Just like the shamans of ancient tribal traditions, modern urban shamans may harness various physical objects as foci in their spiritual practice. These objects are called by different names.
- A fetish is an object inhabited by or used to channel spirits
- A talisman is an object blessed by spirit or imbued with certain properties that can bring benefit to the practitioner
- A totem is an object the shaman identifies with and is often a symbol of their tribe or clan
Ancient tribal shamans used objects common in their lives: animal parts such as bone, feathers, fur or teeth and carved stone or wood. A commonly recognizable example of such an object is the the Native American dream catcher. The urban shaman will find their own objects relative to their environment.
Some will still lean toward natural objects, finding their connection to spirit firmly based in nature. But some will fully embrace technology and create or adopt objects based on the digital lifestyle from which they emerged. A common example of this would be using their cellular phone as a fetish. Considering that it is their communication portal with the physical world, it stands to reason that it would be a practical focus for their spirit work.