I just got back home after being away for the last four weeks and as usual, am having a challenge getting back into the groove and the rhythm of making, photographing, editing, blogging, listing.
I may be rambling just a teeny bit, so please be patient. I'll get there eventually. Or not.
I know I've written about the ancestors before. About how shamans live with one foot in ordinary reality and one foot in the world of spirit and energy. We usually access that unseen world through trance/drug/drumbeat induced journeys. In some instances when we have been doing a lot of journeying, we flip back and forth - sometimes unexpectedly for some of us less experienced travelers. It can lead one to doubt her sanity. The great benefit is that it enlarges our personal definition of "reality". Quantum physics bears out the shamanic experience again and again.
But I'm seriously digressing here. I just wanted to explain my use of the skull as a symbol of the protection of the ancestors. I use it as an invocation of the spirits and guides who I believe have our backs as we make our way through our lives. Some traditions say that they are not allowed to help us unless we specifically ask them for it. I use the skull beads as a reminder that there is more than can be seen with the naked eye - that we do not walk alone. The bead I used in this necklace is made of pyrite.
See: Properties of pyrite for more information on this powerful stone.
I've also used a couple of vintage coins, one from West Africa with a six-pointed star on the back (the union of the Divine masculine and the Divine Feminine) and one from Nepal with an image of Mt. Kailash, sacred to both Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Coins are my shorthand for invoking abundance and wealth in all things. There is a Hamsa for protection; a Thai Buddhist amulet, blessed by monks, again for protection, good luck and wealth; a Chinese jade cicada bead, to remind you that you can always reinvent yourself like the cicada sheds her old skin; a little bronze heart - for love, of course! An Ethiopian cattle amulet, a quartz crystal point to amplify all the good mojo; some Labradorite beads (supposed to help facilitate self discovery and is a powerful protective stone).
I love the ancient feel that the soft grey/greens give this piece. It has a powerful presence.