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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Of Rosary Beads And Spiders

My Ma crossed over in 1995 at the age of 80. I was greatly proud of how she took care of herself during her lifetime, especially in the classy way she dressed. In fact, 'classic' would be a term I'd use to describe her taste in clothes, shoes, etc. I have a vivid memory of how a classmate of mine in grade school was, for some reason, jealous of me and my Ma. On the playground, this classmate taunted that my Ma was ugly and didn't know how to dress. It was the first and only time I had ever gotten into a fist fight. I was so enraged, friends had to pull me off her as I was yanking HARD on that girl's hair. This was when I was in 4th grade or so. To say I was loyal to my family would be an understatement! LOL!

A favorite memory of mine was how Ma would let me 'play' in her jewelry drawer. We most definitely were anything but wealthy, but Ma had a drawer full of treasures. Hands-down, two of my favorite pieces of her jewelry are in the above picture: the spider pin (bottom) and the rosary bead bracelet (lower right corner). Also kept safe in Ma's drawer was her rosary (upper right corner). I wouldn't be surprised if drool was coming out of my mouth every time I looked at and handled these three pieces as a kid.

Now it's hard to say just how old Ma's pin, bracelet, and rosary are. They probably all go back to at least the 1930's-40's, if not earlier. It would not matter if an appraiser labeled them worthless, for they are priceless to me. There's a certain heft to holding each one of them and the beautiful energy they emit is hard to describe.

In the upper left corner of the pic is a rosary bead necklace. This would not have been found in Ma's drawer, for it was mine. In fact, I made it when I was in 5th grade in the after-school rosary making class. Yes, being in such a class was my idea of a good time. All year we learned how to make rosaries for the missions. Since we were going to be confirmed in the Catholic church that year, we were also allowed to make a necklace to wear on Confirmation. I was the only kid, if my memory serves me well, to choose clear beads. Everyone else picked pretty colored beads. I, of course, chose the clear beads because they reminded me of Ma's rosary and rosary bracelet. Somehow I felt closer to Ma for doing so.

Fast forward to recently... I wore Ma's spider pin and her rosary bracelet when I was ordained as an Associate Minister in the Spiritualist church. I also wore my rosary necklace. Please see past post: Expect The Unexpected.

When my my friend and teacher, Janice, saw from my pic that I had worn this jewelry at ordination, Janice wrote to me:

"When I envisioned you as a child admiring, hankering for your mom's rosary, it was almost as if this was a very crucial moment; a knowing; a goal you'd be heading towards, though at the time it was hidden. Kind of like a dream we remember upon waking and then suddenly it's gone. Though you didn't know it, you have been blindly following its trail. But to get to it we have to do our homework, find your signature so to speak....ha look at the necklace you made in school! And even the pin is symbolic. You've gone from spinning spider to spiritual spider and it too was worn on your graduation. Yup, I'd say that's pretty cool!"

Pretty cool, indeed.

Of note: As a spinner, I've been wearing spider pins for years and years. Often when I taught spinning I would have one pinned to my outfit. For more on spider and her gifts, please see the past post: Spiders.

Also, I've begun a little business making rosaries and prayer beads that honor various religions and spiritual paths. There will even be a line of 'good intention beads' for those who are squeamish with the word 'prayer.' I've not actually listed any rosaries/prayer beads for sale yet in my Etsy shop, which goes by the name...of course..."The Spiritual Spider"...for I've first been making prayer beads for friends, family, etc. But eventually there will be offerings for sale in the shop. Coming "Full Circle" seem to be a term that describes this journey to a T.


  1. Valuable post for us to examine how our lives are coming full circle, and we are not aware of it. Thank you. I look forward to the day you will intuitively create prayer beads for me! Is there such a thing a prayer beads for different reasons - they would be different colors? I will support your business and forward your name as often as people listen to me.

  2. Thank you so much, Patti, for stopping by the blog and commenting. Yes, color choices most definitely come into play when designing prayer beads strands/rosaries/chaplets, but also the choice of crystal/stone, for each have their own special metaphysical meanings and vibrations. Add to that the shape of the bead...some rough, some smooth, some shiny, some dull, some clear, some translucent, some opaque...for our lives are filled with a patchwork of these attributes and more. Also, I sometimes add one or more charms and/or amulets...sometimes having to do with Power Animals/Totems...and sometimes having to do with the person's favorite things and activities, etc. I've now found myself going to a bead shop and simply picking out a range of beads that 'feel' like I should add them to my stash. Then, when I design the prayer beads, my hands go to the beads that feel right for the person...if, indeed I have a particular person in mind. I can most definitely say I LOVE this work. And perhaps that's the best part of it all, because this love is infused in each piece. xoxoxoxoxo