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The word "mala" means "garland" - an object originally worn around the neck or wrapped around the wrist and used in prayer by many followers of various religions. These malas can be worn with an accompanying necklace of smaller matching stones that attaches to the handle pf the mala and slips over the head.

Think of the quiet of a snowfall at first light. These are the peaceful shapes you sense rounded under a brushing of white. Slightly matte with frost, glistening, but still retaining pastel versions of their colors.

The touchstone of this mala is a flower agate where tiny ancient petals and leaves are frozen in stone . A pleasure to touch and bring to meditation. Further along there is an ovoid Dzi bead whose matte pattern calmly holds your attention. Gorgeous raw nuggets of aquamarine for peace, citrine for clarity and rose quartz for sincerity are among the steps you will touch on the way up the mala. The handle is a little pathway of small gemstones and old trade beads including jasper, apatite, kyanite, moonstone, quartz and labradorite.

The last photo shows other malas I've made recently. You may request one made especially for you. If you would like to convo me with your request, I will be happy to design one uniquely for you.

Malas are objects of contemplation. They are for meditation, prayer, or mind journeys. They are not a product of a specific culture or religion; anyone can partake of their symbolic concentrated power.

The hand malas here were inspired by a spirit master whose experience spans many cultures and practices. My part in creating them is to bring together shapes, colors, patterns and talismanic images that provide a path to follow into quiet contemplation.

Personally, I add a special touchstone - simply a more tactile gemstone or piece of polished earth - to give the user something sensory on which to focus. In this mala, the Basha bead creates a place for visual and mental reverie. Turn it in your fingers and you will experience its kaleidoscopic play of color - different from every angle.

But each of the beads is where it is for a reason and has an integral part in the design.

The hand mala has a circular “handle” through which one can place several fingers. The stones or beads in the handle are smaller and more similar to each other than in the rest of the mala. Often there is a special stone to mark the center of the handle, the furthest point from the “tail” of the mala. The handle provides a path to repetition, folding back upon itself.

Once you move around the beads of the handle, you reach what I think of as the “head” of the mala, sitting upon the rest of the beads as the skull sits on a spine. Like a spine, the beads must have a sympathetic structural relationship with one another, each accommodating the shape of its neighbors and all joining together to complete a balanced interlocking composition. The end bead, sometimes takes the form of a tassel, and finishes the piece with energy that leads back up the mala. The spine must be strong to withstand loving use and supple to bend comfortably in one’s hand.

Pliant, but not limp.

What I experience when I begin to know the mala is it’s weight and balance and it’s presence as a physical thing that reminds me of a being. I know each bead and respect it, from the large and central ones to the tiny supporting ones. Beads are handmade or hand-hewn and they have gaps that small “helper” beads help to even out.

Each has an individual shape, color and texture that is partly accentuated and partly hidden by the totality of the design. I think of each bead in its place as having a message for me: beach stone next to river rock next to polished gemstone next to painted ceramic, each unique and essential to the unity.

Each mala has a story and a message. What the beads convey reverberates through the design. As you thoughtfully use a mala, it will pass its memory on to you.

If you would like to read more about malas, please visit my blog (alienbeadings.com and read the article"Beauty Prays.")

CALM - Meditative Hand Mala - Object of Contemplation


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  • Handmade item
  • Materials: trade beads, jade, Dzi bead, goldleaf ceramic, agate, rose quartz, aquamarine, citrine, flower jasper, soapstone, labradorite, moonstone
  • Ships from United States to select countries.
  • Feedback: 11 reviews
  • Favorited by: 34 people