This piece is from last year’s Yule Creatures and comes from my personal collection.
“Mari Lwyd, Horse of Frost, Star-horse, and White Horse of the Sea, is carried to us.
The Dead return.
Those Exiles carry her, they who seem holy and have put on corruption, they who seem corrupt and have put on holiness.
They strain against the door.
They strain towards the fire which fosters and warms the Living.” (Vernon Watkins, “Ballad of the Mari Lwyd”)
Mari Lwyd comes from Welsh folk tradition, and is of pagan origin. The name means “Grey Mare” in Welsh, and the celebration involving her takes place in December or January depending on the region. The Mari Lwyd requires a horse’s skull, adorned with reins of various colors, and a white sheet, under which a person carries the assembled creature around the town. Accompanied by a group of revelers, the Mari Lwyd travels from house to house challenging the inhabitants to battles of rhyming insults and attempting to gain access to the homes. Once the battle concludes, the revelers and the Mari Lwyd are invited into the house for libations, the understanding being that doing so ushers in good luck for the inhabitants.
The stones chosen for this strand (smooth and faceted moonstone, garnet, and a dash of white topaz) are meant to evoke the brightly colored adornments and that essential white sheet. And of course, no Mari Lwyd necklace would be complete without a horse skull, and this one is hand-made by an artisan from Poland.
Stones: moonstone, white topaz, garnet
Focal: bronze horse skull by Polish artisan
Highest quality beading wire and brass findings.