Intricate mandala carved into palewa stone, handcrafted in India. Hand-made by specialist producer groups in Agra, the hub of stone craftsmanship. Palewa is a form of Indian soapstone which is a type of metamorphic rock. It is largely composed of the mineral talc, thus is rich in magnesium. This sentiment stone takes on a runic look, which sort of reminds me of the Nordic sigil of the Helm of Awe. Use this stone as a meditative focus tool, paperweight or objet d’art in your home or sacred space.
Mandalas are believed to represent different aspects of the universe and are used as instruments of meditation and symbols of prayer most notably in China, Japan, and Tibet. Externally they act as a visual representation of the universe, or internally as a guide for several practices that take place in many Asian traditions, including meditation. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the belief is that by entering the mandala and proceeding towards its center, you are guided through the cosmic process of transforming the universe from one of suffering into one of joy and happiness.
Palewa stone has been used throughout history for inlaid designs and sculptures. Some Native American tribes would use this stone to make bowls, cooking slabs and other objects; this was particularly common during the late Archaic archaeological period. Vikings also hewed this form of soapstone directly from the stone face, shaped it into cooking pots and sold these at home and also abroad. In modern times this form of soapstone has been used in India for centuries as a medium for carving. In Brazil, especially in Minas Gerais, due to the abundance of soapstone mines in that Brazilian state, local artisans still craft objects from this material. These handicrafts are commonly sold in street markets found in cities across the state. Some of the oldest towns, notably Congonhas, Tiradentes, and Ouro Preto, still have some of their streets paved with soapstone from colonial times.
Approximate diameter: 4.5cm