Mojo. Good Luck Charms. Trinkets.
Most often associated as an object that produces a positive influence over the fortunes of a person, or set of persons upon possession.
Backpackers, Mountain Bikers, Hockey Players, and Overlanders have something they carry with them to bring about good fortune, protection, prosperity, or spirituality. Some carry it for fun.
Some believe there is a combination positive spiritual energy produced from the physical form of the object and the spiritual energy through the faith that is placed in them by those who possess them.Others just carry charms for unknown and often trivial reasons. Whichever camp you reside in you have to admit it there is a draw to know what others carry and why is it so interesting to understand the stories behind them.
When I think of items I have carried on the trail and the stories behind each item, I find I have had a quite eclectic selection. Here I will list a few and when I carried them or came about them.
I guess the first one comes to mind is a tiny set of prayer beads I carried for years. I am not Catholic, and my first introduction to prayer beads was some years earlier while in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The set I am referring to was a tiny set that could go around your middle finger. I found that they helped me to concentrate on a task by working my fingers over the beads. This is probably due to the fact I am a kinesthetic learner and having an object in my hands as I digest information increases my ability to process and retain. I picked these up while visiting a Russian Orthodox monastery in Texas while on a road trip with my good friend Amund. He actually taught me the value of the beads and some years later I found myself using them on a regular basis in my own spiritual walk. I do admit to carrying other beads with me- specifically a set I picked up in 1990 while in Desert Shield. They were great conversation starters and on subsequent trips to the middle east I still carry them today.
The next item of mojo would have to be a Hawaiian girl. She sat on the crossbar of my mountain bike and was with me on many trips across Texas, Colorado, Utah, and Idaho. She is still a faithful companion. My sister-in law gave her to me as a key chain, but for me she was destined to the bike from the moment I saw her.
With Hula on the mind I also have a Hula Chicken– not quite mojo but gets plenty of looks at my desk. I still get the feeling its a rooster with a grass skirt….something just doesn’t add up on this one….
I currently carry an “explorer squirrel” in my survival pack. He’s pretty cool and is a reminder for me of my relentless pursuit of adventure and (SQUIRELL!!!) my sudden distractions….
I have seen some pretty incredible charms. I have a co-worker that has a Metro Man (from Mega Mind) character. For her it is a reminder of giving up all the fame and glory for focus on inner self.
Picking up various trinkets and charms on a journey can be fun. And though I do not believe in any power in them, I do believe having an object to focus on can be a benefit. A very close friend and team mate carried a Ranger tab in his ruck to keep him going as he was going through the course.
Mojo charms are usually symbolical in nature and rely more on the power of owner’s suggestion. In most of the research I did during my post grad work showed less than 25% of those who carried good luck charms felt their luck had actually improved Still I am always curious and intrigued by what others are carrying on their totems, so if you would post up pics on the Adventure IQ facebook page what you carry as a charm and tel your own story.