Shell Necklace brass Pendant

This Sacred Charm is a beautiful brass Shell Pendant, 2.5cm long on a black waxed cotton necklace with adjustable knots to lengthen as desired. Seashells have played a part in religion and spirituality, even as ritual objects and have long, deep symbolic roots. The first reference to a seashell can be found in the Egyptian Papyrus where the seashell image was used as a symbol for humankind. The Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic traditions also each have some form of belief about seashells. In Christianity, the scallop shell is the symbol of Saint James the Great who used the scallop shell during his pilgrimage to Santiago to beg for food and water.  Even the poorest people could fill the small shell, so he always found help along his way.  Later, it became the symbol of pilgrimage believed to promote courage, strength, resilience, and hope and is used as a symbol of direction along the Camino, pointing pilgrims towards Santiago. Los peregrinos also wear this symbol themselves on hats and their backpacks which further enhances the camaraderie along this great walking trail which I was fortunate enough to walk last summer.

Shells are also perceived as a feminine symbol, associated with the womb, fertility and rebirth. The scallop shell, as exemplified in ancient and renaissance paintings of Venus, the Roman goddess of fertility and love also known as Aphrodite to the Greeks. She is often shown coming out of a scallop shell.  In Botticelli’s painting ‘The Birth of Venus’ the goddess of beauty, love and fertility stands naked and freshly born and covers her nakedness with her long, free flowing hair carried on an enlarged scallop shell. Venus was said to be ‘born of the sea spray’. In Botticelli’s rendering, she balances delicately in all of her female beauty, reminiscent of a pearl shining inside it’s shell. Freshness, spring and femininity are woven into almost every detail of the painting which embodies the rebirth of civilization & renewed hope. Because of the association of the shell and fertility, perhaps this is why some pilgrims, walking the way of St. James, used the scallop in a pagan ritual to encourage child-bearing.  Buen Camino


Related Items