In ancient times jewelry was worn mainly not for beauty, but as a protection of energy centers and channels of the body. Ancient Slavs jewelry served as amulets, served as a sacred talisman and charm. At that time, the history about Slavs indicates that people did not trust their own abilities to resist evil, so they tried to protect their bodies with different items.
Properties of ancient jewelry
Amulets were most often made of wood, bone or metal. The wood type was sorted out of “noble” types: pine, birch or oak. If the material for the talisman was a bone, then the preference was given to a strong intrepid beast: a tiger or a bear. However, for the protection of the body and soul, precious metals and stones gave the best fit. According to the Old Slavonic myths, silver and gold were related to the fiery lightning and sun aureola of the pagan God Perun – the main God in Slavic mythology. Virtually all ornaments in antiquity had a religious basis and a magical meaning.
Slavic charms were divided into female and male decorations. But also, like today, the ancient Slavic apparel of women consisted of more accessories than men’s.
Women preferred amulets with “solar” symbols, which were made of yellow alloys. The Slavic amulets for men were without symbolism, but it had no less value than the female ones.
Key symbols and their meanings
At that time, when the elements were undivided and wielded power over everything, the Earth was Mother, and Heaven was the father, the Slavic people lived in perfect harmony and unity with nature. The flow of life, ritual actions, traditions and way of life were completely in tune with the sounds and rhythms of nature and at the same time were entirely depended on it. The Magians could prophesy about the weather, foretell the future and accomplish divine services. The Pagan priests, when asking for well-being, rain irrigation and the sun, were trying to win over deities and presented donations to Dazhbog, the Norse God of Warriors, Stribog and Perun.
The worldview of the Slavic people was imbued with a belief in the magical, based on mythology. That is why the ancient Slavic jewelry consisted of symbols, including a complex of deep sacral meanings, magic effects and charms. The choice of talisman was treacherous because each symbol had a certain meaning:
- Celestial symbols – Kolovrat, gammadion, flamer, solstice. Talismans with such solar symbols were dedicated to the solar gods – Horsa, Dazhbog, Svarog. It was believed that the Slavic pagan jewellery with sun signs protected from dark and evil forces, increased spiritual and material wealth.
- Perun thunder sign – lightning, six-pointed cross, enclosed in a circle – this symbol was associated with courage and military valor.
- Signs of fire. It was believed that the fire amulets wholesome influenced the person, helped to reveal the creative potential and energy, to correctly choose the direction of the life path.
- Earth symbols. The image of the earth in ancient mythology is a feminine, plentiful fertility. Makosh – the main Goddess of the earth, destiny, fertility and spinning. Ancient Slavic jewelry with earth symbolism was depicted as a schematic drawing of a field in the form of a square or a diamond divided into four parts and often intended for women.
- Water elements. The most multifaceted and important for the heathen was the image of water. The sign concealed many sacred meanings: the basis of life, the wealth of the harvest, the purifying energy, the water flow as the flow of life.
Female Slavic amulets
Facts about Slavic indicates, the woman was a “vessel”, a prolific continuation of life, was more holy than a male. Therefore, it was necessary to guard women more carefully. Hence the number of accessories with a protective function – multi-color beads, ornate Slavic pagan pendants, perun necklaces, head frontlets, rings and much more perun jewelry ( perun axe pendant, perun axe necklace).
Of no small importance was the protection of the most vulnerable parts of the female body: the chest, the solar plexus and the neck. Therefore, on the neck, they wore volumetrical necklaces, a necklace made of beads, coins, plaques, beads and other adornments-talismans. It was believed that a woman is more susceptible to the influence of otherworldly powers than a man, so the ancient Slavic symbols accompanied her daily and in the night.
A mandatory attribute and protective element were headdresses: kokoshnik, horned ducks, magpies, ribbons-ochelie. A popular element was the female comb. The comb should have necessarily seven scallops – a magic number that protected from illness and an evil eye.
Earrings in those days also performed a protective function. Slavic pendants had the appearance of a spoon, key, mortar and respectively carried in themselves certain values: wealth, prosperity in the house, fertility and masculinity.
Slavic Talismans for Men
The number and range of ancient men’s Slavic jewelry were not so wide as that of women. However, male charms were found on raincoat rivets – fibulas, on which were carved protective solar symbols, on the neck, fingers, etc.
Men who fought certainly worshiped God of warriors and for them, it was important to have talismans with the signs that could bring victory in battles and protection from wounds.
Today, you can also get power and protection, it is enough to discover and get to know more about the ancient Slavic symbols, represented in modern jewelry art. Even today, modern manufacturers draw inspiration from ancient Slavic mythology and turn their attention to the sources: Slavic pagan jewelry and symbols.