The Totem Post

The Totem Post
A unique jewelry and gift shop with gifts from around the world.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Virginia Fairy Crosses

Following the "stone" theme of the past few posts, today's topic is Virginia Fairy Crosses. When I was very young, I remember buying one of these crosses and being so fascinated by the legend. It is said that in this small area in Virginia, many many years ago there were fairies. Once, an elfin courier came to tell them of Christ's death and when the fairies cried, their tears formed into these stone crosses. It is said that Pocahontas had an entire necklace made from these. Presidents, crowned heads of Europe and soldiers have kept one of these crosses with them as a protective charm.

The technical term for this crystalline form is staurolite. They come in several cross-like shapes, maltese, roman and sometimes they are more like an X in shape. They are found in clusters imbedded in a rock, or just separate in this shape. There is a State Park in Virginia where you can go to find these on your own, there are plenty to be found and rains constantly wash in a new supply. They are primarily found in Virginia, but have also been found in Russia and France. The type we have are polished, but keep the natural shape in tact. It is said - "Through days of labor and nights of rest-the charm of a fairy cross will keep you blest" Wearing one of these crosses makes you feel very close to nature.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Animal Totems

Many Native American tribes have symbolic meanings for their brothers the animals. Nature is such a part of their culture and spiritual identity, that every thing has a purpose and meaning. These meanings are quite in depth if studied and may vary a bit from tribe to tribe. But here are a few to give you some insights on this idea.

BEAR - Strength, protection, nurturing and introspection (hibernation)

BUFFALO - Abundance, gratitude and prayer

DRAGONFLY - Messenger of prayers to the Spirit World, guide to positive and new ideas.

EAGLE - Spiritual vision which enables one to see the whole picture.

FROG - Cleansing and beginning of life.

HORSE - Freedom and power, but power that respects and is wise.

OWL - Wisdom by seeing and hearing things that others cannot.

SNAKE - Power to discard the old for new ways, to transform negative to positive.

TURTLE - Patience to wait for the right moment, Respect for earth, protection of thought before sharing.

WOLF - Teaching for the good of the clan, preserving independence, leadership

Friday, February 19, 2010

Zuni Fetishes

Hello again. Today I'd like to talk about Zuni Fetishes. This is sort of an offshoot of yesterday's Rock Art. Now, this kind of fetish is not a kinky thing, but a small stone carving or even a naturally shaped rock which looks like an animal. These figures are thought by the Zuni to help them spiritually or in daily endeavors such as growing crops. This idea came from a legend that tells of how The Sun dried an earth covered with floodwaters. Lightening was sent to strike the earth and burn away some of the water. When it did it was too easy for so many predators to eat people. So they were struck by lightening as well, which diminished them to a small stone. However, their hearts were still alive and they were told to help mankind with the magic held within their hearts. So when a Zuni found a rock shaped like an animal, it was thought to be one of these animals which held magic in their hearts and it was greatly treasured. Today there are many Zuni fetish carvers who continue this tradition, but as an art form. A fetish is not truly a fetish unless it has been blessed by a shaman.

The wonderful thing about these fetishes are the emotion they stir within. Many people collect fetishes - some because of the animal, some the carver, some just adore the whimsy or intricate detail of the carving. Whatever the reason, these little animals are a wonderful way to connect to the vision of an artist and the beauty of stone and form. They are portable and can sit on your desk or go with you in your pocket as a reminder of spiritual qualities they represent. . .that is a whole other blog post. Maybe tomorrow!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rock As Art

Rocks are another thing that has fascinated my family for years. Perhaps we saw Lucille Ball's "The Long, Long Trailer" once too often. But on our family vacations we always came home with some "pretty rock". There is something about the natural designs, colors and feel of a beautiful stone. It doesn't have to be a diamond to have value. I love seeing faces or scenes in the matrix of a stone. Nothing can calm a person as much as the feel of a smooth, river worn stone. There is some intrinsic value to a geode that looks rough on the outside and has unseen beauty on the inside - a metaphor for many people. Also, stones are the work of centuries - molten lava, sediment compressed. They are works of art that took centuries to create. They have untold stories and have seen things we have not and will be here longer than we are. There is something beautiful and reverent about that.

So, in our shop we have many things made of stone. Of course there are interesting stones in our jewelry, but we also have salt lamps, crystal cluster tea lights, marble eggs, totem stones with animals carved on them, worry stones, onyx carvings, kisi stone carvings from Kenya. Just because everybody needs a rock. Maybe that is what they were getting at several years ago with the "pet rock." That man and nature can connect when man can have a portable reminder of how beautiful nature can be and what lessons it can teach.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hello from Nashville

Thanks for viewing my blog. I hope to help anyone who is interested in Native American Indian jewelry. Also, I would love to hear thoughts on spiritual insights. I think we all are connected in so many ways and creativity is a great way to get to know each other. I have been artistic nearly all my life. Perhaps I got that from growing up with parents who were professional dancers and living in an artist colony in Indiana. Anyway, I see such a connection to life through art of every kind. I love things that are handmade because when someone wears a piece of jewelry that is handmade or displays a piece of artwork that someone else has created, they are revering the soul of another. It connects us. What a wonderful thing. So stay tuned for new insights, as I discover this world of blogging.