Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This Carnelian Mala and What Inspired It

Carnelian is a form of chalcedony primarily found in India and secondarily in South America. Carnelian is a stone with roots in antiquity, prized and coveted by noble classes, buried with the wealthy. Carnelian can be seen in the workmanship of the ancient Egyptians, as crude beads through out Africa and was traded far and wide and still is today. Carnelian is a giver of energy aiding in vitality and protection from bad vibrations. Used as a talisman against poverty, worn to calm anger and maintain sense of humor carnelian has had many uses by many people for centuries.

The ancient historic use of carnelian has intrigued me for years. Seeing bits of the red/orange stone in Egyptian artifacts, beads that have been traded since long before the Roman Empire and intricate carvings from the orient and Asia only add to the allure of using the stone today. The inspiration for this style of mala comes from the Chinese Imperial Court of centuries ago.

Ornate malas were the style for many years in the court. Inspired by the ritual malas produced by the Tibetans with side counters and ornamental guru and marker beads. These malas were used to keep track of the repetitions of mantras. The ritual use of the mala in court life never became as popular as wearing ornate malas made with exotic stones. These malas not only would have anywhere from 2 to 4 side counters hanging from near the side marker beads but also have a long and ornate pendant that would hang down the wearers back. Along with carnelian, jades and serpentines, rose quartz and other stones were used in making these malas.

I used carnelian for this mala because of how its ancient history speaks to the present and offers us a deeper awareness of ourselves through the knowledge of the past. This piece is strung with 108 beads for counting, in the Tibetan tradition, and can be used for ritual, however is ornate enough to be an elegant piece of jewelry. Combining the elements of the lotus flower (the carved bone marker beads), the ultimate symbol of enlightenment as the lotus grows from stagnant and fowl waters to open as spectacular and wonderfully fragrant flower to the element of the butterfly (carved serpentine pendant) a symbol of freedom and non harming as its life is spent on the wind feeding on nectar. Each element of this mala has purpose and meaning.

The intention of this mala is aid in bringing balance in the modern world. This mala has an abundance of feminine energy for balance in an aggressive world.

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