I’m a sucker for symbolism. My love and belief for symbology is everywhere in my life – from my tattoos, to the colours of the food I eat, to this vintage Levi denim jacket I’ve had since I was a teenager and have overhauled.
Having unique pieces of clothing and being able to display my personality so literally and outwardly is important to me. Fashion is something I have a LOT of fun with, and is an essential element of my every day life. From classic basics to the funkiest extremes, I’m the person who loves a well-fitted white t-shirt as well as leopard print bicycle shorts. I’m not the kind of person who would thrive with a capsule wardrobe, although I do value the same guidelines of buying high-quality, sustainable garments. I’d rather have one white t-shirt that I wear for years than several that are never quite right or fall apart quickly.
I try hard to up-cycle as much clothing as I can, but with this piece in particular I was able to bring a lot more elements into that idea. While pins and patches are common on customized denim, I also went in for extra pockets, charms, and beading to tie it all together and make sure every inch will one day be stitched with good intentions and care.
Most of what is on this jacket I’ve been coveting for a while waiting for the right opportunity to use it, or knowing that one day I would finally sit down and add all the details to this jacket. I’m all or nothing so adding things over time didn’t appeal to me much – I wanted to sit down and truly transform this piece.
It features a broken quartz crystal necklace from my friend Rowan Morrissy that I sewed under the collar and filled with salt, a gold humming bird pendant, a red velvet drawstring bag, and a hamsa bead just to name a few.
I love symbology. I live by it, as it’s a deeply rooted part of my spirituality. I use it to read cards, find peace, and work with the energies in my day-to-day life.
Red is a colour of passionate love, seduction, violence, danger, anger, and adventure. For me it also represents fire and speaks to my sun sign, Leo.
Earlier this year one of my good friends told me that in the Chinese Zodiac, when it is the year of your sign (which this year is for me, as I am a Pig) that you are supposed to wear red every day to ward off bad luck and bring good luck. I’m a sucker for a good superstition and also believe that we let determine what we want to be true in our lives. I decided to take on this idea and have had red nails since she told me nearly 2.5 months ago. But amongst that belief I also added a lot of red to this jacket. It’s a colour that makes me feel seen and powerful, and I like the added element of luck. There is red stitching, red roses on each sleeve, the magician tarot patch with a significant amount of red, and a velvet bag as an “inside pocket” for holding crystals and keys.
In tarot, roses are considered a symbol of balance. It seemed only fitting to put two red roses on the cuffs of my sleeves. As long standing symbols of love, romance, deep feelings, timelessness, devotion, wisdom, and intrigue. It is seen another time on my jacket in The Magician patch – the symbology of 3 roses relates back to Free Masonry and the idea of “three-fold” which is a belief in Wicca that all energy you put into the world comes back to you three fold. Each rose in free-masonry stands for love, life, and light.
Have a rose on each sleeve also symbolizes a balance of giving and receiving – the dominant hand (for me this is my right) signifies the sun, masculine energy, and giving. The less dominant (for me, left) signifies feminine, the moon, and receiving energy. This speaks to me as a symbol for being able to give and receive, and to find balance in what I give to others to make sure I also give it to myself.
Hummingbirds have many different meanings across many cultures. My own personal beliefs and spirituality are kind of a mish-mash of everything that makes sense to me. While I do refer to myself as a witch, or Wiccan, I really don’t feel that any label truly represents the fullness of my own personal beliefs. That is part of why I share what I know, am learning, and am taking on in my own world. I think it’s important to share these small wisdoms to help others know that we are always the true, ultimate creators of our worlds.
Hummingbirds are seen as healers, messengers of good luck and joy, love. They bring peace and guidance on ones journey. I love having that protection on my being, and knowing that it is gold is a deeper reassurance still.
While I personally find all of these fairly obvious, I realize that is because I immerse myself in this culture and understanding. Gold has a strong relation to money – who would have guessed?!
This is another colour near and dear to me – it’s one of the only metals I wear (I always have on my great grandmothers wedding band on my right hand and a hoop in the third piercing of my left ear), and I also relate gold back to Leo, even more-so than red.
It is associated with illumination, love, compassion, courage, passion, magic, and wisdom. There is a strong theme across this jacket and its meaning – I have found myself always subconsciously attracted to these colours and themes and to see where they line up and work to create stronger attractions of such things is beautiful and powerful to me. It is also associated with prosperity, wealth, success, achievement, and triumph.
Although there is only one piece of quartz on this jacket, I think it’s important to note. Quartz is a “universal” stone. It can take the place of any energy that you channel into it, and can be used in place of any other stone in a ritual. It is meant to be a purifying and energy amplifying piece of earth. I love having it on my person to be able to remind me of what my own energy is (which can be hard sometimes in a busy world as an empath). I had a broken quartz pendant from Sage that a friend had gifted me. I filled it with pink salt for grounding and purifying hoping each of these elements would amplify each other and hid it under the collar of my jacket.
On my sleeve. This is such a cliche but I love and live by the idea of baring my soul. It is so hard to contain myself. I have always been a deeply emotional and sensitive person who has a lot of care and compassion for others. I bare my feelings and experiences to the world often and in very raw ways (uh hello two self-published books of poetry, whaddap!). This patch has a gold outline and embodies shatters of red explosions and flowers.
It feels like it’s saying passion is always possible; love largely and freely; where you plant yourself you will grow, light surrounds you, you have good intentions. I really love this piece and my boyfriend was the one who suggested its placement. I made it into an elbow patch as a reminder that my goodness is always something that I can lean into. That an open heart will protect the hard parts – not that an open heart itself always needs to be protected. It reminds me that true vulnerability takes deep courage.
I’ve been fascinated with hamsa’s for years. My first tattoo I wanted to get an ornate hamsa all down my side. While I’m glad now I didn’t go that route, the significance is still strong for me.
In many religions – rooting from ancient Egypt – it represents the hand of God. It is a protective sign bringing the owner happiness, health, good fortune, and luck. Facing upwards (which is how I have it) it is a universal sign against evil. Facing downwards it symbolizes fertility and answers to prayers.
In buddhist and hindu cultures it also represents the chakra system, and the five senses. There is so much depth and richness to these symbols and cultures that have influenced me for as long as I can remember. Even as a child I was heavily swayed by colours, imagery, and even names.
Third eye is, for me, a direct correlation to the chakra system. This sits below the collar of my jacket, in the central area of a circle tattoo on the back of my neck. It is a well recognized symbol for higher consciousness, inner realms, enlightenment, and spirituality.
It’s a symbol my grandmother has always worn and sworn by, and she has passed that belief on to me. Its placement for me also represents seeing wisdom in the past, growth from personal experiences, watching my own back – in other words following and trusting my intuition, and that often the paths to higher places lay unseen to us.
A symbol we often see around halloween, that is traditionally from Mexican culture. It is a part of their celebration of the dead and used to represent those who had passed in their family to honour the departed soul.
I hand beaded my own patch, closely relating the bright glitters and patterns of traditional designs. It symbolizes death, which in turn is life and change. For me it’s a reminder that rebirth is just as important as death, and that in order to have all the goodness we idolize that we must be willing to look equally on the shadow side and appreciate the work to be done there.
It feels like I am protected by those in my life who have passed, as well as ancestral energy that may be following me. I like the idea that my energy field is filled with security, wisdom, and protection from energies that have known my own for likely longer than I’ve been in the physical body.
There are so many little tidbits that have crept their way in – the Ouija board is an interesting one as I would never use it in my personal practice but I like what it symbolizes for me. Being open to energy – letting it in and out, being able to listen to and trust the happenstances of the universe and find messages in everything.
There is a patch of the sky which reminds me of the significance of life, but also where I want to aim – that there is so much possible and so much that is reachable.
There is a lot of velvet in my jacket as well – from a forest green patching across the shoulders to a red draw-string pouch. These for me say luxury, sturdiness, and depth. I also have a few pins including one that says “psychic” and another with 3 tarot cards. I love the symbology of three, and tarot is an incredibly important part of my life that introduced me to my spirituality and deep love of symbology.
There are many symbols we all carry and create privately. Whether it’s an inside joke, a colour that has always soothed us, or just something that we hold dear. It’s powerful to infuse our days and possessions with importance. I find that when I overlap my beliefs and passions I create a stronger energetic webbing in my life. I’m able to keep more of myself close and the things that don’t resonate with me out. There are many reminders to me of who I want to be and how I want to portray myself.