"A charm to protect the wearer against real or imagined calamities and threats to life...and a psychological means of combatting the hostility of both the real and the spirit-filled world."
- Oppi Untracht
The use of jewelry goes back over 45,000 years
An argument could be made that ALL jewelry is ritual jewelry. The instinct toward adornment is so deeply embedded in the human psyche it's difficult to disentangle jewelry from the deep meaning it can hold for its wearer.
In fact, archaeological records indicate that even the neanderthals, predating the earliest modern humans by thousands of years, created pendants and ornaments from animal bones and teeth.
There are few traditions in modern culture that can be traced back this far as such an integral link to our identities, and our relationships with our own bodies, the land, and our communities.
Why do we need ritual jewelry?
We are in an era in which many members of modern society thirst for more meaning and presence in their daily lives, ways to honor cycles and to reconnect to their ancestral traditions. The creation and use of adornment is an innate and ancient ritual process used to mark the pivotal moments of the human experience, some joyful and some painful, that shape our ever-evolving identities.
We are also in an era of deep collective trauma, a reckoning with our shared historical trauma and infliction of harm, and a calling to begin to heal these wounds. A huge part of healing and growth is finding the right tools that work for you. A piece of meaningful jewelry that's connected to a specific purpose or intention can be a powerful addition to your toolbox.
let's get magical
Ritual Jewelry In Your Life
Whether you are moving on from a relationship or a job that has run its course, becoming a parent, celebrating your child coming of age, or healing from a traumatic experience or loss, jewelry can be a helpful companion through those transformations and rites of passage.
Because it's so common in our everyday lives, we often forget that wearing jewelry is an intimate, sensual, powerful experience. It rests against your heart, encircles your fingers, penetrates your pierced ears, grows warm from the touch of your skin. You see it and feel it constantly when you are wearing it.
What better place to keep an object you specifically chose to remind yourself to smile, breathe, let go, be brave, remember that you're sexy, remember a loved one, or simply remember what a badass you are?!
How does it work?
Magic for Beginners (and Skeptics)
Seasoned witches, magic-curious beginners, and full-blown non-believers alike will all benefit from sitting down with a candle for a moment to reflect on life. For the cynic in the back row: just do it, honey - trust me, it's good for you! Now if you do that with a precious object nearby, that item will be concretely linked in your mind to trigger a reminder of all those reflections. Pretty simple, really!
Whether you want to call it magic or just human psychology, intention-setting and visualization are highly effective tools for growth and healing. Anchoring those thoughts to a physical object amplifies their effectiveness. My ritual jewelry comes with instructions for activating each piece through a simple, accessible ritual so your jewelry can serve as a wearable tool that will move with you through healing processes, emotional times, changing relationships, life transitions, and celebrations.
Ritual Jewelry Collections
From Childhood to Womanhood
The Birth of the Mother
Ending This Cycle, Starting the Next
A word on cultural appropriation:
I make a concerted effort to steer away from imagery plucked from the sacred practices of others. I have a deep love and respect for, and in some instances even a personal connection to, the sacred symbols and patterns of various shamanic traditions and ancient civilizations. As much as I love ancient Egyptian imagery, shipibo ayahuasca patterns, and the design aesthetics of traditional American Indian silversmithing, I very intentionally omit such elements from my work.
I do at times incorporate some Nordic and Celtic symbology as that is my own blood lineage and, as such, I feel in integrity in my "sacred image use rights," so to speak. Mostly however, I use designs and patterns sourced from elemental, archetypal, cosmic/astrological, botanical, and animal imagery - images and symbols that belong to all. I also create my own sigils and symbols and share them freely with others to use.
All of this said, I am human and make mistakes and have oversights - all the freakin' time, in fact! As Brene Brown says, "I'm here to get it right, not be right." So to anyone reading this and viewing my jewelry collections: if any element of my designs feels offensive or appropriated from your culture, I openly invite and request that you contact me about it directly. I want to hear your perspective, learn, and make it right. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credits: Robin Clark (river photo), Helena & Laurent (knife photo)