One of the best American ideas is the Freedom of Religion. Being in the Air Force for 22 years solidified my belief and respect for this freedom. During my 22 years, I traveled all over, the world we are very blessed to have the freedom to practice whatever religion we chose. A couple years ago, I even visited Israel and that was another eye opening experience. I met both Jewish people and Arab living together and getting a long better than I have ever seen reported. Sorry I digress, I am writing this blog to let ya’ll know why I have a myriad of fused glass religious pendants, etc., and a little background of the different symbols.
When I first started my fused glass artwork, I had a friend ask me for a cross so I have made various types of crosses. The cross is one of the most ancient human symbols, and has been used by many religions, most notably Christianity. Albeit, history shows that the cross was used centuries before Christ. According to my research, the Christian use of the cross did not begin until three centuries after Christ during the time of Constantine. Seen as a representation of the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, is the best-known religious symbol of Christianity. It is related to the crucifix (a cross that includes a usually three-dimensional representation of Jesus’ body) and to the more general family of cross symbols.
Then during one of my home shows I had two customers (now close friends) asked me for the Star of David. Now I’ve made not only Star of David pendants, but a sconce as well. The Star of David, known in Hebrew as the Shield of David is a recognized symbol of Jewish identity and Judaism. The Star of David is a hexagram shape, the compound of two equilateral triangles. The hexagram has been in use as a symbol of Judaism since the 17th century. Records show that hexagrams were used as decorative motifs in synagogues as far back as the 3rd to 4th century. A Shield of David symbol, the sign is based on the shape of David’s shield or the symbol on his shield. Some believe that the six points of the star represents God’s rule over the universe in all directions: north, south, east, west, up and down. Others believe that the two triangles, which point in opposite directions, are symbols of the duality of human nature or the relationship between God and man.
As I mentioned a few years ago I went to Israel, while I was there I was introduced to the Hamsa symbol. In Israel, the Hamsa is ubiquitous moreover; the Prayer that accompanies the symbol is beautiful.
Let no sadness come to this heart,
Let no trouble come to these arms,
Let no conflict come to these eyes,
Let my soul be filled with the blessing of joy of peace
The Hamsa is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Depicting the open right hand, an image recognized and used as a sign of protection in many societies throughout history, the Hamsa is believed to provide defense against the evil eye. The symbol predates Christianity and Islam. In Islam, it is also known as the hand of Fatima, so named to commemorate Muhammad’s daughter Fatima Zahra (c. 605 or 615 – 633). Levantine Christians call it the hand of Mary, for the Virgin Mary. In Jew culture is refer as the hand of Miriam.
The Hand (Hamsa / Khamsa), particularly the open right hand, is a sign of protection that also represents blessings, power, and strength, and is seen as potent in deflecting the evil eye.
Hamsa, the Hand of God, the pentagram, the Pentagon and the Seal of Solomon. They are all symbols of the number five, the symbol of power, protection, and success. A Hamsa hand can be worn with the fingers pointing up or down, and both are believed to offer its owner happiness, peace, and prosperity, as well as protection from the ayin ha’ra, or the evil eye.
Recently I received a request for a Luther’s Rose pendant. In the process, my customer explained the background. The Luther’s Rose has a beautiful background and what it represents. According to my customer, in 1530, Luther wrote :
Let me know if there is a religious symbol that you would like me to add to my fused glass. If you would like one of the pendants pictured email me.
Let us all be more tolerant – after all that’s why America was founded.
Keeping my Kiln Warm,