Plenty of people have heard me talk about power objects and why they are so significant. The basic definition of a power object that was explained to me, is any object that we use with intention for a specific purpose. In a way, a toothbrush or glasses can be looked at as a type of daily power object that we use and they are very important to us because we have a specific amount of personal energy invested in those objects. Hence why sometimes it’s easier for us to “track” where we’ve lost our glasses as opposed to other objects, because they carry more significance for us.
A shamanic power object is an object created through intention and prayer. It can be as simple as a few choice words written onto a piece of paper before you burn it for a one time use. It can manifest as concretely as a drum or rattle, to work with throughout the course of a lifetime – potentially passed down to the next generation. It can be something that already exists, like a gemstone, crystal, or scarf. The point that gets made with a shamanic power object is the amount of energy that is invested by both yourself and Spirit. Often times, a spirit of something will be blown into a power object. This is how the object feels “alive”, because it literally takes on a life of its own. When the spirit of the power object has served its purpose and moved on, typically the power object will break or crack in some way – thus releasing the spirit. The spirit within the power object generally needs to be honored in some fashion, especially if it is a sacred power object.
Common examples of Shamanic Power Objects:
- Eye curtain to help assist with journeying. Every time you would put on this eye curtain, it helps you get to and maintain a specific altered state of consciousness. Typically these are handmade and can easily be made by folding a bandanna in half and then cutting them so it has that fringe on the bottom.
- A Mask of your helping spirit – to help with embodying that specific helping spirit.
- Staff or Walking Stick – This will help one connect more with the “world tree” to make travel easier between realms of Non-Ordinary reality.
- Shamanic Regalia – All of the above can be categorized as part of a Shamanic Practitioners regalia. This helps them embody their own helping spirits or the energies they want to work with on a more intimate level. This helps us ground into the middle world, because that’s where our physical bodies are. Other aspects of Shamanic Regalia include scarves, rings, jewelry, etc. They can either be hand crafted or inherited already assembled. More information below.
- Drum or Rattle – These are power objects that are typically their own being. They sometimes only want to come out for sacred events or ceremonies. Please don’t touch another persons drum or rattle unless they invite you to. This is another reason why sometimes people keep their drums back and away from the circle unless they are holding it. Some drums people have made by themselves, and are sacred. Typical unspoken language includes covering a drum or rattle to denote its sacredness, so that others don’t touch that particular power object. There are some that are more friendly then others.
Working with pre-made power objects
You can get the call from Spirit to craft your own power objects, such as necklaces, bracelets, eye curtains, and potentially drums or rattles. There is such an empowerment to making something and co-creating it with Spirit. But what happens if you have an heirloom that has been gifted to you? A carving of an animal that you didn’t make?
Sometimes power objects already have power and they need to find their next home. These things are often very mysterious to people that don’t know much about the background or history of power objects. When a particularly sensitive person picks up an object, they can feel into the energy an object and feel the emotions or energy of what is within the object. That’s why it is important that if a particular power object doesn’t want that energy in them anymore, it is released in a good way. Even if you can’t feel the power within it. Don’t just assume what you need to do for this power object. This is an active state of “listening” that takes our other senses to pick up what exactly needs to be done.
Did you ask your helping spirit for a way to connect with them a lot easier then journeying? Then get a gift of a owl trinket to put on your keys from a friend that “thought of you” and got it? This is very common. And it’s also recommended to cleanse the object before you really begin working more intimately with it.
If journeying is a skill you possess, then feel free to journey to the spirit of what is already there (if you pick something up) and ask for it to show you how to release it (if that is what is called for), or how to begin working with it. Make sure to keep checking your truth cord to see if this is something that resonates with you, or perhaps if this Power Object is meant to go to someone else.
Sometimes power objects can be much more simpler then that. A simple stone picked up from the beach, woods, or desert might be a great power object to help you connect in with a particular Spirit of the Land. While there in a power spot, feel the draw of that particular rock that wants to help assist you in connecting with the land. If you get a “No”, please do not take and respect the answers you get from nature. If you do get a “Yes”, then give gratitude and sprinkle some tobacco, cornmeal, or gift an offering of a song. Giving gratitude is important, because that helps keep the flow of Ayni alive.
Working with rocks, gemstones or crystals can be a wonderful way to create a power object. Something to be mindful of, is that most rocks, and crystals already have a living spirit within them, so you have to ask permission from the item if they would like to embody the energy. Most of the time you will get a yes, but it’s always polite to ask.
Sometimes we need help releasing toxic thoughts, or a reminder of something that aligns with our true path. A gemstone or crystal is the perfect being to ask if they will help embody an energy so we can connect with it easier and draw it closer to us. For example, if we are going through a particularly tough time, we can ask a stone to embody the energy of Forgiveness so that we can have compassion for ourselves and be mindful of this whenever we pick up the rock. Another power object that I interact with daily is a crystal that represents true love for me. Sometimes it has been prescribed to clients of mine to have a stone that represents Sovereignty as a reminder that they are whole and complete beings, and to hold that energy daily to remind themselves that they have the ability to stand within their own power and not be afraid.
This is why it is helpful to have an altar practice. This doesn’t have to be long, but power objects make it easier to be able to place them in a spot that we have already declared as sacred space. Because if we make room for the sacred in our lives, the sacred will happily meet us there. It is our responsibility to tend the sacred within ourselves, and also be responsible for our connections to the greater web of life. Living a Shamanic life is about living in right relationship with the world around you. It’s not about how many connections or relationships you have, but the depth of them.
If you’ve got a busy life that is very full, it holds a lot of meaning that you spend about 5-10 minutes praying in the same spot daily. This is how we stay connected, empowered, and apart of the greater universe. Power objects make it a lot easier, but with this, it is a responsibility to take care of them.
Funny story, I’ve got a badger power animal, and he helps me with specific tasks in Non-Ordinary Reality. I’ve been told in a journey about 2-3 years ago that I needed to find a power object for him. Lo-and behold – My housemate got him at a store, and I did a simple “awakening” Ceremony just by playing around with him, chewing on his figurine paws, and other things. The power object also found me. It was simple, easy, and didn’t take a lot of time to imbue this figurine with power. But I put a lot of feeling into it. Now that this figurine is a power object, it sometimes ends up disappearing and I don’t know where it goes. When I hear a scream or shout from either my son or my housemate, I know that the badger has been found. It has a mind of its own, and sometimes the losing and finding of the power object is something that is able to help me find a deeper meaning or message without traveling into Non-Ordinary Reality because the energy of badger is within that power object.
If you’re really intrigued by this topic and you would like more support, there is this wonderful guide by Evelyn Rysdyk called, “A Spirit Walkers Guide to Shamanic Tools: How to Make and Use Drums, Masks, Rattles, and Other Sacred Implements “. You can purchase the book here.
Have fun with this. It’s a lot easier then you think 🙂