A charm is something believed to bring good luck, health and happiness. In so doing it might also be expected to protect from bad luck, sickness and misery, but protection is not its primary function."

"A talisman is something thought to be imbued with some magical property. It can both protect, and radiate power, and is often used in ritual."

Telling the bees by Keith Lobue (The title refers to the old folk practice of telling the bees of a loved ones death; it was believed that the bees were attendant to the soul of the departed.) Keith Lobue's website here.

One of my favourites ....... Requiescat by Keith Lobue

Talisman by Susan Lenart Kazmer. Website here.

Talisman by Caroline Soer. Blog here.

Pocket Divinity, pewter sculpture by Malaki Blunt. Blog here.

Warrior of Light (protection for Obama) by Adriene Cruz. See blog post here.

Ethiopian prayer box beads from Africa Direct. Link here.

Inuit amulet cluster. Ivory and sinew. Follow this link here.


  1. I am glad you reposted these. They still resonate such vitality and support.

  2. WOW!!! Gorgeous creations!!!

  3. These are some of my favourites, and it's great to see them again.

  4. I completely agree with you, Robyn. The pictures are just beautiful! The detail your amulets contain just enchants me! Very inspiring.

  5. Walrus ivory? Do you know how expensive that is??? Wonderful art.

  6. love that cluster robyn...i can't imagine carving all of this work. i'm impressed!

  7. I truly admire your work. There is so much details in each of the art pieces that you make.

  8. I always like to see what you have done in the past and the future.
    I love the healing godess.. I sure could use her now..

  9. Robyn
    These pieces are indeed treasure. As often happens when I come to visit...I can linger over every inch of the surface of each photograph and find so much beauty...from nature, from the ancients and from your hand.

    It's been fun to visit Seth's blog to see some of the other buried tresures there...thanks so much.

  10. I loved seeing this post again Robyn! Don't you love neat little things?

  11. Hi Robyn!

    Don't you hate it when blogger acts unruly? I love your Healing Goddess.

  12. Excellent choice! This first photo is so beautiful and then the one's you have carved!! Excellent!

  13. The first photo is like a world, so much to see in just one shot.

  14. aha...

    so the amulet repels while the charm draws, yes??

    good to know.
    you and Don must have ridden the same vibe today.

  15. This is quite a post--I could spend some time here. I'm glad I caught it as a buried treasure--love your carvings too!

  16. robyn, I love seeing the amulets again and again! could I just come live at your house and admire all your goodies? xxoo lyle

  17. Exquisite photographs Robyn. I am interested in amulets and have a book 'Amulets' by Sheila Paine (pub Thames and Hudson) which is a good source book.

    The word verification is colloppi which sounds a rather good word for such things!

  18. I looked at "you might also like"
    The post "alone with my thoughts"
    Wow! Some fishing!!
    I also like the the post of today with the (magical) power of amulets, mascottes and talismans.
    Desmond Morris has written a book about this subject.
    I cherish with fondbess that book.
    Have a nice day and thanks for mentioning my blog.

  19. I believe I missed this the first time. How interesting to see the Ethiopian prayer beads- a tradition in so many cultures. I like thinking about those links between cultures and the definitions of the 3 terms was also of interest.

  20. Another extremely interesting post! There's so much to read and see, but my favourite is the link to "Africa Direct", thank you, Robyn! Even the details are enough to show how beautiful your totems are! We have a friend , a sculptress. She works with stone and wood, but it's not the same, as to carve, I suppose... I like the different forms of bodies, as well as the Healing Goddess. What about the differences between amulets, talismans and charms - it was interesting to read about them. For me the "amulet" has a magical, protective force, while the "talisman" is something that brings you luck - it can be every kind of an object. I don't know the Bulgarian equivalent of "charm".

  21. You already know what a huge fan I am of your blog and your work Robyn, but I'd missed this post. Those pocket divinities are beautiful.

  22. Glad you re posted. You are talking my language here.

  23. I think one thing I love so much about coming to your blog is to get inspired by seeing examples of just how excellent and how varied the artwork going on in the world!

  24. Seth always has good ideas-- as I have not been blogging long it is nice to get to see earlier posts this way... I love the concept of talismans and amulets-- and Keith LoBue is one of my favorites.

  25. this is such an interesting topic to the history behind the amulets. Stunning photos of your magical masterpieces too!

  26. Oh, I remember this one! There's my talisman!! Fascinating items all!

  27. I loved this one the first time, I can see so much, a sharks tooth, bits of this and that. It sent me wandering through your blog again.

  28. Dear Robyn,

    I am delighted by your selection of Seth's 'Buried Treasure'.

    Recently I have been toying with the idea of creating an object to serve as a vehicle in my meditations and to have a better understanding between the three words of talisman, charm and amulet. Thank you.

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend,

  29. So many riches here Robyn!
    what delight...

  30. These are all amazing. I'm glad you reposted.

  31. wow. you have some really cool and interesting stuff here!

  32. Lisa at Greenbow, they are beautiful pieces aren't they?

    Oxana, glad you enjoyed them.

    Ro, it's a post I've returned to and enjoyed too.

    Thanks Debrina.

    Pamela :-)

    Mr. Cachet, the inuit amulets are museum pieces so I daresay they are worth a lot. They're exquisite aren't they.

    Paula :-)

    Svetlana, thank you.

    Katelen, sending you healing thoughts.

    Donna, such a good idea of Seth's!

    Leslie, I love neat little things but I don't keep them neat :-)

    Karine, Blogger was kind today.

    Mary Ann, thank you.

    Thanks Annie.

    Grrl, I'm wondering if you love steam punk jewellery.

    Collage Whirl, glad you enjoyed the re-post.

    Lyle, we would certainly have a lot to natter a bout.

    Weaver, I have the book and love it.

    Wim, I will look out for Desmond Morris' book.

    Shayla, the Ethiopian beads are gorgeous and chunky. I would love to wear them!

    Rossichka, we call them lucky charm... to bring luck.

    Jo, I love the pocket divinities too. Malaki has made a murder of crows in a pocket piece, which will probably appeal to you too.

    Don, I enjoyed your latest post too.

    Jala .... and the world is packed with stunning art!

    Donna, Keith Lobue is a magician. His work enthralls me.

    Caroline .... and credit to you for drawing it so beautifully.

    Lisa, you should look for Shiela Paynes book. It really is wonderful.

    Penny, I'm a collector of this and that :-)

    Egmont, good luck with choosing something special for your meditations.

    Sophie, thank you.

    Deborah, I'm glad too.

    Thanks Cheri.

  33. Dear Robyn-I LOVE your Healing Goddess! She is lush with her wide hips and nurturing breasts-Her stance is graceful while suggesting...power? strength? How do you do that? And I love amulets and talismans...they really do have such powerful, magical energy. xxx

  34. a lovely collection...have been pondering such things particularly since wandering back to New Orleans a month ago. cheerful and smiling on the surface but scrape away the veneer and there's still voodoo beneath- although that's more related [so far as i can tell] to actions as opposed to objects
    [written crossing my fingers and holding a withered claw tied with a bundle of herbs]

  35. So many wonderful creations!
    So many links to follow,,,and I always do. Thanks Robyn,,this was a great choice to recycle!

    (and I adore the stacked stones in the previous post)

  36. These are all beautiful pieces but I particularly like the totems you carved yourself.

  37. Robyn - I always learn so much from you! Thanks for reposting this.

  38. your work (and that of the other artists) is fascinating in so many ways... I'm not well versed in the making and meaning of totems, amulets and talismans but these pieces are so visually telling... I admire your art and the culture, history, legend that they represent.

  39. This is all just right up my alley...thank you so much for re-posting this.

    Lots to take in!

  40. Robyn, you have charmed my day and I thank you. Lovely totems by your hand and great collection of shared posts. Brilliant!

  41. Fascinating post Robyn. No wonder it is one of your favourites. I love the idea of talisman (is the plural talismen)? My favourites are Talisman by Susan Lenart Kazmer and the totems you have carved so beautifully. Thanks for explaining the subtle distinctions between the three words.

  42. Great repost Robyn. I liked reading the definitions of each, understanding their subtle differences. The word 'talisman' always seems to hold the most powerful magic and meaning to me :) That first photos is just yummy!!! xox K

  43. I love Keith's work and follow him religiously. I adore the first photo its wonderful

    Great great post Robyn. Sorry I haven't been about recently ive been busy over here :-)

    regards Dave

  44. It’s always a pleasure
    to see such a Wonderful Work
    Good Creations

  45. la caverne d' ali baba..
    à vouloir tout!
    toujours magnifique!

  46. What an education learning the differences of charms, talismans and amulets. There's so much mystery, hope and optimism of what our future possibilities can and will be. beautiful photos. Thanks for this wonderful post.

  47. LoBue and Kazmer, two of my favorites - great teachers and fantastic artists.