Monday, 11 January 2021

When the universe has other plans.....


It seemed a crying shame to throw away the leftover scallop shells from our NYE supper, so we pondered what we could do with them. Quickly we both decided that they could feature in a hanging wind chime thingy for the garden and I quickly volunteered my modest stash of holey stones to accompany them. Mr GBT, being a making/repairing wizard, strung them up on some brass wire, but I still didn't feel it was quite finished somehow. Overnight the missing detail came to me and by the morning I added in the red ribbon [salvaged from Christmas crackers]. When I stood back from it I had to smile....every part of it also has an apotropaic element!

The scallop shell features heavily in Christianity and is the symbol of St James [it's littered along the route of the Camino de Santiago] who is the patron saint of pilgrims. If you see it on a tomb, then it signifies that the person has been on at least one pilgrimage. This example is Richard Cheltenham's and can be seen in Tewkesbury Abbey. 


In pre-Christian times it was used as a symbol of the setting sun. Together with the red which was used to deflect evil spirits/witches and those with malicious intent and the hagstones [more detail here http://gnatbottomedtowers.blogspot.com/search?q=hag+stones it seems like we all have bases covered should someone or something nefarious try and cross the threshold. I love it when the universe has other plans.......

Arilx

12 comments:

  1. Thank you for the mention of hag-stones as I must take mine from where they are hanging and pop them into the tub of flower pots etc that I'm taking with me.

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    1. I would be fed up if I left mine behind too! Arilx

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  2. I hope they continue to do their magic in the garden too :)

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    1. I hope so....I've asked for an abundant wildlife loving garden. Arilx

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  3. April, in case I have not mentioned it, I really learn something new every time I come here. I love that! Thank you!

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    1. I am a mine of useless information ably assisted by Google. Glad you like the snippets. Arilx

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    2. And I'm getting quite sick of my mobile phone that is absolutely certain that it knows better, and correcting my spelling. Sorry, Aril.

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    3. Mine is bossy like that too! Arilx

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  4. I'd enjoy this garland hanging in a bathroom window. (Y'know, the one that's left slightly open so the cat can come and go.) Leftover scallop shells can also be used as butter pats for beach-side/pool-side luncheons. Holey stones (and crinoid 'beads') are strung through leather shoelaces and sold as "Indian necklaces" at craft fairs.

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    1. Interesting about the use of the stones. Humans have always had an eye for the unusual. We saw evidence of that with special stones being found in the burials on Orkney. Arilx

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  5. I always associate the scallop shell with baptisms. I never knew it meant any ties to a pilgrimage.

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    1. I read that they used them to pour the water over the baby? Arilx

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