Strega Jewellry's Blog

jewelry, beads, stone lore, music, kids and nature

More Symbols and Amulets


Last week we talked about the use of amulets and talismans as jewelry items and illustrated some of the more common symbols used. This week, I want to show you some examples of other symbols used by our jewelry artists in the JCUIN guild.

As artists, we often use symbols that have universal meaning in our work without even knowing the full meaning of that symbol. We may just know it represents, luck or health, or prosperity to us and we use that symbol in a piece of jewelry. We can also incorporate other symbols that have universal meaning and work them into a piece. The secret here is INTENT. If you have the intent to make a meaningful piece and you endow your efforts with this intent as you create, you are creating an amulet. How the person who buys the piece uses it can turn it into a talisman. If they have a small ritual or a certain way of wearing a piece or a certain time to wear it, it may become a talismanic piece.

I’m going to give you a “for instance”. I had some uncut emeralds that I made into a bracelet. As a student of stone lore, I know that emeralds are a stone that can help bring prosperity into your life. I wore it the first time when I really needed some extra cash. I clapped my hands three times after I put it on (to draw the attention of lucky vibrations). That night, I got a lot of really nice tips. I wore it again the next night (a little greedy?) but did not clap my hands and really didn’t need the extra cash. Now, I only wear it when I really need it and never forget to clap my hands. I turned it into a talismanic bracelet with my little rituals. It never fails me.

Let me show you some jewelry with symbolic components. I don’t know whether the artist had INTENT when the piece was created but I do know that each and every one could become an amulet or a talisman, according to the symbolism and depending upon little rituals. Let me be clear here, when I use the term “ritual” in this sense, I am not talking about a religous ceremony but simple supersitious ritual behavior, On to the jewelry.

The ankh is one of the most commonly known symbols. It is the Egyptian symbol for eternal life and rebirth. Once a religious symbol of the Egyptian faith, it now has meaning for people who do not worship the old Egyptian gods and goddesses. This bracelet from Wildcat Leather’s studio showcases the ankh in a simple style that focuses mainly on the symbol itself.

ankh bracelet

One of my favorite pieces in Sage’s Cupboard’s studio is this pendant with the Eye of Horus,

another Egyptian symbol.   This symbol represents a protection against evil forces. Sometimes, it represents the triumph of good over evil.   The Egyptian god, Horus, lost his eye battling the god Set.  Though not as commonly seen as the ankh, it has become a symbol used by many people around the world as the “all seeing eye”.

eye of Horus

These classic black and white earrings from Shadowdog Designs feature the oriental yin yang symbol of balance. The Tao symbol has come to have meaning for many cultures other than Asian peoples.   These earrings are actually a double amulet because they are made from bone and bone is a material that reputedly has the powers to connect you with your higher self.   Black and white are the traditional yin yang colors, opposites and the balance of the opposites in your life.

yin yang the Tao symbol

The lizard’s sun seeking habits symbolize the soul’s search for awareness.   To ancient Romans it symbolized death and resurrection.  Tammi, from  Pink Sunset Jewelry has this leather wrap bracelet that features the lizard motif cleverly used as a clasp.

bracelet with lizard clasp

A dragon is a combination of several animals including the serpent, lizard, bird and often lion.   In European countries, dragons were evil and dangerous creatures.   In Asian cultures, the dragon was a powerful help agains hostile spiritual forces.   Shanghai Tai Studio has a beautiful dragon pendant in her shop which looks powerful enough to fight any evil force you might encounter.

dragon pendant

The pentacle or pentagram is used by both wiccans and freemasons and represents the four elements, earth, air, fire and water and the 5th arm for spirit.  It is a symbol of man in balance with the forces of nature.   It is a protective symbol, one to banish negative energy or to draw positive energy to you, depending on how it is used. It has much more detailed meaning to wiccans but this is the quick synopsis.   Here are earrings from my own shop, Strega Jewellry.

pentagram earrings

Others, such as Tammi, of Pink Sunset Jewelry,  see this symbol as a star.

Tammi's star earrings

Here is another star pendant from Artistic Pendants Studio.  The star is often a symbol of hope or wishes fulfilled.  In the Tarot deck the card called “The Star” symbolizes that “the road ahead is clear, proceed, a good omen in a reading if you are starting a new project.

star pendant

Here is an example of , using a vintage picture or a quote from something old, one  that has meaning for one person to incorporate into jewelry.  Hope is freely shared in this piece from Blue Vivor’s studio.

hope shared

Sometimes, the name of a piece itself can evoke a talismanic emotion or mood in the person who purchases and wears it and it becomes a talisman simply by the way in which it is used or the emotion involved in donning it.  This “Mysterious Beads” necklace from Midnight Whispers could become such a piece.  A woman who wanted to appear mysterious and seductive might take a long scented bath, put on a special dress, do her hair in a certain way and click her heels together before going out on the town and, with those little rituals, create her own talismanic piece.

mysterious beads necklace

Om (or Aum) is a sacred word/symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikh. Its meaning is complex, so the following two explanations are quite simplified.  (these are provided, word for word, by Mary, of Pretty Gonzo studio)

To Hindus, Om is both the sacred vibration of creation and the goal of spirituality and knowing: the Absolute. It thus represents beginning and an end that itself is a beginning. It is more than simple sound, being the expression of and connection with the force and matrix of all existence, the eternal Brahma.

In Tibetan Buddhism, Om initalizes the mantra of the bodhisattva of compassion: “Om mani padme hum.” Often simply translated as “Hail the jewel in the lotus,” the mantra has complex meaning for the practice of working toward enlightenment. Om in this context is purifying energy for the achievement of perfection in generosity. It is the first meditation on the contrast between one’s physical/mental state and the pure, noble state of the Buddha

Om earrings from Pretty Gonzo

There are many more symbols commonly used in jewelry pieces.  Perhaps I’ll do another blog someday to illustrate.   I hope that my guild sisters, when they read this blog will comment and let me know if they had INTENT when they crafted their pieces.

Here is a link to a collection of guild work that I curated for Artfire.

Handmade Gifts
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December 7, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Your posts are always so fascinating. You put so much thought into what you are teaching us. I, too, love amulets and the power they convey. Thank you for including my yin yang earrings! Namaste . . . Catherine

    Like

    Comment by Catherine @ Shadow Dog Designs | December 8, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you Catherine. I always feel the same about your own blogs. We should be syndicated!

      Like

      Comment by stregajewellry | December 8, 2011 | Reply

  2. Hey Strega, somehow I just stumbled across this now (because a link came into my shop). I also love symbolism, especially Asian symbols — I could tell you a good dragon story! Thanks for including my dragon pendant! — Roxanne

    Like

    Comment by Shanghai Tai | February 26, 2012 | Reply


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