Blood Milk Jewels

Elisabetta’s Scorpion Ring { Onyx Tomb }


Blood Milk Jewels

Elisabetta’s Scorpion Ring { Onyx Tomb }


Elisabetta's Scorpion series was created in homage to a 1500's portrait of Elisabetta Gonzaga ( see last image for a detail of the portrait ). I've long been fascinated by this painting as I find her head pendant contemporary, as if it could be worn by anyone at any time through the ages, and have always wondered as to its meaning.

After a deep dive, it seems that body of the scorpion was most likely made of black Venetian glass and the stone inside ranged from anywhere to aquamarine to sapphire. Interestingly, her choice in this piece of jewelry was most likely due to esoteric beliefs based on her husband's infertility as it was believed that wearing a scorpion helped with fertlity as it was certainly not her zodiac sign. However even more interesting was that by the time of this portrait it was known that she had accepted her situation and remained a virgin. So there isn't really a known answer for her choice of wearing this specific piece of jewelry while sitting for this portrait, at least in the essay I read, aside from the fact that it became personal to her, a symbol perhaps, of her devotion to her husband. What once was used as talisman to cure, became something so special to her that she decided to be painted with it on her in a place of prominence. In this way, I feel it illustrates how talismans and jewelry in general can become so important to us, can become part of us, how this woman from the 1500 is speaking to us about this even now, through a similar gemstone. 



Over 400 millions years old (older than the Dinosaur or the Spider) the ancient Scorpion has been an image of both destruction and healing over the ages. Like the Spider, it is both nocturnal and poisonous, carrying potent venom in its stinger as well as a fierce strength in its front pincers. Many species of Scorpion are subterranean, often waiting underground in solitude, emerging to ensnare and devour its prey. This links Scorpion the Underworld like Spider; its unconscious, instinctual nature helps him conquer transformation within the shadowy depths.

Often feared with venom strong enough in some species to mortally poison man, these Scorpions act as a protective talisman and also a talisman of transformation. As an added layer of meaning: Scorpion also speaks to the Shadow Self of Carl Jung’s ideas on ‘Inner Alchemy’. Its ability to transform, its destructive and links to the underworld ( realm of shades and shadows) underline the idea of the Shadow; which is seen as the repressed, unwanted or unaccepted parts of oneself.

An extension of ‘Darkling, I Listen’ ~ this collection of jewels urges the wearer to move towards self-acceptance through the jewels as talismans. The process of individuation or transmutation is the process of becoming ‘whole’. For Jung, this didn’t mean becoming ‘good’, but becoming complete in the sense that one accepts all of their unconscious ‘faults’ as well as their experiences (their pasts) to become whole or complete. In ‘Inner Alchemy’ each phase of the alchemical process from antiquity was re-assigned new meanings: i.e. the quest for the philosopher's stone is truly a quest to become whole. In the 'Nigredo' process, everything is blackened, putrefied, 'killed' in a sense, to allow for new growth. It is during this phase in 'Inner Alchemy' that we are confronted with the knowledge our darker aspects, a phase in which we must accept our shadow selves. When we accept and acknowledge our more shadowy aspects, the parts of ourselves we have been conditioned to suppress, the parts of ourselves we hide from others as well as ourselves, we are on the path to wholeness. We become more accepting of our flaws, our darknesses. Having struggled with my own shadow self for many years, this talisman represents not only that long tangle with ‘darkness’, but our ability to become whole.



- 21mm at it's widest 

- 43mm from top to bottom 

- Sits approximately 5mm off of the finger

- Solid Sterling Silver  

- 10mm Onyx pyramid tomb   

- Hand oxidized to achieve our favorite shade of stormy gray and then highlighted to reveal the bright luminous silver beneath

- Last image : Portrait of Elisabetta Gonzaga. Detail. 1503. Raffaello Sanzio.




Onyx is best known for being a natural stone that acts as a kind of 'psychic armor' against the negativity of others. It is also used to sooth grief and heartbreak. It is a wonderful grounding stone and a stone of self mastery, enabling its wearers to have mental and spiritual focus.

These jewels are hand cut and therefore may have very slight differences in size and may have small signs of the carver's hands along the edges. These are not fabricated by a machine, they are made by hand and therefore aren't uniformly perfect. The photographs accurately portray the quality of the stones and the cuts. 



This jewel is handmade to order, just for you, with care and focus. Please allow approximately 5 weeks for creation before shipping.                   

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If you have further questions, we are always here to serve you in a kind and timely manner: via bloodmilkjewels@gmail.com