A gift I made for my Granddaughter:
The Clasp of Wisdom.
This year My grandchildren were to receive hand made cloaks
created by their Mother for Christmas.
I was honored by the task
of augmenting their gifts by creating clasps,
I found myself in a scene from a faerie tale…
In Tolken’s book of the Lord of the rings,
there is a scene where Fordo and his crew were given gifts
as they continued from Lothlorien.
The Hobbits received clasps for their cloaks
each made of a particular symbol sacred to the Elves.
I thought for a long time
as to what would be appropriate for the little ones.
With the two boys
(who are currently being trained as “super Heroes”)
the Thunder Clasps seemed appropriate.
However with my Grand daughter it took a bit of considering.
With two brothers and a Father,
she would be continually surround with with very strong male influences.
With her mother as a counter weight to both opinion and demand,
the Wisdom of Women will be dearly borne,
like a path of fire to find her own voice.
Clasp of Wisdom
It is within the tradition of my bloodline,
Scots use knot work as a way to develop pasterns of meditation and expression,
so I began with that:
each knot pattern holding the significance of thought,
woven about to provide the intricacies of knowledge.
At the point where the clasps meet,
are two profiles of “Wise Men” facing each other;
both in the process of speech;
thus the Knot work pattern is
of a classic Zoomorphic Style of Celtic Knot work.
Each of the panels are complete knots to themselves,
yet by hooking her cloak together
she will be unifying the wisdom of others:
developing a new perspective.
It is “she herself”
that may bring opposing views,
bringing a better understanding and Peace.
The knots behind the heads of the Wise Men
reveal their thoughts:
reflections of their own perspectives.
Truth is a quarky thing:
most of the time we tend to rely on our own perspective
to to handle the world’s challenges.
When one is able to understand the perspectives of others
we may begin to understand the Truth of a thing:
a single eye shows only a single view,
however two eyes provide the ability to see in three dimensions.
The symbolism of this clasp
is to provide a helpful hint
in discovering Reality Itself:
by listening to others,
conflicting views and seek a balance.
More often than not,
the two perspectives will reveal an object
in the way of our view.
In selecting two bearded Men for a little girl
I was attempting to represent what she is dealing with now:
two brothers and how to learn with them.
She will also grow up in a world
where Men will be a major influence on her,
by learning how to cope early in life
she will also develop skills which may
bring a better understanding between the Sexes
in her generation
and in the centuries that follow:
it is she “herself”
that provides the balance between all people
This clasp was developed as a one-of-a-kind piece
for a unique little girl.
This was conceived,
designed and created for my Granddaughter
as a Christmas Present
If you are interested in custom work,
please visit my How to order Custom Page.
The Oak Tree in Celtic lore is one representing the door way between to another place, a grove is a potential sanctuary between the worlds. Pentacles represent powers brought into balance and guided by the spirit. In the designing of the Oak Pentacle I used simple and direct representation of oak leaves and branches without a lot of other symbols. In this way I have kept the piece open and free of restraint. The personalization of the amulet comes with the selection of stone: set into a cluster of leaves. Selecting the kind of stone (color and type) lends one the ability to “claim” the design while maintaining the intent of the piece.
Like with other pieces, I made the setting as a part of the design, not a typical die struck setting of prongs and bezel: leaves fold around the stone both securing it to the amulet and protecting the stone from possible damage of a direct hit. I developed them while working on opal settings, then expanded these protective enclosures to other designs.
Combining the focus of the protection of the stone and the Strength of the Gateway, the Oak Pentacle provides you with a tool of exploration of one’s self and the world. This amulet is for these unafraid of the journey of one’s life and the Truth that awaits.
To view the Oak Pentacle Amulet with Stone, please visit my website.
A classic Celtic Cross of Scotland and Ireland.
According to the many sources who all assure us they are true and correct: the circle may represent the circle of God’s Endless love, or a halo of he who was crucified, or it may mean the eternity of God’s commitment by sacrificing his Son. Most Christian sources agree the focus is on the resurrection rather than the Crucifix holding image of the Martyr. The “Empty Cross” concept of the Protestant Faiths: “He is Risen”.
When one looks to the Historical View, there are some very interesting ideas concerning the symbol of the Celtic Cross: the circle represents the Sun God, or the Moon Goddess, or the cycle of death and re-birth. The Equaled Arm Cross represents how Creation is divided in active and passive principals (much like Native-American symbolism) and much is extrapolated for that. When seeing the various Stone Crosses in the countryside, some of the locals say the crosses were carved on them as a way of disguising their original intent: giant stone phalluses symbolizing fertility to bless their crops and live stock. It may well be we are seeing evidence of a social correction in the stone itself.
As an Amulet Maker, I decided to consult with several pastors to get a perspective on what was to be made. And so for this Celtic Cross Amulet I intended the following:
I chose a block with capitols to lean to the more Gothic feel, In a deeply carved cross I placed twisted cord to represent emanations from the center. In the center is a disk representing “the un-nameable”, the circle surrounding the center representing the eternity of Agape: Selfless Love. This is intended to be used by those who wish to wear a cross representing a Faith based on Love and live their lives as Jesus taught them.
A Wheat Weave is a decorative are ornament
often seen on door posts, windows, shelves.
They many take the shape of Maidens
or knots of various shapes and sizes.
The Woven Spear is a specific form of the weave
comprised of two strands in a braid trailing down
from a top point
and is considered a symbol of fertility.
More commonly seen as stalks of wheat in a tight weave
that broadens at the base.
The Wheat Weave is often used as a house hold blessing.
Woven Spear Amulet
An Amulet of Fertility
Fertility was a desired force
harnessed in the Old Religions
due to the high rate of disease and death
and the tragedy of war.
Fertility was important for producing babies,
crops and farm animals.
In modern times,
fertility may seem like an “unwanted” force of nature
to those who are conscious of their family size
and caution of unwanted birth;
however fertility may be focused on one’s income
and the bounty of harvest of other kinds.
For the artist,
writer or musician
fertility has a direct relationship
to the production of their craft.
A fertile mind
will yield the needed song or story,
inspire the perfect painting
or even an idea
to change one’s life for the better.
In the spirit of “making things happen”,
I have created the Woven Spear Amulet. Like the Wheat Weaving of old,
it is a braid of strands that from a pointed top,
then appears to be of three strands
resolving into two points at the bottom:
the weave is a continuous strand.
Like most Celtic Knot Work, the piece may be used in meditation:
by following the strand with the eye,
one sees how the complicated pattern is a single strand,
like life itself.
For those who like the amulet
one may also purchase a matching pair of earrings of the Woven Spear.
This is for those who are looking to increase their objectives
whether it is of tangible material or inspiration.
The shape of the eight point star is one I remember from childhood:
the bold four points with the lower ray extended down,
the secondary four points emanating out from the center.
It was used as an artistic expression of the celestial points of light
in classic paintings, cartoons, icons and logos.
In paintings of the heavens,
this shape was used to denote the North Star,
the star of the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio,
in child’s finger painting and in the most detailed maps of the constellations.
In nearly every culture, this image just keeps popping up.
Star Drop Earrings
As an artist, I was fascinated by it’s universal appeal and adopted it in my own paintings,
sketches and illustrations.
When it came to creating a pair of earrings, this was my first design:
simple, bold and easily recognized. However the descending ray was reversed to add a new meaning.
These stars are not fixed in the sky with the descending ray reaching down,
rather the descending light brings the star to earth;
a metaphor of bringing the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
The Masons use the metaphor illustrated in their ancient building of temples;
as noted by James Joyce in Finnegan’s Wake in the building of the Cathedral
the bricks go up (raising the earth to heaven)
and the hod returns “empty” or “filled with air” (spirit) bringing the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
Although an often used quote used by Christians and Jews,
the concept of Heaven on Earth actually predated the Monotheistic paths by centuries.
The idea “If you live a good life you get to go to heaven” was not readily accepted by the Scots.
Rather the idea “One makes their heaven or hell while still breathing”
was more akin to the Old Religion,
denoting responsibility of how one leads one’s life and bring the Ideal into the Real.
It is not about the “Pie in the Sky” attitude that so many pessimistic peoples point to,
rather it is of the potential of love,
beauty and appreciation for what we have and what we may offer others.
The Star Drop Earrings are a way of harnessing the use of amulets in everyday life.
As one wears them, one is reminded of the power of virtue,
of positive thinking and action, and conscious living.
It is also a subliminal statement to those that see the bearer of the earrings, perhaps a reminder:
life can be and will be better should we choose it;
discarding grudges and moving forward in our lives
with droplets of heaven on our ears.
The Oak Tree has been revered by the Druids since before historical references.
The name Druid roughly means “oak-knower ” in Gaelic,
their sacred language.
The most sacred rites are practiced in groves of Oak,
“vision quests” and spirit walks”
(Native American terms, but you get the idea)
have also been practiced among these trees.
Oak Leaf Bracelet
Because lighting often strikes Oak trees,
the connection with other pantheons such a Zeus, Thor and Ukko;
however such lighting strikes will offer a sense of caution
and reverence to a standing copse of Oak.
Particularly to one who approaches the grove
following a storm may feel the power of Nature’s forces.
Within Druid lore are “Oak Proverbs”
An oak is not felled at one stroke. (In other words, be patient.)
Every oak began as an acorn. (Great works begin with one step)
Oaks may fall when reeds stand the storm. (Know when to be flexible)
The willow will buy a horse before the oak will pay for a saddle. (Invest your efforts with caution.)
It is will these perspectives I have created the Oak Bracelet.
Because of it’s simple design of the leaf pattern it may be worn for every day adornment
but for those who are sensitive to the meaning of the oak
it may also be worn for special proposes such as Handfastings,
vision quests and spiritual observances.
This bracelet is for those who love wisdom,
knowledge and respect all things sacred.
Ever look up into the trees and think you see a face or critter in the leaves and branches; only to discover it was a trick of the eye? Folks have “seen strange things” in the trees for all of human history. In ancient days, the Druids attributed powerful influences emanating from the trees, sometimes one would spend a great deal of time in the woods to gain insight,attributing their inspiration to the trees. Buddha sat beneath a Bodi Tree when he gained enlightenment, Oden hung himself from a tree when he developed the Runes. Aside from burning wood for warmth, wood has been an intrinsic part of our society for as long as we have been aware: we descended from trees, we build our homes, our furniture toys and great works of art. Some of the oldest beings on earth are trees.
In my own experience, I found great comfort amongst the trees: the might Sequoias of the west coast are impressive both in height, age and majesty. In one of my excursions into the forests of the great North West, I thought I saw “someone” high in the branches. I couldn’t identify who or what it was and so pursued what I mistook as a being. I even climbed up into the branches only to find “nothing there”. Later that day I saw it again, only in another tree. Squirrel? Not that big! It was when I was relaxed and “not paying attention” that I began to understand what I was “seeing” was the essence of the tree: something vaguely aware, coming from the forest itself. Comforting yet removed, alert yet extremely slow and paced, the Forest itself has a presence.
My attempt to “capture” this in art I developed: The Tree Sprite Amulet. A noble tree with spreading branches, exposed roots alluding to how such a being is rooted both into the earth and the spirit world. In the branching of the tree is a small deer head, alluding to Herne, a being in the forest that is both a part and transcendent. The amulet may be worn as a pendant, but I have also created the Tree Sprite Necklace by adding hand made leaf chain and earrings.
The Tree Sprite Amulet is for those who love the Trees for what ever reason, but most especially for those whose imagination have lead them to the truth about our Living World.
Triquetra simply means “triangle” and has been used to refer to a variety of three-cornered shapes but has been evolved into a symbol of depth. Often seen in the Book of Kells, some have surmised that because of its frequent use as ornamentation has been a part of folk lore pre-dating the creation of the ancient texts. It appears in stone and metal on crosses, markers, jewelry and other artifacts through-out Celtic history.
The Triquetra Amulet
Because of the Christian Influence and their lore concerning the Trinity, many have attributed the shape to represent: “The Father, Son and Holy Ghost”, but it could easily represent any lore that embraces the Three: Parents and child; the three phases of human existence: Youth, Middle Age and the Elderly; Maiden, Mother, Crone; Green Man, Hunter, Sage. All Threes: a number of Manifestation in Creation.
In recent years it has been popularized within the Pagan and Wiccan communities, for they too love the manifestation of Three. It has even been embraced in the Television series “Charmed”; the Triquetra is embossed on the Grimoire of the Three Sisters.
The Triquetra Amulet represents the Trinity, the manifestation of Three and the integrity of one purpose through love. The Triquetra Amulet is for those who cherish the idea of the Trinity in its many forms.
The Cauldron is one of the most basic cooking pots. Typically suspended on chain over an open fire, these large pieces of crockery have been used for everything from heating water, making dinner and making soap. It has been attributed to the Leprechaun’s container of great treasure, a classic image from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Endora making trouble on Bewitched. In the Southern portion of the US, one may find them in yards filled with flowers signifying prosperity and a welcome hearth for all well intended visitors.
The Cauldron like many other basic and everyday tools have been used as a metaphor for other more esoteric ideas: in Wicca it represents the Womb of the Goddess a place of death and rebirth, a symbol of amalgamation. Joseph Campbell inferred in his lectures thepre-Christian imagery of the Grail was the Cauldron, signifying the source of Virtue, the potency of inquiry and purity of heart.
One of my first designs: tiny Cauldron Earrings. The intent: to culminate all of these ideas into an amulet form. Cauldrons look best hung from chain as you would find them in actual use; thus I selected tiny lengths of chain and suspend them from Shepherd’s hooks, giving them a fluid, pendulous look. The Cauldron Earrings were scaled down to the smallest I could and still be recognizable: large enough for a drop of scented oil, spilling and perfuming neck and hair as they are worn; or simply a sparkling frame for your countenance. Each Cauldron has a tiny star signifying balance and clarity; ready to cast spells of joy and blessings where ever you go.
With most prehistoric Faiths, the connection between the People of the Land and their Deity is through their environment. As with the Native Peoples of North America and the buffalo, the common connection between the folk of Northern Europe and the Almighty Powers that lay beneath the surfaces of reality was through their source of food, the Deer: personified as Herne through out North Western Europe. In Italy He was known as the King of the Woods or the Stag God of ancient times. Images of a “Half Man/ Half Stag” is depicted in many works of art, often attributed to Cernunnos: another version of the Stag-Man.
The Stag Amulet
The first literary mention of Herne is in Shakespeare’s Play the Merry Wives of Windsor, however in more recent times, the image of Herne is brought to screen by the Showtime’s presentation of the BBC Robin in the Hood with the beloved soundtrack by Clannad. In this version of the Mythos, Robin is more of a station or role: Herne’s Son, an interface between the Man-God Herne and his people. During the end of the Crusades when the clash of solders returning from the Middle East to find the laws had changed for the worse; Robin depended on Herne for vision and guidance.
Although the sources’ opinions tend to vary, the song “Lord of the Dance” in its “original form” is attributed Herne: He beckons all to rise up and dance with him at the Beltane Feast. As with many songs form the British Isles, the words were changed for the Man/God to be portrayed by Christ.
Today, the return of Herne is apparent in the Neo-Pagan movement, recalling from ancient times our deep connection to our environment, how the very food we eat are gifts of the Gods and should not be taken lightly. The study of Herne reminds us that all things are sacred, even the sacrifice of the plants and animals on which we live, the earth on which we walk, even the very air we breath is sacred.
The image of The Stag Amulet is a simple Stag Head set upon a chain leading from the tips of his antlers. Deeply sculpted and very lifelike, Herne gazes upon you with calm repose. No symbols are carved into the piece so it may be worn outwardly in public as the Stag it is. Like Herne himself, only those that actually know and understand this Deity’s place will comprehend his significance.