Monday, July 25, 2011

Egyptian scarab beetle

EWWW GROSS A BUG!!! I'm sure that's most reactions when looking at this enormous ugly black Beetle on the page. Understandably so, especially because this beetle rolls DUNG into spherical balls, giving it the street name "dung beetle". Although at first glance it might repulses you or me, the symbolism of the scarab beetle to the Ancient Egyptians has quite the opposite effect. Take a closer look.... 

                   I was in a local bead store to feed my new jewelry making addiction and I spotted this oddly shaped green bead. Even in the midst of dozens of other larger and more elaborate beads my eyes immediately were drawn to this one bead in particular. I picked it up, took a quick look and hoped it was a bug bead. I looked at the owner of the shop with excitement,
                   "What is this?!"   
                  " Oh, that is a dung beetle." She spoke as if she thought it was unpleasant and assumed I wouldn't want it after I knew what it was. 
                  "I'll take it." I figured there had to be a reason why someone made a dung beetle shaped pendent and for 2 dollars it was mine!

 After going home and researching I learned about my new dung beetle bead.
The ancient Egyptians believed the scarab beetle was sacred, named after the God Khepri also called the God of Sun. It seemed to the Ancient Egyptians that the beetle emerged out of nowhere much like the God of Sun who emerged out of nowhere with the sun everyday.
Each day the sun rose BRINGING LIFE. Picture it, the beetle pushes balls of dung similar to the image of the sun rolling in.   I was also excited to learn it was often used as beautiful emblems  and pendents in jewelry, bringing good luck and protection to the Ancient Egyptians who wore them. The Beetle represents transformation, resurrection and the renewal of one. A Scarab beetle emblem was also put over the hearts of mummies and the deceased for it was believed to protect them and help resurrect them to their new LIFE. Another reason why this bit of history was exciting to me is because my husbands family is from the Middle East and he has spoke many times about the fascinating culture he saw when he visited Egypt. To learn a little more was fun and I even got to teach my husband something he didn't know! 

The scarab beetle images were carved out of stone like turquoise and other semi precious stones. The colors where usually gold or green.  I was even more excited when i learned many people still wear them on rings, bracelets, and necklaces to this day! I couldn't wait to make my own scarab beetle necklace dangling above my heart just like the Ancient Egyptians so long ago. I didn't waste any time and had so much fun planning my bead design and finishing my piece.

Jewelry has many different meanings and symbolism for many different groups of people. To us a scarab beetle means nothing to the Ancient Egyptians it meant life. I loved learning one of the many ways jewelry has been a way to represent of ones beliefs and values. 

Yes, to many of us a beetle who rolls up balls of poop is nothing to be put on display and made to look pretty.  To the Ancient Egyptians it was and now it is to me and many others. Its a great thing when one can find the beauty in something so completely different than oneself. Most things seem weird, gross, or out of place when you don't understand, but with a little insight you can learn to appreciate the things that are different or just plain creepy Crawly.

                                                            My first Scarab beetle Necklace
I wanted the necklace to speak true of the Egyptian symbolism so I used green for grass, bright blue for the sky and yellow and orange for the sun.

 I love going out with my Scarab beetle necklace on. I always get compliments and I get to share a little bit about what it means! The looks on peoples faces when I tell them its a bug never gets old.

You can count on me buying many more scarab beetle pendent designs!  Oh and by the way...
 I wanted the bead design to represent how I felt while making it.  Peaceful, uplifted. Made to brighten someones day!
The scarab beetle is glass and the beads are glass and jasper.

simple silver plated  toggle clasp