Throughout history jewelry has been worn as a symbol and a reminder of events in a person’s life. We wear rings to show our love and commitment to each other, specific stones to symbolize our birthdays and it was popular in the Victorian age to wear a locket holding a lock of hair from a loved one who had passed.
When I wear jewelry it often has personal significance (more than just the fond memories of making it). In yoga you are encouraged to set an intention for your practice that day. Sometimes I do this when I start to make something or when I buy a new piece of jewelry. Often it’s an idea I have while making something, a part of myself that I want to cultivate.
I did this while making a my first mala bracelet. The intention became a part of the design. I wanted to be fearless, wild and free so I made a mala with a feather, leaf and arrow charm which, to me are symbols of those ideas. Mala bracelets, with symbolic charms and meaningful stones and their tactile nature are a great way to carry your intentions with you through the day.
Jewelry doesn’t have to be imbued with symbols or gemstones to have personal meaning. There are three rings I wear all the time. One is my engagement ring, of course. The other two are simple rings I wear on my pinky and ring fingers of my right hand.
The pinky ring is a delicate smooth band. A small silver circle. When I made it I thought about how my life is whole, already filled with everything I could want, and a simple circle seemed the right shape for that idea.
The second one is another simple ring. Thin, silver and hammer textured. Hammering metal is iconic of the creative process for me. (I clearly still have a desire to be a blacksmith some day!) This ring I made with an affirmation in mind. I am creative. So on those days when I start to doubt myself and this path I’m forging for myself I have a reminder that I have what I need to get through it.
But you know, symbols still aren’t bad. Some symbols have gone through a lot of history to gain their meaning. One of my favorite symbols is the lotus. (You might have already guessed this. It shows up in a lot of my work!) Lotuses stand for compassion and wisdom as well as enlightenment. And if that’s not enough, they can also be seen as overcoming adversity as these delicate flowers often rise up out of muddy swamps. Plus they are just beautiful!
Cultivating my compassion towards myself and others sounds like the perfect intention for my year 2017! I will probably be making a lotus ring for myself soon. What intentions do you want to carry with you in the new year?
All jewelry shown in this post is available through my Etsy shop. Click on the images for the link or go to Etsy.com/shop/Sarakear to browse. And if you want something truly personal to you I am always happy to make a custom piece just for you!
Happy New Year everyone! May it be the best one yet!