I don’t do a lot of beading. It takes long enough to make a sweater that I can knit steadily, project after project, without swamping my wardrobe. Beading is more of an instant-gratification craft: once you have the materials in hand, you can put a bit of jewelry together quickly. (More quickly, if you don’t obsess over using the perfect bead, as I tend to do.) But occasionally a project calls, and the latest to do so was the Beadstrology necklace by Corrine Kenner. As the name suggests, you take your astrological chart and reproduce it in beads. Ms. Kenner offers workshops, but the most recent didn’t fit into my schedule, nor did I need the astrological tutoring that was included. Luckily, instructions for assembling the necklace were sold separately.
Beading seems to be like weaving: tons of prep work, followed by relatively quick execution of the project itself. Prep work, in this case, involved trekking through three stores trying to find 8mm beads that at least vaguely resembled the planets. It hadn’t occurred to me that finding smooth round beads—not faceted, not oval, not flattened, not 6mm—would be such a challenge. (Experienced beaders probably knew this already.) Also, we have a lot of yellowish-brown planets in our solar system. I was sorely tempted to use rose quartz or amethyst for Venus, just for a change of color.
I confess to tweaking the design a bit. Ms. Kenner centers the necklace on the Sun bead, orienting the rest of the chart/necklace from there. This will work nicely for many people, but in my case, I have planets opposite my Sun. To put a necklace together centered on my Sun, two planet beads end up by the clasp, hidden behind my neck, while a string of empty houses trails prominently down one side. Eek! I did not hunt through an entire bead store for an 8mm white Swarovski pearl for my Moon just to have it be visible only to someone standing behind me in line. So I rotated the necklace to center the clasp in the empty houses, which puts the front center of the necklace at my eleventh house cusp…which isn’t all that significant in my chart. In beading, aesthetics trumps astrology.
Oh, and the stones, in case anyone is curious (counter-clockwise from upper left):
Moon: Swarovski pearl
Jupiter: zebra jade (this particular bead even has a Great
Red Brown Spot)
Pluto: zebra jade
Mars: fire agate
Sun: fire agate
Ascendant/Earth: unnamed green stone (jade?)
Venus: honey jade
Saturn: tiger’s eye (it has a bright ring around the center!)