The weaving of amulets is a symbolic practice associated with medical
diagnosis. An amulet may be made containing particular mantras, such
as an elemental mantra or a protector mantra, or they may also contain
herbs or medicine.
In the Aro tradition amulets are
only woven in combinations of elemental colours—yellow, white, red,
green and blue—or the colours of the the three primary channels – red,
white and blue.
are usually quite small so that they can be worn without being an
encumbrance, but we started by making fairly large ones—around 10cm
square—to begin with. The designs include eternal knots, mandalas and
yung-drungs. The yung-drung (Tibetan gYung drung – swastika in Sanskrit) is an
ancient Buddhist symbol of increase or decrease, depending on the
direction. The red yung-drungs on the left are turning anti-clockwise in the direction
of decrease, and the blue yung-drungs on yellow (e.g. bottom right) are
turning clockwise in the direction of increase. This is a particularly important
symbol in connection with Ögyen Dzambala.