With tonight's Blood Moon - the longest total lunar eclipse this century in fact - arriving just after Mercury slips back into retrograde, it's no wonder a lot of us are feeling a little on edge... Whether you're picking up some hostility from the universe, or feeling confidently prepared, it's absolutely fine to take a minute or two for some mindful reflection. Alice Peck's Heavenly Body beads are great for regaining a feeling of control and restoring some focus as you shrink those celestial giants down to palm-size. Alice creates these fabulous bracelets by starting with the sun and working her way around the solar system, adding gold wire for Saturn's rings and glass beads to represent the major moons:
- Terrestrial planets—Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars
- Gas giants—Jupiter and Saturn
- Ice planets—Uranus and Neptune
- Pluto (although some astronomers no longer include this in our solar system)
- and a bead to symbolize the mysteries beyond …
If you have the time to research and shop, you could find beads that approximate scale more closely (although there’s too much range to be exact), and ones made from substances as close to the planets they stand for as we can find here on Earth. For example:
- Mercury’s core is thought to have a higher concentration of iron than any of the other planets in our solar system, so including an iron pyrite bead would be a good choice.
- Space exploration has determined that Venus has been shaped by volcanic activity, so lava beads might be a nice option.
- Since about 71% of the Earth’s surface is water, you could use aquamarine to evoke that; or you could use a clay bead that is created from earth.
- The core of Mars is made up of metallic iron and nickel and its red color comes from oxidation of iron on its surface, so perhaps choose beads with red iron pyrite inclusions.
- Jupiter’s core is obscured by gas, so a smoky quartz bead might be a goodepresentation. Saturn, too, is primarily gas.
- Uranus and Neptune are known as “ice giants,” so think about crystalline stones for them.
- Pluto is a rockier planet than its “neighbors,” so select a stone that evokes that.
Wear your beads on a night walk, and spend some time considering the infinity of the universe. It will put your troubles in perspective and help you appreciate the mystery and magic of our solar system.
An Astronomer’s Prayer
I thank You, my Creator,
that You have given me joys
in Your creation and ecstasy over the work
of Your hands.
I have known the glory of Your works
as far as my finite spirit was able to comprehend
If I have said anything wholly unworthy of You,
or have aspired after my own glory,
graciously forgive me.
This extract is from Mindful Beads by Alice Peck.