This beautiful hand carved talisman, made from 100% pure aloeswood, is said to bring protection, good luck, and the removal of woes and obstacles.
The temple dog, also called the lion dog, is well known in the western world as a ‘fu dog‘ and its stylized form is called a snow lion in Tibet, where it is seen as the protector of Buddha.
The Shi Tzu dog looks most like this brave and devoted mythical animal, and you can see our own special pet, ‘Muffy’, beside one of the carvings, (above and below).
We have always thought of Muffy as our own personal Pi Xiu – a guardian angel who fills our hearts with joy and encouragement, (and who is the special darling of our adult disabled son., bringing constant light and love into his life).
You can never be afraid, sad, or lack courage when Muffy is around – and these carvings inspire that same uplifting feeling, too!
Aloeswood, also known as Eaglewood or Agarwood, is sometimes called imitation sandalwood because of its similar though more subtle fragrance. It has been burnt as temple incense and even when its scent diminishes with age, burning will still release the oils and a wonderful subtle scent.
Handling it and warming it with your body will also release these subtle fragrances, which is why it is such a perfect wood for carved talismans that you want to handle as you pray your woes away.
This wood is quite highly prized and increases in value as it ages. In some countries, it is worth more than gold.
The wood is also used in traditional chinese medicine, aryuvedic medicine, and aroma therapy, as well as in various religious rituals. We also use aloeswood in some of our prayer malas and happy buddha beads.
Natural aloeswood has varying textures and densities, and carving requires considerable skill so the wood is not wasted. This wood is valued in a number of religions and is made into various buddhas, deities, and other talismans.
Though there are many methods of carving aloeswood, the most prominent and popular way is circular carving, and therefore you may see curved carving lines on these talismans. Usually, more than one person creates the woodcarvings via a flow process.
Over time, carved aloeswood darkens and attains a beautiful deep brown finish. These pieces are already beginning to darken, though the pictures with Muffy in them were taken outside and the wood does not look so dark in sunlight.
Click here if you are interested in obtaining one of these lovely pieces (and if you own a shih tzu, like us, it’s just adorable!)