Blood Milk Jewels
The Planchette Grief Moth. Necklace with Garnet.
Blood Milk Jewels
The Planchette Grief Moth. Necklace with Garnet.
These days, I have come to think of my grief as being made of water. Often times I imagine it living in the cauldron of my heart, or in that seemingly void space between my heart and stomach, maybe you can imagine it - a space that feels as if a black hole exists there, a night sea, a sea of grief where one grief lives and then another is poured into it, and then another, another ...until the grief becomes a kind of elixir I'm cooking over a fire, an elixir that cures no one, least of all me.
Other days I feel my grief is so large and so shadowy that its made of my body a haunted house; speculative fiction writer Samantha Hunt writers in her NYT interview :
" I started to think about the way we get haunted as a process of calcification, 'haunted' is when something accompanies you, when we are not fully aware of a presence. It's something that you carry around inside of you."
I think on this at night, when mostly everything is quiet, and my thought patterns shift from my day time rhythm to more 'cocoon' thoughts which I equate to the process of 'calcification' that Hunt describes. My cocoon space becomes liquid with my grief, it becomes filled with my griefs which feel like ghosts, like presences I carry around with me.
These griefs are both big and small. The large griefs are the loss of people, the deaths I dance with, that I try to understand and still, despite it being years later, accept. This dance sometimes becomes a grappling in the dark, I can feel myself shouldering against walls of understanding and violently losing. Maybe you understand how this kind of grief can surface like a mammoth tusk in an ice thaw. Unexpected and sharp, before it recedes again, sinks back into a place where it was long buried.
Then there are the small griefs we carry. We mourn the loss of our identity ( so many of us perhaps unexpectedly faced this these past two years with unplanned moves, job changes etc ), the feeling of not being enough, or of being 'too much'. We mourn the loss of lovers, and the loss of friends who we once thought of as family. The family who we thought we were aligned with in all matters of the heart. The grief of illness, the grief of a missed opportunity. The grief of being displaced, the grief of feeling helpless in the face of so much timeline horror ..... this griefs are also poured into the sea of my heart, the sea of the collective heart. The sea in my cocoon, where the liquid that pools around me, helps me transform, much like the moth .....
Herein lies the inspiration for our newest iteration of the Planchette Grief Moth, an object, a jewel, a talisman to help carry your griefs, both little and large. Designed to be highly tactile, this moth is a dream moth. It features a subtle planchette shape, as well as another enduring symbol of our line, the silver tear, on either side of its head. Its two 'comet' like tails represent the brief, bright lives that moths live, drawn to the celestial lights of the night sky, as well as being akin to the long shapes tears can take when not immediately wiped away on the face.
Designed to also exist as a 'being', or a presence on your hand or body, rub it like a 'worry stone' during times of intense emotion, when feeling disembodied or stressed, if you can't shed your own tears or are trying your best not to.
The mystery of transformation and all its nuances are wrapped up in the symbology of the moth: during its time in its cocoon, its body completely liquefies, wholly transforming itself into a new, different body, all the while retaining its memories. It is an ancient creature, millions of years older than the butterfly and usually nocturnal; using the glow of the moon and stars as its guiding light.
As (mostly) nocturnal beings, Moths are often associated with the mystery, magic, and dream like quality of the Night. This nocturnality associates Moth (as well as Spider, Snake, Scorpion) with the Shadow Self. The Shadow Self is a concept via Carl Jung and represents the repressed parts of our psyche, the traits that are societally/culturally deemed ‘bad’ or ‘unacceptable’ (anger, sadness, grief, selfishness, pettiness, etc.) The shadow is composed of all of the disowned and unwanted parts of yourself that you press down into the unconscious. Shadow work – the process of identifying (rather than projecting onto others) these traits and feelings is messy, brutal, lifelong work. There are romantic aspects to it (for me, the dream of being whole), but it also has a raw quality, akin to those traumatic first days of new grief. Jung emphasizes the importance of integrating the shadow more consciously into ourselves – a way of recognizing, accepting and transforming these ‘horrors’ hidden within ourselves. As a balm / protective talisman, our Grief Moth helps carry these ‘shadow feelings’ for its wearer
Moths are ancient; fossils of them have been dated to be around 190-201 million years old, making them older than butterflies. Their bodies undergo intense transformation: first, the caterpillar weaves itself a silky cocoon to change within. This radical transformation includes a near total disintegration of their previous bodies into a kind of jelly, while still retaining memory. The body begins to reshape itself into what it will become while within this dark and creatively fertile place, and once it is ready, it emerges, a creature with wings and the ability to fly.
This communion with the self in the dark velvet of the cocoon, and with transformation, often links the moth to those seeking or undergoing major psychic shifts in their lives or within their bodies/psyches. Moths are nocturnal and are said to be ‘led by moonlight.’ This natural proclivity also links them to the underworld, the realms of the unconscious; in some cultures, they are believed to be the signs of the spirits of the recent dead.
This design is also inspired by my continuing struggles with grief and my interests in the many tales of the afterlife, as well as the question many of my planchette and Spiritualist inspired jewels asks: Are we capable of continuing a relationship with our dead? For most, periods of grief are often lonely and isolated times. During the intensity of the start of my dance with grief, the planchette became a personal symbol to me and for the love that endures after death. The Planchette (as a separate object from the Spirit Board) has long been used as a tool for automatic writing, for connecting to the unconscious. Later, it would become associated with spirit communication and Séance. Here, the moth has become a symbolic winged messenger, ferrying messages from different planes of existence, between the inner and outer selves, between the living and the dead.
This listing is for one planchette grief moth, set with garnet, paired with our signature bar link chain in the length of your choosing. The open backed sterling bezel holds the garnet allowing the stone to "breathe". Both pendant and chain are hand oxidized to achieve our favorite shade of stormy gray and then highlighted to reveal the bright luminous silver beneath. This necklace features a hidden bail on the back of the pendant, making it more comfortable.
- 37mm tall
- 31mm at it’s widest
- 5 x 7mm fine cut pear garnet
- Solid sterling silver
- Shown on Miguel at 20"
- Shown on Jess at 16"
Garnet is seemingly named for a few things, the most interesting and well known being that of the Pomegranate, named for either its glowing red color or its relational look to the seeds within when polished. This has tied it to the myth of the Goddess Persephone in some of its lore, who is as inseparable to the Pomegranate and its fateful seeds as Eve is to the apple of Eden. This association, admittedly, is what first drew me to Garnet, but its long and storied history, spanning many cultures and parts of the world is as fascinating as just about any other gemstone of my acquaintance. I also fell for its uncanny beauty, which like a glowing ember one can wear on the skin, appears alive like fire does.
As an ancient gemstone, the Egyptians knew of its power and beauty, which seems to be the seal of magical authenticity on the stone as it was found not only amongst grave goods but also within the settings of talismans wrapped in the layers of mummies to protect the body on its journey to the afterlife. I imagine it being present with its wearer before the weighing of the heart, as it’s a stone closely aligned with the heart ( akin in this way, to Rose Quartz. )
Created under extreme pressure and temperatures in the darkness of the subterranean realms, Garnet persists and thrives under these difficult circumstances - suggesting strength and personal resiliency. It’s also, like the Phoenix, associated with fire and its transformative properties, rising from extremely high temperatures. It’s considered to be a stone of creativity, as it’s ‘blood’ colored and associated with fire and the heart, ( as mentioned above) suggesting a quickening of the blood, a call to creative action, passion.
This passion also extends to both romantic and platonic relationships, the stone was given to strengthen bonds between friends and lovers due to its association with the Persephone myth in a strange nod to how Pomegranate seeds kept Persephone bond to the Underworld for part of the year/ being returned to the Upper realms for Spring/Summer, ( this also made it a traveler’s stone) as well as for its color being similar to heart’s blood.
Another interesting bit : in the Medieval Ages it was considered to ward off Melancholy and also, interestingly, to be the material that Dragon’s eyes were made of.
All in all, Garnet is a wildly magical and highly potent stone, beautiful, ancient and intense; a personal raging fire to keep close- to remind you that you belong to the land of the living. To quicken the blood when feeling otherwise.
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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