Several weeks ago I was asked to create a piece of jewelry for a domestic violence awareness event that took place yesterday. My creative juices were not flowing and I had a really hard time coming up with something, well at least something meaningful until this past Thursday morning. I really wanted this piece to be meaningful because raising awareness about domestic violence is an issue which is very important to me. My hope when creating this piece was that a survivor would wear it and in wearing it would remember that she is strong beyond measure and deserves to have a joyous, hopeful and harmonious life…full of peace, love and faith… My jewelry line is called Luchie’s Creations and my mission is to give life to something forgotten. I take old unused and broken jewelry and rescue, re-purpose and re-imagine them into existence. Everything is handmade. This is a one of a kind piece. (I want to thank my son for taking pictures of the necklace for me and proofreading my blog post).
I took several chains in varying lengths and made a three tier necklace with a piece of chain dangling from the left hand side. I attached the following items to the dangling chain: three heart shaped charms with the words, hope, joy and harmony inscribed in them (taken from a bracelet gifted from a friend to re-purpose); an Amethyst Stone (gifted from a friend who also designs jewelry) hanging from an earring of the Star of David (purchased in Old Jerusalem, Israel while on a class trip/pilgrimage. I lost the matching earring but held on to this earring with the hopes that I would be able to use it someday), and lastly a wire bead shaped like a cocoon (which I made, symbolizing something made out of nothing) with dangling chains and butterfly (taken from a broken necklace). A little lengthy but below is a breakdown of the various components of this necklace and the thought process that went into this piece:
1) I picked hearts that say harmony, joy & hope because these are some of the emotions you feel after coming out of an abusive relationship:
a) Harmony: internal calm, tranquility
b) Joy: a state of happiness or felicity, bliss. Because it reminds me of the verse “their sorrow turned to joy”
c) Hope: to expect with confidence, trust
2) Why I picked a raw Amethyst Stone and strung it with an earring of the Star of David:
a) Amethyst stone is excellent for meditation, aids channeling abilities. It’s sedative, protective. Enhances feeling of contentment, and a connection to one’s spirituality. It is known as a stone of peace and strength.
b) The Star of David (five-pointed star) in Christianity is associated with the birth of Jesus. In Matthew 2 the wise men followed a star which led them to Bethlehem, to the very location where Jesus was born. In the book of Revelation, Jesus is called the Morning Star. As the story goes in the book of Revelation, when the world ended and the creation of the new heavens and new earth came on a long dark night the appearance of the morning star which symbolized that daybreak is imminent. Hence, Christ as the morning star is a picture of great promise and hope. It means God’s light is about to shine forever on the universe, making all wrongs right, wiping away all tears. For me God is my strength and gives me hope so I wanted to incorporate that message into this piece.
3) At the very end hangs the cocoon looking hand made wire bead with dangling chains and butterfly (as a symbol of freedom and beauty). A longer explanation of the symbolism behind cocoon and butterfly which I found and love:
Overwhelmingly, cultural myth honor the butterfly as a symbol of transformation because of its impressive process of metamorphosis. From egg, to larvae (caterpillar), to pupa (the chrysalis or cocoon) and from the cocoon the butterfly emerges in her
unfurling glory. What a massive amount of transition this tiny creature undergoes. Consider for a moment the kind of energy this expends. I daresay if a human were to go through this kind of change we’d freak out! (note from me- survivors of domestic violence undergo a huge transformation when they finally release themselves from an abusive relationship).
Imagine the whole of your life changing to such an extreme you are unrecognizable at the end of the transformation. Mind you, this change takes place in a short span of about a month too (that’s how long the butterfly life cycle is).
Herein lies the deepest symbolic lesson of the butterfly. She asks us to accept the changes in our lives as casually as she does. The butterfly unquestioningly embraces the chances of her environment and her body.
This unwavering acceptance of her metamorphosis is also symbolic of faith. Here the butterfly beckons us to keep our faith as we undergo transitions in our lives. She understands that our toiling, fretting and anger are useless against the turning tides of nature – she asks us to recognize the same.
If you read my entire post, I truly appreciate it because I know it was lengthy.