Friday, August 30, 2013

The Myth and Lore of Sapphire

September's Birthstone



An old Vedic story describes the demon god, Vela, ripped apart by demigods. Vela's body tumbled down to the earth. When he hit his skin shattered into yellow sapphires that scattered like mystic seeds throughout the Himalayas. Vela's eyes became shards of divine energy, the seeds of blue sapphires. These tumbled to Sri Lanka and other areas of Southeast Asia-areas even today where sapphires are mined. 

Vela is an ancient figure from the Vedas, the holy Sanskrit writings of the early Hindus. The label of "demon" is anthropocentric. Vela is the cathartic, primordial, untamed forces, the creative destructive elementals that formed the body of the earth. This power could not be contained all in one place and therefore had to be shattered. We as humans can relate to the power of the cosmos in small pieces, which is represented by the sapphires. Even from a scientific, geologic view point: the geologic pressure and unique chemical conditions it takes over the eons to create the sapphire is primordial and miraculous. 




This lore of Vela's body, eye and skin, provides thematic ground for the lore of sapphire. The notion of "seeing" or the "seer" with clear sight is tied to core to our own journey, but to move forward is difficult when one's sight is wounded. Sapphires, formed from the eye of Vela, have been as an "eyestone" to treat eye disease throughout the centuries. Egyptian physicians created an eye wash with sapphire, copper oxide and boric acid. Medieval texts also refer to sapphire as an elixir for the eyes particularly when dissolved in milk. It could removed sand or dust that were in the eye if held above the eye and warmed. (Kuntz 192) 

The original energy, starlight made into matter, demonic yet healing, is contained within a sapphire as applied to skin diseases. By virtue of their powerful magnetism, sapphires were believed to heal boils and draw away the poison when rubbed against the skin. The fourteenth century scholar, Chevalier Jean de Mandeville, described how sapphire is, "marvelously good at removing all the bumps inside the body. (Kuntz 194) 



Sapphire was also considered an antidote for poisoning, as long as you chose the right gem. Wolfgang Gabelchover, a medieval writer, suspended a sapphire over a spider, swinging it like a pendulum. If the spider died then the stone was a good antidote. This theme was picked up by other writers who thought it a cure for venom. It became a favorite for the practices of necromancers who used it to understand even obscure oracles. (Kuntz 104) 

The Latin term for sapphire is, sapphires; in Hebrew, it is sappir. Ancient texts refer to sapphire as a blue stone, which means that its characteristics were at times confused with lapis lazuli. Given the technology during the time of Moses, and the hardness of sapphires, it is unlikely that the Ten Commandments were carved on a sapphire, unless God did it. 




The gem has a history of being revered in the Catholic Church. Sapphire is listed as the second foundation stone in Revelations XXI: "Its color is similar to that of a clear sky; struck by the rays of the sun, it sends forth, burning, a flash of lightening, signifying the hope by which we are carried off to heaven." The gem is associated with the apostle, St. Paul by the eleventh century bishop, Andreas of Caesarea. Pope Innocent II had his bishops wear sapphire rings.. Mandeville called sapphire a "sainted stone" that "elevates that thoughts to the celestial realm." (Kuntz 194) Isaiah 54:11: "I will lay thy foundation with sapphires." 

Blue is a color associated with divine law, order and structure. Consider who is wearing blue uniforms even today. The Vedic word for sapphire, sanipraya, translates to, "dear to the planet Saturn." Saturn, in mythological texts, is associated with structure, foundations, agriculture, patience, time, history, the teacher and archetype of the old man. Sapphires representing eyes of the deity might suggest that the gem helps us to see clearly. To be at one with the proper order of manifest life is a precondition that must be met if we are to understand our true direction. 




If we become toxic it is surely because we do not have clear vision. Poison can also come from curses, the "evil eye" which confuses or distorts our way. Clarity, to be pure, connects one to the blue heavens above, the spheres of light in the celestial realms. A divine state of grace is the greatest possible healing. Sapphire seems to contain the purity and magnetism to assist one on the journey. 

The Vela myth also suggests that the gem might be used as a type of shield to protect oneself from harm. Skin of the demon is hard and protective, just like sapphires. Damigeron, an Arab who wrote the earliest Middle Ages treatise on gemstones, wrote that sapphires were worn by kings as a protection from harm. Corundum, which is the family of gems from which sapphires come from, has a hardness scale of nine out of ten. Crystalline corundum is rare, but in its less pure forms it is common. The frying pans in my kitchen are coated with it. 




Consider, finally, that sapphire is also the hexagonal crystalline structure of sapphire. Its nature is associated with the number six. Two triangles are brought together to form a new shape that represents our physical existence on earth. Harmony and community are also associated with the number six: the shape of bee hive. According to tradition, the number six is represents Solomon's seal-a way of mediating and coming to resolution and balance after indecision. 




To review the myth and lore of sapphire one easily understands why it is that this gem has been desired for thousands of years. To hold a sapphire in one's hand and listen to its message might be a kind of healing, through vision, helping one find truth in the journey toward the Kingdom. 

References: Most of the historical content, myth and lore referenced in this article came from two books, both of which are in print and available on line: 

George Frederick Kunz, The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, New York; Dover Publications, Inc. 1913, 1971 edition. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bold and Beautiful Statement Jewelry on Fashion Runway for 2014

Vintage, Ethnic, Punk, and anything goes jewelry for 2014

The fashion runways in Paris and Milan are striking out with Bold and Beautiful jewelry.


Bangles Are Back With A Vengeance!     
    

Large, thin, plain, bling, spiky punk, colorful, every variety of bangle you could imagine is in! Wear them alone, or mix & match colors, textures & sizes.  Have fun color-coordinating with your outfits, matching your shoes, purse, or headband.  Anything goes!


If you are a jewelry hoarder... get those bangles out! Or... take a look at  look at my selection and drop me a note below this post.



Statement Necklaces Remain In Vogue!       


Romantic, bold, ethnic, quirky, steam-punk, you name it.  Big is in, so put your every day little pendant on a chain away.  Make a statement, wear your necklace with confidence, bring out that inner goddess and shine. You deserve the attention. Have fun!  That's what it's all about!


Earrings?






Absolutely!  Earrings are a great compliment to every woman's wardrobe.  Never leave the house without your earrings.  They bring focus to your face, eyes, lips. Post, dangle or clip-on, there are styles to suit every personality.  Classic pearls, sparkly Swarovski crystals, gold, diamond, silver, etc.  So many variations to choose from!




Two New Soutache Pendant - Necklaces

Romance

Mesmerise

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Adorning of Women



"Throughout the centuries the adorning of women has played an important role in every culture.  It is believed by some that a man who bestows honor to his woman by gifting her with much jewelry will in turn be blessed with an abundance of success."

Adorning of Women



"Throughout the centuries, the adorning of women has played an important part in every culture.  It is believed by some that a man who bestows honor to his woman by gifting her with jewelry will be blessed with an abundance of success."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Butterfly Garden Hairclips


Fun butterfly hair clips! 

I purchased the butterflies in Grand Cayman and in Key West. The tricky/messy part was giving the wings several coats of thickener to give them more durability, then attaching the hair clips and decorating with silk leaves and flowers.  For a great look pull hair back on one side and clip, or twist hair in back or to the side & adorn or secure with clip, and get ready for the attention...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Never Wait Until The Last Minute To Pack For A Trip!

 I put together kits (focal, soutache, beads, thread, etc.) before traveling so that I'll have everything neatly assembled in a clear zippered pouch.  I'm presently working on a new Alphonse Mucha Soutache pendant/necklace.  Brought it with me to work on my flight to Kansas City.  I figured out the color order I want to place my soutache only to realize that I didn't pack the coordinating threads to sew them together.  I actually hadn't packed any thread at all!  Lesson learned...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cruising


Just returned from a cruise on the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas the largest ship in the world!
Follow our travel Blog at http://floridacruisetraveler.blogspot.com for interesting information & tips on cruise travel from Florida from a retired Navy Captain point of view & my view from Suzanne's perspective.