- Hide menu

The Warming Light of Summer

We have spent most of today on the run, but it has been a beautiful day for it: warm, clear, calm, with the clouds only now, in mid-afternoon, just beginning to rise over the peaks to east and south. It feels as though summer is at last ready to keep its promise to the earth.

The hay is already high in the fields, the timothy on the north side flowering with abandon. The lilacs have already mostly lost their color, the dandelions gone largely to seed, but the wildflowers have not yet taken their place for the season. Perhaps weather and warmth will hold sufficiently to permit us to till this weekend and begin planting next week. As our formerly “normal” patterns go, this puts us only one month behind; compared to last year, we’re still ahead of the game, for the moment.

This week, we’ve begun to see an uptick in the number of seasonal spirits visiting, too: a couple of species of honeybees have made the two Guatemalan sage plants their home; birds of all shapes and sizes are busy courting, mating, laying, and, in some cases, already raising their young to near-adulthood. Until the water comes again, the dragonflies and damselflies will be few and far between, but in recent days, our butterfly population has exploded. It’s mostly the smallest of their kind for now, a few sulphurs and seemingly the entire clan of whites, availing themselves of every petal and stem in lawn and field, but there have been a few of the larger ones, too.

For all practical purposes, the season of the Butterfly Maiden is here at long last.

She is a welcome spirit, this being. Her arrival means warm winds and long light. It also means, simultaneously, sunny skies and the gift of the rain, and in this place they are often literally simultaneous, the water cascading to a thirsty earth on the arc of the rainbow light. The Butterfly Maiden delivers the easiest of seasons, a respite from the harsh extremes that keep company with this land for so much of the year, but she also brings with her those blessings the human spirit requires for its own survival: hope and promise; potential, and the means to fulfill it.

Today’s featured work brings Butterfly Woman to us, up close and personal: the very embodiment, in miniature and wearable form, of a gentle but powerful feminine spirit. From its description in the Necklaces Gallery here on the site:

Butterfly Maiden Necklace

The Butterfly Maiden holds the light in her wings. In these ever-shorter days and lengthening dark, Wings summons her shape and gifts into being with this powerfully inspirited necklace. The pendant is cut freehand of solid sterling silver, forming the outline of her body wrought in stones arrayed to the Four Sacred Directions. Her body is an oval of glossy, liquid onyx; her wings, a pair of matched and angled cabochons of richly banded simbircite, glowing with the orange fire of the sun; her face is hawk’s eye, bold midnight blue banded with brilliantly chatoyant gold. Each cabochon is set into a scalloped bezel trimmed with twisted silver; a tiny stamped butterfly flutters over her own heart. Atop the Maiden is a broad, bold bail of sterling silver hand-stamped in a repeating pattern of thunderhead symbols laid base to base to point to the Sacred Directions. The pendant hangs from a cascade of highly polished sardonyx barrel beads, speckled and banded in shades of black and white, amber and copper, interspersed with pairs of small round sterling silver beads, all strung over sturdy and shimmering sterling silver chain. The center bead is flanked by a pair of larger, hand-made and hand-stamped silver beads, and four small round beads lead toward the findings at either end of the strand. The pendant is 3-7/8″ long, including the bail, by 2-1/16″ across at the widest point; the bail itself is 11/16″ long by 5/8″ across; onyx cabochon is 1-1/2″ long by 1-3/16″ across at the widest point; simbircite cabochons are 1-1/4″ across by 1-1/16″ high at the ends; hawk’s eye cabochon is 1-1/16″ across; bead strand is 20″ long (dimensions approximate). Close-up of pendant shown at top. Designed by Aji; created by Wings.

Sterling silver; onyx; simbircite; hawk’s eye; sardonyx
$3,500 + shipping, handling, and insurance

Throughout the cultures of whose cosmology she is a part, she manifests in varying forms: sometimes with a traditional case mask and long flowing robes and hair; sometimes with butterfly rolls on each side of her head; sometimes with wings so striking its impossible to focus on anything else. In this version, she is robed in more sober shades, the black of the monarch’s background for her dress; her face, too, is the traditional dark mask, features banded — but here, the bands are purer golden light. This maiden carries the warming light of summer on her golden wings, glowing bands of fire to light the world.

On this day, we can feel her presence clearly, heat of sun and gentle breeze the gift of her fluttering wings. Perhaps the rain will come next week, as predicted; the solstice surely will, weather notwithstanding. But for today, at least, summer is already here, and the gifts of the Butterfly Maiden with it.

~ Aji








All content, including photos and text, are copyright Wings and Aji, 2019; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

Comments are closed.

error: All content copyright Wings & Aji; all rights reserved. Copying or any other use prohibited without the express written consent of the owners.