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Dzi Beads for Modern Living

Long associated with Tibet, Dzi beads have exploded onto the world’s consciousness as the ultimate good fortune gemstone. In the past, rich Tibetans of the land lord and class would pay thousands of dollars for an authentic Dzi. To them these were rare jewels of the Gods that fell from the sky to offer protection against the demon spirits that roamed the vast lands surrounded by the high mountains of the Himalayas. Today Dzi beads have captured the fancy of those who believe in the power of gemstones. These days Dzi beads are of agate, chalcedony, and in recent years, also of silver and gold with deep black laminated enamel.

These are produced with the patterns of lines and circles that many believe are the source of the Dzi’s potency. And indeed, modern Dzi designed jewels and pendants fashioned in the traditional cylindrical shape and drawn with the distinctive patterns of ancient antique Dzis have proved to be as strong in their empowering effects as the Dzi beads of ancient eras. Some even believe the modern day Dzis are even more powerful, especially those made of solid gold and decorated with genuine diamonds.

 Produced as precious pendants and designed to hold powerful mantras within, these modern day Dzis are fast proving to be incredibly popular.

While the true origin of Dzis is uncertain, there is no denying their association with Tibet, although they are also found in neighboring countries of Bhutan, Nepal and Sikkim. Knowledge of Dzis is definitely derived from oral traditions and they are seen even till today adorning the magnificent Buddha statues lining monastery gompas all over Tibet. In Lhasa for instance the wonderful Jokhang Buddha still wears beautiful headgear and garments that are lavishly decorated with gemstones that include invaluable Dzis.

Tibetan traders known to us explain that Dzi bead symbols usually comprise lines, waves, zigzag patterns, diamonds, squares and circles. Mostly it is the circles that bring meaning as these are often described as EYES with the most potent being the nine eyed Dzi. In the old days these were also the rarest and hence the most expensive.

The different patterns have different auspicious meanings and there are certain years when it is deemed more auspicious to wear this or that pattern. Likewise, according to Tibetan Astro Sciences and Astrology, different patterns are especially suited for different animal signs in different years based on whether the Spirit Essence and Life Force of the person in a particular year is high or low.

Natural agate beads that show what are referred to as “blood spots” are considered as very unlucky as these Dzis are said to bring major obstacles to the wearer. The best Dzis are the perfectly formed Dzis where the patterns are clearly visible. Perfect Dzis whose patterns were clear and bright were highly desirable in the old days, and perhaps that is why the more carefully crafted Dzis of today have been proving to be more potent than ever. It is hard to tell and one can only gauge from one’s own experience with the Dzi bead that one wears.

Dzis that are decorated with the patterns of the skins of celestial creatures such as the dragon, the snow lion or the white tiger are said to be protective of the wearer, while Dzis that feature the right number of eyes for the wearer are said to bring wealth luck in great abundance. In this respect three, six and nine eyes are believed to be the most popular.

The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (May/June 2008)". To subscribe, please click here.