A couple of nights ago, “Deborah J.” left a wonderful comment on my posting about Baha’i prayer beads in which she mentioned becoming inspired by Bead One, Pray Too to make a set of “healing beads” for a friend. I emailed Deborah back and asked if she would share a picture and a description of these beads. Well, the emails have been flying back and forth for the last 24 hours, and it wasn’t long before I discovered what a thoughtful, soulful prayer bead maker Deborah J is. Here are some pictures of her work – first, the healing beads, and second, a set of Pearls of Life she made for another friend – and the story behind them both. Be sure and note that she took the ideas of the traditional prayer beads in the book and made her own unique versions of them.
First, a little about Deborah. She is in her 40s and “looks much younger, wink, wink” (meeeee tooo, Deborah!) and llives in Massachusetts. She has spent much of her working life in marketing, but is hoping to make a career change to orgnizational development. Deborah was raised a Catholic, though now she does not adhere to any one particular faith. Let me let her describe her faith: “I love learning about other religious tradtions and I always seem to find within them bits of philosophies that resonate with me. I consider myself deeply spiritual but not really religious. I truly believe that all paths lead to the same place. Right now I am exploring Yoga Nidra and perhaps it comes closest to describing my faith. I believe in a “Ground of Being” (I call it I AM) that is ever-present not only within us but is also around us and within every thing . . . My spiritual practice right now is focused on cultivating the awarness of this Presence in my every day life.
Deborah makes jewelry as a sideline and invites you to visit her at her blog, Renaissance Woman. Here’s what she had to say about these beads:
The Healing Beads:
“There was actually a method to my madness in bead selection; each bead has a meaning (for me):
-The heart is a Murano glass bead from Italy. It symbolizes love, of course, which I believe is an essential ingredient in healing. You might also be able to see the tiny spiral I made in the wire at the end of the bead. That represents the spiral of life.
-The stem is composed of size 6 white silver-lined beads and peridot seed beads. The white symbolizes the “white light” of protection and as you’ve mentioned in your book peridot is known for having great power for healing illness. I don’t know if you can see it, but I used a white bead and a peridot seed in between the weeks beads.
-The weeks beads are rose quartz, a stone of love that promotes peace, self-love, and healing.
-The cruciforms are green Swarovski crystal pearls. I like the concept of pearls as reminders that out of difficulty can come great beauty (pearls are the by-product of an “irritation” in the clam.) The pearl is green because in the yogic tradition green is associated with the heart chakra. It’s also associated with spring, renewal, growth and healing.
There are 3 sets of 7 beads – 3 representing the 3 aspects of self: body, mind, Spirit (or Soul or Essence). Seven weeks beads because as you mention in your book seven is a sacred number in many religious and mystical traditions (7 days, 7 sacraments, 7 chakras, etc.).
As I designed and strung the beads, I kept up a constant stream of prayers in my heart for my friend’sgood health and healing. I didn’t include any prayers, as I wanted her to feel free to use them in any way she likes. My hope is that they will be a tool to help her connect with the greater peace, strength and comfort that lies within her in every circumstance of life. I wrote her a letter that I’m including with the beads, that told her all of this with a diagram of the beads and their meanings.”
Pearls of Life:
“I LOVE the concepts for each of beads in the Pearls of Life. The philosophy reminds me somewhat of the Hero’s Journey. As I am going through a transition myself, that really resonated with me. The recipient has talked about going through “the ring of fire” to break through to a”core of peace”. She also talks about a butterfly in terms of transformation so when I saw the bead, it all seemed to come together.
-God bead – beautiful carved Jade bead. It’s a hollow bead, with a lot of empty space which reminds of how God is in the “spaces between”, in matter, in between words (silence), in between space, etc. Jade symbolizes wisdom, peace, harmony, mercy and generosity.
-Pearls of Silence- faceted seed pearls. Loved the ruby color. You know my thoughts on pearls.
-I Pearl, Baptism, Mystery, Serenity – the carved wooden flower beads just jumped out at me because the recipient has an affinity for Africa. I guess you could call it an “intuitive hit”.
-Love Pearls are rose quartz symbolizing love, forgiveness and healing.
-Night Pearl is a beautiful deep blue stone with gold flecks. Seemed pretty indicative of the night to me!
-Resurrection Pearl – saw the butterfly bead and well, enough said.
I have ideas for Mother’s Day bracelets, which would be rosary bracelets made with my Mom and Mom-in-law’s birthstones. I want to make myself a “career meditation” bracelet based on the chakras to accompany Rick Jarow‘s “Anti-Career Guide” audio. I’d like to make a prayer rope out of silk cord, tied with Chinese knots and large hole beads..and well, the ideas just go on and on.”
Look to hear more from Deborah J in the future – I made her promise to continue to send me pictures and descriptions of her work.
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