Saturday, December 27, 2008

Amulet making part I

I've begun work on an amulet. I had a feeling that this was the right time to do it and called a friend in the art world. She gave me the name of a jeweler who gives private lessons and the two of us hit it off immediately. I had thought of making amulets in the past, but things never seemed to work out. Now the path opened for me very simply, so I am assuming that this is the right time to do it.

I'm at the beginning of the process, but it's very interesting to learn a new skill at this point in my life. I've worked with tools all my life, and silversmithing is not that different, everything is just much, much smaller. I've come up with a very simple design for the amulet I want to make and the first step was cutting a small triangle out of a sheet of brass. (Brass is for the model, Silver will be for the amulet itself.)

Holding the sheet of brass and running the tiny hacksaw blade up and down was not an entirely new skill, but my attitude was wholly different. Amulets are about channeling spiritual energy into an object of power. In the past, when I have "charged up" objects, I have held them in my hands and done the equivalent of a healing on them: connect to Shechina, connect to the object, and let the energy flow through me into the object. In this case, I am creating the object, so I need to make sure that I am transmitting energy every moment that I work on it.

I try to always work on the amulet in a healing mode. Usually my healing is very quiet with my hands kept still while on a person's body, tuning in to the patient's energy. Jewelry making is very different, every moment is concentrated on moving the tools in the proper direction using good technique. For me, it's a healing in motion where the only person in the room is me and the presence of the Shechina comes from my focus on my work, not from my connection with the client.

As I worked, every few moments I would have to stop and make sure that my body was relaxed. The focus in learning the new skill was causing me to tense up my whole body, especially my shoulders and neck. Then I would need to breath deeply and allow the energy to flow as I began to work again. It makes me realize how tense I must have been in the past when I've done physical work.

The hacksaw required a softness of hand that I'm not used to. Carpentry taught me to let the saw do the work instead of my muscles, but with thin blades, any tension or misdirection in my hand would snap the blade. The lines I was cutting were tiny without the margin of error I'm used to. Then I needed to breath and relax again, letting the Shechina flow through me.

If I get in the habit of always working on the amulet in a spiritual way, then it will come naturally as I continue to do the work. My focus is intense now because it is such a new skill. But as I get more practiced, it will become harder to maintain the focus and the energy. I don't know if I will make one amulet or many, or even if I'll complete the one I'm working on, but it gives proof to the idea that people don't need to be healers to bring God into the world. Anything that we do can be done with connection to the shamanic realm, it's just requires practice.

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