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In the hustle and bustle of our modern lives, it's easy to forget that our sense of enchantment is not a fleeting emotion triggered only by grandiose occurrences. The sublime, that feeling of awe and connection to something greater than ourselves, isn't elusive and isn't hidden in the far corners of distant landscapes. It's right here, around us, all the time, just waiting to be uncovered through our deliberate attention.
“Our sense of enchantment is not only sparked by grand things. The awe-inspiring, the numinous, is all around us, all the time. It is transformed by our deliberate attention. The magic is of our own conjuring.” – Katherine May
Universal Connection, one of the three Meaningful Connections - inner, social, and universal - is the most symbolic and profoundly rooted in our faith in the unknown. It is deeply rooted in our psyche and transcends the boundaries of our individual selves and interpersonal relationships, encompassing our bond with the vast universe that surrounds us. It is the belief in something greater, something beyond the scope of our understanding, yet an integral part of our existence. This connection is both spiritual and sensory, grounded in our capacity to perceive the sublime in everyday moments.
However, as ethereal as it may seem, we yearn to make it tangible, to grasp it in our hands and hold it close to our hearts – a distinctly human trait. This desire to solidify the intangible is where stones and other organic materials, steeped in millennia-old symbolic meanings, come into play. They become the tangible manifestations of our faith - a grounding anchor that through touch, memory, and our various senses, not only connects us to the mysteries of the universe but also imparts tangible benefits to our well-being and our journey of self-discovery. It is that jolt of positive energy we get from connecting to our beliefs and core values in a tangible and ritual way.
The profound connection between humans and the unknown or “something bigger than us”, such as the natural world, spirit and other meaningful connections, is not a recent discovery. It's ingrained in our very DNA and woven into the tapestry of our history and psyche. We've always been captivated by the beauty and wonder of the world around us – and especially the unknown, the intangible elements of life. From the timeless wisdom encapsulated in a sacred stone to the intricate story told by a hand-carved amulet, symbolic organic materials have always held the power to elevate our spirits and connect us to profound meanings beyond our individual selves.
But how do we instil meaning into these everyday wonders, into tokens that are touchstones, reminders of these important connections to meaning and memory?
Humans have done this throughout history by attributing metaphysical properties to organic materials. Stones, wood, and plants have been seen as vessels of energy and connection to larger concepts and universal forces. Jade may remind us to connect to the abundance and prosperity that already exists around us; amber may remind us that radiance comes from alignment and balance; and humans have been enchanted since the 7th millennium BCE by the mysteries of lapis lazuli and its otherworldly blue hue that connects our senses to something more ethereal. These beliefs aren't just superstitions; they're meaningful connections to values and principles that guide our lives.
Throughout history, various cultures have assigned metaphysical properties to organic materials. For instance, throughout history people have believed in the protective and healing powers of lapis lazuli. Dinosaur gembone symbolised the wisdom we gain by staying connected to our past and jade has been associated with abundance and prosperity for thousands of years. These beliefs served as a bridge between the physical and metaphysical realms, connecting individuals to the universe and their own sense of purpose.
Such connections also have a profound link to memory. Think of the talismans and amulets passed down through generations, each one carrying with it the energy and memories of its previous owners. These objects become a tangible link to positive connections, moments of significance, and shared wisdom. The act of wearing or holding a piece of jewellery imbued with meaning helps us recall these memories, elevating our well-being and enriching our lives.
Jewellery, with its power to weave together the essence of organic materials, has been a constant companion on humanity's journey seeking universal connection. Whether a simple pendant of a sacred stone or an intricately designed bracelet that combines more complex meaning, each piece of jewellery has the power to encapsulate these meaningful connections, and serve as tangible reminders of our link to something bigger than ourselves.
For millennia, jewellery has played a pivotal role in rituals, ceremonies, and everyday life. It has adorned royalty, symbolised commitment in marriage, and served as a form of self-expression. But beyond these practicalities, it has always been a means to connect to the divine, to the mystical, and to the universal. Wearing a piece of jewellery isn't just about aesthetics; it's about carrying a piece of nature, history, and meaning close to our hearts.
In our quest to connect with something greater than ourselves through jewellery, it's vital to recognise that the creation of these cherished pieces should not come at the cost of our environment or the well-being of those involved in the process. Sustainability and ethical practices in sourcing and crafting jewellery are paramount, as they bring a harmonious alignment between human creativity and the preservation of our world and our connection to it which is integral to our well-being.
Sourcing materials ethically means ensuring that the stones, metals, and other organic components are obtained through responsible practices. Sustainable practices in crafting jewellery are essential to both reduce disposability and minimise the ecological footprint of the industry. Using recycled metals and responsibly sourced gemstones and leathers not only reduces the environmental impact but also exemplifies our commitment to nurturing the planet.
It also entails fair treatment of everyone in our ecosystem – including the planet. The fair treatment of workers, adherence to environmental regulations, and respect for local communities allow us all to thrive. By prioritising ethical sourcing, we acknowledge the interconnectedness of our actions with the wider world, infusing our jewellery with a deeper sense of purpose and meaningful connection.
This harmony between creativity and sustainability goes beyond aesthetics; it becomes a testament to our reverence for the world we live in and an affirmation of our responsibility to protect it for generations to come.
In choosing jewellery crafted with ethical and sustainable principles, we not only adorn ourselves with symbols of universal connection but also become stewards of a brighter, more consciously successful future. It's a harmonious blend of artistry and responsibility, where the magic of connection extends beyond the adornment to the very heart of how we interact with the world around us.
In our journey of understanding universal connection, we've unearthed the power of everyday enchantment, explored the significance of metaphysical properties, and celebrated the timeless allure of jewellery. These elements aren't separate entities but threads woven into the fabric of our existence.
Our sense of enchantment is ours to cultivate. The sublime is not a distant mirage but a treasure hidden in plain sight. By investing our attention and intention into the world around us, we unlock the magic of universal connection. It enriches our lives, keeps us in tune with the world around us, and ultimately, with ourselves.
Remember that the magic is within us. It's in the way we choose to see the world, appreciate its wonders, and carry its essence with us, be it through a simple walk in the woods, the touch of a cherished stone, or the meaningful connection of a beloved piece of jewellery.