Saturday, 18 September 2010

Hands on

An odd collection of arms and hands
This is a photo of some of the arms and hands I've collected. I haven't tried very hard to find them; they seem to have found me. I do like them very much, mostly because they seem to have symbolic meaning beyond their actual plastic or china reality. I'd like to do more with them. I made this jewelry box:

the wonder of spray paint
The hand has a long history as a symbol, figuring in many cultures as a lucky talisman and, I discover, having strong links to ancient fertility cults. The site I just linked to,, is the most extraordinary, sprawling site, with information about every conceivable lucky charm and more, and is the almost-singlehanded work of Catherine Yronwode, whose life story is one of the most interesting I've ever read.

letter-holder -- touching
The hand stands metonymically for the whole person. I wish I had the nerve to use the word 'synecdoche' here as that means a part standing for a whole, but I just don't know how to put it into a sentence properly. Not only does the hand stand for the person, but it's a particularly significant part, the part that touches, holds, connects:

sparks fly
Hands ward off the evil eye -- it's almost intuitive in the way we hold up a hand to say 'stop'.

Browsing on has made me want to buy tons of milagros and other charms. I already have a Mexican cross studded with milagros, including several hands:

I don't have any kind of faith, but I enjoy the idea that people have invested power in objects and body parts.

I do have two personal lucky charms which are my 'lucky stones'. I found these as a child and have kept them safe ever since. They're naturally shiny, not polished. I've photographed them on my computer to give an idea of size.

1 comment:

menopausalmusing said...

Love that second photo down.... wonderful collection. I also like to look for gravestones that have hands on............