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The Alchemy of the Cosmos

First Dawn Earrings

In our way, to mark the new year is to welcome the birth of a new world, a young spirit filled with potential and possibility and opportunity. She is birthed with the first dawn, and while she is new-born, she holds in her own ancestral memory every new sunrise of every new year since time itself was born, and Turtle Island with it.

That is our way, too: to know that encoded within our blood and bone and DNA, the ancestors live on in us in a way that is tangible and far deeper than mere memory.

Mother Earth is like us more than we remember from day to day. She is both mother and child, born in the time before time, when the dust of creation spiraled together to create the cosmos: air and water, earth and sky. She delivered herself as continents and seas, forests and peaks, and each year she births herself anew. In our way, the one Wings and I recognize, the day of her deliverance is the Winter Solstice: the moment at which the long night begins, however slightly, to fade; the moment when the light returns, incrementally but visibly, to warm the world anew. The rest of the world has chosen to conform to a more arbitrary date, one conceived by a religious tradition rooted in Europe to honor a God born of the skies and sands of the Middle East, and that date fell near the outset of this week.

Still, the discrepancy in dates make little difference to our own understanding of this process. In my own language, the word that is used for “New Year’s Day” is a compound word whose roots speak of sitting atop a mountain, facing a world laid out below, anew. For as long as I’ve known him, Wings has referred to the passage of the year, to the earth’s orbit around the sun, both as revolution, a process of revolving, and as evolution, a process of change and growth, of renewal and rebirth, of transformation and transcendence. Both interpretations fit indigenous cosmologies, our ways of understanding not only the world but our place in it.

And so it’s perhaps no surprise that his first work of the new calendar year should honor the moment and the process — and the timeless ancestral connection of each year to those that precede it and to those that follow it, and to the first dawn that births each one. From its description in the Earrings Gallery here on the site:

First Dawn Earrings

Each year, a new world is born, as timeless as the first dawn when earth and sky, air and waters first came together to form turtle Island. In this new year, Wings pays tribute to the dawn of that world, and to every new world born thereafter, with a pair of earrings formed of elemental sky. A pair of large matched cabochons of natural American turquoise, most likely from Colorado, manifest in the clear blues of sky and pale greens of the waters, the very dust of creation scattered throughout each stone in the earth’s rich browns and golds. Each cabochon is polished smooth, yet retains all the natural pits and divots and textures of their birth; together, they are slices of earth and sky wedded in a cosmic dance. Each cabochon is set in a simple scalloped bezel, each bezel trimmed with delicate twisted silver. A hand-made sterling silver jump ring at the top of each drop holds the wires fast. Each earring is 1/25″ long buy 7/8″ across at the widest point (dimensions approximate).

Sterling silver; natural American turquoise (likely from Colorado)
$725 + shipping, handling, and insurance

Turquoise is highly variable in appearance, ranging from Sleeping Beauty’s solid blue with no matrix at all to the tightly spiderwebbed manifestations of Indian Mountain and Lander Blue. In between, the spectrum encompasses white flecks of host rock; patchy flecks of pyrite and copper, siltstone and chert; traces of spiderwebbing mixed with blockier patches; and the spectacularly mysterious pattern found in today’s featured work, earthy  clouds and misty metallics that, drifting across the robin’s-egg blue of water and sky, look for all the world like some sort of cosmic alchemy, like the very dust of creation.

Turquoise is the Skystone, a jewel born through the auspices of all four elements and the marriage of earth and sky. It holds talismanic properties, with its own power to protect and to guide, to transform and transcend. Manifest as the alchemy of the cosmos itself, it’s the perfect companion for a year newly born.

~ Aji








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