The 'Sacred Release' Eco MalaChant Malas
This mala is dedicated to your own cycles, whatever form they take, and the sacred release that comes with menstruation and/or the full moon.
£5 from the sale of this mala will go to EcoFemme, India (www.ecofemme.org), an Indian NGO that creates reusable sanitary pads as well as educating women on menstruation health, training them to deliver the training in their own communities to move towards eradicating the shame and stigma that can surround menstruation. £5 is the equivalent of a full kit of 4 cloth pads and travel pouch and booklet that girls are offered during the menstrual health education session
As well as this, a pack of Organic sanitary pads (vegan, non-toxic, biodegradable and compostable pads) will be donated to the Brighton & Hove Red Box Project, my local RBP (www.redboxproject.org).
A Little about the Mala
Banyan Seeds: Ficus Benghalensis, also known as banyan tree, is a notable tree from the area around India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It is a member of the fig family and is also related to the rubber plant (ficus elastica). One of the largest trees on earth in terms of overall size, it has long been valued as a shade tree. Indoors, it is commonly grown as a bonsai plant. The banyan tree was traditionally a place for travelers and merchants to rest and sell goods. These merchants, called banias, eventually gave way to the name banyan. The banyan tree can reach up to 100 feet in height and stretch several acres in width. The trees can live long lives, forming huge winding trunks and sprouting aerial shoots. It is considered sacred in India and Pakistan because its ever-extending branches symbolise eternal life. The banyan tree also appears in a number of other spiritual and mythological contexts and can be found growing around the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Ceramic guru bead: Sourced from a women’s cooperative in the Philippines, the design carved onto this bead represents life through nature’s eyes, a flourishing through the cycles: life, death and rebirth.
Czech glass beads: The beautiful deep red, melon-shaped beads above the guru come directly from the manufacturer in the Jablonec and Nisou area of the Czech Repulic. This area is renowned for its glass work and has been in industry for over 100 years.
Recycled Glass beads: These fair trade recycled glass beads are made by members of the Krobo Tribe which is located in Ghana, Africa. They are created by compressing glass into a dry grain, and heating the grain so that the pieces form together. The recycled glass is rushed into a porcelain cast. The stem of a cassava leaf is used to make the hole. It is baked in a furnace causing the glass to melt together and cassava stem to burn. This technique has been used in Africa for centuries to make recycled glass beads.
Coconut separator beads (between the recycled glass beads on either side): These have been upcycled from a necklace that I bought from a charity shop way back when I first started creating mala beads. I’ve held onto them for a long time, knowing that they would be useful one day.
Bamboo knotting cord: The knotting cord I’ve used in this piece is made entirely from sustainably-sourced, panda-friendly bamboo cotton. I’ve used a traditional knotting technique on this piece to ensure that the knots are strong and sturdy enough for your meditation practice.
rPET Tassel: The tassel is made entirely from rPET, a fabric created entirely from recycled plastic bottles. It brings me so much joy use this material, knowing that something seemingly ‘useless’ can be turned into something beautiful, and that thousands of bottles are taken out of the ecosystem and literally re-cycled into a new one. We can find the sacred in the every day, creating beauty where there may previously have been none.