Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ve tasked myself with throwing open the cabinet of curiosities and wondrous things I call my brain and leading you on a tour of what actually resides in there – all through the lens of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words.
P is for…
porte-bonheur – charm, an amulet, or a trinket carried after the fashion of an amulet, suspended to a bracelet or other article of personal adornment; charm which brings luck.
Today”s word is from the French. While I don’t subscribe to the belief that objects are imbued with magic or luck in quite the same way I suspect the originators of the word meant, these objects do have a place in my world.
Amulets, talismans and touchstones, often in the form of jewelry, are very much a part of my everyday life and my self-care. I’m a very visual tactile kind of person. I love wearing blessings; I love creating physical-object reminders to place on my altars; I love infusing creations with intention. I love the connecting to Spirit; I love the creating; I love weaving blessings into objects that ask us to remember and then being present to those reminders.
I really do like to wear blessings/prayers/intentions. I think of it as prayer in motion. I often make scroll beads, rolling up the blessing and tying it somehow. Sometimes I write the prayer/blessing on a triangular slip of paper and then roll it up, sealing it with lacquer. And sometimes I slip a scroll into a beautiful lampworked bead and wear it that way, perhaps held together with one of my scented herbal beads.
Here’s an example: using this beautiful purchased lampwork bead which has a relatively large hole that can accommodate a tiny scroll on which I’ve written both words and symbols. I’ve added one of my own herbal beads, both for the added scent and because it contains herbs and flowers that support the energy of my intention.
Working intuitively and in sacred ceremony, I truly enjoy creating tangible expressions of support. I consider these reminders as touchstones helping us access the truth of who we are. They hold energetic hints leading us back to remembering in those times we forget.
I love these words of Hafiz:
“What we speak becomes the house we live in.”
I like the idea of wearing soul language on my personal body/soul house as well.
I’m never without an arm full of bangles on which are engraved on the inner surface with snippets of poetry that mean a great deal to me. You can see them on one of my apothecary chests below. I truly only remove them on occasion to polish them.
Here’s a peek at some of the porte-bonheur pieces I have hanging off one of the mirrors in my bedroom.
One practice I’ve been working with for years that I find quite helpful is listening for some quote, some fragment of poetry, some lines of wisdom that really call to me for deep contemplation and consideration. I spend days, sometimes weeks listening and really delving in. And then I create a piece of art or a talisman or something tangible as a reflection of that contemplation – a touchstone of where my soul has led me.
I really love the practice as it feels both like a deep listening and then a co-creative effort – dancing with the energy I’ve been immersed in and finding an expression for it.
I’m committed to creating and living in a world where porte-bonheur, and other beautiful little amulets and touchstones, help remind us of all the magic and light and wonderfulness we each carry.
What about you? Do you wear something you consider a porte-bonheur? Have a touchstone you love? Have special messages written somewhere only you know about? Do tell – you know I love to hear.