For thousands of years, we humans have been creating, and wearing symbolic jewelry for protection, guidance, strength, good luck, peace, and to just simply feel better and more connected to our beliefs. From the evil eye, to the cross, to the Buddha, there are countless symbols to choose from, spanning many cultures, religions, and centuries of passed down tradition and meaning. Which do you connect with?
Perhaps one of the most popular symbols that we see across almost every culture, and region of the world is the evil eye. The most common version we see is the deep blue amulet with an eye in the center. It is worn to deflect the gaze of those wishing harm, ill will, or bad luck to an individual. Virtually every religion, and culture has some version of their own 'evil eye' protection. From the Cornicello (the Italian horn), the Mano Fico (the Figa), The Eye of Horus, the Hamsa, among many, many others...
Here is some fun info on a few of our favorites
The symbol of the thumb tucked under the forefinger finger holds different meaning all across the world. From a gesture not unlike flipping the bird, to sex, to the letter 'T' in American sign language, in it's 8,000 or so years of existence this symbols has spanned continents and is also considered an amulet of protection, warding off the evil eye and bad luck. It's roots in the divine feminine make it a favorite of ours. The figa was worn in ancient times as a call for fertility, eroticism, and good times, having ties to Bacchus, the god of agriculture and wine!
Once again we have a symbol that holds different meaning for different people. Hamsa means 'five' in Arabic, and in the Muslim, Islamic (the hand of Fatima), Christian and Jewish (the hand of Miriam) faiths it symbolizes protection from the evil eye, and is a symbol of strength and protection. In the Buddhist and Hindu faith's it symbolizes the Chakras, and energy flow throughout the body, each finger connecting to an element and a chakra.
Thumb- Fire element, Solar Plexus Chakra
Forefinger- Air element, Heart Chakra
Middle finger- Ethereal elements, Throat Chakra
Ring finger- Earth element, Root Chakra
Pinky finger- Water element, Sacral Chakra
The Miraculous Medal
So this is a story that I particularly enjoy- basically spirit guides coming to Catherine Labouré during her sleep, and meditations telling her to make jewelry!
Here's the story-
On July 19, 1830, the eve of the feast of Saint Vincent de Paul, Catherine woke up after hearing the voice of a child calling her to the chapel, where she heard the Virgin Mary say to her, "God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace to do what is necessary. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world."
Then, again on November 27, 1830 Catherine reported that the Blessed Mother returned during evening meditations. She displayed herself inside an oval frame, standing upon a globe. She wore many rings set with gems that shone rays of light over the globe. Around the frame appeared the words Ô Marie, conçue sans péché, priez pour nous qui avons recours à vous ("O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee"). As Catherine watched, the frame seemed to rotate, showing a circle of twelve stars, a large letter M surmounted by a cross, and the stylized Sacred Heart of Jesus crowned with thorns and Immaculate Heart of Mary pierced with a sword. Asked why some of the gems did not shed light, Mary reportedly replied, "Those are the graces for which people forget to ask." Sister Catherine then heard the Virgin Mary ask her to take these images to her father confessor, telling him that they should be put on medallions, and saying "All who wear them will receive great graces."
Sister Catherine did so, and after two years of investigation and observation of Catherine's ordinary daily behavior, the priest took the information to his archbishop without revealing Catherine's identity. The request was approved and medallions were designed and produced through goldsmith Adrien Vachette (who we will also have another blog post dedicated to one day).
There are endless pieces of symbolic jewelry we can talk about, and this journey of information is far from over!