"For centuries Turquoise has been recognized as possessing the power to protect riders from injury due to falls."
Turquoise meanings: Crystal Vaults
***My heartfelt sympathy goes out today to two blogging friends who have lost their horses--one, last week, and one, recognizing the two year anniversary of her heart horse's passing. I prefer to say passing, rather than loss, because I do believe we pass from this world to the next and reunite with those we loved. I don't say that lightly. I've given it a great deal of thought and when I say it, I mean it from my heart of hearts. I think the more earthly creatures we love, the more sweet spirits that will be there to greet us when we pass from this life to the next. If I'm wrong, then at least I will have experienced heaven on this earth. Hold onto to their memory.***
I don't believe stones have actual powers, like some do, but I do believe stones have powerful meaning to us--either their color, or shape, or symbolism. Turquoise has always been a powerful stone for me and many other horse people. I find it interesting that part of their meaning, throughout history, has been protection. When you ride a horse, you do need a lot of that, don't you?
When I wear turquoise, I feel strong and grounded. When I slip on a turquoise ring, it's like I'm tapping into my super powers. Maybe that is where the protection lies.
My first piece of turquoise was at the age of 19. I had house sat for a couple and as a thank you, they brought me back a necklace.
I was thrilled, and fell in love with it from the start. I wore that necklace pretty much every day. I just realized, I have never purchased or worn turquoise when I didn't have horses in my life, and at that time, I had two--an Appy and a baby I'd raised from weanling. Most days, I'd show up to my college campus in my Justin cowboy boots, jeans tucked in, a long-sleeved collared shirt, and that necklace--fresh from having fed and tended my horses in the morning.
Sadly, I lost the necklace. But, as the years passed, I could never forget it, and so, I started a search online for another. The one above was purchased for about $13 on eBay about five years ago. Mine was made in the 80's, as was this one, and it's now considered "hobo chic," according to the description.
My second piece of turquoise was a pendant by Sue Huston purchased from Wild Women Outfitters in 2003 for about $150. It was during my time with my mustang, Flash--the horse who brought me back to the land of the living. Sue is a Seattle artist, and I did a search for her, but couldn't find any recent creations. The store I purchased it at, in Moscow, ID, is no longer open.
My next, significant piece, was from Bisbee, AZ three years ago. My husband and I had gone there to place a headstone on my great-grandmother's grave site. She had died in childbirth and her baby, my great-uncle, Roderick, died two weeks after her. We honored both of them. To remember that time, I found this piece in a jewelry store. My great-grandfather had worked at the Copper Queen, and where there's copper, there's often turquoise. I wrote a poem about my great-grandmother, Alice, after that trip. You can read it here, if you like.
On that same trip to Bisbee, we spent a day in downtown Scottsdale where I found my favorite earrings. I wear these all the time. They are a Navajo design. Here's some information about how to tell the different styles apart.
Speaking of wearing something all the time, here are the earrings I wear MOST often on trail rides, the simple half-loops. I've had these for years and can't even remember where I purchased them. The round sleeping beauty turquoise earrings on the left are a vintage set I found on etsy.
After purchasing the Bisbee Turquoise ring in Bisbee, I set out to find a larger ring in sleeping beauty. The center ring below was found on etsy, and is another of my favorite pieces. It's probably the one that most makes me feel like I'm strapping on a cape and getting ready to conquer the world. It's big enough that I could use it as a weapon if I needed protection.
I found the next two pieces on our vacation to Whidbey Island. They have a street fair in Langley where artisans bring their work. The necklace is a strand of sleeping beauty and the oval loop earrings are also sleeping beauty turquoise. The Sleeping Beauty mine in Globe, AZ, ceased mining for turquoise in 2012 to concentrate on copper because of the rise in the copper prices. What is left on the market is all that you can get for now. It's called "Sleeping Beauty" because the mountain range where it's mined looks like a sleeping, beautiful woman. Most of my jewelry is SB because I love its vibrant blue.
I like to wear this set when there's a special occasion..like my daughter's wedding.
A daughter's wedding is an emotional day, and I piled on my turquoise, as you can see, for extra help.
I found this sand-cast, Zuni piece by Amy (I can't make out her last name) at the 5th Ave Trading Post in Scottsdale.
And, I found the work of Effie Calavaza--she stamps as Effie C Zuni, and her signature is the snake. The snake is popular in Zuni work. I'm not a huge fan of snakes, but I loved the way it slithered around the turquoise, as if it was adding an extra layer of protection. The Zuni do not associate snakes with treachery, like many of us do. They associate it with healing and even fertility. I added the pieces below to my collection. I could use some healing along with all that protection from falls!
Note to travelers: When you're traveling to Arizona, you tend to swell up, so if you're getting a ring sized, be careful for that. I had the ring above sized and it's now a little big on me, even though the jeweler warned me to size down.
My husband jokingly says he's thrilled that my gemstone of choice is turquoise and not diamonds. I can be rich in turquoise. I don't really have a lot, but each piece carries a weight of emotion and meaning to me.
I'm curious if all horse women are as drawn to turquoise as I am. Does it draw us with its power to protect, ground us to the earth, and give us extra strength?