some thumbnails of my illustrations

some thumbnails of my illustrations
Please click on the links below to view my portfolio ........ Images copyright of Carrie Osborne

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Totems, Talismans and a challenge...

Reading Jackie Morris' post this morning about the mysterious contents of her beautiful bottle pendant got me thinking on the things we hold precious, about Talismans, Totems and Amulets, and why they should give us strength when we need to hold fast to something...

If you would like to take part in Jackie's intriguing challenge please do hop over to her blog Drawing a Line in Time... and find out all about it...

(picture from Jackie's blog)

As the contents of that mysterious bottle, which struck me as a Talisman, drifted around my thoughts all day I began to remember a vivid Dream I had years ago - a dream of shapeshifting...

At this point I should mention I was thinking about Buzzards. Buzzards have become a very special bird to me over the years... and in my deepest darkest times of turmoil and depression which I suffered for ten years before being gradually persuaded I was worth accepting help, watching the birds soar circling overhead with their wilderness cries and savage joy at the pure elemental freedom of the winds, would calm me and give me strength.
Also in times of intense physical pain, visualising strongly a Buzzard circling effortlessly poised on the winds against a blue, blue sky, would help me rise above the pain and detach myself from it.
But anyway, less of the heavy stuff! Point taken I guess is that Buzzards have become my Totem and my strength...
So back to the Dream...

I began in a thicket, confusing and tangled, I was a crow, my wings torn and constricted until all at once I broke free into sunlit green transformed as a Buzzard on strong brindled wings.

I felt my strength, gloried in my strength, wings muscles beating and an exhilerated joy at the sheer freedom of flight, so vivid.

Then in a heartbeat I was myself, struggling at the base of an impossibly steep green hill, wanting so badly to reach the heights and the clean savage winds, the more my frustration grew the steeper the hill became and the greater my despair.

Another heartbeat and I was again a Buzzard rising on thermals, unfettered and wild circling effortlessly far above the green hill, flying for the sheer glory of freedom. Another beat and I was myself sitting sitting at the summit, feeling the wind thrill through me in exhilerated joy, until finally I flew back the way I came, once more feather clad.

The feeling of flight in the dream was so real, so vivid, it has stayed with me for years... so I guess in an extremely long winded fashion I have come to the contents of Jackie's wonderful bottle!
If I were to wear such a treasure I would wish for an elixir, a spell or potion of shapechanging... whoever should wear it of course would have a different form, their Spirit-guide. My eldest daughter would have the amber quick, fleet fair-footed fox. For me of course a feather, but it would need to be no ordinary feather...
We just happen to have such a feather, a feather of arcane mysteries...

There is a small Griffin who sleeps on our very messy piano guarding a small pot of treasures. We often wonder if he comes alive at midnight to fly around our house in the dark hours, and then one day we found the tiniest, softest brown feather...

So it must be true!

This is what I would keep in the bottle to give me the power to take a brindle-winged form, soar the wide wild winds and glory at the Skysong.

What do you think is in the bottle?


  1. Lovely. Thanks for this. I read it while outside the birds were all turmoil, a wren chattering in the blackthorn branches.
    And your blog is looking fantastic.
    Do get the children to post their thoughts too.

  2. What a magical, whimsical post! Thanks for sharing your dream and your buzzard and griffin. Jackie's bottle is wonderful! I'll have to nip over to her blog.

    As for what I think is in it...perhaps it's just my mood lately, but I would open it and it would block out all sounds - and fill the air around me with only the sounds of nature - no cars, no airplanes, no electrical buzz from the scores and scores of gadgets that surround us. Yes. I think that's what it would hold for me.


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