Blood Milk Jewels
Hekate. Onyx Key Necklace.
Blood Milk Jewels
Hekate. Onyx Key Necklace.
Hekate (Ἑκάτη ) is an ancient Greek Titan, perhaps one of the most Ancient of all worshipped Pagan Goddesses, closely linked with Demeter and Persephone and their Eleusinian Mysteries which was central to Greek life for thousands of years. Her name translates to “the far-off one’ or ‘the far-darting one’, threading even her name with the liminality she embodies and moves through.
As a tri-form Goddess, she was considered a shape-shifter; her triple goddess nature associates her with transformation, especially with the phases of the moon considering she was conflated with Selene and was also one of the few deities known to be able to move freely between all three realms: celestial, earthly and chthonic-which is represented in the three sizes of the keys and their celestial names. She is the Goddess of Witchcraft, herbal medicine, especially the poison plants, the liminal, the edge walkers, and was the guardian of Persephone while she journeyed in the Underworld.
Hekate is often depicted as holding (among other objects in her Tri-form such as a serpent, a dagger, a torch … ) a skeleton key. Historically, she was considered a protector of doorways, gateways and entranceways and had statues and these spaces, even at the entrances sites of other deities’ temples. This further underscores her liminality and her ability to traverse realms, the earthly realm of men as well as the celestial realm of the moon and the chthonic realms of the dead and Persephone. Having the key/s to the realms would be a necessary symbol of responsibility as well as power- one who belongs everywhere and one who belongs nowhere.
Keys are an ancient tool, created first by the Ancient Egyptians in wood and modified by the Romans in metal as the first ‘skeleton keys’, to lock doors, to protect, to keep out. Thusly one of the most potent symbols was woven into an everyday object that even digital technology can’t seem to make obsolete as at the time of my writing this, I still use metal keys to gain entrance to my apartment and studio, and moved out of a house in Philadelphia this summer that still employed the use of skeleton keys. Perhaps the key is an object where the old world and the new continually shoulder up against each other.
Skeleton keys have long been an obsession of mine. My godmother is an auctioneer and treasure at estate auctions were always the wooden boxes filled with greasy and dirt caked keys, beautiful with their time earned patina, with their memories and silent stories. As a kid, I imagined every beautiful key belonged to a haunted house. Keys have that sort of resiliency that many other sorts of old objects don’t, they survive.
As a talismanic object the key represents a potent duality as it can both lock and unlock:
*For locking:* tThe strongest feeling is protection. The first key I can remember owning was a tiny key that belonging to a tiny lock that latched onto a diary I owned in elementary school where I kept all of my secrets. This consisted of all of the titles of the books I’d write, but they sounded like spells, things I wanted to change, revenge I’d like to take on bullies. Now, what I most want to protect are those I love, those who I’ve yet to meet that I’ll love and the entire community of like-minded ( and even perhaps those who aren’t ) kin who we are all connected to in this web. I want us all to be protected even if there is no lock and key strong enough. I like to hold my largest Hekate key in my palm for comfort when I’m needing to feel protected, when I need to feel like all the castle gates are locked and sealed.
For unlocking: Keys as objects that can unlock are intensely symbolic and show up as symbols across cultures. It’s a symbol of gaining access: to unlocking and entering a space, such as heaven ( Saint Peter was known to hold the keys to heaven ), or the knowledge, having the ability to unlock new levels of consciousness as one progresses in learning or skill, as well as having access to secrets or the forbidden; solving mysteries or riddles such as the Sphinx’s and being allowed forward. As a symbol of initiation – it suggests survival – you’ve reached the next doorway, the present, and can look towards the next, the future, for a sense of safety, having locked the doorway behind you while readying yourself to unlock the one in front of you.
Bats and their cast wing and leg bones have long been a component I’ve used in my visual library as a way of creating a personal visual language. As nocturnal creatures, I feel a kinship with their natural predilection for the night time hours, but I’m also interested in how they use sonar to ‘see’, how as a metaphor bats as liminal creatures also remind us to look closer with our other senses, a way of ‘seeing the unseen.’ It’s my hope and intention that pairing them with other chthonic imagery and myth further adds to the visual meaning I’m aiming for, creating a collage of personal ideas while also tethering these physical jeweled objects to the spirit of the bat ( and other natural objects in the case of other jewels in my collection ) and to the spirit of the myths I’m invoking.
Life cast bat bones have been married with pieces of an antique skeleton key to create a 'new' key in honor of Hekate and liminal spaces and liminal feelings.
This listing is for the gemstone version of our key pendant paired with our signature bar link chain. Both pendant and chain are sterling silver, hand oxidized to achieve our favorite shade of stormy gray and then highlighted to reveal the bright luminous silver beneath.
-solid sterling silver
-15mm onyx cabochon
-shown on models with 30" chain
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 4 weeks for creation before shipping.
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