The Green Chapel
The Green Chapel
The Green Chapel
The Green Chapel
The Green Chapel
The Green Chapel
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  • Load image into Gallery viewer, The Green Chapel
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, The Green Chapel
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, The Green Chapel
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, The Green Chapel
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, The Green Chapel

The Green Chapel

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$190.00 USD
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This item is from last year's Gawain and the Green Knight Collection and is from my personal collection. She is ready to ship and will be on her way to you 3-5 days from purchase. And she is currently 20% off for the duration of my Halloween sale ;) 


After Gawain agrees to take part in the strange Green Knight’s “game,” he takes Arthur’s implicit advice and beheads the knight with a single blow. To the horror of the court (and especially Gawain), the Green Knight’s body retrieves the head, and the Knight announces that, in one year’s time, Gawain must seek him out at the “grene chapel” to complete the beheading game. The Green Chapel itself is a fascinating place, for it turns out to be anything but a Christian chapel. When Gawain finally receives the instructions he needs (at Castle Haute Desert) to find the place, he arrives only to find a “lawe” (a hill, mound, or knoll) an opening at one end, and on its sides. It’s interior is empty, and it is covered with grass. Based on this description, the “chapel” sounds strikingly similar in shape and form to one of the many neolithic and Viking-era burial cairns that dot the British isles. I’ve visited several of these kinds of cairns while in Orkney, in fact, and always think of them in particular when I read this passage. The author of this poem, of course, would likely not have known exactly what these mounds had been used for, but would likely have known that they were made by humans in the distant past, long enough ago that the natural world has all but engulfed the structure. Gawain is clearly uneasy as he walks around and in the mound, and, not knowing what to call it, associates it (and the Green Knight) with the devil and with forces of evil. The Green Knight, however, is anything but “evil" though, as the ensuing meeting of knights will reveal, and I think audiences are also meant to question Gawain’s understanding of the mound as a place where evil things take place. That assumption is clearly born out of his inability to read the place and know its history and, perhaps, it’s also born out of his discomfort with what it suggests about the longer reach and life of the green world vs. the ones that humans try to make for themselves.

This strand, then, is meant to evoke that mysterious place, and I could think of no better stone than moss agate to capture the Chapel’s liminality. These gorgeous focal beads are full of mossy tendrils that look like they’re on the brink of escaping the bounds of their agate enclosures. The hypersthene and obsidian, in turn, are meant to evoke the dark and earthy depths of the cairn’s interior, and also the notion that, like Gawain, we oftentimes do not know as much as we think we do about the spaces and places we encounter (and need to be humble and good listeners as a result). This strand is a gorgeous piece on its own, but it’s middling length (at approx. 22”) is perfect for pairing with long and short strands and necklaces a like, as you can see when you swipe.