Aunt Dahlia’s Mala: Red Cinnabar and Crystal Quartz Mala

Well, not quite. I’ve been on a P.G. Wodehouse kick lately and can’t see the word “dahlia” without thinking of Hugh Laurie’s petite aunt persuading him to mischief. Which is not far off for the mythology of the actual flower, according to What’s Your Sign

Dahlia’s are spicy flowers, and their meanings range from a sign of warning, to change, to travel, to even a portent of betrayal. The varied symbolic meanings of the dahlia make this flower a wild card. Give to that unique, eclectic person whom you wish to compliment his/her wild side. Combine them with slender flowers like irises or tulips for a striking visual display as well as a combined symbolic message that says “temper your adventures with a kind heart.”

The dahlias are handcarved into red cinnabar beads. Cinnabar is the common ore of mercury. It’s been admired for its color for centuries. Mayan civilizations often used red cinnabar to decorate limestone sarcophagi in the royal burial chambers, both for its color and for its well-known toxicity to deter vandals and grave robbers. It was also highly valued in the field of Chinese Alchemy where its Mandarin word (dan) was synonymous with the elixir of immortality.

The other beads are handcarved wood with four crystal quartz spacers. Crystal quartz is supposed to aid its wearer in their pursuit of Enlightenment, which made it a nice choice for a string of prayer beads. I used my Realeather craft lace waxed thread to string them all together and affix them with a knot at the bottom of the meru (or “guru”) bead.

After losing so many wrist malas to wires that broke or came loose from their crimp beads or clasps, this was a nice change and it’s working well so far. I’d been wanting to make a 108-bead mala and I liked the way the cinnabar, quartz and wood pulled together.

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~ by blackmoodcraft on May 26, 2011.

2 Responses to “Aunt Dahlia’s Mala: Red Cinnabar and Crystal Quartz Mala”

  1. It looks absolutely stunning! Professionally made, for sure.

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