I love bells. As a teenager, I used to wear a string of bells hanging from my waist. I wore them mostly because I liked their harmonious tinkling. But I think I also wore them because it made me feel like I had a foot in another time. A time where, perhaps, it wasn’t so odd for a girl to be wearing multiple mismatched skirts adorned with a string of bells. I didn’t really care that it probably portrayed me as odd in the here-and-now.
Hanging bells from one’s clothing is nothing new. Originally, it was done for protection from evil spirits. Bells have also been worn to help cure the sick, the cursed, and to assist in childbirth. In the Old Testament, the High Priest’s robes were adorned with golden bells. Continue reading
As far as basics in life goes, the alphabet ranks pretty high. We start learning it usually before we reach school, sometimes even before our memories have fully formed. It is the foundation of literacy which, in our Age of Information, is pretty important.
Yet in ancient times, writing—and being able to read what was written—was a skill that belonged primarily to priests. Add in the fact that inscriptions were engraved on tombs of the dead, and it’s not hard to believe that writing was viewed as a hidden wisdom with a connection to the underworld. Continue reading