Amulets and Symbols in Jewelry Design
Whether you call them amulets, charms, fetishes, or talismans, virtually every culture had them. I like to think of them as little works of art, but they are so much more than that. They were worn on the body to bring luck, heal, enhance fertility, protect against injury (during travel, hunting, or from bites and stings) or ward off evil, depending on the wearers beliefs and intentions. They came in many forms, made with different materials, and adorned with different symbols. The meaning and significance in the symbolism of a particular image changed from east to west, culture to culture, and even day to day. Even if you do not believe in their magical powers, it is fun to know the intention of the artists who created them, and the power felt by the person who wore them before you, as many of the pieces are antiques. Below is a list of amulets and symbols found in many of the pendants and beads in KatieO jewelry.
The tiger is a symbol of strength, courage, and royalty. In Asia and India it replaced the lion as the supreme animal and was the symbol of both life and death, and protection. In India it was the emblem of warriors. In China the white tiger represented the West and earth, the blue tiger represented the East and fertility, the red tiger represented the South and summer, the black tiger represented the North and winter, and the yellow tiger represented the sun.
In Chinese Astrology people born in the year of the tiger are considered to be magnetic, self possessed, charming, and fun to be around.
Top left: Growling Tiger, from the Totem Bracelet Collection
Bottom Right: Tibetan Chank Shell Pendant from the KatieO Collection
Growling Tiger, from the Totem Bracelet Collection