How to Pick Your Talisman

What do all of these photos have in common? (Hint: you might need to enlarge them to find out)


These were taken years apart…and at really wildly different stages of my life (single, dating, engaged, pregnant, married, a new mama…) and the only reason I don’t have even older ones in here is because my computer recently crashed and I can’t bring myself to deal with the tech-aspects of recovering my photos and reorganizing them.

The one things that is common in all of these if the fact that I am wearing my absolute most favorite piece of jewelry: my black pearl and leather necklace.

There’s something about it. Simple, elegant, and badass all at the same time. It’s feminine, earthy, oceany and exotic. It goes with pretty much everything, and I never take it off. Well, except for massages. I take it off for those.

I can wear it in saltwater and in the shower and in my yummy pampering baths. The leather gets softer and softer, and the pearl gets more rich when it is spending time in the ocean…from whence it came.

Why do I wear it all the time? It’s not just about convenience, although it is pretty awesome that I have my elegant badass piece of jewelry on at all times.

It is about the way it makes me feel.

The funny thing is people don’t always get it. They say to me, “You are always wearing that necklace! What’s up with that?” or, “Yup…there’s Ana and her necklace” as if there’s something wrong with that.

I don’t give a shit, because you don’t ask someone, “Why are you always wearing the same wedding ring?” Why not? Because it symbolizes something eternal and ineffable.

Same with my black pearls and leather. They help me step into my sexiness, my connection to nature, my power and timelessness, my femininity and my badass. When I wear my necklace, I don’t think about if it’s the “right” piece.

It know its the freakin’ right piece.

My husband showed his knowing of me back in the day, when he proposed to me with a ring of one beautiful black pearl on leather.

How could I not say yes?!

I had heard of talismans before, in my teenage years when I explored Native American culture, in my 20s when I delved into shamanism, and again more recently, when bullshit exorcist (and one of my biz coaches) Fabeku Fatunmise asked me what talismans I would choose for myself.

But at that time, it had never occurred to me that I had worn one for over 7 years.

It was about a month ago, when taking it off for a massage, that I realized how right it felt to have it on, and how naked I felt without it.

My necklace was bought by me, for me, on a surfing trip after my recent divorce and my second more-than-annoying run in with cancer. It was a splurge, and it felt absolutely right.

I have never questioned it.

I put it on in the shop, the sound of the ocean waves crashing just outside. The stunning French woman behind the counter at Pachamama looked at me and said, in a romantic accent through her full lips, “Yesssss. You must geeeet zat.”

Oh hellz yeah.

I wear it every day…it’s been on me when I cry, when I skinny dip under the moon, when I reach the summit of the highest peak in Mongolia – pregnant. I was wearing it through breakups when I growled at an ex in Vegas (yes, I literally growled), and wilderness trips with my girlfriends amongst granite peaks.

It was on me when I started my business, when I quit my J.O.B., when I moved to Alaska, when I sold my condo in Telluride, when my heart was aching. My baby can pull on the leather without me fearing she’ll break it, and when she sticks it in her mouth, she is tasting continents and oceans and sweat and tears.

I used to think talismans were something you had to look at a lot to get their power. But now I realize it was simply by knowing what it symbolized for me, and by choosing to hold it close to me, that I shared its energy and it became my talisman.

I think talismans are important. I’m a bit too much of a multipassionate to commit to a tattoo, but if I ever conjured one up that felt like it would fit forever, I’d probably get one. So, I’ll stick to my necklace for now. I also have other stones, and fabrics, and essential oils that I use.

What are your talismans? What are those things in your life that when you connect with them, you step into your highest truth and power?

wonderwomanmugIf you don’t have any, what are one or two you can think of right now? Here’s another one of mine – I use it before many of my coaching calls with clients and sip exquisite teas with heavy whipping cream…

How to Pick Your Talisman

If you’re having trouble, here are some tips:

  • If you don’t know where to start, begin with getting clear on how you feel when you are tapped into the flow. If you need more help with this, check out the free Clarity + Courage course. This could be one feeling or a bunch of feelings, but whatever it is, be clear about what this FEELS like, and don’t get caught up in the word you use for that feeling. THEN, pick your talisman based on if it helps you feel that way.
  • Do you have any go-to items of clothing or jewelry that you wear when you’re feeling down? How do they make you feel? If it’s feeling more connected to your truth and your inner power (aka ziji), then this could be a talisman for you.
  • Are you attracted to certain stones or materials? Like granite, or quartz, lapis lazuli, silk, velvet, leather…Do this make you feel connected to your most magnificent self?
  • Try to pick things that are accessible to you at all times, or at least easily accessible. That way you can tap into them when needed or on a regular basis.
  • Is there a movie you love to watch that, when you’ve gotten to the credits, you feel like anything is possible, or that you are calm and centered and grounded and at peace, or however the hell you really want to feel? For me, it’s movies like The Matrix, or Empire Strikes Back. When I watch those, even making the bed becomes a Jedi practice.
  • Is there a song, an essential oil, a flower, a picture (you get the idea) that helps you tap into this juicy feeling of yours?

Happy talisman hunting!

14 Comments on How to Pick Your Talisman

  1. Freesiab
    October 21, 2014 at 9:54 pm (5 years ago)

    I have a habit of turning little things around me into magical talismans and I put them in certain places, or wear them at certain times.

    if I had to narrow my list of talismans that are non removable, no question, is my grandmothers wedding ring and the watch my husband gave me as a wedding gift.

  2. Lynn
    October 22, 2014 at 4:47 pm (5 years ago)

    For me, I think it might be scent. The smells of dirt, dill, ripe pears, roses, and muscadine grapes evoke my grandparents’ farm, and anchor me into my ancestral roots. I can catch a whiff of fresh dill at the market and my eyes instantly fill with tears.

    Also… perfumes. Chanel Cristalle… one drop and I am back in the moment of my wedding day, even 27 years later! Guerlain Herba Fresca and strong iced tea with lemon… and I’m THERE, sitting in a sweaty joyful circle with my best beloveds, singing old acapella four-part harmony Sacred Harp tunes on oh-so-many hot summer days, one of the most exhilarating and centering experiences I know, and one I return to as often as I can.

    Scent anchors me and reminds me who I am in my life.

  3. Ana Verzone
    October 22, 2014 at 9:41 pm (5 years ago)

    Hey Freesia – that is so great that you use talismans on a regular basis! If you don’t mind sharing, I’d love to hear how your most important ones make you FEEL…like what do they do for you? I also love that you intentionally put them in certain places. I’m thinking of putting one near my computer so I stay grounded when on it.

  4. Ana Verzone
    October 22, 2014 at 9:46 pm (5 years ago)

    Yummy, Lynn!I have an exquisitely sensitive sense of smell, and it moves me powerfully as well. I particularly love when I run into the scent of incense, garbage, exhaust, and curry (all at once)…as it transports me to so many places I’ve traveled. And the combo of those is hard to stumble upon in the USA! It could be powerful for you to select a few scents that help you drop into your sense of truth and power for when you need to tap into that. Best to do it in advance than when you are searching for it. Let me know what it is when you find it!

  5. Jennifer Twardowski
    October 25, 2014 at 4:08 am (5 years ago)

    I seem to have a few things. For one, I have a moonstone necklace and a rose quartz necklace. I feel like I’m drawn to wearing these two necklaces more than the others that I have is because they seem to have a more “calming” and “refreshing” feel to them when I put them on.

    What’s big for me is essential oils… especially lavender and peppermint. Having fresh smells helps me to de-stress.

    I don’t necessarily have any movies as you mentioned that I can think of. But I will say that I really do enjoy watching reruns of “Friends” and “Sex and the City”. My boyfriend doesn’t understand why I have to constantly go to those two, but the humor and light-heartedness of them helps me to get re-centered in some way that I can’t really explain. I feel like it’s weird to say that it’s some older TV shows, but it is true. 😛

  6. Sara Yamtich
    October 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm (5 years ago)

    Oooooh, good question! What is my talisman?! I don’t know! I’ve got several pieces of jewelry that I’ve gotten really obsessed with and worn for months at a time, but nothing I’ve worn for YEARS at a time. I love this idea. And actually, I do love my wedding ring A LOT. It’s opal and smoky topaz, and I picked it out, because it was practically singing to me from the heavens above. Even when I feel like taking it off and throwing it at my husband (oops!), I still feel inclined to wear it for its pure beauty.

    So maybe I should find another piece (necklace or another ring, perhaps) with similar stones that I don’t necessarily associate with my marriage?!

    Oh! I just remembered another. I used to wear a necklace every day that had a tiny silver heart. I bought it for myself when I was unhappy in a relationship, as a promise to myself that I would stay true to me, stay in relationship with myself. That was certainly a talisman for the years that I wore it.

    Okay, I’ll keep thinking. Thank you! <3

  7. Ana Verzone
    October 28, 2014 at 5:24 pm (5 years ago)

    Jennifer I totally hear you with essential oils – scent is VERY powerful for me too. I love frankincense and palo santo…they make me feel sexy and smoky and powerful at the same time;)

    It seems that you are attracted to the things that help you feel calmed and refreshed…are those your unique gifts? If not, I’d encourage you to also find something that helps you tap into your unique gift to the world, so that you can have things that help relax you that you “enjoy,” and ones that transport you into your magnificence!

  8. Ana Verzone
    October 28, 2014 at 5:26 pm (5 years ago)

    Awesome, Sara! Yes I totally encourage you to find a talisman that helps you tap into that powerful place you go to when you are rocking it with your clients for example, or when you feel totally in the flow. Similar to the reply I wrote to Jennifer about going beyond the things that make you feel good to tapping into things that help you feel you are tapped into your power and truth!

  9. Freesia
    October 29, 2014 at 4:46 pm (5 years ago)

    The ones I spread out are room dependant. I have shells in my room, HH the Dali Lama in my purse, my family china on my mantle, to start. All those things remind me that I am universally protected and grounded by centuries of seemingly unrelated things

    My grandmother was my soulmate and she asked me to wear her ring when she was dying and my husband, who isn’t emotional, gave a fairly romantic speech giving me my watch. These thing remind me that I have been loved completely by another person.

  10. Ana Verzone
    December 8, 2014 at 6:57 am (5 years ago)

    Freesia I absolutely love the stories connected with these talismans…so touching!

  11. Stephanie Spotts
    September 20, 2015 at 8:58 pm (4 years ago)

    I am curious if there are any stones, music, etc., that I need to stay away from.?? I’m referring to anything that would be considered as bringing “bad” luck.???
    I want to create a beaded cord for my walking stick, and don’t want to evoke an evil spirit.

    Thanking you in advance, and I love your site, Stef Spotts

  12. Ana Verzone
    October 21, 2015 at 3:34 am (4 years ago)

    Hi, Stef! For some reason your comment just posted to my notifications now, so I apologize for the delay! Most of this work utilizes the energy infused into things – either by you or the creator of that thing. Therefore I would avoid anything created by someone with dark intentions or an energy out of alignment with your own values (this usually refers to music or handcrafted things). I would also avoid using anything previously used in ceremonies etc that you are not aware of since we don’t know what kind of energy may have been infused into that object(s). You can usually vibe if something is negative by holding it and being present. If unsure or not in tune with your intuition yet, you can also ask a local shaman or intuitive to check it out. However, you can keep it simple by finding your own objects in places that inspire you, or purchasing items from reputable places. I once found a cool collection of feathers and stones tied together, and felt it would be weird to use them since I felt an off vibe coming from them, so I got rid of it. As for specific items that are bad luck, that is not my area of expertise, and I usually go more by how the item was created or found. I wouldn’t use anything that was obtained unethically or through the suffering of another. This is why found feathers are ideal to use in a waling stick decorations vs feathers that were harvested unethically. For a walking stick, I would choose items that promoted stability, strength, safety, courage and energy, amongst other qualities you’d like to invoke when using it. I hope that helps some!

  13. Brenda Ramsey
    August 5, 2017 at 1:27 pm (2 years ago)

    I would have to say talisman now that I think about it would have to be a picture I bought fromantic home interiors in the early 90s I can look at it and it feels like I could just walk into the picture and live .

  14. Brenda Ramsey
    August 5, 2017 at 1:29 pm (2 years ago)

    I hate when my phone changes my words….. that was from not fromantic

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