Monday, December 16, 2019

SPIRIT ANIMALS House mala




In the ancient tradition of protecting the home with a garland and amulet on the entryway, my house malas have a message of protection. Each is individual, with beads old and new, works of art by beadmakers known and dancing with gemstones to welcome the good spirits and ward off any evil that may come.
 
Suspended from a beautifully rustic stoneware bar from Belgium are three strands of symbols: starting with the sunburst bead of French clay, we have a glass opal pagoda bead, a South African salmon-patterned bead, a bluebird of happiness (Lori Lochner), and a Mayan jade turtle, who bears the world on his back.

 
On the right is a humble cat, who sees through darkness, an antique Czech faceted green heart bead and a crackled heart. (Two hearts are better than one, and represent the shared beating of those who love you.)

 
On the left, the little chick above a plump faceted old style Czech bead atop a pig (this mala was made in the Year of the Pig, symbolizing prosperity and honesty), a Salmon-patterned sunburst , all ending with a clay flower-bell with a clapper of chalcedony, the stone of transformation.


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

House Protection Mala: THE BULL-MAN



“Mala” means ‘garland’ -  an idea more than 3,000 years old. This little collection of artisan beads, earth stones and artifacts from the natural world is meant to hang on a door or wall, in a very ancient tradition of welcoming the good and warning the evil that may come.

Each element adds symbolic meaning, starting with the one of a kind stoneware clay bar holding the piece together -  it represents the “Pillar of Heaven” holding the vault of Sky above Earth.

In ancient Crete, the Bull-man was the Guardian of all the animals of Earth, Sea and Sky.  The elephant bead represents land animals, the owl stands for the Bird of the Sky and the spiral shell stands for the Sea Creatures.  (Bull man as well as the gorgeous ceramic bar bead are both the work of my friend Steph Brouwers of Vladthebatsceramics).

Antique and modern clay beads from South Africa symbolize the earth fertilized by Rain.

Each of the beads has a meaning: together they tell a story in the order they are strung.  Some are old and have lived in other pieces; some are one of a kind artisan works in a miniature size. Most have traveled far, representing distant lands and ancient truths, and all were carefully chosen to be a part of this talisman.





(The ancient owl bead, reminiscent of ancient Greek imagery, is by Foxpaws; the spiral shell by Petra Carpreau of Scorched Earth in Linton, UK; the lovely cross-patterned bead is from the hands of Lorna Oosthuisen of Capetown, South Africa, whose work can be found at Balelaceramics.)

House Protection Mala: ZOMBIE BOY



“Mala” means ‘garland’ -  an idea more 3,000 years old. This little collection of artisan beads, earth stones and artifacts from the natural world is meant to hang on a door or wall, in a very ancient tradition of welcoming the good and warning the evil that may come.

Each element adds symbolic meaning, starting with the one of a kind stoneware clay bar holding the piece together -  it represents the “Pillar of Heaven” holding the vault of Sky above Earth. The talented artist and fauxtifactician, Steph Brouwer (find her amazing work at Vladthebatsceramics) gathered this wild earth, formed it in the image of ancient artifacts, and fired it; she is also the maker of the Zombie Boy and many other fetish beads in my collection.

The hero of this mala is the Zombie Boy, caught between the Living and the Dead, and thus a perfect protector. His colors: Red, White and Black symbolize his special powers. ‘’On his right, he has a tribal African bead inlaid with silver, a mysterious Cat, a temple bead of black earth, and a shark’s tooth.  On his left, a Maya temple skull and a deep red heart signify his power over the Mysterious and the Mighty.

Each of the beads has a meaning: together they tell a story in the order they are strung.  Some are old and have lived in other pieces; some are one of a kind artisan works in a miniature size. Most have traveled far, representing distant lands and ancient truths, and all were carefully chosen to be a part of this talisman.





Zombie Boy, bar bead and red/green scribble bead from Vladthebatsceramics
Two sided Temple skull bead by Foxpaws.
Shark tooth bead and red heart by Scorched Earth.
Red butterfly-pattern bead and white-dot-perforation bead by  Balelaceramics.
Cube shaped black cassius earth beads by Doters.



House Protection Mala: BLUE RULER


“Mala” means ‘garland’ -  an idea more than 3,000 years old. This little collection of artisan beads, earth stones and artifacts from the natural world is meant to hang on a door or wall, in a very ancient tradition of welcoming the good and warning the evil that may come.

Each element adds symbolic meaning, starting with the one of a kind stoneware clay bar holding the piece together -  it represents the “Pillar of Heaven” holding the vault of Sky above Earth. The talented artist and fauxtifactician, Steph Brouwer (find her amazing work at Vladthebatsceramics) gathered this wild earth, formed it in the image of ancient artifacts, and fired it.

The hero of this mala is the Blue Ruler -  a crowned Blue Boy who has overcome Death and Adversity. He dances below a bead sybolizing rain and water, and He is the Ruler of the Birds of the Sky (see the bird-symbol on the right) and the Creatures of the Land (see the elephant on the left).

The Blue Ruler also employs magic spells: he uses the petroglyphs on the clay oval and the etched Tibetan agate Strong Heart beads on his right, and the pure light of the natural quartz point on his left.

Each of the beads has a meaning: together they tell a story in the order they are strung.  Some are old and have lived in other pieces; some are one of a kind artisan works in a miniature size. Most have traveled far, representing distant lands and ancient truths, and all were carefully chosen to be a part of this talisman.



Bar bead, Blue Ruler and petroglyph beads by Vladthebatsceramics)
Bird symbol bead by Foxpaws

House Protection Mala: THE HOLLOW MAN


“Mala” means ‘garland’ -  an idea more than 3,000 years old. This little collection of artisan beads, earth stones and artifacts from the natural world is meant to hang on a door or wall, in a very ancient tradition of welcoming the good and warning the evil that may come.

Each element adds symbolic meaning, starting with the one of a kind black clay circlet holding the piece together -  it represents the “Circuit of Heaven” where the Sun rotates. (the beadmaker is Josie Monique of Minoc, in France.)

On either side, a natural crystal point of quartz dangles from opalized glass: on the left, Citrine (for will power and imagination) and on the right, Amethyst (for clarity and protection).

Most important is the Hollow Man, a Shaman figure whose center is a Void of Mystery.  He dances below a column made of black and white beads, opposites brought together, Yin and Yang, East and West, Life and Death. [He is a bead fashioned by the fabulous Jill Stoffregen of Foxpaws beads)

Each of the beads has a meaning: together they tell a story in the order they are strung.  Some are old and have lived in other pieces; some are one of a kind artisan works in a miniature size. Most have traveled far, representing distant lands and ancient truths, and all were carefully chosen to be a part of this talisman.

House Protection Mala: The IMMORTAL SCARAB BEETLE


“Mala” means ‘garland’ -  an idea more than 3,000 years old. This little collection of artisan beads, earth stones and artifacts from the natural world is meant to hang on a door or wall, in a very ancient tradition of welcoming the good and warning the evil that may come.

Each element adds symbolic meaning, starting with the one of a kind stoneware clay arc holding the piece together -  it represents the “Boat of Heaven” that ferries the sun through the vault of Sky.

The focal scarab beetle was a symbol of immortality for the ancients, who identified the beetle as the keeper of the sun-disk.

On the left, a bead-man from Ecuador hangs below a lost-wax cast brass bead from Ghana with a serene Shaman-face at the top of the strand.

On the right, a turquoise nugget and a bead of French clay suspend a Voodoo-head.

In the center of all, a beautiful quartz crystal transforms light into pure vision.

Each of the beads has a meaning: together they tell a story in the order they are strung.  Some are old and have lived in other pieces; some are one of a kind artisan works in a miniature size. Most have traveled far, representing distant lands and ancient truths, and all were carefully chosen to be a part of this talisman.


Arc bead and Scarab by Vladthebatsceramics.
Voodoo head by Scorched Earth.
Shaman face bead by Foxpaws.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

House Protection Mala: THE HERO-PRINCE

“Mala” means ‘garland’ - an idea more than 3,000 years old. This little collection of
artisan beads, earth stones and artifacts from the natural world is meant to hang on a door or wall, in a very ancient tradition of welcoming the good and warning the evil that may come.

Each element adds symbolic meaning, starting with the one of a kind stoneware clay bar holding the piece together - it represents the “Pillar of Heaven” holding the vault of Sky above Earth.

The little crowned hero is a true Protector, suspended from a bone wand carved with flowers, and dancing next to an ancient teal Nepali tube (for Honesty), a yellow African wedding bead (for Health) and a French clay sun bead (for Clarity) and a brass sheaf bead (for Prosperity.)


The bar bead and the Hero Prince are both the work of  Steph Brouwers of Vladthebatsceramics
The black-and-white Sunburst bead is by PerlaYo




Wednesday, December 4, 2019

House Mala: The Ancient Tortoise, Knower of All Things


“Mala” means ‘garland’ -  an idea more 3,000 years old. This little collection of artisan beads, earth stones and artifacts from the natural world is meant to hang on a door or wall, in a very ancient tradition of welcoming the good and warning the evil that may come.

Each element adds symbolic meaning, starting with the one of a kind stoneware clay bar holding the piece together -  it represents the “Pillar of Heaven” holding the vault of Sky above Earth. The talented artist and fauxtifactician, Steph Brouwer (find her amazing work at Vladthebatsceramics) gathered this wild earth, formed it in the image of ancient artifacts, and fired it.

Below is a circular horn bead carved with sun rays and raindrops, the sources of life on earth.  Then a bead of pure fluorite, a gemstone that fluoresces.  The ancient symbol of wisdom and long life, the tortoise is the centerpiece of the mala. (This tortoise is an old amulet from Thailand, made of brass.)

On the left is a crystal of fumed titanium, the strongest known element.  On the right is a crystal point of quartz, the stone of healing, whose natural purity magnifies the strength of all other symbols.

Shell, bone, coral and turquoise (all from Nepal in the Himalayas) represent the elements of Water, Earth, Fire and Air.

They Should Tell a Story

Necklaces -  jewelry...when did they become mere decoration? Around the same time we forgot about real beauty and power and how much of that we as women own.

I came into a world of things.  Trinkets and totems that I wanted to imbue with MEANING - symbolism and spiritual power

I've been waiting for you.  I made this for you, although I don't know you.

I know...