My introduction to mala beads was simultaneously through reading Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love and working at a gorgeous little hippie shop that sold them. I was instantly drawn to them and especially because they were, in this case, made from gemstones. I bought them in every colour and now make my own.
I want to share a small part from Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love to explain the meaning of the beads and my love for them ...
"When you're traveling in India - especially through holy sites and Ashrams - you see a lot of people wearing beads around their necks. You also see a lot of photographs of naked, skinny and intimidating Yogis (or sometimes even plump, kindly and radiant Yogis) wearing beads, too. These strings of beads are called japa malas. They have been used in India for centuries to assist devout Hindus and Buddhists in staying focussed during prayerful meditation. The necklace is held in one hand and fingered in a circle - one bead touched for every repetition of mantra. When the medieval Crusaders drove East for the holy wars, they witnessed worshippers praying with these japa malas, admired the technique, and brought the idea home to Europe as rosary.
The traditional japa mala is strung with 108 beads. Amid the more esoteric circles of Eastern philosophers, the number 108 is held to be most auspicious, a perfect three-digit multiple of three, its components adding up to nine, which is three threes. And three, of course, is the number representing supreme balance, as anyone who has ever studied either the Holy Trinity or a simple barstool can plainly see . . .
Every japa mala has a special, extra bead - the 109th bead - which dangles outside that balanced circle of 108 like a pendant. I used to think that the 109th bead was an emergency spare, like the extra button on a fancy sweater, or the youngest son in a royal family. But apparently there is an even higher purpose. When your fingers reach this marker during prayer, you are meant to pause from your absorption in meditation and thank your teachers."
There are many other meanings to the number 108 found across many cultures so you can give it the meaning and purpose that specifically suits you. And this is further done through allowing the gemstones that possess the healing properties you need in your life to pick you.
I also knot between each bead to give pause and space, to remind us not to rush through our lives, to give strength and stability and fill each creation with all the love and blessings I have. I wear my beads as both necklaces and wrist wraps, and you can too!
The beads for this mala are Dyed Alexandrite, Fluorite, Black Veined Rhodonite and White Shell.
Alexandrite encourages romance. It is also said that through the stone, joy enters the lives of people with too much self-discipline. The stone reminds us of our purpose in life and our origin. It gives hope to those who are in despair about their lives. It brings strength and constantly reminds them of the light. With its changing color, it is a reminder that life is not only what it seems to be.
If the Fluorite crystal has appeared in your life, it might be a sign that it's time for a major emotional facelift. When confusion clouds your mind, rediscover the path to happiness with an all over mind-body-spirit detox using the Fluorite crystal, your spiritual vacuum cleaner for the dust bunnies in your head. Get rid of cluttered thoughts and negative patterns no longer serving your best interest. By balancing the third eye chakra, the Fluorite crystal clears away the fog so that the road to joy is clearly lit and protected from negativity.
Rhodonite is highly recognized as an emotional healer and for bringing one back to center during stressful times. It is a crucial “first aid stone” for calming emotional shock and panic, and provides grounded support during the process of dealing with painful issues. Rhodonite has a strong resonance with forgiveness and giving the soul the love it needs in order to heal. It gently releases self-destructive tendencies, festering resentments and anger, and allows one to see both sides of an issue to reach conciliation. It encourages the love of others, and aligning with the spirituality of the universe in order to recognize one’s purpose and how one’s gifts and abilities may be used to effect change on Earth.
These beads are made with approximately 6mm and 8mm beads, chip beads and a larger guru bead. The beads are strung and knotted with a light sea green macrame thread. It is approximately a 32 inch necklace/wrist wrap with the beads and thread hanging 2 inches below the guru bead.
*This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.