For many years, I made malas almost exclusively. As a yoga teacher, it was a natural extension of my physical and meditation practice. I always loved chanting, and since singing is a big part of my spiritual work it seemed a good fit. Then I discovered a similar practice, but one much closer to my own path: the Paidirean.
The Paidirean (Gaelic. pron PAH-jur-in) is a 150-bead prayer and meditation necklace. It originates with St. Columcille, a very early Irish monk who was raised in a pagan family (and was likely a Druid). He was a warrior and healer, and in later years founded a monastery on Iona, in Scotland, a sacred Druid site that still exists today.
The Paidirean represents the three phases of life, or of the goddess, in Celtic and Druidic lore - birth, life and death, or maiden, mother, crone. Meditations and mantras chanted for this duration take us through a whole cycle of life, and help connect us to that fundamental pattern.
When I make a Paidirean, I connect that fundamental pattern (birth, life, and rebirth) with the stones, pattern and inspiration that the piece represents. In the Paidirean above, for instance, the owl represents wisdom, and the practical application of your choices. The stones I chose (labradorite, aquamarine, spinel and rainbow moonstone) bring their own qualities of protection, equilibrium, transformation and trust.
You can use a Paidirean traditionally, by reciting a prayer, mantra, or chant for each bead. One of my favorites is "Lumen de Lumine (Light of all Lights)". You can also use it as a touchstone in your daily life; most Paidireans are long enough to loop twice around the neck for wearing, all of them are wearable as a single loop. When used in contemplation, I like to walk my fingers through each section, recalling the past, thinking about the present, and dreaming about the future.
Next time on the blog: Stones have meanings!? They do? Is that real?!? (hint: yes!)