We thank the earth and the land we live on for hosting us, we offer prayers in the hopes that we may touch more hearts and souls with the messages and encouragements that are meant to come through for the humans that we are so blessed to reach with our jewelry and all of our creations.
Deeply rooted in the rich cultural heritage of Bali, the Balinese blessing ceremony is a sacred and enchanting ritual performed regularly to seek blessings, purification, and harmony from the divine. All our jewelry is blessed in a monthly ceremony before being sent out into the world.
We consider this a crucial part of our production cycle and we never tire to share this magic with you. Just like jewelry is being assembled, polished and wrapped, the clearing, smudging, blessing and installing of mantra and prayer is just an important aspect of the completion of our production process.
How it feels to us to be part of a Balinese blessing ceremony
Many of you have asked us what the actual intentions and the different components of a Balinese blessing ceremony are. That's a great question since Balinese ceremonies are rich and complex in their setup and sequence. I'd love to take a moment to take you deeper into what I have learned about these powerful ceremonies over the years.
It took me many times to participate in ceremony in order to understand more about the rituals interwoven with one another – and to be honest, every time we come together again, it is a new experience. There is a mystery behind these rituals that is hard to grasp. A new discovery I make every time I join. What I do know though, is that this ritual is one that goes beyond any spoken word and performed action. We walk away with our minds refreshed, our hearts wide open, our eyes sparkling and our smiles big and wide.
Different elements of the Balinese blessing ritual
The Canang Sari
At the heart of Balinese ceremonies are intricate offerings or so called "canang sari." These offerings consist of carefully arranged flowers, fruits, rice, and other symbolic items placed on banana leaves or small woven baskets. The offerings are placed in front of each individual for the prayers, but otherwise presented on a beautifully adorned altar or shrine. The altar serves as a sacred space, inviting deities and ancestors to witness and bless the ceremony.
The prayers & chants
Balinese ceremony is made up of prayers. Chanting of sacred mantras and prayers plays a significant role. Led by a Hindu priest or ‘Pemangku’, the participants engage in rhythmic recitations that invoke the blessings of the deities and seek their guidance and protection. The vibrations created by the mantras are believed to purify the surroundings and establish a spiritual connection between the human realm and the divine.
As the Balinese pray, they follow a very specific sequence utilising incense, smoke and Cenang Saris.
The meaning behind the prayer
Symbolic gestures and offerings express the devotion and gratitude towards the divine. When we pray we fill ourselves and the jewelry with prayer. The incense is lit up and one prays in a composed, peaceful, harmonious state.
1. Karashadana – The incense smoke which rises to make connection with the gods is gathered in the hands and swept across the face, linking one with their gods.
2. Atmatatwa – We pray with open, empty hands to connect our soul to the gods.
3. Sryanamastuti – We take one flower, often a white frangipani, which is held up in the finger tips, recognising the supreme god Sanghyang Widi Wasa who is symbolised by the daily rising of the sun.
4. Tri-murti – We recognize the trinity of Brahma, Wisnu and Iswara (or Siwa), the gods of creation, preservation and destruction, the cycle of life. This is done by holding a mix of colored flowers with the fingertips.
5. Samidaya – Three or more flowers are held up to symbolize the great unknowable Sanghyang Widi Wasa, the trinity of Brahma, Wisnu and Siwa and all of the lesser gods which are visualized in many forms and for many purposes throughout the world.
6. Shanti – A closing prayer with open hands again, seeking inner peace and world peace. This part of the prayer finishes with a smile to recognize the happiness of the peace.
7. Nunus Tirta – This part occurs when the prayer is made in a temple or sacred space. Usually the priest sprinkles holy water over us. The right hand is cupped in the left, and is held up and filled with holy water three times for drinking, and then three times to wash the head and face. A final handful is followed by grains of rice which are pressed to the forehead, the temples and the throat, with the final few eaten and sprinkled onto the head.
The water used in Balinese blessing ceremonies is drawn from sacred water sources, such as natural springs, rivers and holy temples. These locations are considered spiritually potent and have historical and mythological significance.
The belief is that the water from these sources carries inherent sacredness and purity, making it ideal for spiritual ceremonies. In our ceremonies the holy water is used to cleanse and purify the jewelry as well as us from negative energies.
In Balinese Hinduism, the conch shell, known as "sankha" or "sankha shell," is considered a sacred instrument that is blown into during the ceremony by the Pemangku.
The conch shell is often associated with purity and cleansing. Its spiral shape represents the unending cycle of life, symbolizing the journey of the soul. When used in a blessing ceremony, the conch shell's presence signifies the purification of the space, participants, and objects involved in the ritual, helping to remove negative energies and impurities. It is also meant to invoke the presence of deities and divine beings.
Blowing into the conch shell is believed to release a powerful vibration and sound that resonates with the sacred energy of the universe. The sound is thought to travel across the realms, capturing the attention of spiritual forces and alerting them to the commencement of the sacred ritual. It is thought to awaken and energize the spiritual forces, attracting positive energy and blessings to be instilled in our jewelry.
The conch shell's invocation helps create an atmosphere conducive to spiritual connection and heightened awareness, perfect to prepare the space as well as our collections for the blessings to come.
The act of ringing the bell in a Balinese blessing ceremony serves to invoke divine presence, clear negative energies, foster focus and mindfulness, symbolize transcendence, and mark important transitions.
The bell is often rung at specific moments during the ceremony to mark significant phases. It may signal the beginning or end of a particular ritual, the entry or exit of a deity, or the completion of a specific step. The sound of the bell acts as an announcement, guiding the participants through the different stages of the blessing ceremony and enhancing the ceremonial structure.
The sound produced by the bell is thought to resonate across the spiritual realms, acting as a call to the divine forces to witness and participate in the ceremony. The ringing of the bell serves as a means to establish a connection between the earthly realm and the celestial realms. For our jewelry, the sound vibrations created by the bell are believed to dispel negative energies and purify the pieces, the space and the participants of the ceremony.
Rice is considered a sacred and essential element in Balinese Hinduism, representing sustenance, nourishment, fertility, and prosperity.
Rice represents the fundamental need for sustenance in life. In a blessing ceremony, the presence of rice signifies the desire for spiritual nourishment, seeking divine blessings to support and nourish the participants' physical and spiritual well-being. It is closely associated with fertility and abundance in Balinese culture. The successful cultivation of rice fields is vital for the prosperity and sustenance of the community.
Rice is commonly used as an offering to deities and ancestors. The grains of rice symbolize the essence of life and are considered a sacred gift. During the blessing ceremony, rice is offered on the altar to express gratitude, reverence, and devotion to the divine forces and ancestral spirits. In use with our jewelry rice also supports the process of purification of negative energies and impurities. When sprinkled upon it removes these negative influences and bestows blessings for spiritual upliftment.
Incense, also commonly known as 'dupa' or 'wangi-wangian' is one of the most essential parts of a Balinese ritual. If you have been to Bali before you might recall incense being part of every single ritual and devotional act.
Incense is believed to possess purifying qualities and is used to cleanse the ceremonial space, participants, and our jewelry. The fragrant smoke is thought to ward off negative energies and purify the environment. Further, incense is considered an offering to the deities and divine beings. The aromatic smoke is believed to attract the attention of the gods and spirits, inviting their presence and blessings. The fragrance of the incense is seen as an offering of devotion and reverence to the divine forces, expressing gratitude and seeking their divine grace.
The burning of incense represents the transformation of physical matter into ethereal form. It symbolizes the transient nature of existence. The rising smoke is seen as a metaphorical bridge between the earthly and divine realms, connecting humans with the spiritual dimensions. Through this our prayers, wishes and intentions are carried to the heavens and divine realms. Imagine a slow phone line dialing in to connect to the higher spiritual forces.
There is magic in witnessing the process of a Balinese blessing ceremony as these ceremonies are full of potent, profound symbolism. The ceremony embodies the belief in seeking divine blessings and maintaining harmony with the cosmos, the earth and its inhabitants. Intention, prayer and union is what we wish to instil in our jewelry before it reaches you out in the world.