Spiritual and tribal body jewellery can be attractive and stylish. These navel rings offer more than just aesthetic charm, however. They are symbols that carry with them meanings, some as old as history, others as young as the artists who create them. Understanding the history and meaning of the symbols we wear helps to enhance our enjoyment of them. We become connected to something outside of and greater than ourselves. The belly rings become not just jewellery, but expressions of our personalities and our souls.
Tied In Knots - Celtic Knot Navel Rings
Celtic knot work is popular in all types of jewellery due to its intricate, attractive designs and its mystery. Many believe that different Celtic knots hold a specific cultural or religious meaning. Some of this may be due to Christian influence on Celtic art. When they moved into Ireland, they adopted the beautiful knots into religious iconography. Little evidence exists, however, to suggest that pre-Christian Celts applied specific meanings to designs. Instead, scholars believe that the practice of creating the varied and intricate designs creates a single meaning for all pieces. The designs are interconnected, with no beginning or ending, and scholars believe this represents the Celtic belief in the interconnectedness and continuity of life.
While the ancient Celts may not have applied specific meanings to designs, artists today often do. These meanings are just as valid and strong as any that the ancients might have applied to them. When we create something, a tiny piece of our soul becomes a part of it, helping to bring that meaning to life. While specific knot work patterns can hold all kinds of intricate meanings, there are three general designs that typically hold the same basic meanings.
The circular knot design usually represents the cycle of life and eternity. It amplifies the original meaning that the Celts put into their collective work. The square or "shield knots" are usually created for the purpose of protection. This protection can take many forms, mental, spiritual, physical, and specific designs within the square pattern can specify that protection further. Triangular designs, often called "triskele" or "trinity knots," represent some type of trinity. The specific trinity depends on the artist and may even be left up to the person who eventually buys the piece. It can represent the Christian Holy Trinity – the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. For Pagans, this trinity is typically the Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Spiritualists who prefer no specific religious affiliation may simply view this trinity as Mind, Body, and Spirit.
Give Me a Hand - Hamsa Belly Button Rings
Many Jewish and Middle Eastern symbols are steeped in as much mystery as lost ruins. While the meaning of the Hamsa is clear, its origins are not. It is a popular motif in Jewish culture, but has roots in Islam as well. That is not surprising, as both religions share the same roots. The Hamsa, however, may go back even further than the origins of these religions. Scholars have traced the usage of the Hamsa in art and jewellery back to ancient Mesopotamia, long before either religion was a twinkle in their Prophets’ eyes.
Given the meaning of the Hamsa, it is not surprising that it has survived from one culture to another. The typical Hamsa contains an eye in the palm of the hand. This eye protects against the feared Evil Eye, that look that someone can bestow on another to cause bad luck. Because the Evil Eye could be given intentionally or unintentionally, having something to protect against it was important. One did not have to anger a prophet or practitioner of magical arts to have it turned upon them. The most common cause of the Evil Eye was an average person looking upon you with envy.
Other variations on the design of the Hamsa exist besides the eye in the palm. In the ancient world, the fish was considered good luck, and so a fish often takes the place of the eye in the design motif. Other designs feature the Hebrew word mazel, or luck. Any symbol of luck inscribed in the Hamsa design is enough to counter the effects of the Evil Eye, and wearing the Hamsa brings luck and happiness.
The Eye of the Beholder - Eye of Horus & Ankh Navel Rings
Next to the Ankh, the Eye of Horus is one of the best-known Egyptian symbols. The meaning of the symbol, however, is not always straightforward. This eye symbol has been associated with more than just Horus, and its associations can have dramatic effects on its meaning.
As the Eye of Horus, its most common association is healing and restoration. Horus was the son of Osiris and Isis, and nephew of Set. After Set murdered Osiris, Horus and Isis got to work on the arduous task of putting the god back together again – literally. One story says that Horus gave up his eye to Osiris in order to complete the ritual to bring him back to life. This story is where this association of healing and restoration comes from.
The eye design has also been paired with the god Ra. The Eye of Ra is also called the Daughter of Ra, and is given a personification. The Eye of Ra is typically depicted with a red iris. This symbol is very aggressive as the Daughter of Ra was usually sent out to seek information or deliver wrath and vengeance to the enemies of Ra.
When paired with some kind of snake symbol, the eye is the Wadjet. While many of us consider snakes to be slimy and dark creatures, thanks in part to some religions, the Egyptians held a different view of serpents. Wadjet was a snake goddess and patron of Lower Egypt. She was a protector and her symbol, the Wadjet, is a talisman of protection.
What is the Sound of God? - Om Symbol Belly Rings
We have all heard the sound "om" in movies and on television, usually at the beginning of some kind of chanting. Have you ever wondered why the sound is used? It is not a creation of Hollywood and the media, but a sacred aspect of Dharmic religions.
In Hinduism, Om is a mantra and a mystical sound. It is also referred to as the Omkara or Aumkara and in Sanskrit is called the Pranava, or literally "that which is sounded loudly." Om is spoken at the beginning and end of readings of the Vedas and prior to any prayer or mantra. It is also used at the end of invocations to a god being offered sacrifices. The purpose of this ending is to invite the god in question to partake of the sacrifice.
The sound is a very important sound in these practices. In Hinduism, it is believed that at the beginning of all creation Om was the first sound made. It represents the manifestation of God and is the reflection of absolute reality. In Mantra, it is the name of God and the vibration of the Supreme.
These meanings are rich and varied, with deep histories that inform and surround them. Whether you wear the jewellery as a practitioner of mystic arts, yoga, as an adherent to a specific religion, or just for the beauty of the piece, understanding their meaning helps to deepen the effect of the art. The meaning becomes a connection between you and the artist and perhaps to something beyond even the two of you.