Amongst various peoples of the world, beads are far more than just a decorative element.
They are a mark of social status, a lucky charm, a protective amulet, a medium for prayer, and much more.
The symbolic meaning of beads is in connection with the bead color and material.
The spiritual power of beads is attested in various religious and spiritual systems across the globe, including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and much more.
African waist beads, sangoma, and mala beads are quite an example.
Spiritual Beads Color Meaning
Although the usage of beads and the bead color meaning are culturally specific, we can talk about some universal connotations.
Beads are objects with an ascribed spiritual meaning. The color and material tell about their energy.
When choosing beaded jewelry for yourself or someone else, you should consider the meaning of the bead color.
Here are some of the most common spiritual bead color meanings.
White beads meaning
White color symbolizes virtue, purity, chastity, gentleness, and cleanliness.
White is associated with the spiritual world and clarity of the mind and soul.
The purest of all colors, white encompasses all other colors of the specter.
Wearing white beads connects you to the spiritual realm. White beads ward off negative energies because this color represents purity and goodness.
White beads symbolically represent new beginnings, and new phases of life, especially in the spiritual sense.
Black beads meaning
In the language of spiritual beads, black is not a negative color. Black symbolizes protective energies.
Wearing black beadwork is like wearing an armor of assurance and reassurance if needed.
Black beads are like a spiritual shield. They may even look a bit intimidating. Black beads protect you from those who wish you harm.
Black bead necklaces, bracelets, or anklets are symbolic and spiritual signs to malevolent powers to stay away.
Blue beads meaning
The color blue has always been associated with serenity, tranquility, calmness, healing, peace, silence, spiritual power, eternity, and infinity. After all, blue is the color of the sky and water.
Blue represents emotions, deep contemplation, inner-self, imagination, vision, dreams, and eternity.
Wearing blue beads brings you closer to the inner world. Blue beads are an excellent choice for people struggling with their emotional life.
Blue beads help in finding peace within yourself and emotional balance. Blue vibes assist you in staying calm even amidst the storm.
Green beads meaning
Green represents youth, freshness, the natural world, growth, riches of the earth, abundance, vegetation, and development.
In short, green symbolizes life force, vitality, and health.
Green beads jewelry brings good fortune, prosperity, longevity, and well-being.
If you want to attract positive vibes, a green beads piece of jewelry could be the right choice. Green beads boots profit, gain, and fortune.
Even more important, green beads symbolize life and vitality. Green has a reviving effect. The color green helps in healing processes and promotes healthy life. If you want to make healthy changes in your life, green beads could be of help.
Yellow beads meaning
Yellow, the substitute for gold, represents youthful energy, enthusiasm, optimism, joy, charisma, liveliness, positive attitude, motivation, and drive. Yellow beads awaken lost motivation and life energy.
Wearing yellow beads brings a little bit of sunshine into life.
They are a nice choice for people who lack or have lost their drive and feel a bit slow, without much passion and energy to do things. Yellow beads brighten up the day.
Yellow is the symbolic color of sun deities and illumination. It is associated with personal power and enthusiasm for doing things you are really interested in. Yellow beads could revive your daring, enthusiastic, lively self.
Brown beads meaning
Brown is associated with earth and wood. Although not the most attractive color, brown has a powerful meaning.
This color represents stability, a realistic outlook, and being self-assured, with both feet on the ground.
Brown beads are an excellent choice for people with heads in the clouds and those who feel they have lost touch with reality.
While being imaginative, visionary, and engaged with abstract ideas is not bad per se, we all need to stay in touch with the world we live in.
Brown beads have a grounding energy. They also inspire the more pragmatic and reasonable part of your being.
Brown beads help with emotional stability, practicality, and efficiency in concrete things, and support the development and use of one’s potential.
Red beads meaning
Red, as we all know, is the color of passion, love, attachment, life, dedication, and desire.
The power of the red color is not easy to harness and control, so be careful. Passionate people can move mountains.
Red is the color of blood. Blood is associated with life. Red beads and other red symbolic objects are a powerful medium of life force.
Red will give you encouragement, drive, and willingness to pursue things you find important.
Red beads stir up your passion for doing things. In addition, red beads symbolize passionate love.
If you want to surprise a beloved person and show them how much you love them, give them a red bead gift.
Red bead bracelet meaning is one of the most desirable bead jewelry meanings.
The red bead bracelet symbolizes good luck, protection, and fortune. You can wear it as a lucky charm or give it to someone you care about.
Pink beads meaning
Pink color symbolize gentle love, the state of falling in love, amorousness, grace, femininity, compassion, and kindness.
Pink beads can help you awaken your potential for love. Sometimes we take life too seriously and forget about the butterflies in our stomachs.
Pink beads promote self-appreciation and self-nurture. They can help you start being more gentle and kind towards yourself.
As a result, you will become more sophisticated, calm, and compassionate toward others.
Pink beads support emotional healing. Pink bead jewelry calms down wounded hearts, while, at the same time, increasing our capacities for empathy, understanding, and compassion.
Purple beads meaning
The mysterious purple color symbolizes royalty, dignity, spiritual powers, magic, intuition, and even psychic abilities.
From ancient times to this day, purple is considered the color of emperors and empresses.
Purple beads bring you in connection with your higher self, with higher wisdom and knowledge.
Purple beads are good for people interested in spiritual practices because they can boost your spiritual potential and help you master your skills.
Purple beads jewelry help awaken and sharpen your intuition. This color is associated with the crown chakra.
Therefore, it opens your third eye and brings you into contact with the divine.
African Waist Beads
African waist beads are a unique category of beads of great symbolic and spiritual value.
Waist beading practice originates from Africa and is reserved for women. Waist beads are a traditional type of jewelry worn around the hips or waist.
The origin of waist beads is old. The first to practice wearing waist beads were Egyptians.
In Egypt, waist jewelry was a symbol of status. Egyptians made waist girdles of various materials such as wire, shells, and chains. Besides, they were multicolored.
In our day, many African tribes traditionally wear waist beads. Each tribe has a specific meaning. Generally, waist beads mark a rite of passage for young women who enter the stage of puberty.
Waist beads appear as a traditional form of female jewelry amongst the peoples of Ghana, Senegal, Yoruba, Krobo, Ashanti, Igbo, Ga-Dangbe, and Ewe.
African Waist Beads Color Meaning
African jewelry is typically a part of the tradition in connection with rituals and religion. It is all but simply ornamental.
Most pieces of African jewelry have spiritual meaning and purpose. The color of the jewelry components plays an important role.
Today, some women wear waist beads as a fashion accessory or even as a tool for controlling weight.
Those who recognize the spiritual value of waist beads use them as a personal spiritual item, to promote their spiritual awareness.
Culturally speaking, waist beads are worn by African cultures, with their traditional meaning.
The meaning and purpose of waits beads in our time is perhaps a mixture of various practices and aspects of wearing them.
Waist beads are made of various materials, including glass, crystals and gems, metal, wood, and plastic.
They come in various colors and combinations of colors. Here is a basic overview of the waist beads’ color meaning.
Red waist beads symbolize strength, passion, confidence, and heat. Pink ones stand for feminine energy, youthful spirit, and romance.
Yellow beads represent joy, optimism, a friendly approach, joy, and happiness. They also represent wisdom.
Orange beads stand for encouragement, energy, and fun. Green waist beads symbolize renewal, hope, healing, freshness, life, and growth.
Blue beads represent royalty, trust, harmony, and reliability. They also represent business and communication.
Purple beads stand for mystery, luxury, nobility, wisdom, spiritual powers, and royalty. White beads represent purity, innocence, and truth.
Black stand for distinctiveness, power, courage, daring spirit, and classic.
As you can see, the color meaning of African waist beads is not much different from the universal meaning of bead colors.
African Waist Beads Gemstones and Crystal Meaning
Gemstones and crystals are used in making waist beads, as well as in the production of other types of beads and jewelry in general.
They come in various colors and are believed to have healing properties. Africa is rich in natural crystal sources.
A great variety of gemstones and crystals is used to produce beads.
Minerals and their colors add to the spiritual power and meaning of beads. We will mention some of them.
For example, turquoise beads are associated with wisdom.
Unakite beads can cleanse spiritual blockages.
Tiger Eye stone establishes emotional balance.
Sunstone beads are good for fueling enthusiasm and inspiring leadership.
Ruby beads are associated with passion. Pearls promote the healing of the body.
Splendid opal help breaks away negative feelings and thoughts.
Lavishly blue lapis lazuli inspires a sense of dignity and royalty.
Jasper stones have grounding energy; they promote stability and balance.
Howlite stones bring calmness. Jade represents the nurturing energy of the Earth.
The citrine stone helps decide on true desires. Carnelian enhances self-confidence.
Sangoma Beads – Spiritual Meaning and Purpose
Sangoma beads are yet another African type of traditional jewelry popular amongst people interested in the spiritual power of beads.
Sangomas are traditional healers or diviners in southern Africa, similar to priests in some other African traditions.
Beadwork and bead-wearing is characteristic of many of them. Beads are a symbol of those with spiritual powers.
Sangoma Beads Meaning Colors
According to Yoruba tradition and their Ifa religion, initiates into priesthood receive bead strings based on the dominant Orisha energy in that person.
Orishas are spirits or deities sent by the supreme god, the ultimate Creator of everything.
They mediate between the Creator and humanity and help humans.
The most common colors of beads in these spiritual pieces of jewelry are white, blue, white-blue, red, red-white, black-white, clear, amber, and yellow.
Some diviners have a connection with more than one Orisha. For this reason, their bead strings are divided into sections associated with different energies.
Blue, white and clear beads – Blue, white, and clear beads are associated with the first of the Orishas, Olokun. He is the spirit of water and his powers lie in wisdom and divination. He is also associated with prosperity.
This Orisha represents the element of water. He is associated with the astrological sign of Pisces and the subconscious level of existence. People with a dominant energy of a river or ocean spirit are regarded as the greatest and the most powerful healers.
Blue and white beads – Blue and white beads spiritual meaning is associated with the ocean goddess from the Yoruba tradition, Yemaya. She protects motherhood and pregnant women and rules over the waters.
Her eleke, the string of beads, is of white and blue colors, though some designs include red.
Green, yellow and brown beads – Green, yellow and brown beads are associated with the spirit of destiny, knowledge, and prophecies. This Orisha possesses healing powers and can heal other spirits.
His name is Orunmila and his task is to record the destiny of individual people. He is associated with the sign of Leo and the sun. The sun stands for illumination, creativity, and energy, which are also embodied in this Orisha.
Yellow and gold beads – Yellow and gold beads are associated with Oshun Orisha, the deity of fertility, beauty, love, and femininity. Her energy is similar to that of the goddess Venus or Aphrodite in Greco-Roman culture.
This Orisha stands for sensuality, prosperity, and love. She is associated with fresh waters. Ladies who follow Oshun enjoy a luxurious lifestyle and pleasure.
Red and white beads – Red and white beads belong to Shango. He is the mightiest and the most terrifying of the Orishas. He is the spirit of fire and iron and the lover of beautiful Oshun. This deity is similar to the war sprits of the Nguni people.
The pair of Oshun and Shango probably reminds you of Ares and Aphrodite. There is another interesting note. Shango was an earthly ruler who performed post-death miraculous things. This fact raised him to the Orisha level.
White beads – White beads are reserved for Obatala, the Orisha who created the land and humankind. He has immense power. Obatala can read minds. He was a mighty warrior with an immeasurable capacity for magic.
According to tradition, his son was Shango. Obatala was involved in the shaping of the world and giving form to human beings. He added heads to human bodies and became known as the Owner of heads.
This Orisha is associated with knowledge, intelligence, deep wisdom, higher wisdom, and education. He is the spirit of purity and of the air element.
Red, black and white beads – red and black beads are associated with Elegua, the Orisha who connects the physical and spiritual world. His role is similar to that of the god Mercury or Hermes. He is the spirit of crossroads.
Elegua mediates between the world of humans and the realm of Orishas. Red beads worn by the healer stand for the connection with the spirits of ancestors. Black beads stand for death in a metaphorical sense.
Through the connection with the ancestral spirits and the death of the old self, the person accepts the calling to become a diviner or a traditional healer. Some African peoples wear black and red clothes for a similar reason.
Rainbow, purple and red beads – This beautiful beads color range is associated with Oya. She is the goddess of clairvoyance, psychic abilities, intuition, and weather. Her task is to carry the souls of the deceased to another realm.
Oya is in close connection with the mysterious and powerful Scorpio sign, ruled by the planet Mars. A goddess from Zulu cosmology similar to Oya is one of the messengers of the great Creator. The rainbow is a symbol associated with her.
Mala Beads – Spiritual Meaning and Purpose
Japamala or mala are praying bead loops. They are typically used in Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism.
Mala beads are similar to Christian rosaries, for example. Mala contains 108 beads made of the same material and the same size.
Traditionally, mala beads could be made of wood, stone, seeds, bone, and precious metals.
Mala serves the purpose of maintaining full concentration while repeating mantras.
Besides, it is believed mala beads have additional spiritual qualities.
Practitioners wear mala as a necklace, wrapped around the wrist, and attached to the belt. Mala should not touch the ground.
Mala Beads Meaning By Color
The spiritual properties of mala beads are associated with the color of the beads.
If you decide to get a mala, check out the color meaning.
White mala beads represent purity, new beginnings, cleanliness, and protection from negative energy.
Green beads symbolize life, healing, and abundance, and promote growth and development.
Blue mala beads bring calmness, peace, and serenity.
Brown mala beads help you stabilize, ground, and find balance.
Black mala beads have strong protective powers and save you from negative forces.
Red mala beads promote strength, courage, energy, and passion.
Yellow mala beads bring fortune, happiness, and optimism.
Orange mala beads awaken enthusiasm and determination.
Pink mala beads increase love and compassion capacities.
Purple mala beads improve intuition and bring you in touch with divine realms.
Bead History Interesting Facts
The craft of making decorative beads is probably the earliest form of art known to the human inhabitants of the Earth.
Bead making and wearing date back to prehistoric times, when early humans used the available materials, such as bones and shells, to make jewelry.
The production of beads diversified over the course of history.
The technological progress and the availability of materials made an incredible impact on the development of various bead-making practices.
For example, Ancient Egyptians mastered the practice of glass-making, including the skill of making prized glass beads.
Various cultures produced beads throughout ancient times. In the middle ages, Marco Polo traded exquisite Asian semi-precious and precious stones beads.
Italian artisans produced breathtaking Murano-glass beads. Many different bead-making styles developed.
In the fifteenth century, European glass and ceramic beads reached indigenous peoples of Africa and America, which led to the replacement of local techniques with European ones.
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