Six Startling Pieces of Jewelry
with Religious Meaning
We often wear accessories the origin and meaning of which is a mystery. Something that is a beautiful trinket for someone is an item of worship and salvation for another. If you become an owner of a fancy accessory, you may be curious to know its origin and significance. We have compiled 6 religious items that we now wear as striking jewelry.
A golden cross is a favorite accessory of any self-respecting rapper. Despite the fact that most of these rappers consider themselves religious, their lifestyle is far from biblical ideals. In their wardrobe, the cross is not a symbol of unity with God, it is just a piece of jewelry. By and large, the cross ceased to be a purely religious attribute. Fashion shows are bristling with models who flaunt crucifixes on their necks. You probably, too, have a necklace, ring, or earrings featuring crosses that look nice but leave you cold in the spiritual meaning. Pope Francis does not approve wearing crucifixes carelessly. However, the cross does not entirely belong to the church. Therefore, righteous Christians will have to put up with the fact that the cross can be a body ornament.
You don’t have to be a keen Buddhist like Richard Gere to wear a rosary. This object is present in many religions to count prayers. When it comes to rosaries, everything is symbolic, from the number of beads and pendants it may feature, to the thread that connects them. Religious significance apart, this is a very cool accessory. Neat rosaries wrapped around the wrist will look gorgeous with a suit, trendy t-shirt, and even a Hawaiian shirt.
The pope gives a massive golden ring to a bishop at the ceremony of inauguration. Hence the name episcopal or bishop rings. The significance of this ring is that from now on a bishop belongs to the bosom of the church. However, the ring itself does not belong to the bishop, he is just a holder. After his death or resignation, this ring is returned to the church.
The main feature of a bishop ring is a large purple amethyst. In Christianity, this mineral is considered the stone of Apostle Matthew and a symbol of humility and spirituality. The magnificence of the purple stone grabbed the attention of jewelers and fashionistas. Jewelry designers borrowed the design of a bishop ring and turned it into a catchy accessory. Along with the cross, it gained a new meaning of an ornament rather than a religious attribute. By the way, while original rings could only be worn by men, jewelry analogs are available for women, too.
At some point, Madonna started the craze for the Kabbalistic red thread. Now every other celebrity along with thousands of average Joes and Jills rock this simple accessory. It is assumed that a red thread protects against the evil eye. In order for its magic to work, you must tie seven knots while saying Kabbalistic prayers. It is unlikely that anyone follows this ritual, therefore the threat in the hands of a layman has no power. Well, at least, it looks cute.
The Middle East is a source of various peculiar amulets. The most common amulet of these mysterious lands is the image of an open palm with five digits. Khamsa, this is its name, in Arabic means "five." You can find this amulet in any Middle Eastern house. Today, it became sought-after among western fashionistas, too. Surprisingly, this symbol is widely used not only in Islam but also in Judaism and Hinduism.
Khamsa has the shape of an open symmetrical palm. The outside digits are akin in size and shape. Traditionally, this talisman is covered with blue paint since this color is the best protector from the evil eye. The ancient amulet is adorned with precious or semi-precious stones of the same shade (from blue to azure). There are also khamsas made of light-reflecting materials. A person wearing this amulet will bounce off any evil.
To enhance its power, khamsa bears various symbols of protection in the center of the palm (such as a square, Star of David, fish, moon, eyes). In Eastern tradition, the image of the eye or number five is able to avert evil. The famous Arabic expression “khamsa fi ainek” means five fingers in your eye.
Kanthi-mala is Hindu wooden beads worn around the neck. The type of kanthi-mala differs depending on the school of Hinduism. They can be double, triple, plain, or with patterns. It is believed that an uninitiated person should wear such beads in one row while initiated ones can have it in two, three or more rows. There is only one condition – the beads must cover the jugular cavity on the neck, the center of spiritual energy.
According to beliefs, people wearing these beads won’t get into hellish worlds after their death. One more meaning of Kanthi-mala is protection from evil thoughts and desires. You’ve probably seen this jewelry piece on the necks of East enthusiasts and surfers but very few people know what it really means. Orientalists say that it is not necessary to be a follower of Vaishnavism to wear Kanthi-mala. If you give your jewelry a special meaning, it will positively affect your life.
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