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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
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To Know, to Will, to Dare...
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We the Weavers: Beads of Life
Article ID: 14402
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,906
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Author: Sage Runepaw
Posted: February 13th. 2011
Times Viewed: 2,956
My necklace has been through several incarnations. It has been created 4.10.2009; it has broken four times since its creation, each time different.
I wore my focal point, the pentacle pendant of amethyst and silver on a simple black cord, sometimes a chain, sometimes a scrap of black leather- the cords varied but the pentacle was the same, found on Amazon.com after looking at 7, 000 other pentacle designs and my mom being frustrated with me for spending $30 on a pendant when I could have just saved the money. (There wasn't a better purpose for it at the time, in my opinion.)
But on to the day it was created... April 10th, 2009. I had asked Badger to help me buy a strand of black jet round beads from a lapidary website/mineral club online. These were bought for $12 and arrived merrily at my house. I had been looking for amber chips for 3 years by that point, anticipating the day when I would earn the right to wear the fossilized solar beauty. Nowhere could I find -real- Baltic amber. Until that day when I found the strand of amber chips in the bead shop in my hometown in "the Heights" five minutes from home. I was so ecstatic I forgot the shop was cash-only at the time, and I hurried back to the bank moments before it closed, almost forgot the cash and hauled it back across the intersection on a red light to get back and fork over the $65. I tediously assembled the necklace.
The first time it was strung, it was with red silk nylon cord, rounded magnet clasps, and copper ball beads, which turned out to be coated plastic later on. (The weight and temperature felt real and fooled me.) The beads were 13 jet beads, round, in between 13 clusters of 3 Baltic cherry-amber chips per side of the necklace. I let it sit on the altar and refused to touch it until May 13th, 2009, when I was ordained High Priest of the River Shadow Tradition of eclectic Wicca. It was like an extension of me and I missed it deeply. Visualizing it being about my neck when it was off helped only slightly. This pentacle was with me straight up until September 2009, my mom had been particularly difficult in 'allowing' me to move out at the age of 25 years old (I'd been attempting since I was 18 since we just did not interact well with each other due to various differences and being different people with different ways of living) that season, and the necklace had shattered when I was talking to her on the phone in the car on the way home from work, and she had said some particularly scathing thing (which I can't remember and is long since forgiven) . I remember holding the beads in my new bedroom, amazed that they had seemed to protect me from most of the brunt of the energy she'd sent out without realizing it. Later on, some months into the autumn, it broke again as my fiancé held me and reminded me I was loved (which I've always had a hard time perceiving growing up due to my upbringing) . It opened me up to new beneficial energies.
Sometime after that in 2009 in my first apartment's bathroom, which was shared with Badger, my roommate and friend, and my fiancé... That morning I was loathing the idea of going to work with a particularly toxic supervisor/boss, and thought to put the necklace on before I went to the bathroom (staring at a visual of me dropping it if I went into the bathroom and didn't put it on in front of the bureau where I was) . When I laid it flat on the bathroom sink counter, somehow it transitioned from being horizontal to having shattered into four pieces of broken amethyst on the tile floor. (I still have the pieces in my medicine bag.) I was traumatized. It was the day after I had a mental breakdown and had cried my ass off in the bathroom thanks to said boss having put me down for almost 3 years straight. The necklace had been with me through thick and thin, even to Salem and back when I trekked there May 14th to celebrate by getting aura photos and some ritual items I needed. Seeing it break again told me I had done something I definitely needed to learn from - this was the second time I'd let someone get 'into' me and affect me so much that I was distraught from it.
Determinedly, I restrung the beads exactly once more with heavy-duty fishing line, and instead chose 6 amethyst chip beads with the empty silver pendant (which I'd worn for 3 years by that point) . I resolved to let it stay empty until I found a new amethyst donut. It became clear that a replacement 30mm pendant with a specific inner hole mm size would be nigh impossible. I went through long hard searches in desperation online over many months- jade, white howlite, buy another look-alike but without the energy built up and the sentimentality, hydro-thermal fake amethyst, rose quartz- nothing appealed and the costs of such donuts which may not have even fit and would have had to be returned were deterrents. Finally, I yielded. I gave up on it ever being found after I took it to the Bead Room in Nashua, NH, uptown from where we lived, in the autumn of 2010 after we had moved into our second apartment. The lady there said she'd help us find something or have a stone ground down, but nothing worked out. But if you ever see the place, go there, it's lovely!! I also had, when fixing the necklace again, moved down to 4 amethyst beads, two per side framing the pendant- one had gotten itself lost. The rest of the necklace was intact; I shattered the odd extra bead off to retain the even numbers without having to unstring the necklace and redo it. This time, I enchanted it not to break (which would later still prove me wrong!) and with every bead, I gave myself a blessing to remind me of my self-worth, a lesson I'd needed to remember after my toxic boss.
Anyways, on a whim, I decided to take my fiancé to the Quartz Source in Milford, NH in autumn of 2010, next door to my current town of residence. They happened to have various donuts! And one fit- I knew it when I felt it. The lady at the Bead Room had said that if the back of the silver bail gets bent one more time it just may split off and then the pendant would definitely be broken. (Gods forbid if that happens!) But I opened it and slid the donut in - perfect fit. I knew it when I saw its pale milky color with its tiny rainbow inside. Rose quartz.
Overjoyed, I let it sit on my altar for a full moon cycle, and noticed the rose quartz infusing all the other beads with its vibration. From the moment I put it on when the waxing crescent formed again, it has soothed my edges and raised my energetic vibration, as well as help me towards a new life paradigm I've been reaching- aligning myself with unconditional love completely and radiating it through me to everyone and everything I interact with. (I'm about halfway 'there'- it'll happen when it happens.)
So by this point, the necklace broke from when my mom had inadvertently hurt me deeply and had gotten to me, letting love in through my SO, and letting my toxic boss get to me. It now had a new pendant, rose quartz- one I know no one else with this silver design has (it comes in black onyx, blue sodalite, and amethyst, as far as I know from online searches) . The pendant has been with me for almost 5 years this coming March. The jet and amber have been covered in sweat from my hard work at work countless times, seen all my energies at one point or another, and been there for me when I needed something to fall back on and meditate with or use as a pendulum.
Today, 1.10.2011, it did it again as I hugged a friend of mine while visiting him. I had made a pain balm for him in '09 and he really liked it- and apparently so did his Cambodian wife. I refined the recipe a few times since, and I was there to enjoy meeting her and give him 16 ounces of the stuff, which his wife had told all her friends about. There are still more to make!!- but when I hugged him in greeting, the necklace snapped without warning, spilling beads everywhere. We recovered the beads except for the amethyst, my first power stone and my comfort one. Clearly, change was at hand; my necklace evolved yet again. First time it broke- the red strand became fishing line. The second time, it was exactly restrung save for the copper beads, new clasps and amethyst was put in place. The third time, it was simply restrung exactly and lost a few amethyst chip beads. Now... no amethyst, no copper beads, and Beadalon metal wire.
And now I sit here, with a photo showing me "AmberJetNecklace4.10.09.jpg", the day it was created, looking at it upon a flaming orange altar cloth I had at the time, now hardened and discarded from wax drippings, and recalling how much it's changed. How now even though I have a photo of its original state and the original jet beads and amber beads (and I think perhaps I did replace a single jet or amber bead along the way at one point when one broke?) , there is simply no way I can recreate it exactly as far as which amber or jet bead goes next to which one. I can try it on the side that didn't fully spray beads everywhere, but perhaps I won't. And you know what, now that I tried it, it didn't work. This necklace is newly evolved once more with the same beloved beads and a few new ones. I think I like it better this way, actually...
After all, my necklace - like my Self - is evolving along through time. It's a treasure with a story, though no one would know if I never said or wrote anything about it. Material things are largely unnecessary - but it's nice to have a few treasures that grow with you. The only thing different this time is the 'loss' of an old jet bead and the amethyst ones. One can learn a lot from making necklaces- which ones share the same strand of beads you bought at a store, how you felt at the time, what was on your mind and how your life was going, which beads want to go where, how when you try to make two identical necklaces it -never- works (at least with gemstone chip beads!) ...
It was worth it. It always is to remove what serves no longer.
And you know what? You can't rush things, either. I just discovered that the wire is too short. This means I'll decide between 11 clusters of amber and 11 jet beads per side, or restring everything one more time and keep the 13 clusters and 13 jet beads per side. I chose 11 clusters and 11 jet beads per side- the number of the mystic dreamer.
The necklace looks entirely different, but it is still mine and we'll grow together, stringing experiences along and changing. We are, after all, the Weavers and We are the Web. We make experiences together and form beautiful things while we are here. Those things need not be tangible, but those that are often show us places we've been on our way.
Try making a necklace that means something to you and experiment with the creation process. See where it takes you and how long you will wear it (excepting showers!) .
Location: Nashua, New Hampshire
Author's Profile: To learn more about Sage Runepaw - Click HERE
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