Blood Milk Jewels
Medusa. Ritual Strand
Blood Milk Jewels
Medusa. Ritual Strand
Named for the Gorgon Medusa, this OOAK strand features a special collection of rare gemstone beads and sterling silver hollow 'pearls', identified at the final hour as being a mix of Blue Kyanite and heavily included Quartz ( Chlorite giving it its green hues .) Aside from their unique coloring, these beads include the rainbows associated with Quartz, and insanely beautiful silver mica flashes, reminding me of snake scales. As a larger, chunkier strand, this design is also an homage to the heavy beaded necklaces Frida Kahlo wore in life.
Much like the bear who digs into the earth making his own ‘cave’, the Ancient Medusa lived a solitary, lonely life in her own subterranean dwelling. Her ‘otherness’ was the nest of snakes atop her head: in earlier iterations, she was monstrously grotesque, but as time passed her features gave way to a stunning beauty beneath the hands of the artists who reimagined her.
This re-visioning marked her as one of the first ‘Femme Fatales’ of the cultural consciousness – a creature possessing the beauty of a woman and all the power that physical beauty bestows (seduction, sexual prowess) but
also terrifying in her deeper powers of death. She embodies the tension between beauty and terror: one look from Medusa turned anything living into stone, though no women were recorded in Myth to have befallen this fate.
Separated from the body, the head of Medusa took on apotropaic qualities, appearing at the entryway of structures and homes to ward off evil and trespassers. In this way, the head of Medusa took on a protectionary quality,
frightening away energies and people intent on harm, contradicting the murderous qualities she possessed when fully embodied. Beheaded by Perseus as a trophy, even her blood held potent magical qualities: Pegasus was born from her severed neck and coral is said to be the hardened blood of the Medusa. Set in fine metal, coral also became apotropaic, often worn on the necks of children that extended past ancient times.
Akin to the lightning bolt of destruction in The Tower, Medusa embodies this energy with her death gaze. Wearing these talismans brings this duality of nature to their wearer: her head as a symbol, became a protectionary talisman, while in life, she was a force of destruction; horror and death. The energy of both beauty and terror exists within us, much as the snake has the power of its deadly venom as well as the power to heal.
The Labyrinth is an ancient symbol, found on old coins, painted on the walls of subterranean caves, and as physical walking paths set into the floor of churches and historic sites in Europe. There are two types: Unicursal and Multicursal: the first, akin to the Chartres Labyrinth, with a single, spiral-like path in and out, while the latter, such as the Cretan Labyrinth that housed the Minotaur, are filled with different paths, dead ends, and are difficult, if not impossible to navigate.
Our Labyrinth coins feature a Unicursal path, a nod to the idea of healing/grief/the processing of trauma or personal inner growth being a spiral, a nonlinear process. This form of Labyrinth has been used for walking meditation, with the idea of the center, or ‘centre’ being where one returns to their hidden self (unconscious), or in some views, the Shadow self, the Minotaur. You will not be the same person walking out as walking in, the trials, challenges and experiences along the path will transform you.
The unconscious is a rich place, present within each of us, that is often inaccessible to us. Our unconscious can present itself as our Shadow – aspects of ourselves that we have tried to suppress, often since childhood, due to societal norms. We acclimate to the pressures of the world around us and push down these inky parts of ourselves –often hiding them from our conscious selves – making the Shadow feel akin to an Underworld that we travel to in dreams or in traumatic moments, often surprising ourselves. As taught in Jungian theory, if we are able to meet our Shadow, to be more aware of it, we have reached another step on the path towards being whole, to a rich expansion of ourselves.
Since my own tangles with grief started, I feel I’ve been walking this serpentine path, drawing closer to deeper understanding and acceptance of all my murky, embarrassing and terrible bits, while at other times seeming to travel further away, lost at sea. If this feels akin to a journey you are on, I hope this Labyrinth talisman brings you comfort and strength.
Worn closer to the heart than most of our Ritual strands, this necklace measures just over 18 inches from end to end. At its closure our largest double sided sterling silver Labyrinth adds an extra layer of psychic protection. Designed as a special, bold statement piece, this strand also layers beautifully with other BloodMilk necklaces.
This is a One Of A Kind strand. It has been designed and hand strung by Jess in our Philadelphia studio and is ready to ship. It will be on its way to you within one week of its purchase date.
We do not anticipate this particular style being available again after this release.
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