I did a series on prayer beads awhile back, and one of those posts discussed the use of Special Purpose Beads. I received an email from a reader recently about how she had used that information, and loved the creativity and purpose so much I got her permission – and photographs! – to share here.
This reader (who wishes to remain anonymous, so we’ll call her “Anne”) has very high anxiety levels, especially in crowds and other social situations. She thought beads sounded like something simple that would help her calm down when her anxiety peaked.
This is what she came up with:
The materials were carefully chosen. Most of the beads are hematite, chosen for their grounding and stabilizing properties. She used a total of 27 hematite beads, divided into 3 sets of 9. She also used 3 amethyst beads, chosen for their associations with calmness and tranquility. The 45 silver spacer beads were chosen primarily for color and size, but also to again reference the number 9, or 3×3. Anne visualizes a tree when she grounds, so the 6 bead caps she uses around the amethyst beads support that. Each cap is made up of 5 leaves in a star shape, giving a total of 30 leaves. Everything reduces to 3 or a multiple of 3.
Because she wants to have it available at all times she made her special purpose beads into a set she can wear as a necklace. She chose an owl-shaped magnetic clasp to finish everything off. The owl is both part of her visualization and sacred to Blodeuwedd, the goddess Anne works with.
Before ever using the beads Anne dedicated them to Blodeuwedd, asking for Her help with managing anxiety and returning to a state of calm focus. Then she started wearing them.
When she feels her anxiety beginning to mount she finds a private place, ranging from a quiet corner to a bathroom stall, and removes the beads from her neck. After she refastens the clasp she holds them in her hands.
Anne has a hard time remembering words when she’s anxious, so the first set doesn’t require any. Instead, she simply takes a deep breath for each bead in the first set. That’s nine deep, calming, slow, rhythmic breaths to help her settle. If nine isn’t enough she’ll go through all three sets with deep breaths, then start the cycle over again until she feels calm enough to continue.
When reaching the first amethyst bead she strongly visualizes her grounding tree.
On the second set of hematite beads she does her tree-based grounding visualization while saying “My tree is deeply rooted” for every bead as she grounds.
The tree that she visualizes for grounding has a hollow in the trunk. When she reaches the second amethyst bead she focuses her visualization on that hollow, because she visualizes the next step – centering – as the owl that lives in the hollow opening its eyes.
On the third set of hematite beads she says “My owl is awake and aware” for every bead as she centers.
On the final amethyst bead, she visualizes the owl’s eyes glowing, to show she is completely centered and protected by her tree.
The clasp is also part of the process. She holds it while taking three deep cleansing breaths to gently end the session.
Then she does an assessment. If she feels ok she stops there. If she’s still overly anxious or shaky, however, she repeats the cycle until she feels more balanced.
Personally, I love the way Anne uses her beads as a grounding and centering aid when stressed. It gives her something solid to hold on to, simple sentences to focus on, and a guide to visualizations that bring her back to her center. Everything was well thought out and works beautifully together to support the specific use she has for the set. Just gorgeous!
Thanks so much for sharing your vision with us, Anne!