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jade newThis is a lovely hand-carved pendant of natural Nephrite Jade from New Zealand. Maori designs carved in jade are steeped in religious and spiritual belief. They tell stories of ancestors long lost, depict spirits from the heavens, earth, and underworld, show historical lineage and paint images of the natural world that surround and surrounded them. They are no doubt beautiful, but they’re more than a form of art. For Maori they create a strong connection with their ancestors and the natural world they live in. It was believed by Maori that as a carving was worn against the skin it absorbed some of that person's essence. As carvings were passed down through the family they absorbed essence from each family member, creating a direct ancestral connection through the necklace itself. This is one reason why Maori design is so special, it is more than just an art form.

This special piece measures approx. 70 mm long (approx.. 2 3/4") x approx. 35 mm. (just shy of 1 1/2") at its widest point. Thickness is approx. 3 mm. Hole at top for hanging is approx. 2 1/2 mm. wide.

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flourite earringsA wise person -- a fellow beader -- recently said in a comment on one of my blog posts that beading 'grounds and centers her'.  I wanted to write a little today about how much I agree with that, and speculate on why that is...

I believe in the healing power of nature. If we take a moment to immerse ourselves in an image of nature, or better yet, to view nature itself, we feel rejuvenated, renewed and revived. In the case of beaders who use natural materials such as gemstones, shells, pearls, nut and wood, and more, we are, in a sense, communing directly with nature.  Studies have shown that what we look at not only affects our mood, but also how we relate to others and our attention to detail. So if you're feeling stressed, run down, or just deserve a break, you can touch, hold and view these precious items from our beloved earth, and immerse yourself in them.  Though I am not expert on this aspect of gems and semiprecious gemstones and crystals, I am told these in particular have powerful energy and healing aspects far beyond other substances.  For me, a leaf, a handful of rich soil, and the sight of a clear blue sky may be powerful and healing.  And I know if I am given a choice between holding in my palm something plastic, chemical or synthetic -- and something natural, organic and unprocessed (such as the Imperial Topaz Crystal shown in these earrings on our Etsy site, http://tinyurl.com/atcs2p3), I will choose the natural material.

Please weigh in on this issue, if you should have the time and inclination!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy my previous post, 'O is for Ocean Jasper Beads'.

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