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Monday 6.13.05: Magic Places 3 + Beads

Monday's question prompted some interesting thoughts, published Tuesday and Wednesday. A couple more came in:

From MLP:

... Late at night in a particular rock beach along the Courtois river in the old Misty Valley campsite in Steelville, MO. You can't see anything except the sky and all you hear is the river going past this huge boulder, and the frogs. OH! It's so wonderful! I go there alone and just lay back and enjoy and reflect. The stars are simply magnificent. It is the most peaceful place for me. I love it!! Makes me want to go there NOW!!

From BAH:

... My magic moments were when I was a young girl running and playing with my older brother at Castlewood in the summer (our summer place) catching lighting bugs in the evening. walking up to the cliff to look out for miles....Sleeping with the windows open and the cool breeze blowing across me at night and hearing funny noises outside in the woods....and knowing I was safe inside with my mom and dad and my grandparents close by too...Nothing could harm me there.

dervish beads... As I got older and married we often retreated to the Lake of the Ozarks with my husband and children. This is a place far from the busy world of the "City" and knowing you could swim and just relax and have a fun day boating on the lake with my family. We still do this and the children still come to the lake with their spouses and friends. These are their magic moments too. We often talk about all the good times we had when they were younger down there.


For some reason, all this talk of magic made me dig out a certain string of beads, which I've been wearing over my t-shirt all week. They were sold to me years ago as "dervish beads" and I assumed they were from Afghanistan, where all the interesting beads were surfacing. They could just as easily be from Morocco or Turkey. A dervish is an ascetic Muslim monk -- Sufi, I think -- noted for whirling dances and vigorous chanting as acts of ecstatic devotion. They locate the magic through their movements.

This isn't really a "necklace" because is has no design. It's a collection of treasured beads acquired over the sweep of time: European glass, ancient Central Asian amulets, a lacquered wooden prayer bead, shaped carnelians and agates, ancient shell. At the bottom are the two most prized beads, where the strands cross -- a foggy quartz, faceted like a diamond, but then drilled as a bead; and a shaped piece of white-tan-gray agate, broken, then held together in a silver setting.

It's hard to explain the "magic" that I feel wearing a strand like this. Each bead has passed through so many hands and taken on more magic with each exchange. It is not as if "spirits" inhabit the beads. No "beings" are going to reveal themselves to me or guide me in a conscious way. I think of their magic more as a sensuous energy that has accumulated over the centuries. The diversity of the beads makes the combined energy all the more powerful.

And what does this power do for me? Hmmm... a conversation for another day...


Whirling Dervish photos

A Spiritual Journey with Dervish (Turkey)





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