“Blessing of Mother Earth and Ancestors”, a talisman for women (front)

“Blessing of Mother Earth and Ancestors” (front)

This pattern is created by white lines on a red background. Russian peasants used this particular color choice especially for embroidery dedicated to Mother Earth and ancestral spirits. The white figures in the middle and edges of the pattern represent Mother Earth as the giver of fertility and life force. However, this symbol can also be interpreted as “having many intelligent, healthy children, and retaining your youth.” The two pictographs on either side of the central Mother Earth symbolize sacrifices to the ancestors. During the Pre-Christian era in Russia, sacrifices were thought of as trade-offs; the people would present the spirits with a sacrifice, and they, in turn would give the people protection. Perhaps the simplest way to translate this symbol is “the blessing and guidance of ancestors.”

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