learn + explore
WHAT IS A MALA?
A mala, translated to “garland” in Sanskrit, is a set of 108 beads that has been traditionally used for keeping count while repeating a mantra, affirmation or intention.
Traditionally, malas were created with rudraksha seeds, Bodhi seeds, sandalwood, rosewood and even bone. They were to be used for meditation only and not to be worn (and especially not to be touched by others). We always honour the ancient traditions and our ancestors for the wisdom they have brought us and the life we currently live. And it is important that we also continue to evolve and use these technologies (malas) in the way that can most effectively serve us in our current time.
The malas that I create are crafted with gemstones and crystal beads, and I often will incorporate a rudraksha seed or sandalwood bead to invite in the ancestral wisdom and guidance of our past, as well as to infuse the piece with the vibrational potency that they bring (sandalwood also brings its aromatherapy benefits). Also used frequently are lava stones. Lava stone is porous, and applying 1-2 drops of a high quality essential oil to the stones creates a wearable diffuser. Essential oils increase the vibrational potency and healing properties of your piece.
More to come on pairing gemstones with essential oils to create the highest frequency potential!
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE TASSEL?
The tassel is my favourite part of the mala. The tassels on each mala that I craft are created with one long string, and upon completion, the tassel has the illusion of being many strings. This represents enlightment. Enlightment is the realization and deep remembrance that we are all one, with the illusion of being many. That we are all cells within the body of the God (also called Source, Creator, Divine, Energy, Love, etc – all translations of the same experience), and each cell (us individually) has it’s own job, it’s own purpose. Just like the cells of our own bodies must work together to achieve coherence in the body, we must work together as humans, with each other, our Earth and her inhabitants to achieve harmony and coherence in life.
You will also find malas that have a wire-wrapped gemstone or crystal instead of a tassel. This is a fantastic way of enhancing the vibrational potency of your piece.
Each traditional mala is hand-knotted with 108 beads + 1 guru bead or crystal. Most malas I create are mantra-style, which means they have 3 additional beads, called marker beads, which allow the user to do shorter repetitions of their mantra practice.
108 is a significant number that is found consistently through numerology, astrology, cosmology, mathematics, sacred geometry, and anatomy.
108 is the natural division of a circle. It is a Harshad Number, an integer divisible by the sum of its digits. Harshad in Sanskrit means “joy-giver.”
The diameter of the Sun multiplied by 108 equals the distance between Sun and Earth, and the diameter of the Moon multiplied by 108 equals the distance between Earth and Moon. The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth.
There are 12 constellation and 9 arc segments – 9 x 12 = 108. The 9 planets traveling through the 12 signs constitute the whole of existence – 9 x 12 = 108. The 27 lunar constellations spread over the 4 elements – fire, earth, air, water or the 4 directions – north, south, east, and west. This also constitutes the whole of existence – 27 x 4 = 108.
There are 108 energy lines (nadis) that converge at the heart, and we have 112 chakras, 4 of which work unconditionally without needing assistance or healing, leaving us with 108 chakras to work with.
Humans experience 108 emotions, and there are 108 earthly desires and 108 delusions that pull us away from our essential Self.
108 can be seen as illustrating love; 1 for unification and acceptance, 0 representing that nothing matters compared to love and 8 representing eternal, immutable compassionate love, no matter what. 108 gives a representation of time: 1 for the present, 0 for the past and 8 for the infinite future.
108 is known to be the number of spiritual completion. In numerology, 1+0+8 = 9. 9 is the number of Universal Love, enlightenment, spiritual awakening, service to humanity, selflessness, life purpose and soul mission.
HOW TO USE A MALA
Traditionally, malas were to be used for meditation only and not to be worn (and especially not to be touched by others). We always honour the ancient traditions and our ancestors for the wisdom they have brought us and the life we currently live. And it is important that we also continue to evolve and use these technologies (malas) in the way that can most effectively serve us in our current time.
For this purpose, I generally wear all my pieces all day, as well as for my mantra meditation practice, however, I am unable to wear my current mala all day. Depending on the vibrational relationship between the person and the gemstones of the mala, it may feel like too much to wear it all the time. Remember that they are coming into your field to bring in a new frequency. It is more effective to introduce change slowly. Trust what feels right for you.
People do end up touching my malas (we are so drawn to stones, it sometimes happens without thought!), and I am sure to cleanse them often (usually with a sage smudge and conscious intention to shift the vibration of the stones).
WELCOMING YOUR MALA
When you receive your adornment, you are bringing a new vibrational frequency, likely slightly different than your own, into your field and onto your body. It is new territory for both of you. By your attraction to the stones, your internal guidance system (aka your intuition or body wisdom) has let you know that you are ready to release some patterns or programs (ie. densities of vibration or blockages of energy), and that you are ready to shift into a new
Just as you would show a friend around your home on their first visit, welcome them and make them feel comfortable, it is a wonderful practice to do the same with your adornment. Sit with it, close your eyes, take a few slow, deep breaths and connect with the energy of your piece. Welcome it to your home (in this case your body and your field), feel gratitude for your connection with it, and take time to set an intention with it. Sit with your piece, either on your body or in your hands, and with your intention for some time. Maybe it starts with a thought, then allow yourself to feel your intention as though it has already happened. Feel it move through your body, infusing every single cell, lighting them up. Then see/feel the vibration of your intention move from your body into your piece, so that you are both in tune. Each time you put your adornment on or take it off, repeat your intention to yourself. Feel it. I am often running my fingers through my tassel throughout my day and I am coming back to my intention then as well. You can come up with your own ways of being reminded to come back to your intention as well.
HOW TO CLEANSE STONES
Gemstones are our assistants through healing and growth. As they are constantly absorbing and transmitting energy, they need to be cleansed on a regular basis. How often depends on you, trust your intuition. I recommend at least once a week. If you are surrounded by challenging or stressful situations often, or are naturally sensitive or empathic, or are not yet well practiced in
your boundaries, it may be a good idea to cleanse daily.
Here are some of my favourite ways to cleanse stones:
-Himalayan salt lamp (turned on)
-running water, ocean, river, stream (place near, not in)
-singing bowl or tuning forks
-larger crystals such as quartz, amethyst or selenite
CARING FOR YOUR PIECE
While each piece is crafted with the most love and attention and the materials used have been sourced for their durability and purity, please treat it as the sacred gift that it is. There is a good chance you will fall madly in love with your piece and never want to take it off (I get it!), but please avoid submerging it in water, contact with creams and perfumes (high quality essential oils are ok on lava stones and sandalwood), and wearing it for yoga or vigorous
When it is not adorning your body, please have a sacred place that you lay or hang your piece. In this place, it can be useful to have your working intention or affirmation written out, so that each time you put the stones on your body and take them off, you are reminded to bring yourself back to your intention. Treat your stones with love and devotion and this will amplify their vibrational quality as they assist you in shifting your frequency into balance and harmony.
It will also teach them how you wish to be treated… by them, by others, and by yourself.
MY PIECE BROKE
Congratulations! (I know, not the response you were expecting right?)
When your piece breaks, goes missing or you have a hard time wearing it, it is because your vibration has shifted and is no longer a match for the stones on your piece. Think of the Opera singer that sings at such a high frequency that she shatters glass – the frequency of her voice actually pushes the more dense particles of the glass apart until it can no longer hold its form. This is what happens when we wear stones. The stones come into your field of vibration and assist you in shifting your vibration (which is amplified and gains more momentum by your inner work + prayer + intention + belief). At some point your frequency may force the stones off of you, letting you know of you shift.
Gemstone jewellery can also teach us to celebrate when we shift and soften our attachment to material goods. I hesitate to call my pieces “jewellery” because while it's true that they are beautiful pieces that you adorn your body with, they are powerful tools and technologies that can be your assistant through your healing and integration, and not necessarily something that will exist in your jewellery box for life (just like the goal of seeing any practitioner is
that at some point, you don’t have see them anymore!).
So, if your piece breaks, take a couple of days to sit with it and reflect on the time between when you received it and when it broke. Celebrate and congratulate yourself for the work you have done. Ask yourself if it feels right to have it repaired and to continue wearing it. Close your eyes and imagine it being repaired and you putting it on your body. How does that image feel in
your body? What is the quality of your breath? We are working with the wisdom of the body, which is sensory, and this is not connected whatsoever with our thinking mind. If you are thinking of what you would like, instead of feeling, this is the ego overriding the wisdom body (a very common experience in our Western world). Take your time until you can really tap in and feel what the body is telling you.
If you would like it repaired, that is not a problem at all, I can give you my address to send it back for recalibration and some extra love. Repairs are done complimentary up to 3 months of your initial investment. After 3 months, repair charges will apply.
If your piece is still in tact, but you are having troubles wearing it (for example you put it on, then often take it off and forget about it, or you put it on and it just doesn't feel right), it may also be that your vibration has shifted and you are no longer a vibrational match for the stones. It could also be that your stones have absorbed a lot of outside energy (ie. noise) and needs to be cleansed (see below for cleansing techniques). Try this and see how it feels. If
it is a piece you wear on your wrist, try putting it on the other wrist. We store different emotional distortions/blockages/densities/patterns in different sides and areas of the body, so it may be that the stones are not in resonance with one side, but will be with the other. If you have tried all this, and still do not seem to resonate with your piece, celebrate the shift in your vibrational state and thank the piece for being in loving service to you (if you still feel attached,
that would be a great time to pull out your bottle of Acceptance essential oil!).
AGATE (CRAZY LACE)
JASPER (RAINFOREST/ RHYOLITE)
— Jenn A, Port Hope, ON